The journal below chronicles the first day of a three-day raw milk fast. Thoughts and observations from Paula Jager CSCS, Richard Pope, and me (Sarah Pope) are detailed as we began the journey.
If you are trying it yourself, please note your experiences in the comments section. I want to know how you are doing!
Raw Milk Fast Day 1
To read last year’s notes from day 1 of our 10-day raw milk fast, check the link.
Paula: This is my 3rd year doing the raw milk fast. The first year I went 12 days and last year 10. Sarah & I (at least I think I speak for her as well) are at the point where we feel 3 days will be sufficient. Neither of us is looking to lose weight or solve a health issue so a gentle seasonal cleanse is all that is in order.
I am following most of the standard Milk Cure “rules” for maximum rest and rejuvenation which by the way I agree with. By ‘most’, I mean I am doing a few things differently this go round. . .
Rules in review…
I am using a combo of raw milk/raw kefir and will drink between ¾ and a full gallon a day along with some water. I will get a salts bath in at least 1/3 days. I will get 8-9 hours of sleep each night but I will still work 12-14 hours. That is life right now and I must do what I must. I will do my very best to be less reactive and handle things in a calmer manner.
I ended up drinking an entire gallon today; I was very, very hungry and it did not seem to fill me up like it did in the past. I actually added in some extra cream at the end of the day and that seemed to help from a satiety standpoint.
Today was a “rest” day from working out. The past 2 years the fast was longer and as I felt the effects of detoxing I refrained from intense workouts. However, this year I am in the throes of an intense progressive strength routine, committed to a 4 day a week group program and making very good gains. I am going to continue to lift heavy and sweat. While yoga does wonders for some folks nothing like a good begonia busting workout and heavy prowler sprints cleanses my soul and body.
And nothing beats a cold glass of raw milk post wod (workout of the day). Cheers you all!
Richard: I don’t expect any problems with the raw milk fast this year as I had a pretty easy time of it last year. Fasting on raw milk seems to agree with me so no worries.
Drank 6 cups of milk throughout the day with extra raw cream added to each glass to keep blood sugar nice and steady.
Felt great and worked a full day as usual with no energy issues whatsoever.
Sarah: Had my first glass of raw milk just after the kids got off to school. Drank 6 cups (half raw cow milk and half raw goat milk) by lunchtime and was feeling great.
Started feeling ravenously hungry about 1pm and this continued throughout the rest of the day. I just couldn’t shake it no matter how much milk I drank. I just wanted FOOD!
This surprised me as I didn’t feel this incredibly hungry on the first day of the fast last year.
Stopped by the supermarket to weigh myself on my way to get the kids from school. Weighed 124 lbs. I don’t own a scale so this was the first time I’d weighed myself in I don’t know how long. My goal is not to lose any weight so I intend to drink as much milk as necessary to keep from feeling any hunger.
Problem is, it wasn’t working yesterday. Finally, around 8:30 pm I had a cup of raw yogurt to try and get something heavier in my stomach thinking that might help. It did, and I felt a little bit better and slightly less hungry.
Took a 20-minute Epsom salts bath around 9 pm to relax a bit and encourage detoxification.
Drank 15 glasses of milk (including the 1 cup of raw yogurt) by the time I hit the sack at 10pm. Half of it was raw cow milk and the rest was raw goat milk. That is 25% more than I drank last year on day 1!
15 cups of raw milk is about 2350 calories (goat milk is slightly higher in calories than cow milk) which is a lot for a little gal like me. Amazing I could still feel hungry taking in that many calories.
Other than hunger, I felt great all day. Last year I had a headache on day 1, but not this year. No fatigue or energy issues at all.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings!
Raw Milk Fast Day 2
Compare notes with Day 2 of our 10 day Raw Milk Fast by clicking the link.
Paula: It would have been nice to rest and relax but it was another busy day at the box. I was not nearly as hungry as yesterday and ended up with just under a gallon; my body has adjusted and my energy levels, digestion, and elimination are all working smoothly. I did a strength workout today–mainly very heavy squats and worked up to 160#–felt great, I followed with some foam rolling, a nice relaxing stretch and about 5 minutes of a decompressing savasana.
Even 5 minutes of deep breathing helps to combat the stressors of the day. The rest of the day was again very busy with zero downtime. I got home about 7:45 pm (a little later than usual) but it was so nice to not have to cook dinner. That is one of my favorite things about the fast–I don’t always realize how much of my time is spent cooking/preparing food. While I love cooking it is a nice break. Off to a deep and restorative 8 hours of sleep. Nite nite.
Richard: Drank about 6 cups of milk with added tablespoons of raw cream today – the same as yesterday. This seems to be the right amount for me. Feeling great overall. Excellent energy and focus.
Had a small boil emerge on my thigh which is an indication of detoxing going on. This is a normal occurrence for me during detoxification. It happened when I had my root canals removed and again when I had my amalgams removed years ago.
The fast is obviously doing its work!
Sarah: I was relieved that I didn’t experience much if any hunger throughout the day today. Such a relief after yesterday’s struggle with extreme hunger all day long even though I drank just shy of an entire gallon of raw milk!
No sign that any detoxification is going on though – no headaches or other symptoms of cleansing. Just feel great overall with excellent energy.
My friend Lori came over and gave me an hour and a half massage today at lunchtime. Ahhhh! Totally wonderful.
Rested afterward and took in a lot of milk to provide adequate fluids. Massage can release a lot of toxins so taking in enough fluids is really important.
Sat out in the sun for a while during the afternoon as it was such a beautiful day. Basically took most of the day off and just relaxed which was definitely just what the doctor ordered.
The hardest part about today was making dinner for my kids. I made barbecue chicken wings plus veggies and the smell was delicious! I think, hands down, the hardest part of a Raw Milk Fast is cooking for others when you won’t be eating any yourself.
I managed to get through dinner hour by sipping on milk the whole time. Consumed 12 cups for the day. 2 cups were raw goat milk and the rest was raw cow milk. Hit the hay about 10:20 and slept soundly.
Raw Milk Fast Day 3
Day 3 wraps up Raw Milk Fast 2013 for Paula, Richard, and me. Compare notes with Day 3 of our 10 day Raw Milk Fast last year by clicking the link.
Paula and I agree that 3 days was the perfect length for a gentle seasonal cleanse, resting of the digestive system, and overall bodily rejuvenation. Richard was along for the ride and just enjoying the process (he loves Raw Milk Fasting and does periodic one-day raw milk fasts all year long anyway), so he probably would have joined in no matter how long Paula and I fasted!
Those of you who have more healing and recovery in mind with your Raw Milk Fast may choose to extend it beyond 3 days. This is totally up to you based on your personal health goals. Paula, Richard, and I did a 10-day raw “milk cure” style fast last year and Paula chronicled her 15-day milk cure the year before that.
We will continue the tradition next year when the rapidly growing spring grass show their beautiful green shoots once again. In the meantime, please continue commenting on this year’s fasting posts as you make progress with your own fasting process.
Paula: Slept like a baby. Another extremely busy day at work with a couple of challenges popping up but I maintained a calm and professional manner and handled the situation in a nonreactive manner. Amazing how well that works. I always feel very focused and calmer during the milk fast. Hunger was kept at bay expect later in the afternoon I had to increase consumption but that was after a very intense workout. I think my body just needed refueling. The workout was a CrossFit girl–“Diane” which consisted of 21. 15. 9 of 155# deadlifts and handstand push-ups. I had a PR of 8:15. Whew, had me on the floor. I took in 2 cups of milk directly after and very much missed my usual post wod banana or sweet potato.
No signs of any detoxing but I usually don’t notice that until after about 5 to 7 days. I did get home at a decent hour last night and since I didn’t have to cook dinner–hubby can fend for himself–I did manage to get in a relaxing 45 min salts bath. Aaaah, then off to bed at 9:30 pm. I do have some downtime this weekend and it will be interesting to see if any toxins work their way out but I do plan on some rest. I liked kicking off my “spring cleansing” with the fast; 3 days was the perfect amount of time for me as I am on “maintenance” and now I’m off to break my fast with some bacon and eggs–lots of bacon!
Richard: This year’s fast was very easy for me. Adding a few extra tablespoons of raw (cow) cream to each glass of raw milk worked well for me this year to keep me especially satiated and not needing or thinking about food. 5-6 cups per day seems to be my number.
My fast this year was entirely on raw goat milk (the extra cream was raw cow, however) which was not used in the traditional Milk Cure but is an acceptable substitute. The Weston A. Price Foundation recognizes either raw cow or raw goat milk for the homemade baby formula, so why not a raw milk fast? The nutrient profile is similar except for folate and B12.
The small boil on my leg from yesterday healed up quickly and no more appeared so I am encouraged that little detoxification was needed this year. I do periodic raw milk fasts of one day only throughout the year, usually on weekends to rest my digestion so my body is very accustomed to the process.
Look forward to next year. This is a fun and healthy tradition!
Sarah: The final day of Raw Milk Fast 2013 went smoothly all day until my daughter’s slumber party started at 4 pm. I cooked up dinner for the girls along with my daughter’s preference for birthday cake (sprouted flour birthday brownie cake with white chocolate chips). Cooking for others when you haven’t eaten in almost 3 days is quite difficult.
Later on into the party, it all just became too much for me, so I ended my fast around 9 pm which still met the required 72 hour fast but wasn’t quite as long as I had planned. I had intended to fast until the next morning which would have been almost 3 1/2 days. But, the party made me rethink and I indulged and chowed down on the delicious spread of party food starting right at the 72-hour mark.
I consumed about 10 cups of raw cow milk on Day 3 and had great energy the entire day. I surprisingly didn’t experience any symptoms of detoxification this year at all, not even a mild headache.
For those of you considering a raw milk fast for the very first time, 3 days really worked well for us this year.
I agree with Richard that this is a fun and healthy tradition!