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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!
Thank you Denise for your post on March 9, 2013. I read the book and was super excited to start. My husband, my daughter and I are on our fourth day of the milk diet. And will continue until we are led to stop.
Can drinking raw milk be dangerous if the appendix is removed?
I personally know someone with no appendix who drinks raw milk just fine.
Sarah I also hope you will be doing the raw milk fast again this year! I finally have all the raw milk I can handle! Before it was so hard to get. Thank you Lord!
I hope you are going to sponsor a raw milk fast again this spring. Of course in my part of the country and several others winter has been extended and I don’t know when to expect spring to show up!
I went 2 days, but by end of second day my wonderful raw goat milk was not only starting to get stuck in my bowels, what did come out was burning me badly like I haven’t had anything do in years. I drink the milk regularly but this is the first time I have done just it mono for any length of time. Anyone have a clue why it alone would take to burning on the way out?
All of the writings on this therapy that I have read, including the book by one of the doctors who used it, have said that ONLY raw cow’s milk should be used.
The issue you described is your body adapting to it. Three days is not enough time for that to happen. The instructions also say to drink small amounts every half hour. Too much will cause diarrhea and too little can cause constipation.
Here is some info: http://www.milk-diet.com/index.html
And here is Crewes’s original abridged article:
By J. R. Crewe, MD
The following is an edited version of an article by Dr. J. R. Crewe, of the Mayo Foundation, forerunner of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, published in Certified Milk Magazine, January 1929. We are grateful to Dr. Ron Schmid, ND of Middlebury, CT for unearthing this fascinating piece. The “Milk Cure” was the subject of at least two books by other authors, written subsequently to Dr. Crewe’s work. The milk used was, in all cases, the only kind of milk available in those days–raw milk from pasture-fed cows, rich in butterfat. The treatment is a combination of detoxifying fast and nutrient-dense feeding. Note that Crewe quotes William Osler, author of a standard medical textbook of the day. Thus, this protocol was an orthodox, accepted therapy in the early 1900s. Today the Mayo Clinic provides surgery and drug treatments, but nothing as efficacious and elegant as the Milk Cure.
For fifteen years the writer has employed the certified milk treatment in various diseases and during the past ten he had a small sanitarium devoted principally to this treatment. The results obtained in various types of disease have been so uniformly excellent that one’s conception of disease and its alleviation is necessarily changed. The method itself is so simple that it does not greatly interest most doctors and the main stimulus for its use is from the patients themselves.
To cure disease we should seek to improve elimination, to make better blood and more blood, to build up the body resistance. The method used tends to accomplish these things. Blood conditions rapidly improve and the general condition and resistance is built up and recovery follows.
In several instances, Osler (Principles and Practices of Medicine, by William Osler, MD eighth edition) speaks of milk as being nothing more than white blood. Milk resembles blood closely and is a useful agent for improving and making new and better blood. Blood is the chief agent of metabolism. Milk is recognized in medical literature almost exclusively as a useful food and is admitted to be a complete food.
The therapy is simple. The patients are put at rest in bed and are given at half hour intervals small quantities of milk, totalling from five to ten quarts of milk a day. Most patients are started on three or four quarts of milk a day and this is usually increased by a pint a day. Diaphoresis [copious perspiration] is stimulated by hot baths and hot packs and heat in other forms. A daily enema is given.
The treatment is used in many chronic conditions but chiefly in tuberculosis, diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular and renal conditions, hypertension, and in patients who are underweight, run-down, etc. Striking results are seen in diseases of the heart and kidneys and high blood pressure. In cases in which there is marked edema, the results obtained are surprisingly marked. This is especially striking because so-called dropsy has never been treated with large quantities of fluid. With all medication withdrawn, one case lost twenty-six pounds in six days, huge edema disappearing from the abdomen and legs, with great relief to the patient. No cathartics or diuretics were given. This property of milk in edema has been noted in both cardiac and renal cases.
Patients with cardiac disease respond splendidly without medication. In patients who have been taking digitalis and other stimulants, the drugs are withdrawn. High blood pressure patients respond splendidly and the results in most instances are quite lasting. The treatment has been used successfully in obesity without other alimentation. One patient reduced from 325 pounds to 284 in two weeks, on four quarts of milk a day, while her blood pressure was reduced from 220 to 170. Some extremely satisfying results have been obtained in a few cases of diabetics.
When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, which are available in milk, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine.
Under the head of Treatment in Chronic Gastritis, Osler has said, “A rigid milk diet should be tried” (Principles and Practices of Medicine, by William Osler, M.D., eighth edition). And quoting from George Cheyne, he wrote, “Milk and sweet sound blood differ in nothing but color: milk is blood.” Under the heading of treatment in many diseases, it was true that he had little to say about drugs but did say a good deal about diet and particularly as in most every instance he recommended large quantities of milk.
Under chronic Bright’s disease (p 704) he says, “Milk or buttermilk should constitute for a time, the chief article of food.” Under treatment of cancer of stomach (p 505), he says many patients do best on milk alone. Under treatment of rheumatic fever (p 378), he says, “Milk is the most suitable diet.” With Olser as a background, one need not hesitate to go a bit farther. In fact, practically all medical men are agreed as to the value of milk as a food, and as an important part of the diet in the treatment of many diseases. But as the chief remedy in the treatment of disease, it is seldom used.
For more than 16 years I have conducted a small sanitarium where milk is used almost exclusively in the treatment of various diseases. The results have been so regularly satisfactory that I have naturally become enthusiastic and interested in this method of treating disease. We used good Guernsey milk, equal to 700 calories to the quart.
Interestingly, diseases that have no similarity respond equally to this treatment. For instance, psoriasis clears up beautifully. The improvement in tuberculosis or nephritis is equally interesting but there is no similarity in these diseases. I once heard a very distinguished medical man discussing a case of psoriasis. He said, “This was the worst case of psoriasis I have ever seen. This boy was literally covered from head to foot with scales. We put this boy on a milk diet and in less than a month he had a skin like a baby’s.” To me, this means that there was evidently some nutritive substance or vitamin or glandular secretion lacking, that was furnished by the milk.
It is well known that there is no time in the life of practically any mammal, but especially of the human, when the body is so beautiful and perfect as during the period when milk is the only food. It will be admitted that there is no period in life when the body is so perfect as in infancy, the infant being fed on milk from a healthy mother.
The Arabs are said (Encyclopedia Brittanica) to be the finest race, physically, in the world. Their diet consists mostly of milk and milk products with fruits and vegetables, and some meat.
You are all familiar with the writings of Colonel McCarrison, a medical officer in the British Army. He tells us that for nine years he was stationed in India in a district in the Himalayan Mountains. He said that the natives were very fine physically, that they retained a youthful appearance to advanced age and lived long and that they were very fertile. During the nine years of his residence there he saw practically no disease, no cases of malignancy or of abdominal disease. The diet of these people was simple and consisted principally of vegetables and fruits and milk and milk products.
Steffanson wrote most interestingly of the Eskimo, who, when uncontaminated by civilized conditions were hardy and robust. Their diet of course was almost entirely of meat and fish. He tells us, however, that the habits of meat-eating people are similar to those of carnivorous animals. The wolf first attacks the heart and gets the blood and later eats the glandular organs and viscera, leaving the muscle meats till the last. The Eskimo does the same thing.
During one expedition Mr. Steffanson and party started on a nine months’ trip over the Arctic ice with only one day’s provisions. All previous Arctic explorers had said that civilized men could not live in the Arctic regions without bringing in their supplies. Mr. Steffanson and his party, during the nine months, were almost never without an abundance of food, and much of it was eaten frozen and raw. I wish to show from Steffanson’s experience, first, that it is possible for people to be robust and maintain good health on various types of food of limited variety. That the condition common to all types of diet is, that much of the food is eaten raw. I wish to say here that our very excellent results obtained in the treatment of disease were had with uncooked food and raw milk.
The experience of seeing many cases of illness improve rapidly on a diet of raw milk has suggested more and more the feeling that much of modern disease is due to an increasing departure from simple methods of preparing plain foods. The treatment of various diseases over a period of 18 years with a practically exclusive milk diet has convinced me personally that the most important single factor in the cause of disease and in the resistance to disease is food. I have seen so many instances of the rapid and marked response to this form of treatment that nothing could make me believe this is not so.
We have often seen most satisfactory results in the treatment of anemia, including pernicious anemia, on a milk diet. I have repeatedly seen a marked reduction in the size of simple and toxic thyroid, with improvement in the symptoms of the toxic one. In prostatic diseases and associated conditions, this treatment will achieve rapid and marked improvement in the infection and in the reduction of the gland and lessening of obstruction. A professor of surgery in one of our state universities once said to me, “Since I have used your method in preparing prostate cases, I have had most excellent results and no mortality.” I replied that if he had continued the treatment a little longer, he would not need to operate. All infections of the urinary tract are greatly improved by this treatment.
An old friend of mine, a woodworker, aged 74, had a marked heart lesion and complete prostatic obstruction, so that it was necessary to use a permanent catheter. He had been taking digitalis but this was discontinued, and he received no medication of any kind. The prostate was very large and the residual urine very foul. His recovery has been rapid, and he has been able to work since that time and is now in very good health at 77 years of age. Another local man was treated six years ago for a severe chronic winter cough and prostatic disease, which necessitated his getting up many times at night. He volunteered the information a few days ago that he had no more trouble with any illness since that time.
Indeed we had a number of patients who took the treatment for “beauty treatment.” The tissues become firmer and the general appearance is markedly improved.
One patient with very advanced cardiac and nephritic disease lost over thirty pounds of edema in six weeks. One would expect the large quantities of fluid would increase the edema but the above experience has been repeated many times in lesser degrees.
Hypertension responds with equal gratification. The blood pressure improves rapidly. I have never seen such rapid and lasting results by any other method. One of the patients lived almost exclusively on milk for more than three years.
About ten years ago a very sick man came to the Sanitarium suffering from a severe cystitis and nephritis. He was a diabetic. As milk contains about five percent milk sugar, it was feared that he could not manage this amount of sugar. But he did manage it, and improved in every way and in eight weeks was sugar free. My experience with milk diet in diabetes has been limited, but very interesting. These few patients, only seven or eight, have been much pleased with the results. Insulin was used for a time in some of the cases. They all became sugar free, or nearly so, after from four to ten weeks. From the fact that these patients were able to use a much more liberal diet than diabetics usually can take [after the treatment], it would seem to indicate that at least a partial regeneration of the pancreas is not impossible.
Recently I received a letter from a soldier who was confined in a government hospital in Arizona [for tuberculosis]. He said a former patient of mine had induced him to try this method. He said that he had done so well that a number of the men were also attempting it and he had written for more definite instructions. He also said that the patients had to buy their own milk and received no encouragement from the hospital authorities.
There is a large class of patients who are ill but in whom no definite organic lesion can be found. These patients are often underweight. They may consume a fairly large amount of food but they do not gain in weight or strength. These patients do respond admirably to our system of large quantities of milk.
The chief fault of the treatment is that it is too simple. Patients attempt to do it at home, but there are many pitfalls, and it does not appeal to the modern medical man.
It’s nice following along with everyone! This is my second year, but I’m only on day one right now. I wanted to add that my grandmother, who was born in 1867 (she was 80 when I was born) was cured of TB by the Mayos with this very thing in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. I don’t know when it was, but my mother told me about it years ago.