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Ready, Set, Fast!

I’ve never been much of a dieter, more of a food “omitter”. Like when I was in high school and after one too many of the greasy cafeteria chocolate chip cookies, I decided the best way to cut back on my grease and sweet intake, specifically these ooey gooey delicious chocolate chip cookies whose aroma wafted up my pubescent nose each day, was to give up chocolate. I was convinced  “by cutting out chocolate, I’d eat less sweets and be healthier for it.” For seven years I gave up chocolate, opting instead for granola bars, fruit and Pay Day candy bars (the only candy bar without chocolate--they were my jam!). It sort of worked! On my 21st birthday my best friend asked the question…”Why don’t you eat chocolate?” and proceeded to order me a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.  A few drinks later--just like my 21st birthday--the cake was a distant memory. I do remember however that I discovered all over again, I really loved chocolate--what was I thinking!? 

Well I was thinking about controlling my sugar intake, which is sort of a “thing” today.  But back then it wasn’t, and we definitely didn't have influencers telling us it was. As a dancer, I was a witness to some more serious diet/health concerns around food like anorexia and bulimia, and I still feel for those who battled these eating disorders. But back then I just knew those cookies weren’t good for me. Cut to me as an adult and I have a fairly balanced and healthy relationship with food. That said, as of late, I've been feeling a little more achey in my joints and less clear in the mind. It's like my mind and body needed a little dusting off, a “re-boot”. 

It didn’t take long for my thoughts to manifest into reality.  The offer came to me ironically over breakfast.  I was in a meeting with 3 gentlemen in the healthcare and wellness industy discussing their companies and what they offer, when one of them brought up the ProLon Meal Program.  “It’s a Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) designed to exploit the bodies ability during periods of low calorie intake to enter a protected mode, remove damaged cells and tissues, and undergo self-repair.” He said. “Evidence suggests that this process may result in increased longevity and improved health and wellness.  You three should try it!”  One look around the table and we were all in.


A week or so later a big white box showed up at my door with 5 numbered boxes inside, instructional manual, the ProLon meal card, ingredient lists and a clear water bottle with the green letters ProLon written across.  The top of the lid read, “REJUVENATION FROM WITHIN”.  Inside each box is all the food provided for the day.  Which at first glance did not seem like a lot, but I’ll get to that.  I set it aside for the time being, as it was mid week and just before Valentines Day. Collectively we all decided one more glass of wine and bite of chocolate would be necessary before diving in.  We decided to start on Monday and make a clean start of it.


Day 1.  Monday: We settle into our new meal plan. Now realizing that this was the day I would receive the most “food”, I had to “check” myself. Despite getting to eat on this fast, I was already missing my food and it brought to light how much I snacked throughout the day.  I wasn’t alone, keeping a text thread with my two fasting companions, one of the guys reported.


Day 2. Tuesday:  The headaches came.  For many the hardest part of any diet, cleanse or fast is the removal of certain chemicals in our body that drive our physical machine each day, like caffeine.  ProLon recommends you stay off of caffeine, but does say you can have one cup a day. We all opted to cut caffeine.  Starting day 2, the program included the L-Drink, a glycerin additive to put in our handy ProLon water bottles.  There was a lot of water consumption on this and it made me realize, I definitely didn't drink enough water. When I drank more water, the headaches went away. Another thing happened.  I was bored.  With all my meals planned for me, and very minimal at that.  It was all very easy. The soups required the most preparation which was basically boiling water and stirring occassionally…food was becoming a very “non-issue” in my day.  I had to find things to fill the time and space with.


Day 3.  Wednesday:  Hump day. The food scene is bleak.  I start to ration kale chips from my allotted lunch time to save for a snack later.  I made comments like, "I'll never take a single olive for granted ever again." By now the body is consuming 800 calories a day. 1200 is the minimum daily recommend amount.  Thus the body is tricked into thinking it is not eating and the calories you do receive are used to repair and remove damaged cells.  Pretty cool right?


Day 4.  Thursday:  We start to observe the ingredients, nutritional facts and benefits of this fast--because, again we are bored and trying to make our food interesting…no I kid!  I should mention of the three of us on this fast, for two of us, this is our first time.  The other gentleman has fasted before and with a medical background he earned the title “pro faster” throughout the week.  In all the discussions of nutrients and lack there of, his comment was this. 



The whole concept is fascinating actually.  Fasting or Intermittent fasting has many benefits backed by scientific research:

Some of the benefits of a fast are:  

1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance

2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation

3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels

4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders

5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism

6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength

7. Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity

8. May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy



Day 5.  Friday:  Last day! We turn the corner.  My comment to the group was:


            “Feeling energetic today despite no sleep last night. Down 4 lbs as of Monday.  Body feels good-hungry but I haven’t had my tea and bar yet. My mind is clear, not spacey.” 


We all agree we feel better today than any other day so far.  Maybe because it was the last day and we knew more food was in our future? Going to the gym to work out was also fine.  ProLon recommends you don’t work out or work out with caution in case your body weakens during the fast.  I lightened my weights and lessened the intensity (because I get pretty intense, let me tell you) just to be on the safe side.  We all discuss the possibility of doing this the 3 times throughout the year.  I suggest the possibility of a retreat on a warm sandy beach somewhere and no one seems to object!


In the end the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet was a success.  We all carried on in our regular routines.  Despite my earlier comment about wanting to go to a sandy warm beach, the program is very manageable to incorporate into any lifestyle.  We all still worked, we all still took care of our kids and we all maintained our regular schedule, with the exception of going to bed a little earlier.  Our “pro faster” found it very easy to follow and with his medical background also agreed it was a viable program.  For my other counter part, the bit that impressed me the most with his experience was that he travelled and attended business lunch meetings while on the fast. He even brought the soup to a lunch meeting and asked the chef to cook the soup for him!  


My greatest take away was this:



The sixth day we were recommended a transition diet of liquids, light meals of rice or pasta and small amounts of fish, meat and legumes.  By day 7 you could resume a normal diet.  

The one thing I did not realize before this program was how much eating was a total habit-a time killer, a space-filler and a major distraction. If you are looking for a life or diet "Re Boot" a fast or Fasting Mimicking Diet might be just the thing for you. That said, it is not for everyone, if you have any concerns please contact a medical professional first!

Maybe you too will decide to make a clean sweep, not just for your body but for your mind. 

For more information on the ProLon, please visit their website: prolonfmd.com


My caffeinated green tea has never tasted so good!


Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty



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