My First Interview: I Learn More About Annie’s 30-Day Fast

My First Interview: I Learn More About Annie's 30-Day Fast

Could you eat nothing and drink only water for 30 days?

That’s what I thought too.

But Annie did. That’s why I wanted to interview her and find out more. Plus Annie is awesome, so who better to have for my first ever interview.

It’s a subject I’ve recently become interested in – well, more diets in general but when Annie told me about her own 30 day challenge I was a little in awe and vowed to myself I’d find out more from her about that. Well here we are.

My Transition (Why I’m Now Interested In This Stuff…)

With me and diets, health etc here is how it goes:

Before: Not in the least bit interested in diets. Never really needed to be. Generally of the belief that if you want to lose more weight, do more exercise.

Always: Always been interested in experiments though, and learning (Cicero’s #5)

Recently: Having read Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body, I have been giving the Tim Ferris Slow Carb Diet a try myself (and still am). This has mainly been as a kind of challenge to myself, an opportunity to learn more about something I’ve never really known much about (the body & diets in general) and a kind of experiment. I have therefore become more interested in diets. I also shared my own (fitness renamed to) diet ‘system’ in my recent post: A Diet System That Works – mainly because for me, Tim Ferris’ doesn’t (at least not to the extent he claims in terms of weight loss).

Now: Having experienced some interesting side-effects (as I shared in another recent article: A Very Simple Thought Which is Making me More Healthy) I now want to learn a little more about some alternatives – particularly some of the more extreme alternatives in terms of diets, nutrition and the like. So it starts with this interview with my good friend Annie, and fasting.

This also leads me to the question: What does the body really need? which I think is probably a different article rather than trying to JAM too much into this one and that will enable me to explore some other areas of interest and maybe a few more interviews – watch out Monkey Chow man and Paleo guy!!

The 30 Day Water Only Fast: An Interview with Annie Andre

So here is the interview. My first ever interview (as the interviewer) & I’m very grateful to Annie for agreeing to do the interview.

Technicalities:
  • the interview is in 2 parts – I had to split it due to the YouTube 15 min time limit. But both are below so you can just watch one, pretend you’re at the movies, go make yourself a cup of tea and then watch part 2 😉
  • I shoulda made it split screen but instead unwittingly chose the Call Recorder default setting of picture in picture (which also seems to have chopped the bottom off my bit) – never mind, I’ll know for next time!

Intermission: Go buy ice-cream or make yourself a cup of tea 😉

After talking to Annie and having done a little more research, I am seriously considering building fasting into my own regime in some form… again, just for the experience.

At the moment I’m still p-e-r-s-e-v-e-r-i-n-g with the slow-carb diet but as the results have been decidedly slow, I am ready to make some serious modifications to it. I will probably go for a 24 hour fast the day after binge day. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear any opinions or expertise you may have on this.

Research so far has told me 1) It’s a good idea – all fasting is good and 2) It’s a waste of time, most benefits from fasting don’t really kick in until after the 24 hour mark – so maybe I’ll just flip a coin to decide…


Comments

My First Interview: I Learn More About Annie’s 30-Day Fast — 21 Comments

  1. I’m Muslim and I must say, when I talked about fasting with non-Muslim friends and colleagues, they were very skeptical. I just didn’t understand why since I was fasting during Ramadan and surviving – work etc was not impacted. The ritual of eating and fasting gave me way more time to do things and the day had more structure.

    I’m not so sure about a 30 day fast in the style of Annie. Like you Alan, I would not be able to justify slowing down since not eating means less energy. I definitely want to build in one day fast a week. Saturdays for me – this Saturday is the day!

    Have you encorporated fasting into your diet now, Alan? How have you found it?

    – Razwana
    Razwana recently posted..Are you guilty of making this daily mistake?My Profile

    • Hi Razwana,

      If you read this article: Why It’s OK To Fail, you’ll see that I didn’t do very well at the first attempt – I thought it would be really easy and I could just do everything as normal. Today I still didn’t fast on water only, as I’m not in a huge rush to get this right as long as the change is sustainable (as I wrote about in this article: The only two trends that matter). I’m on track now because today I drank only water and tea (as planned) – looking forward to breakfast tomorrow though!!

      take care & thanks for the comment. Let me know how you get on too – though you do have a slight advantage over me having had some practice with Ramadan,

      Alan

    • Razwana,
      I can certainly understand how your western friends felt. I live in the south of France in Marseille and there is a huge Muslim population here. I learned of Ramadan and that’s when i discovered that fasting isn’t unhealthy like most westerners are led to believe.

      I also discovered that for thousands of years people have been fasting for long periods of time. You’re so right though that 30 days is extreme but i’m glad i did it. Rather than believing what i was brought up to believe i did research and experimented myself. I have a new found respect for anyone who can fast even for just a day.

      Thanks and take care.
      Annie Andre recently posted..Dreaming of Marseille: How We Got On house hunters international 500th episodeMy Profile

  2. Alan and Annie,

    Well, I am impressed with anyone that can fast even a week. I rarely do “diets” and the one time I did it was a real nice one where I cut out sugar and non whole grains. I should eat like that anyway. I had so much energy! But with a family, busy life and me not liking to cook, it is hard for me to do. But I do miss it.

    If I was to fast like this I would NEED to be alone. My poor family would suffer from night #1. LOL. I can’t skip any meals, I get bitchy. But I guess I would do it if I could spend time in nature, alone and with little concept of time (only the sun and moon telling me). I think I could do it then. Add a sweat lodge and I am ready to face the clarity or was that delirium?

    So, Annie, you said a moment of clarity but then said you don’t remember writing the post you did. Was that actually delirium and you perceived clarity?

    ~Allie
    Allie recently posted..Creating Niche Sites for Income: Online WAHM OpportunityMy Profile

    • Allie,
      A fast is very different from a diet. In my eyes. I didn’t do it for the weight loss although that was a nice side benefit. I did it to cleanse my system. I forgot to mention that while fasting your body is secreting toxins which you can see on your tongue. As you fast, they get expelled and apparently when they are completely are gone your tongue will no longer show signs of these toxins being expelled. you are supposed to stop when you no longer see this on your tongue. There are other side effects but i won’t get into it because this is a family channel.

      Lets see, at around day 3 i experienced something called ketosis. Ketosis is a process where, all the glycogen in the liver are gone and the body begins to shift over to what is called ketosis or ketone production – the use of fatty acids as fuel instead of glucose.

      It’s was during this switch where your burning fat and where i felt really weak. “but as i stated in the video, i expected this to happen”. The very next day i felt Euphoria and happiness and felt so so good. it was amazing. .

      Fasting really is fascinating. It is used as a cure to help cancer and people with tumors. It can help with other maladies too. i won’t get into it but if you do some research under “health benefits of fasting” you just might be surprised.
      Annie Andre recently posted..Video:20 Useful Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France and BeyondMy Profile

      • Wow – you could have mentioned the toxic tongue Annie 😉

        That’s really interesting!

        One thing I’m confused about is how much to believe all of the health benefits and how much to believe the concerns about detrimental effects (e.g. are you getting enough nutrients during these 30 days?)

        I trust you and know you did plenty of research and took the whole thing very seriously. You have me convinced that some fasting is good but I have to admit 30 days or 100 days does still feel quite extreme and perhaps a little too much for me – fascinating though.

        Are you 100% convinced it’s healthy and you’re not doing any damage at all by missing nutrients, vitamins etc (assuming I am right in thinking you don’t take any extra supplements during the fast)?

        • Alan, as with anything there are risks.

          There are a lot of discussions over whether it’s healthy or unsafe. This was what prompted me to do it. Some cultures have been doing fasts for thousands of years. Maybe not water fasts but fasts nonetheless.

          It’s my understanding that if you are doing 30 days of fasting you do not need to take supplements. It’s a fast. you’re body is burning fat as it’s fuel and getting nutrients stored in the fat.

          However, if you go longer than 30 days that answer might change. The reason why i chose 30 days is because about 14 of those days i was still eating. Albeit it was soup or broth but i was taking in calories nonetheless. So the actual water fast was only 14 days. 7 days on was spend getting my body ready with broth. Then 7 days winding down trying to prepare my body for solid food again.
          Annie Andre recently posted..Video:20 Useful Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France and BeyondMy Profile

          • Hmmm – I think the comment ‘as with anything there are risks’ is not the right one.

            I do agree with your earlier bus analogy (vs eye laser surgery) but most risks you can understand and manage such that they are negligible or no longer a concern. Like just drinking a single glass of water from a bottle of mineral water manufactured by the biggest mineral water making company probably has very little risk associated with it – technically you could argue some, but I would know that doing this versus drinking a glass of water straight from the tap in Mumbai, India would be a lot less risky for me with my western tummy – for example. In fact I am satisfied that the risks are so tiny that I actually see no risk at all in drinking mineral water (or tap water in the UK for that matter ) at all.

            I had meant to ask you the supplements question in our interview but guessed that must be the answer – that these were effectively taken from the bodies ‘stores’ (what else could it be?) – thanks for clarifying.

            Obvioously you’re very comfortable with the whole thing otherwise you wouldn’t be thinking of doing it again. As you’re a person who I respect a lot that means a great deal.

            Maybe next time your tongue would take less time to be toxin-free 🙂 so you’ll need less time anyway?

            Perhaps if people do this regularly that’s what happens, each time they can fast for a little less time…

            fascinating stuff – I think I’ll start my wimpy little one day fast from this Sunday

  3. I’m just wondering, is there something bad happened with her body after taking only water and couple of tea everyday for a month? For your next experiment Alan, I think you must now seek a professional advice. Because for me, health is a serious matter and to be experimented. Just making a point.
    Arjhae Nicol recently posted..healthMy Profile

    • Hey Arjhae,

      I appreciate the comment, and no worries re: the point about professional help. Believe me, though I am into experiments, I wouldn’t mess with my health.

      I did ask Annie the same question but she told me that on the contrary what she experienced were health benefits, and I know she lots of research and was very careful about this diet.

      In any case, if I do something similar it is very unlikely to be in the extreme, mainly because I need to be quite active as I like to do lots of things with my life. The change I was considering was 1 day of something similar per week which would essentially be a further evolution of my now modified version of the slow carb diet (which is now working quite well for me as I have combined some elements of moderation, allowing some fruit and tea with milk and incorporated exercise – along with using my diet system to track progress).

      thanks again for the comment – much appreciated and don’t worry, I won’t be doing anything too drastic (plus I have my very own highly trained nutritional adviser close to hand if I do need professional advice in any case 😉

      take care & best wishes,
      Alan

        • Hey Arjhae,

          no problem at all and I’m glad you left that comment – as I said to Annie below, I had some concerns myself on this one. I think Annie knows very well what she’s doing but she’s far braver than me, I would (in fact will, starting this week) be doing a much more modest version,

          thanks again for the comment,

          take care & best wishes,
          Alan

    • Hello Arjhae,
      In my research i found that there were a lot of health benefits. I think mainly in western cultures do people frown upon fasting. I didn’t feel that i was toying with my health whatsoever. It’s like when i was pregnant. My western family said don’t eat fish and don’t eat spicy food while my Asian side said to do the exact opposite.
      In the US and Canada, it’s common snack throughout the day. In France not so much so. Fasting is one of those things that is just viewed differently. i would definitely do it again for the purification affects but not as long.
      Annie Andre recently posted..Video:20 Useful Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France and BeyondMy Profile

    • Thanks Shalu,

      I’ll be planning on doing a few more of these in good time – we enjoyed it and personally I find what Annie did fascinating,

      take care & best wishes,
      Alan

  4. Alan,
    Knowing you, you will probably go for the full 30 days. Once you get on a roll, past the 4 day mark, you get pumped with the progress and it gets easier.

    As far as pros and cons. I’m still amazed about the benefits of the fast. I want to do it again but it’s just so darn hard with kids around and with my husband around. The tiredness and crabbiness i experienced is a definite negative but it was well worth it just for the experience.
    ps
    It was a blast doing the interview with you.
    Annie Andre recently posted..Watch Us On The TV Show “House Hunters International” June (Monthly Report #2 May 2012)My Profile

    • I would but I don’t much like the idea of it being a time where you can’t really ‘do’ much.

      I love the idea of the challenge (and the potential health benefits) but I also really value my freedom – and that usually means freedom to do lots of stuff where and when I like (e.g. playing lots of golf at the moment which would presumably be a struggle during this water only gig).

      So I’m erring towards the 1 day per week of water only, which would also be sustainable long term I think. What do you think?

      • You are so right, the loss of freedom from being so tired is not going to go well with your golf schedule or freedom to do what you want.
        I think you can EASILY manage one day a week. Especially if you fast after diner for 24 hours until the next day. But, having said that, the first and second day of fasting were the hardest for me. I almost caved on the first day. So i’ll be curious to know about your experience. Just write it all down for posterity and to remember..

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