Your body can heal itself almost everything if given the right conditions. The right conditions are diet, sleep, exercise, sunshine, laughter, appropriate response to stress, and a loving social circle. If we add upper cervical care to that from different traumas or any other things, we have a complete picture of how we can create health in somebody’s body. If someone has a problem, the solution is to get as healthy as possible. In almost every case, the sickness is not genetic. We’re designed by nature to favor eating fast food and lots of high-calorie, high-rich foods, and it’s incredibly difficult to escape this trap. Dr. Nathan Gershfeld says one way to get out of that trap is fasting. Fasting resets and recalibrates your tastes bud and gives your body a good rest. Learn how you can leverage fasting to let your body heal itself as Dr. Gershfeld talks about the mechanics and benefits of fasting and how to do it safely.
Dr. Nathan Gershfeld is a Blair Upper Cervical chiropractor in Orange County, California. Dr. Nathan developed a tumor in his early twenties and his life was saved by fasting and getting regular upper cervical adjustments. The impact was so profound on Dr. Nathan’s life, he became an upper cervical chiropractor and opened up fasting centers in California. Please welcome, Dr. Nathan Gershfeld.
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Fasting with Dr. Nathan Gershfeld
*On this podcast, we have Dr. Nathan Gershfeld. I’m very excited to have you on the podcast because I know you’ve had your own miracles happen in your life on your journey back to health. Dr. Nathan, where are you from originally? *
I was born and raised in Southern California.
*What part? *
Right near Disneyland.
*You’re still currently out in Orange County, right? *
Yes. I went away for a little bit working at a medical center for a few years up in Northern California and then I came down here, so I couldn’t stay away from the weather. It’s the best weather ever. 75 and sunny every day.
Too wimpy to handle anything else. Doc, how did you get into the healthcare field? Was there anything in your own life that was going on that led you in that direction?
I was on a little different career track. I was an electrical engineer before I became a chiropractor. In my senior year of school, my mom noticed a big lump in my neck. Being the diligent son that I was, I completely ignored her and told her she didn’t know what she was talking about.
*Where was the lump? By your throat or in the back? *
It was in the front area right near my throat. It was off to the side a little bit and it stuck out like a big golf ball. I ignored her. I didn’t want to do anything about it. I thought I had no medical anomaly. I had no physiology knowledge at all. I thought that that was a rolled-up muscle that I had spent the night before, hanging out friends or playing poker or something like that with my head in my hand, resting my chin in my hand. I thought it was like a muscle that was a knot that was there. Nine months later, it still kept growing and I ended up going to the doctor.
Was it painful at all?
No, it wasn’t painful at all. That’s why it was so easy to ignore. The doctors said it’s a tumor, “You might have an autoimmune disease, you might have a thyroid problem, and if it’s the worst-case scenario, it’s cancer and we have to do surgery either way to take it out.”
Did they do any imaging at this point?
They did an ultrasound. I didn’t let them do the biopsy at first because after the doctor told me that it was a tumor, I was a little bit stubborn about it as I typically am.
*What was going through your head at this point when they say this could be cancer? What was going on in your thought process? *
I got lucky. My grandmother is a chiropractor. She an upper cervical chiropractor and she was always into health and wellness. The one thing she kept telling me and my sisters and cousins growing up is that if you don’t know the cause of the problem then then the treatment is going to be difficult to find. That kept ringing in my head and so when I went to the doctor and talked about this tumor, I asked him, “If we don’t know the cause of this tumor and you do the surgery, won’t it come back in some other way?”
He was a little irritated about this and I was this young punk, skinny little kid who’s engineering, argumentative. I don’t blame him for being irritated. This guy’s an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. He’s got a lot of credentials. He knows what he’s talking about. Here I was asking a question that I don’t think anybody knows to this day. In my mind, I was the guy who call the police and you expect them to be like CSI because I’d seen it in the movies. Here I am asking them, “What’s the cause of this? It should be obvious.” He didn’t know. I ended up leaving that room thinking, “It’s up to me. I’ve got to figure it out myself.”
That led me through a journey that changed my life forever. What happened was I started trying to figure out. If someone has a problem, the solution has to be to get as healthy as possible. Your body can heal itself almost everything if given the right conditions. The point is let’s find the right conditions. It turns out that in almost every case, it’s not genetic. The right conditions are diet, sleep, exercise, sunshine, laughter, appropriate response to stress, and a loving social circle. If we add upper cervical care to that from different traumas or any other things, we have a complete picture of how we can create health in somebody’s body.
This was something that I picked up for many years. This was before Internet was so ubiquitous and there was no YouTube or anything like that. I would go to different libraries and read books. I would sit in on some medical school lectures to try to figure out what the heck was happening. All throughout, my grandma was perched on my shoulder saying, “Try this and try this and try this.” She grew up in a time when she’s very open-minded person and love to try new things. She would try this cleanse or try this system or this cleanser. I went through this whole process of trying everything that I could try and get healthy. Four months later I go back to redo an ultrasound. My tumors doubled in size.
*Is it pretty palpable on your neck at this point? When you’re going through this, you said it grew? *
Yes, you could see it. It was like a golf ball or like a small plum sticking out halfway out of my throat. Of course, my mom who knows me the best, she is the most nervous about me. She was the only one who could tell everybody else, it was fine. I’ve looked back at old pictures and you can see it. It doubled in size in about four months and I thought, “Holy hell, I thought I’d found something here.” It turns out that what I was doing was I was adding things to my body and I wasn’t subtracting things. I was adding all these systems and all these potions and all these powders and all of these cleanses and everything like that. I was ignoring the most important basic fundamentals which was healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, healthy sleep and exercise.
EM 64 | Fasting Fasting: The most important basic fundamentals are healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, healthy sleep, and exercise.
This is about the time when I found out about a fasting clinic in northern California called TrueNorth Health Center. I looked and looked at different places. This was the only one out there. I booked to stay, talk to Dr. Alan Goldhamer, who later became my mentor. I went there and I did a short fast. What was interesting was up until that point, I knew what it was that I needed to do food-wise, which was eating healthy, promoting foods, lots of vegetables, less sodium, less fatty, oily, greasy foods and less junk foods. I couldn’t do it. What I learned from TrueNorth was that this was actually an addictive response. Eating fast food and lots of high-calorie, high-rich foods were designed by nature to favor those foods and it’s incredibly difficult to escape this trap. It turns out after my fast, after my taste buds had reset and recalibrated, my body had gotten a good rest. It was way easier.
*Dr. Nathan, what does a short fast entail? *
It’s five days of water only. A lot of people are confused, fasting and starvation. That’s not true. Starvation is when fasting ends. Fasting is defined as the complete abstinence of all food and drink, except for pure water in a period of complete rest. Starvation is when fasting ends and fasting is when you’re using the body’s reserves. When those body’s reserves are exhausted, that’s when starvation begins. We never know anybody, any doctor who’s trained in supervision, who will ever take somebody past the point of fasting. That’s a dangerous condition and people can die and there’s never been any doctors who has supervised any patients who’ve passed away. That’s because they’re trained properly.
*How do you know the difference between starvation? What’s the breaking point there? *
This is why we get good baseline data. Any person who is going to be fasting for any significant amount of time, a trained clinician in fasting is going to be ordering blood work: Chem panel, CBC and some other markers. What we want to do is we want to know the good baseline, so when we follow up every few days or every seven days of a fast, we do a blood test, urinalysis, we know how things are progressing. Then we also bounce that back through the clinical symptoms as well. Most people will never get even close to starvation because we have so many actual adipose reserves.
*How challenging was that for you going up there, never fasting before and drinking water for five days and fasting? Was that pretty challenging? *
Fasting is an intense and miserable experience. This is why most people don’t try fasting until they’ve gotten their symptoms so bad that they’re willing to try anything. It was a tough experience for me. I thought I was going to go a lot longer, but I ended up breaking it in the middle of day five because I feel miserable. My thinking at that time was if I break my fast a little earlier, maybe I won’t feel quite as miserable, so I’ll stop feeling miserable so quickly. As I realize, it takes a couple of days to recover from a fast anyway, so I could have pushed through. I don’t regret it because that was a turning point. That helped me get back on to a health-promoting diet and exercise. It turns out another six months later after this fast, I’ve got another ultrasound and my tumor had shrunk about 50% from the original size of the tumor.
How long after was that ultrasound after the fast?
Six months later.
*How many fast did you do in between then? *
It was just that one.
What was going on? What changes did you notice going on in your body while doing that fast for the first time?
The most important one is that my taste buds got recalibrated. You will not feel it, but you definitely notice that after the fast. Anytime we put a system in our body under period of deprivation, what happens is we get more sensitive. Our taste buds neuro-adapt to the food that we’re eating. If we’re eating very processed and very highly-rich foods, we’re going to get used to that. If you take that away and you give somebody something like steamed broccoli, brown rice, lentils and beans, all of a sudden, they taste pretty awful. They don’t taste that good. It can take 30 to 90 days for the taste buds to recalibrate for those foods to taste good, but how many people are going to wait for 90 days while they eat awful-tasting food.
Many people after two weeks, they’re like, “I’d rather die sooner than eat this as well.” What a fast does in three to five days, your taste buds go through that neuro-adaptive process anyway. That was the biggest thing that I felt after the fast. I was able to do the right things and be able to stick on healthy diet. I don’t know how in terms of feeling how I was because I was twenty years old at this time, 21 years old. I never paid attention to how I felt. I probably had the youthful energy or whatever it was, but I never paid attention to how I felt and so it was hard for me to see whether or not I felt better after a fast or not.
What were you doing in this five-day period besides not eating?
Laid down in a bed for five days?
This was at a center. It was a large house and they had a living room. They had separate bedrooms. The routine was the doctor would come in in the morning, take your vitals, make sure that everything is okay. They tell you to continue the fast or not continue the fast. Then the rest of the day you’re drinking water. You got to drink a certain amount of water to make sure that you stay hydrated and you rest the whole time. There isn’t a lot of fun in fasting. I was pretty miserable, pretty tired, and weak. I was mostly sleeping in bed or going out to the living room and hearing a few lectures here and there, by some of their doctors that were affiliated with the center.
EM 64 | Fasting Fasting: There isn’t a lot of fun in fasting. I was pretty miserable, pretty tired and weak.
*There was a six-month period between your original fast and the second ultrasound where you said it shrank to 50%. What was going on in between that six months besides the taste buds recalibrating? Did you notice any other health benefits that were starting to happen after the fast? *
Not really. The main thing was I went was eating the food. I never had any symptoms of this tumor. It was more of the nervous anxiety of, “I have a tumor in my body, what the hell am I going to do?” My engineering brain was, “Let’s assume the worst-case scenario and then work backwards from there.” My worst-case scenario was it’s a tumor. It’s the worst tumor and I had asked the doctor, “Worst-case scenario, what is it?” He goes, “If it’s the worst-case scenario, you have five years to live.” It wasn’t the worst-case scenario, thankfully, because I’m thirteen years in after this, but I assumed it’s worst-case scenario. The only thoughts that were going on in my head was, “I have four and a half years to live. I better get on it.”
That’s a pretty amazing mindset to have. You took the worst-case scenario but it sounds like you didn’t panic. It seems like you were doing everything in your possible power to get better. I would feel like a lot of people in that situation might panic, get extremely nervous and worried and that can be detrimental to your health too.
I was nervous as hell. In my mind, I was fighting for my own life and that definitely led me to make certain decisions that I probably wouldn’t have made in a clear head. I spent a lot of money that I didn’t need to spend on certain supplements and certain powders and mushrooms or whatever it was that I thought could help because I wasn’t educated at all about health and wellness. I thought I would read labels and think, “If they can convince me that it’s going to help me for some reason, I’ll take it and see what happens.” That was all part of my learning process, but when a doctor told me that worst-case scenario, I have five years to live, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and it was crunch time. It was very nerve-wracking.
To this day, I don’t know how it affected my health negatively, other than being a little more irritated when people tried to convince me not to do a particular healthy thing. I haven’t seen clinically after I’ve got an educated more in health and loss, I haven’t seen clinically stress killing people as much as people think it is. What I’ve seen getting killed with is diseases of the fork. What they eat, what they put into your mouth. You and I are Blair Chiropractors. I see many people coming into my practice with problems that have to do with their poor lifestyle. Blair Chiropractic is an excellent chiropractic technique. My grandma did it. I don’t do anything but Blair Chiropractic in my office. However, when people come in and say they’re 60 or 80 pounds overweight, you can adjust their neck and adjust it as specifically as possible.
We can have a master like Ian Bulow. We can have somebody like that come in and do excellent work, but if they don’t lose the 60 pounds, the problem is going to keep coming back and it’s going to keep coming back. Let’s suppose they go on some program, they lose the 60 pounds. If they don’t address the root cause of what’s going on, now all of a sudden they get back to where they were and then that’s going to come back in ten years. What we have to realize is the cause of the problem is not anything that people are doing wrong, it’s that we have a Stone Age brain in the modern environment. The Stone Age brain is designed by nature to seek the most calorie-dense foods in our environments and to consume as much of them as possible.
What we’ve done nowadays and our environments, we have hyper-concentrated foods. We favor those foods and it creates what’s called a pleasure trap. The right things feel wrong and the wrong things feel right. If you take a type two diabetic who has high cholesterol, who has high blood pressure, has high A1C, and you look at their diet, what you’re going to see is they’re eating lots of processed high-rich calorie-dense foods. They’re going to be struggling to remove those foods from the diet. If we do remove those foods, we’re going to see the real cool power of the body to heal itself. Type two diabetes is going to reverse, high blood pressure is going to reverse, high cholesterol is going to reverse, heart disease reverses. In some cases, autoimmune diseases reverse.
It’s documented in the clinical data to the point where Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in the world, released a nutritional update in 2013 for physicians. Their recommendation was that every physician should be recommending a healthy diet to every patient regardless of the condition. It was a health promoting plant-based diet. This is essentially what the missing piece in health care is, is a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. Even in hospitals, it was a couple of years ago, the menus at the hospitals were absolutely terrible. I visited a patient at another health center who had a stroke. As soon as they arrived, I went and visited them. The doctors had given them this beef stew after they’ve recovered from a stroke, which is insane. There’s a measure to put plant-based foods into the hospital menu so that people can eat healthy when the recovery from disease.
That’s not being implemented yet, maybe in some hospitals?
There’s definitely in Loma Linda. They have plant-based options. Last I read the American Medical Association was trying to implement that. As far as my story goes, as I got back onto un-health running program, I removed all the things that I didn’t need to be doing. My tumor shrunk by 50% and the other cool thing is I did a couple fasts after that in the next two, three years. Then I finally decided to get a blood test and confirm things. It turns out that the autoimmune disease that I had confirmed right when I got the tumor which was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, those had reversed. This was something my previous medical doctor had fired me as a patient, because I was so difficult. My other medical doctor at the TrueNorth Health Center, I showed him the blood tests and I said, “It’s reversed. I was so excited.” He goes, “That’s basically what happens.”
This is a medical doctor who had gone straight out of medical school to TrueNorth Health Center. Every patient he had seen was highly-motivated to be healthy and he would see people reverse their diseases constantly. I was so impressed that I thought, “I got something here.” We stumbled onto something accidentally that many people don’t understand. They don’t know. I started thinking in all of this. My thoughts were, “If I have a tumor, it’s five years left to live. Worst case scenario, if I was going to die, would I be happy doing what I was doing?” Engineering is great. Engineers are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. It wasn’t for me, though. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough, it’s too hard.
*Also, when you have something like that that saves your life in your situation, it’s almost like every fiber in you, “I’ve got to do this.” *
EM 64 | Fasting The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Forces that Undermines Health & Happiness
There was something about it where I thought, “If I did this for myself, maybe I’ll be able to do this for other people.” I also wanted to help people. Engineers are so fantastic because they don’t let other people distract them. They sit in front of the computer and program and do their work without the distraction of the people. I was a little bit more extroverted, so I was missing that factor. I looked at medical schools. I look at naturopathic schools, I looked at chiropractic schools. I went and visited a couple and I absolutely loved the chiropractic school. I went through the program and I emailed Dr. Alan Goldhamer at the TrueNorth Health Center and I thought, “I’ve been a patient before. I’m interested.” I had read his book called The Pleasure Trap. Him and Dr. Doug Lisle wrote this book. He let me come up there and do an internship and for three weeks before I started school I did an internship at the TrueNorth Health Center.
I’ve got so much clinical experiences, it’s unbelievable. I saw people who had documented illnesses that we’re objective and they were able to reverse their diseases. I started delving more into the data. It turns out at the TrueNorth Health Center, they had published a formal study in JMPT for high blood pressure and the treatment and the effects of high blood pressure with water only fasting. It turns out the highest effect size in the scientific literature is a 37-point drop and a thirteen-point drop in the diastolic. They had fasted people an average of 10.6 days. Even the highest stage three high blood pressure patients, 60-point drop. For your audience, for reference medications, for blood pressure, lower your blood pressure, twelve points with the top number and six points in the bottom number. It’s okay. It’s not that great.
*It’s also doing other things to your liver and kidneys. *
Even if we were going to take the position that medication is necessary, there is the problem with that position. When we medicate people, there are going to be some risks about medications that are going to be affecting your liver. It turns out that the risks are so high. They do the cost benefit in the medication studies before they’re approving the drug. The cost benefit for the drugs are so high that it is not indicated to take blood pressure medication until your blood pressure is 160/100.
You have people who are running around with blood pressure that’s 100, 150/90, 130, 135/85 and there’s still a significant risk factor for stroke, heart disease and all these other blood pressure related issues. They’re not being medicated and they’re not doing anything about the blood pressure. For reference, the latest figure for someone who’s has blood pressure, that’s 136/85, they’re still at five times greater risk for having stroke than somebody who has a normal blood pressure. What TrueNorth did was they showed definitively that blood pressure is a lifestyle disease, essential hypertension and that it can be affected by water fasting and it can be affected any more than anything else.
Diet and lifestyle, which was the next biggest effect size, was a low-salt, low-oil, plant-based diet with exercise and weight loss and alcohol reduction. This one was 17.7, thirteen points. This was Dr. John McDougall who released this study. They repeated their results in a different study a few years later. This was the way to affect something so significant, high blood pressure. It’s the most significant risk factor for all-cause mortality, death from anything. It was an objective measurement that couldn’t be ignored. Every day that I was at TrueNorth, I saw people with blood pressure problems and they were able to reverse their blood pressure, they get the blood pressure normal, get off their medications and enjoy healthy lifestyle. One of the symptoms of high blood pressure is erectile dysfunction. There’s quality of life issue right there.
*Out of all the people in this world, how is it so standard to say normal pressure is 120/80? How does that fluctuate from person to person? How can you say somebody has high blood pressure? Is there a chance that that’s normal for them? If it’s screaming high, that’s not okay but 120/80, how is that the standard for everything? *
What they do when they look at blood pressure is they take the average population and essentially what they’re trying to find out as a risk factor. Below a certain risk factor, this is where they’re going to call it high blood pressure. Stage one, high blood pressure. They’ve released a new guideline, so normal blood pressure is considered now 110/70. The reason they’ve lowered it a little bit is because is because they’re starting to find that because it’s the number one risk factor for all-cause mortality, they’re trying to call it normal and call it hypertension in order to let people know that, “This is a serious thing and you’ve got to either be medicated or you’ve got to change your lifestyle and get serious about it.” Stage one, high blood pressure is defined as 140/90 and pre-high blood pressure will be below that, but above 120/80. Stage two high blood pressure is 150/100. Then stage three is 160/100.
Those were previous guidelines. This is about maybe eight years ago. The newest guidelines are 140/90 stage one and stage two is 160/100. Then we’ve got the emergency condition, which is malignant hypertension, which is 180/110. That’s where no matter who you are, if you see somebody like that, you send in the emergency room because they’re going to have a stroke fairly soon. As far as normal blood pressure, it fluctuates a lot less than we think it does. Normally, you’re going to have blood pressure changes as we stand up. If you eat a high-salt meal, your blood pressure is going to increase because you’ve flooded your system with more salt. Your body’s going to retain more water as a result, and you have more volume in your blood vessels, which is going to increase the pressure.
Oftentimes, people can continue eating a high vegetable diet, but then lower the salt in their body by stop eating salt then a few days their blood pressures are much more normal. This is essential hypertension, which is essentially a lifestyle disease. There’s some hypertension that’s due to other issues like kidney problems, kidney tumors. That’s something that can be seen clinically. I’ve seen clinically that kidney disease can oftentimes reverse with a health promoting diet, low protein, healthy vegetable-based diet. We start with a health promoting diet and we can affect high blood pressure in almost every case. Out of the thousand or so people I’ve only seen high blood pressure not be affected by about a half a dozen people. Four of them admitted later that they were sneaking out and eating things that they weren’t supposed to eat. One of them had a kidney tumor and one of them had had so many strokes.
How do you feel about intermittent fasting, like restricted eating?
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting where people are restricting food throughout a certain window. It’s actually more appropriately called intermittent feeding. We do this, every person does intermittent fasting to some extent by going to sleep at night and then waking up in the morning eating breakfast. They’re intermittent fasting window is between whatever time you go to bed and whatever time you eat breakfast or your first meal. What people who do intermittent fasting are doing, they’re tapping into something interesting, which is that they’re trying to not eat. What’s happening is our taste buds are getting recalibrated and they’re getting a little bit of a rest, but the problem is that we do intermittent fasting. We go back to eating the junk foods all over again then it’s only going to be short-lived.
The real value of a fast is not to do it as a treatment option. It’s a management strategy. It is a way to help your body heal itself, rest, relax, rejuvenate, get the autophagic response where you’re doing housekeeping the cells and reverse some of the problems. Then you have to go back to eating fortunately a health promoting diet that it’s going to taste a lot better after you done fasting, but if you haven’t done it well, if you haven’t fast you it’s going to tastes pretty bland. There’s a lot of value for intermittent fasting. What we want to stick with is a health promoting diet.
EM 64 | Fasting Fasting: The real value of a fast is not to do it as a treatment option but as a management strategy.
Dr. Nathan, six months out and the tumor shrank, what was the rest of your health journey like after that?
My health journey was a little bit uninteresting because after I had found the way to go, it was about doing it. The hardest part about doing it is actually being surrounded in a world where we’re not set up for health and wellness. If I’m trying to be a busy person studying in school or going to work, imagine the life of somebody who’s trying to eat healthy and live healthy. Let’s say they’re going to work and they’ve got a family. They wake up in the morning and instead of eating cereal with milk which takes 30 seconds to pour, they’ve got to make some oatmeal or some roasted potatoes or whatever it is that takes twenty minutes. Then they have to go to work where they’re sitting for eight hours, ten hours a day inside, no sun, and not interacting with anybody other than their training partners. Then they come home, they sit through traffic, stressed out, out of their minds. They might have an argument with a spouse. Then now they have to eat dinner. We forgot about lunch, which we don’t know what’s going to be in lunch, but it’s probably some sort of fast food or unhealthy food. Our lives are not set up for this. The basic part is how difficult it is to live healthy.
BBC did a little study where they were asking medical doctors why people are overweight and sick. The most common response for doctors was that they believed that people who are overweight and sick are this way because they are less intelligent and lazy. This is completely untrue. If it were true that someone was overweight and unhealthy because they were lacking intelligence, then Albert Einstein would have never died of congestive heart failure due to his poor lifestyle. It would not be true that Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful women in the planet, has been suffering with weight problems for her entire life. We’ve watched her do this on TV for 30 plus years, and so this is not a lady who has any shortage of willpower, and so willpower and intelligence has nothing to do with being unhealthy. This is what happens when you put any animal in any environment that has foods that are not natural and the foods that tickle their senses and they want to consume them over and over and over again.
We know that if we put a rat inside of a cage and we drill a little glass pipe in their head and put dopamine in there, and then we attach that glass pipe to a little button that we know that if the rat figure this out, it’s going to press this button until it dies and it’s going to ignore everything else. No sleep, no mates, no food. It’s going to die. Let’s consider what’s happening in the modern world is we’ve got all these things that tickle our senses. Alcohol, drugs and foods that are much more concentrated than other foods. Something like ice cream is 3,200 calories per pound on average. Compare that to something like a fruit salad, which is 300 calories per pound. Realize that the more calories per pound of food has, the more dopamine response we get out of the food.
It’s not a surprise why we favor ice cream. What tastes better, ice cream or fruit salad? If someone’s been fasting and now they’re like, “Ice cream’s a little too rich,” the normal average person is going to say ice cream, hands down. Foods that are fried in oil is 4,000 calories per pound, the highest concentrated food we know. These foods are so ubiquitous and they’re so available that it’s no surprise that as humans in the modern world, we are drawn to them. We’re designed by nature to be efficient and be super-efficient with our calorie consumption.
The most efficient way to consume calories is to concentrate them. Our ancestors actually honed this skill and the ancestors who do not honed this skill, who did not hold this skill, they passed away because the ones who forged for 2,000 calories of salad, which is 100 calories per pound, that’s twenty pounds of salad. Which means you have to gather twenty pounds of salad in the Stone Age. All of a sudden, you’re not going to have a lot of energy. It’s hard to eat that much food and the predators are going to be more likely to eat you. Whereas if you found an avocado or you killed some game, which is 1,800 calories a pound, 2,000 calories a pound plus, all of a sudden you spent a lot less energy and got a lot more calories, bang for your buck. If we were living in the Stone Age, everybody who’s overeating calories, they wouldn’t be able to do it because they wouldn’t be available. For people, if you’ve been told before that you’re this or that because you’re overweight, you’re some lazy this or that, it’s totally not true. If you’re overweight, you’re doing exactly what you’ve been designed to do by nature, which is to shove in as many calories as you possibly can because winter might come too early and spring might come too late.
What fasting does is it resets the taste buds, resets our body so that we can consume whole natural foods. When we do this, if someone offers you ice cream or a piece of cheesecake or something, you eat it, it’s actually a little bit too rich. It’s much easier to eat a health promoting diet. Imagine what happens when you’re riding around in the car with radio, as the traffic’s getting louder, your car radio is getting louder and louder. You come home, you turn off the car, and you go to bed. You wake up the next morning and you turn on your car, all of a sudden, the noise is blasting out through the speakers. Your ears are a sensory organ. They adapted to the rising level of noise.
As you took a break from that and you turned on your car again, all of a sudden, it’s too loud. It’s too rich. The same thing happens with food. If we are constantly adding and adding and adding things like salt, sugar, oil, rich foods, flour to some extent, processed animal foods, processed dairy products, cheeses, things with a lot of these hyper concentration of calories, all of a sudden, your taste buds are getting used to it more and more and more. Then we get overweight. We get all these problems, health problems, diabetes, high blood pressure. What a fast does is it rests overnight. That can go through with your car stereo and your taste buds recalibrate, your taste buds adapt. All of a sudden, you can eat steamed broccoli and it actually tastes amazing. Listeners may not believe me at all.
EM 64 | Fasting Fasting: One of the most difficult things that people can do in their life is to change their lifestyle to a more healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
You’ve got to give it a shot. Try to eat steamed broccoli, I doubt many of you will be able to choke it down. It’s very bland compared to what we normally eat. If we look at the average American’s calorie consumption, 93% of them on average comes from animal foods or processed foods. 7% comes from fruits and vegetables and of those 7%, approximately half is from potatoes and tomatoes found in potato chips, French fries, pizza sauce and ketchup. Fruits and vegetables are such a small sliver that they’re not even significant. What I’m suggesting is that what a fast can do and what a healthy lifestyle can do is we start to move the needle, so we’re eating more and more fruits and vegetables, more and more beans, legumes, grains, things like that. That will help people reverse the diseases.
Dr. Nathan, how do you incorporate the Blair Upper Cervical adjustments with the fasting? Do you put your own patients that come into your office on a fast? Do you have a fasting center?
I have two locations. One is a Blair Chiropractic office. It is in Fullerton, California. It’s called Orange County Upper Cervical Chiropractic. This is an office where I do nutrition consults for people who are looking to get healthy and looking to address the nutrition aspect, essentially the food aspect of their problem. I also do Blair Chiropractic there. What I see a lot is people who maybe want to be healthy and want to get healthy and want to change their lifestyle. Oftentimes they’ve had previous injuries and so they’re in constant pain, neck pain, they have a pinched nerve, they can’t turn their head left or right. They’ve got all these little aches and pains and so when it comes time to start to change your lifestyle, it’s a big endeavor. It’s probably one of the most difficult things that people can do in their lifestyle and their life, is to change their lifestyle to a healthier diet and a healthy lifestyle.
What Blair Chiropractic does is it’s such a miraculous chiropractic technique and it’s so precise. With the CBCT imaging, we can see exactly what we need to adjust that I can take care of patients and get them out of pain. All of a sudden, the ones who are motivated to get health, they don’t have as many obstacles in the way. There’re certain things that diet cannot address. If you are a soccer player and you got head-butted and got a concussion, diet will help with inflammation and diet helps in general. Eating a healthy diet is better than eating an unhealthy diet. As far as problems going on in the nervous system in the spinal cord, we need a specific type of chiropractic treatment to help. I see these two things, Blair Chiropractic and a healthy lifestyle as inseparable.
The other location I have is a fasting facility. This is where people who are very serious about coming and fasting for longer periods of time than say a day or two, is they’re actually coming and doing a little health promoting vacation, help running retreat from the modern world. People are coming in with high blood pressure problems. I have a couple of Meniere’s disease patients who did fantastic with fasting. They’ve got some results with Blair Chiropractic, but it wasn’t quite back to normal. With ten or eleven-day fast, all of a sudden, all their problems went away. We’re writing up a case study to publish for this because I believe that from what I’ve seen with Meniere’s disease is upper cervical chiropractic is the answer to Meniere’s patients. Fasting is the rest of the rest of the puzzle. It’s the last piece of the puzzle.
That’s great that you do mention that because I have a lot of Meniere’s patients that either you got 100% resolves or it gets a lot better, but they do have that lingering ear ringing or lingering dizziness a little bit that maybe they need that extra push with the fasting.
My fasting center is called FastingEscape.com and it is a large house where participants are coming in to do a longer fast under clinical supervision. We have a mobile phlebotomist, classes, lectures, cooking classes, talks about science of fasting and case studies and what to expect. What it is it’s a health promoting environment where we can do fasting safe and because fasting such an intense and miserable experience, we try to make it a little less miserable and a little bit more pleasant. Every room has a king bed or a queen bed in there. Every room has its own bathroom inside the room, walk in closet. It’s an introvert’s paradise.
EM 64 | Fasting Fasting: With fasting, we can actually re-calibrate our taste buds and actually get back to normal lifestyle.
If you’ve ever wanted to go, needed to go to say a hospital or needed to go to health promoting place or a resort and it’s too much noise, a little health modification where it’s introvert’s paradise is the way to go. It has different sections of the house where people can hang out and relax and do their own thing while they’re fasting and healing. I check in on people every day to make sure that the fast is going safely. We have a mobile phlebotomist, I do the urinalysis here. We’re making sure that clinically everything is normal. I have a few people here fasting a couple of people in about a week or two. It’s a wonderful place to come if you’ve been trying to get healthy and it’s not happening.
Dr. Nathan, thank you so much for coming on. What is one piece of advice you have for the audience that you’ve taken with you over the years that has helped you that you would like to share?
Number one is find a good Blair Chiropractor, like yourself and Dr. Montclair, who’s practiced Dr. Benesch. My grandmother knew her, wonderful lady. She’s incredible. I was curious who she was going to have in her office and I know her not that well, but I’ve met her. She’s a wonderful person and I’m thrilled that I have somebody to refer to in New Jersey. Shows she’s got a lot of confidence in you and I’ve listened to a couple of your podcasts and it’s incredible. What I would say to people is this. Your body can heal itself of almost everything if given the right conditions, and sometimes those conditions are something that’s beyond our control.
The pleasure trap is something that is not to be underestimated. I’ve had patients who are very powerful people, very wealthy people. They have all the resources in the world and they still can’t change their lifestyle. This doesn’t tell us anything about their character. What it tells us is how powerful the trap of the modern foods is. My piece of advice is don’t underestimate the power of the pleasure trap, and if you find yourself in a mess and you find yourself in a rut, there’s no shame in going to a place like the TrueNorth Health Center and Fasting Escape and taking a little break from the modern world and resetting everything, rebooting and gaining some momentum so you can start to live the life that you deserve to live.
Dr. Nathan, do you think this transfers over to addiction at all?
This is an addictive response, which was with food. The problem with drugs which results in addicted responses. They destroy the pleasure centers of your brain. If you go long enough in a drug addiction with some people, they actually can never return to the same level of pleasure before, which makes it an absolutely devastating trap. That’s why it’s so difficult, almost anyone who gets hooked on drugs, almost nobody will ever come out of this. It’s very sad. The good thing with food is with fasting, we can actually recalibrate our taste buds and you can actually get back to normal lifestyle. It’s very difficult. This is why the only people are going to do something so radical or people who are very sick.
Dr. Nathan, thank you so much for coming on. We love to have you back anytime. I’ll be in touch and thanks again.
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