Grok On Intermittent Fasting And Other Things

by freelance

Fasting is a tool that people use for religious purposes, dieting reasons, a detox tool, and I`m sure for many other reasons. Here`s Mark Sisson`s view on it.

Meet Grok
Meet Grok


I think alot of us have done it. I know I have. It`s not a routine practice for me but I know alot of people use it regularly, and successfully. There are different types of fasting: water fasting, juice fasting, fasting from sugar, fasting from red meat, fasting from the computer; it basically just means to give something up for an allotted time for a reason that`s personal to you. The fast that I did pretty regularly was a juice fast. Nothing went into my stomach except water, and freshly made juice. I have a Jack LaLanne juicer and it was used alot! I would do 3 day, week long, or just a 24 hour fast. The length of time was decided by why I was fasting. Had I eaten unhealthily for awhile and feel I needed to clean out? Did I just feel compelled to give up one certain item that maybe was getting out of proportion in my life and it needed to be put into perspective again? Did I just want to give my system a break for awhile? The reason was usually different each time. The type of fasting I want to focus on today is intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, or IF, is when you skip at least one meal on a semi-regular basis. Some experts say this is a bad practice because it throws our bodies into starvation mode and it starts to cannibalize its own muscle. The Primal Blueprint does not agree with that assumption. One of Mark`s rebuttals is if our body was designed that way, we would of ended as a species a long time ago during the famine part that goes with the hunter-gatherer ancestry. 

He believes that IF`ing is definitely not detrimental, but beneficial in more ways than one. Potential benefits include but aren`t limited to: increased utilization of  stored body fat, improved cholesterol numbers and improved insulin sensitivity, promotion of cell repair, increased lifespan; which has been proven in animal trials, better athletic performance, and better appetite control. 

One of the more popular 'schedules' is the eight on and sixteen off method which is utilized daily. It has you skipping one meal, usually breakfast, and then having lunch around noon. You eat dinner around eight p.m. and then fast until noon the next day. Repeat every day. I think, for me, this would be quite easy to incorporate because my mornings are usually filled with doing stuff and getting kids off to school; before I know it, it`s lunchtime. 

Another popular one is the no food for twenty four hours deal. That`s exactly as stated; no food for twenty four hours, and it`s done once or twice a week. Most people I`ve talked to will eat dinner and then not eat until dinner the next day.

I like Mark`s personal favorite=WHEN. When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Eat when you`re hungry. Not bored, not because your partner or kids pissed you off, not because you got a raise; but because you`re hungry. Primal eaters have more subdued appetites and can go quite awhile before we`re really  hungry. Mostly because of the lack of insulin spikes. If you`re new to Primal eating, I don`t think IF`ing is a good idea. You`ll be focussed on just adapting to the different way of thinking and ways of eating, and adding fasting into the mix might add more stress. Later on, with some experience under your belt, it`ll probably just come naturally. Like I said up above, IF`ing isn`t a daily routine of mine, but now that I write this all out I realize I do the eight on and sixteen off quite a bit without trying to.

Going Barefoot

I love to go barefoot and I do it as often as possible. My feet are quite used to it, but if yours aren`t your feet may need some time to adjust while you strengthen the hundreds of ligaments, muscles, and bones. Do it a little at a time. Do some barefoot gardening, go barefoot in the house, or a short walk on the beach if you`re lucky enough to live near one. Once you give up your shoes, it`ll be hard to put them back on! 

Difference in feet from a non-shoe wearer and a shoe wearer. Notice how the latter`s toes are all

scrunched up and no vertical line can be drawn.
No Shoes Ever
No Shoes Ever
Shoes Worn
Shoes Worn

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Gut Health

I doubt Grok had hand sanitizer, and I doubt he washed his hands before eating. I`m thinking life was pretty, well........ dirty. Today we are pretty, well........ sanitized. We`re worried about germs, way too worried if you ask me. When I was a kid I played in the dirt, ate mud pies while playing pretend, and I, um........well, I peed behind trees sometimes when I was too busy playing in the fields to run home. There I admitted it. And I`m positive I`m not the only one.

We need dirt and the microscopic bugs that live in it. Those little beneficial bacteria make our digestive systems work the way they`re supposed to and it bolsters our immune system. And no, yogurt isn`t good enough; it doesn`t contain near the amount that we need. Did you know that our bodies contain more foreign bacteria than homegrown cells? We`re outnumbered in our own bodies!

How to get enough? Spend as much time outside. Have animals. Eat fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, and ditch the hand sanitizer! If you`re a yogurt eater, make sure the label says 'contains live cultures' and stay away from that sugary stuff. Taking a probiotic wouldn`t be a bad idea either.

Further Reading


This is perhaps the most fun of the fundamentals of the Primal Blueprint. So many positive things come from play. It teaches us how to move and be agile, how to interact with others, gives us exercise in a really fun format, teaches us how to problem solve, and much more. Alot of us forget how to play when we reach adulthood, or we think it`s only for kids. Do yourself a favor and learn how to play again. Pick up a frisbee, get into paddle boarding, take up Tai Chi; find something fun and enjoy your life! 

Updated: 12/22/2011, freelance
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