Diverticulitis, Dairy & Fasting

It’s been two years since I have experienced any symptoms related to Diverticulosis.  I developed a mild discomfort mid-day about one week ago.  I knew this old “friend”, so I decided to make room for him.  An inflamed diverticuli is much like a sore in the mouth.  It cannot heal if food is present at the location of the wound, so the area needs to be irrigated and remain clean for several days in order for the sore to heal.

Here is what I did:

  1. Stopped eating
  2. Performed a salt-water flush to cleanse
  3. Started this probiotic: Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Ultimate Probiotics Formula
  4. Began a 3-day fast, consuming only the following:
    1. Water
    2. Black & Green Tea.  2-3 cups a day
    3. Coconut Oil. 2-3 tablespoons a day, as needed when I felt hungry or tired

I felt immediate relief after the salt-water cleanse, but it made sense to allow three full days of fasting so the inflammation could heal.

Fasting is easy for fat-adapted people.  Carbohydrate glucose-burning people struggle with fasting because they experience blood sugar, insulin and other hormone fluctuations that drive cravings.  I felt great during the fast with some slight fatigue during the late afternoons of Days 2 & 3.  I actually experienced a heightened sense of mental clarity during the fast.  It was really cool!

Here is how I reintroduced food:

  1. Day 1, Breakfast – skipped
  2. Day 1, Lunch: two scrambled eggs
  3. Day 1, Dinner: More scrambled eggs and sauteed spinach, kale, mushrooms and, onions, plus a side dish of sauerkraut
  4. Day 2: Same as Day 1 and also introduced some sausage and salad with dinner
  5. Day 3: Same as Day 2, but I ate some dairy (sour cream and cheese) with fajita meat and veggies….uh-oh!

During Day 3 while taking an evening walk with the dog, I noticed some of right right-side stiffness and discomfort had returned.  It was very mild, but it was present enough that I took notice and asked myself what did I eat?  Oh no!  Not my beloved dairy!  I love cheese and butter!  Shoot!  I was eating a lot of dairy during the weeks preceding this diverticulitis episode.  Since this observation I have abstained from all dairy and plan to introduce it again in the months ahead.

BTW: during Lent I have skipped breakfast and eat in a compressed window of 6-8 hours, between 12 pm and 8 pm .  This has been a really cool experiment.  I give my body 16-18 hours of fasting every day.  I just may stick to this way of eating for good.  I make breakfast many mornings and pack it in Tupperware for the lunch-hour.

Mark’s Daily Apple has a great series of articles on fasting:

Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss

Why Fast? Part Two – Cancer

Why Fast? Part Three – Longevity

Why Fast? Part Four – Brain Health

Why Fast? Part Five – Exercise

Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method

Why Fast? Part Seven – Q&A

Dear Mark: Women and Intermittent Fasting



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