Spring is in the air! It is so good to have the warm weather and sunshine. I plan to get outside more this week and hope you are do too. We are still on the topic of living long and healthy lives, and today we will cover the third principle of healthy centenarians.
Calorie Restricted Diet
Have you ever seen or heard of an over-weight centenarian? Our weight has a crucial part in our health and longevity. A calorie restricted diet without malnutrition is universally known to increase the life span of all laboratory pets and farm animals, and is a common thread found amoungst centenarians in history and presently in all areas. In most cases the caloric levels fall between 1,250 and 1,800 calories per day, with those performing more physical labor consuming the higher calorie levels. 
"Without malnutrition" means more than sufficient calories to survive, and a diet that provides every known essential nutrient in at least optimal levels. Taking a multiple vitamin mineral supplement to fill in the blanks is not enough. We must be more serious, more intense, and more accurate about providing abundant sources of raw materials to every cell of our body. Every mouthful at every meal, every day needs to be nutrient dense.
There is much information on how fasting is beneficial to our health and increases our life span. In the 1940s, professors A.H. Carlson and F. Holzol studied the effects of intermittent periods of fasting on the life span of rats. They fed rats a high quality diet rich in vitamins and minerals in unlimited amounts, one group was fasted completely every other day; another group was fasted every third day and another group fasted every fourth day. The maximum life span in the un-fasted animals was 800 days, however, in all three intermittently fasted groups the maximum life span was extended to 1,000-1,1000 days. This was a 20-30% increase in maximum life span. 
The Hunzas are another example, and have been known for their robust health and longevity. They eat a calorie restricted diet, only consuming between 1,880 - 2,000 calories a day. They have been isolated from civilization, and so by necessity, they produced all their own food. In the spring when their food-store is short, they have three months of "starvation spring", where they only eat two to three meals per week. 
In the book, Fasting Can Save Your Life, Dr. Herbert Sheldon gives many examples of individuals who went on fasts to regain their health. He goes into detail on what happens when we fast and how this benefits our health. When one stops eating, the body does not need to digest food and spends its energies on restoring balance and healing. Dr. Sheldon shares stories on many conditions have been helped by fasting, such as, psorisis, arthritis, high blood pressure, digestive issues, asthma, and more.
Knowing and having the information is one thing, but incorporating fasting into our lives is another thing. Here are some suggestions.
- Choose a day to fast in the week. Ex.: skip supper on Sunday evening, and skip breakfast on Monday. Resume eating at lunch.
- Fast 3 days a month. This is critical for those who have a chronic condition.
- Daily Intermediate fasting. Eat only in a 8 hour period and fast for 16 hours every days. Eat between the hours of 11am -7 pm.
- Eat only fruit for breakfast. Fruit is easily digested so your body still does not have to digest heavy foods in the morning. You could also add yogurt or goat milk to the fruit, as these are easily digested as well.
- For 10 days to four weeks do a moderate fast every year, consuming mainly live foods during this time.
When fasting, it is best to only drink water, herbal teas, or fresh vegetable juices. Fruit juices may be used with caution and should be diluted. Diabetics and those with yeast or cancer issues must avoid the fruit juices.
For Your Health
Amy Willis, Your Local Herbalist