Raw Milk Fast 2013: Are You Ready?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist March 4, 2013

raw milk fast 2013In March 2011, my friend Paula Jager, owner of Crossfit Jaguar in Tampa FL and Fitness Editor for this blog, wrote a series of riveting posts about her 15 day raw milk fast.

This series on The Milk Cure sparked much interest from readers from around the world who became interested in reviving this age old remedy for improving vitality, bodily cleansing and even reversal of serious illness as practiced in the early 1900′s by the Mayo Foundation, a forerunner of the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.

At the end of Paula’s raw milk fast last year, she said that she was so pleased with the results (she had the best bloodwork of her life at the conclusion of the fast) that she vowed to do a raw milk fast every year around the beginning of Spring.

Last year, my husband Richard and I joined Paula for Raw Milk Fast 2012.  You can read all about our 10 day adventure by clicking here.

Last month, Paula and I talked about whether we were going to do a raw milk fast again this year.  We both decided that, yes, we wanted to do it one more time but not for 10 days like in 2012.  We felt that a simple 3 day seasonal cleanse fast using raw, grassfed milk would be sufficient.

I posted on The Healthy Home Economist Facebook page last month that we were going to get kicked off in early March and here we are already!

We plan to start our fast on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 and continue through Friday, March 8, 2013.   Join us if you like!  We will be posting updates on how we are doing starting on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Those of you who would like to continue the fast longer are welcome to do so, but as for Paula and I, three days is plenty this time around.   Certainly, a very long raw milk fast can be extremely beneficial for those who require it for an extended period of time.  I’ve posted before about Melanie who drank nothing but raw, pastured milk for many months to recover from Lyme Disease.  Last time I heard from Melanie, she was doing very well and continuing to improve!

If you would like to learn more about how raw milk fasting, aka The Milk Cure, was traditionally used to cure very sick patients at the Mayo Foundation, click here.

Do’s and Don’ts for Raw Milk Fast 2013

If joining Paula, Richard and I for Raw Milk Fast 2013 is something you would like to consider, read through this list of DOs and DONTs first to help you decide.

  • DON’T attempt this fast with pasteurized or even low temp pasteurized milk. Milk becomes a completely different food once it’s pasteurized and many vital nutrients and enzymes are either totally lost or significantly reduced.  Pasteurized milk is not a complete food like raw milk is.
  • DON’T do this while pregnant or nursing.
  • DON’T do the fast just to lose weight.  The purpose of the fast is to gently cleanse and rejuvenate the body without overly stressing it.  Getting healthy and staying healthy is the goal, not dropping a dress size or two.  If you drop some weight, that’s just a bonus but not the goal.
  • DO the fast with raw milk yogurt, raw kefir, or clabbered raw milk instead of plain raw milk if you prefer.  These are acceptable substitutions.
  • DO the fast with any type of quality raw milk you can find.  Last year, there was a participant in Europe who fasted with raw sheep milk!
  • DO continue the fast longer than Friday, March 8, 2013 if you like.  Continue to post comments on the update posts to let us all know how you are doing.
  • DO be sure to drink enough raw milk to keep yourself hydrated and full.  A cup or so of milk every hour works well. You should not experience much if any hunger during the fast based on Paula and my experiences last year (and Paula’s the year before that).  You probably will find that you don’t want any water as the milk will provide all the liquid you need.
  • DO continue to take your supplements if you would like.  I plan to continue taking my fermented cod liver oil and butter oil on a daily basis during the fast.
  • DO drink other fermented beverages like kombucha or beet kvass if you desire.  Raw milk should be primary, however.
  • DO drink herbal tea if you find this is helpful to you during the cleanse for either detoxification or restful sleep.
  • DON’T overdo during the fast.  Try to rest as much as possible and keep activities to a minimum.
  • DON’T do this fast in place of the GAPS Diet if healing/sealing of the gut wall is what you need to reverse an autoimmune disorder.  While this fast may help you temporarily, the GAPS Diet is likely needed for full healing.  Contact Biodynamicwellness.com for a consultation if you need help with implementation of the GAPS Diet.
  • DON’T workout during the fast unless it is some gentle yoga or walking.  Stressing the body at this time is not recommended.  Use your best judgment on whether sweating would help or hinder the cleanse process for you.
  • DO take cleansing baths such as espom salts or baking soda to assist the detoxification process. Dry skin brushing might be helpful to you as well.  The skin is the largest organ of elimination so use it!
  • DO consult with your doctor if you have any questions about whether this cleansing protocol is right for you.  I would suggest consulting with a holistic practitioner, however, a person who is informed and doesn’t freak out at the words “raw milk”!

I think I’ve covered just about everything.

Are you ready?  Who’s in?

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (124)

    • Our family does great on raw goat milk. Even raw cow milk gives us a little congestion, but since we discovered how good nubian goats milk is we have never looked back.

      Reply
    • If your having trouble with mik making you congested, you are somewhat allergic to milk. Their are diferant types of milk, A1 and A2, A2 is the type you want. And this type of milk is normaly produced by old breed dairy cows like, Jersey, Gurnsey, Ayrshire, and Milking Shorthorn to name a few. And Holsteins ( the black and white ones) normally only produce A1, but some can produce A2. So you will have to check with your local farmers on what kind of cows they have, and ask if hey test for A2 milk. Or goat milk may be the route you have to go, their milk seems to digest easier for people that have problems with milk. > Thanks MG

      Reply
      • Marc is right. I tried raw milk from Randall cows and I very congested and a very sore throat. I switched to Jersey/Gurnsey and had no problems with it. The type makes a difference.

        Reply
  1. Alysha Barbara Putnam via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    What do you think about people who live in the north and their raw milk? Clearly right the cows don’t have fresh green grass right now- only snow. The farm I get my milk from feeds their cows their own grown hay (and a home grown fermented hay blend?) along with their own grown corn. Should I wait until they’re eating fresh grass again to try this fast?

    Reply
  2. Roberta Sweeper via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    If only it were possible where I am in Illinois. Nothing but raw cheese available. Definitely lactose intolerant so trying some unadulterated milk or cream would be nice to try.

    Reply
  3. Eman Yono via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    i can not get raw milk anymore very sad, the FDA, USDA, the city health department you name it,they warned her. if she sales it anymore she will go to jail. they are after her like a hawk. :(

    Reply
  4. Christine Ten Eyck Myers via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I wish I had known, but I can’t get milk before Wednesday. Maybe I’ll start the following week. I’ve been on and off nauseated for weeks, so perhaps a fast is in order.

    Reply
  5. Christine Ten Eyck Myers via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Ps- you should have a badge we can use as our FB profile pic while we’re doing it!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure that you should consider nursing an 8 month old to be EBF. At that age, breastmilk is still the main (or only) nutrition…and I wouldn’t endanger that with an unusual diet. Also, on a technical level, I believe that breastfeeding is considered “extended” after 2 years, per the WHO recommendations to nurse 2 years. Past that age, the toddler is likely getting most of their nutrition elsewhere, thus you’d probably be safe trying something like a milk fast. Just my 2 cents. :-)

      Reply
  6. Bethany Sheridan Ficks via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I want to do this one year when I’m not pregnant or nursing. I live north too, so I would have to wait until later spring when the cows are actually on green pasture. Look forward to reading your experiences though.

    Reply
  7. Skylar Tobin via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I’m waiting until next year because I am EBF my son right now! I will just enjoy my raw milk and other nutrient dense foods right now.

    Reply
  8. I am in for 3 days…I will do it Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

    In general I find an 8oz glass of raw milk keeps me full for about 4 hours. But I usually only have a glass a day in the morning. It will be interesting to see if the fullness holds up over the length of the day.

    Reply
  9. Man, i’d really like to, especially since i’m trying to beat an
    abscess and remineralize teeth but somehow my jawbone
    infection which i had surgery for has caused me to have
    a problem with dairy. Maybe raw milk yogurt would work.
    I have thought for a while about doing a raw milk fast but
    might have to wait a while. Best of luck.

    Reply
  10. I love this idea, and will try at least a 3 day fast of my own (longer if I feel like I need it). I’m wondering about the waiting til’ Spring thing though…do you think it’s best to wait until the cows are eating green grass again? That is hopefully less than a month away where I live. I also plan to do some freezer cooking ahead of time for the rest of the family. That way I can rest, get a break from the kitchen, and not have to constantly tease myself with meals!

    Also, was there a book written on raw milk fasting? If so, what is it called? I’d love to read it!

    Reply
  11. My grandmother has a dairy farm so I have access to raw milk but the cows are mostly corn fed. Would this be ok?? Otherwise, I don’t have access to raw milk here in Illinois. I’m very interested and excited to do this but want to make sure it will still be beneficial.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Vikki Kay via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Yep, I’m in, but the same problem; spring milk isn’t in. I’ve been carefully saving extra kefir in the freezer, hopefully I’ll have enough for at least the 3 days you are doing.

    Reply
  13. 5 weeks pregnant…can us pregnant ladies join in? A lot of food is making me queasy anyways. I imagine we’d be getting enough calories.

    Reply
  14. Connie Zee via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I’d like to try this, but don’t know the method. Do i just consume milk for 3 days and nothing else? And consume it whenever I feel hungry? That’s it? No break-in period, enemas, nothing?

    Reply
  15. I’m so in next year!

    We’re on our final 10 months (hopefully) of the GAPSdiet and it’s been going so well for the last few months that I’m scared to rock the boat!!

    We love raw milk kefir though so I’d love to try a short 3 day fast on it :0)

    Reply
  16. I wish so desperately that I had access to raw milk here in Iowa! I have terrible candida and psoriasis as well as a host of other issues and would love to have this healing food legally available to us all here! Be thankful, those of you that do…

    Reply
    • I’m with you on the 10 days! I am a little disappointed that Sarah and Paula are only doing the 3 days. But its what is best for them.

      Reply
  17. I’m in! I have a fridge full of milk and am going to start on Tuesday. My biggest worry is cooking dinner/feeding my kids all day. I need to find some simple, healthy meals for them…

    Reply
    • What kind of raw milk did you try? What time of the year? At one time we had two goats. They were on the same pasture eating the same feed. One’s milk was yummo and the other was nasty. Even her kids didn’t like her milk. Guess which goat we sold? LOL…

      My suggestion is to try again. Don’t get the milk right when the cows are transitioning from hay to grass as their guts and the rest of their bodies (milk included) go through a change. Once they’ve been changed over a couple of weeks, then their milk settles out. I also find that Jersey cows milk is richer, creamier and sweeter than Holestein. Don’t give up. Try again.

      Reply
      • Hmmm. It might be transition milk; I only bought it a few weeks ago. I live in England, and spring is certainly beginning!

        The milk just tasted of cow. I don’t know how else to describe it. Sometimes people say goat cheese is a bit too goaty? Sort of like that.

        Thanks for the tips.

        Reply
    • Check out the website “realmilk.com”. They have listings of various farms around the country where you can get raw milk. Note: some states make it ‘illegal’ to advertise that they sell raw milk so… even though they don’t say they sell raw milk… they probably do!! Call them and ask. They can tell you yes or no, just not put it in writing. Silly laws.

      Reply
    • Check out “rawmilk.com” . They have a list of farms all across the country. Any farm listed probably sells milk. And their ‘pet milk’ tastes pretty yummo, too. Just saying…

      Reply
  18. I did the raw milk fast a few years ago for 12 days. I made the big mistake of skimming the milk! I was new to drinking raw milk and someone told me to do that so I did. Big Mistake!! It should be added to the “don’t do” list.

    Also, I found the raw dairy diet too low in protein as well so I ended up adding in 1 full cup of bone broth daily and that turned out to be very nice!

    Reply
  19. I tried this last year, it was great until the last few days, sorry to have to mention this but I was so constipated, I have never had an issue with constipation before this but now if I drink too much milk it constipates me. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • I have heard that the Rule is: Too little milk makes you constipated— Too much milk gives you diarhea– so, adjust your intake accordingly

      Reply
  20. Can you tell us what exactly “she had the best bloodwork of her life” means? What specifically is implied by this statement?

    Reply
  21. I’m starting next Thursday and will be doing this for a few weeks! So excited! I wish you guys were doing this for longer as well, as I enjoy reading your daily posts about it and would like to be doing it at the same time, but nevertheless, I’m excited that you are doing it again!

    Reply
    • I have successfully used this with my children – older ones for clearing acne– and a younger one when she experienced Idiopathic Cytopenic Purpura (unexplained excessive bruising) after a virus—- saw great results and it is such an ‘easy’ and delicious ‘fast’ that even my little one had no problem being ‘happy’ on it—- every fast we have done has been for 4 weeks each

      Reply
  22. Perfect timing! I totally burnt the inside of my mouth and tongue with my tea yesterday and milk is all I feel like consuming! Water is even unpleasant right now. I’m starting today and will plan a nice soft roast and carrots for Friday night to end it. Hopefully my mouth will be healed by then!

    Reply
  23. Wonderful news! i can do it this year. We bought our first cow in Dec. and have a very cute 2 week old Jersey bull calf in our cowshed. :) Plenty of milk for me.

    If I might be able to do it longer, should I wait? I have my parents 50th anniversary party/luncheon this Saturday. Suggestions? Can you stop and start with good results, would it be better to wait, or should I just try the 3 days the first time around?

    Reply
  24. I didn’t take the time to read all the comments, so please forgive any redundancy….This fast makes me EXTREMELY ILL and flares up my fungal/immune disorders really badly. Sorry to be a negative on this, but some of us cannot process the milk. Gut healing is a long process and I’d be very careful to make sure you did not have a leaky gut before beginning this. In theory, or a perfect world, or in your world this fast is amazing…but in mine it is a portal to a lot of renewed health battles.

    Reply
  25. I’d like to mention the dark sunken areas under their eyes in that picture which doesn’t make them look like the picture of health, sorry to say… although raw milk is very healthy, I know.

    Reply
    • they were probably just not wearing makeup at the time– I have seen both these ladies in ‘real life’ and they have healthy clear skin, with good color– not sallow or sickly– and definitely no ‘dark circles’ —

      Reply
    • Those are not shadows caused by illness–they are shadows caused by the folds everyone gets under the eyes when smiling.

      Reply
      • I cannot believe some people! To pick on sarah after all the good she does in this world for what ‘appears’ to be lighting under her eyes! Unbelievable! she’s such a good person ….and try to help others….and someone mentions dark craters and circles? Geesh.

        Reply
    • This question has been posed a lot. Check ‘realmilk.com’. They list a lot of farms in all the states. If a farm is listed, they probably sell raw milk. “pet milk” is yummy too. Just talk to the farmer. Some are not allowed to ‘advertise’. Just saying…

      Reply
  26. Sarah,
    I just started my yearly raw milk fast on Sat! I wondered if ya’ll were going to do it again this year! I am going to be on it for at least a month– I noticed last year that it really gave my heart a ‘rest’—- I believe that the way it built my blood really helped the heart issues I have been continually trying to heal for the last 6 years— Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
  27. Okay, I want to do this BUT…I’ll have to make a milk run first thing in the morning since we’re almost out and I’d really like to try for 5 days this first time around.

    I’m also curious about impact on bloodwork since I just had my done 2 weeks ago and since I’m definitely having some hormonal issues. Thanks!
    Dana B\’s last post: “Chicken Fried” Concert & Rodeo

    Reply
  28. I am relieved that this can be done with raw kefir or yogurt, too. I have always been intensely allergic to milk, and was unspeakably dismayed to learn that I respond badly to the finest raw milk, too. Kefir and yogurt have never bothered me, though!

    Reply
  29. I’m in. I think 3 days is totally do-able. I was heading up to Abby’s for my weekly quart of cream tonight anyway so I’ll pick up a few gallons of milk too!

    Reply
  30. I am curious too about what defines “the best bloodwork”. What I thought was good blood work was a low cholesterol count. Now, after adopting the traditional diet, with full fat and whole foods, and learning about all the evils and misguided advice of the mainstream, I’m not so sure what is good anymore. Thanks!

    Reply
  31. There was no way I could commit to 10 days at this time of the year….my schedule goes crazy starting on Saturday….so now that it is only 3 days and ends by then….I’m in!!
    So, excited!

    Reply
  32. Lightweights! Two years ago I did it for four months. Only water, raw milk, and kombucha tea. I couldn’t give up kombucha for that long!

    And technically, this is a mono diet using raw milk – not a fast. Raw milk fast would mean no raw milk during the period chosen. Fast is a withdrawal of the food.

    Just sayin’ :)

    We go to Helena this Thursday to testify before committee on our raw milk legislation – it’s illegal here!

    Reply
  33. Hello, We have a micro-dairy in Texas and place great importance in testing our dairy herd for Johne’s, BVD, BLV-bovine leukemia virus, TB, and Brucellosis. We have worked for years building our herd to achieve disease free status. We believe raw milk drinkers should be aware of the health status of the dairy herd. Do you or others believe a great deal of importance should be placed on the testing of the herd?
    It seems dairy animal disease continues to rise. Thank you

    Reply
  34. Pingback: Whole food, plant based, real food, paleo diet

  35. I did milk fast last year for roughly 30 days, and if i had it to do over again, i wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole. It left me with awful allergies for months. My sinus’s were clogged continually, and i developed these itchy bumps all over my body. This guy had a similar reaction. I read his blog when i was about half way point and considered stopping because i kept thinking that it was a cleansing reaction, but i kept going……..wish i would of stopped

    http://180degreehealth.com/2010/06/milk-diet-fail

    Reply
  36. It’s too bad that happened. It is, however, the exception and not the rule. I have done it numerous times and had only positive results. I have heard glowing reports from others who have done it. You are the first I have heard with a negative reaction. Maybe your milk was not good quality? But not everyone is the same and you need to do – or not do- what works for you. I have always heard – listen to your body.

    I have done juice diets numerous times with great results, but after four days of my last one, I felt awful and started eating again. I didn’t make it anywhere my normal 30 day goal. Never happened before, but my body was telling me something.

    Reply
  37. I want to thank Sarah for all her posts about fermenting foods and separating curds and whey. I’ve learned so much from your blog over the past 9 months or so and have been inspired by you to try this stuff out myself. I have access to Jersey cow raw milk, and yes, it truly is a blessing! I have fructose malabsorption (or fructmal) and have had it for around 20 years (I’m 28). However, I didn’t realize what my issue was until about 4 years ago (which even then I thought it was fructose intolerance). So, really I discovered that it was malabsorption about 2 months ago. I’ve tried so many special diets with no success. Do you think I could give this a try with my condition?

    Reply
  38. I did the fast for 5 days last year, but this year I’m all in for 10 days! I’ve ordered my milk, but it won’t be delivered until this coming Tuesday. So, I’ll be starting on the 13th :)

    Reply
  39. Sarah and team, thnx for posting all the info on the Milk Fast…
    Can you guys pls advice: I can’t afford to loose weight, but I know that I need to do some kind of a cleanse. I eat a lot bcs I am really addicted to food (mostly primal kind) and let myself overindulge justifying this gluttony by weight maintenance issues. My main issues is that at times I feel sluggish and bloated. To think of it, I have not had a day without food my hole entire life! So the main goal for me is to give my overworked digestive system a rest. To think of it, I have not had a day without food my hole entire life!
    I looked into the juice cleanse, but I know that even 2 days will result in weight loss.
    Does anyone have recommendations as to will the Cultured Milk fast be a good fit for me? Would days be of any benefit? And can I perhaps add coconut oil and may be Bone Broth or do they defy the purpose?
    Thnx everyone:-)

    Reply
  40. Sorry, missed the number of days in the paragraph below (3 days):
    “Does anyone have recommendations as to will the Cultured Milk fast be a good fit for me? Would 3 days be of any benefit? And can I perhaps add coconut oil and may be Bone Broth or do they defy the purpose?”
    Thnx everyone:-)

    Reply
  41. I just wanted to say that myself and Catherine(my wife) that have posted answers to questions on here, we are raw milk dairy farmers in Illinois. We know our cows and the situation with the Raw milk farms. We saw this article on Facebook from a friend, and that is why we have posted on here. If anyone has question on raw milk please feel free to ask. > Thanks Marc

    Reply

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