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5 Things You Can Do To Overcome Depression Using Your Mind – Without Medication

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There are a lot of theories about the cause of depression in existence today, the primary one being biochemical imbalances in the brain, at least according to mainstream medicine. However, mainstream medicine hasn’t proven whether these imbalances are the true cause or simply an effect of being depressed. What we do know is that depression appears to result in changes in the brain structure and chemistry; however, these changes are also known to be related to lifestyle, emotions, trauma, activities you do (or don’t do), and in general, how fulfilled you are in your life.

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What science shows us is that your brain is constantly rewiring itself in response to how you perceive your environment. It’s an adaptive function to ensure the brain is effective at performing the task it’s most asked to perform. A tennis player’s brain will look completely different from the brain of a musician. The depressed person’s brain will look much different from that of someone who isn’t depressed. So is depression just a malfunction of evolution, or is it possible it’s an adaptation to a series of persistent thought processes and actions? And if that is true, isn’t it possible that if we change those thought processes and actions, we could then rewire the brain, restore chemical balance, and change the effect of depression?

In my experience, both personally and professionally, depression isn’t a random ‘biochemical imbalance’ as so many people believe. I expect people who want to fight for that belief, to fight me in the comments. You’re free to do so and I embrace your criticism. I will, however, say to you that the same person who told you that depression is a biochemical imbalance in the brain is the same person who doesn’t really know what causes the biochemical imbalance, nor do they know how to cure it. So I ask for your consideration if you’re going to read this.

With that explained, let’s move on to the 10 things you MUST DO to overcome depression:

Determine your values and what is truly most important to you.

The biggest challenge with everyone, not just people who have depression, is that they have no idea what their true values are, and as a result they often attempt to live according to values that are not their own. This is actually the ‘root psychological cause’ of depression, as whenever you attempt to live according to values that are not your own, you subordinate and minimize your true wants and desires, repressing who you really are in a futile attempt to try to be someone you’re not. This attempt cannot go on forever and quite often the ‘depression’ effect is a biological attempt to get you to stop doing what isn’t for your authentic person.

Whenever you suppress your natural values in an attempt to live someone else’s, you’ll breed the internal ABCD’s of negativity towards yourself: Anger and aggression towards yourself. Feelings of betrayal and blame towards yourself. Self-criticism and unsolvable challenges. Inner despair, despondency, and depression. These ‘symptoms’ are not afflictions that need medication for life. They are feedback to let you know when and where you are ignoring your true values and attempting to do something that you think is important to you, but truly isn’t.

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People who live according to their values, both in thought and in action, are less capable of experiencing depression or negativity, as they are solely focused on fulfilling their wants and desires for life. They don’t suffer from ‘compare and despair’ syndrome, as they compare themselves and their accomplishments to no one but themselves. By focusing on your own life and what’s truly most important to you, you increase your chances for achievement, fulfillment, and mental stability, as you are the only one who has to live with you 100% of the time. Why spend your time thinking about the lives of others when you have yours to live, right now?

 Write down all your fantasies and crush them.

We will define a fantasy as an expectation or imagination that is only positive, not negative. Whenever you have this fantasy of more positives than negatives, you run the risk of experiencing depression as a feedback to help you create a more realistic expectation and imagination, or at least break your imagination down into small enough tasks that it becomes achievable.

Fantasies can emerge in a number of ways. Some examples could be: I could have a fantasy that my ex-girlfriend shouldn’t have broken up with me. I could have a fantasy that I should have more money than I do right now. I could have a fantasy that my parents should have stayed together. I could have a fantasy that my mom shouldn’t have died. I could have a fantasy that my girlfriend should be nicer and kinder to me. I could have a fantasy that says my boss shouldn’t be so critical of me. These are all examples of fantasies.

Fantasies are also not attached to time. You can have a fantasy about your past, perhaps about something you think should or shouldn’t have happened. You can have a fantasy about your future, perhaps about something you desire to happen or not happen. And you can have a fantasy about your present in the same way. Technically, you can have a number of primary fantasies or expectations:

  1. An unrealistic expectation that the world should be more peaceful / positive / happy than warful, negative, sad.
  2. An unrealistic expectation that people should be nice without mean, kind without cruel, happy without sad, healthy without disease, more positive than negative.
  3. An unrealistic expectation that You or I should be positive without negative, happy without sad, kind without cruel.
  4. An unrealistic expectation upon You or I to live outside our core values. (Ie: I should have a relationship even though I place no value on having one.)
  5. An unrealistic expectation that other people should live within my or your values. (Ie: Everyone should think like me because the world would be a better place.)

These are some of the primary expectations that lead to depressed thinking, feeling, and depressed ‘brain structure’ and chemistry over time, as the brain is adapting to your thinking process. You’ll notice that these expectations are primarily an expectation for positivity. This is why most people never solve their depression. They spent the healing processes attempting to get out of the depression, never understanding that depression is a by-product of elated fantasies. In fact, the most depressed people are the people seeking happiness all the time. The more you search for what isn’t possible, the more impossibility you will see.

Depression exists to balance manic elations.

The way to heal these fantasies is to ask, “If my expectation, imagination, or fantasy were true, what would be the drawbacks?” And write down as many as it takes for you to break the fantasy and realize that if it happened, it would have just as many downsides as upsides. Likewise, it’s important to write down a list of benefits to the fantasy not coming true (and things continuing as they are). By balancing the fantasy back into a more realistic goal that includes pleasure and pain, challenge and support, difficulty and ease, you will be able to tell if the goal is actually possible. You’ll also be able to tell if it’s something you truly want, and if it is, you’ll be able to embrace the challenge that comes with it. Also, by learning how to appreciate the way things are, you ease your physiology out of a stress response to your life, into a relaxation response, allowing you to operate with greater ease throughout your day.

The general rule is: a fantasy with no downsides equals a reality with no benefits. Whenever you find yourself in a reality with no benefits to you, you’ll feel unfulfilled with your life, you run the risk of creating fantasies and disassociating from your self-awareness, you’ll experience low-dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain as a result, and will imbalance your brain chemistry. As I said before, these ‘chemical imbalances’ may be resulting from a trauma that you imagine ‘shouldn’t have happened,’ thirty years ago, that you haven’t cleared. This is 30 years of stress response in the background of your thinking process. This is why many people who get depression say ‘it just happened one day.’ The reality is, no it didn’t. It’s been a longterm buildup of emotional repression that finally exploded.

If you argue with reality as it happened, you’ll lose.

Now, some people like to argue that their fantasy would have no drawbacks. People ‘should be healthy without sick’ or ‘happy without sad’ or ‘nice with mean’ or whatever delusion they’re stuck on. The truth is, people should be sad when they feel their values are being challenged. People should be mean when their values are being challenged and people should be sick according to the lifestyle choices they make, their genetic makeup, and a variety of other factors. To assume otherwise is delusional and leads us into depression faster than anything else. This is just default human behavior. If I write something that directly challenges your values, you’ll have a different response to me than if I wrote something that supports your values.

As an example, I had a new client call me on the phone a few years ago. She was in the middle of a suicide attempt and found my phone number on a newspaper, upon which she was placing her drugs. I asked her why she called. She was crying, upset, and obviously emotionally traumatized. I asked her why she wanted to kill herself. As with many cases of this type, for years, she has been overwhelmed with grief and other emotions that were running her with stress and anxiety. I asked her when it all started. She spoke of her ‘soulmate’ who cheated on her with her best friend, married her, and took custody of the two children they had.

This person had a high level of fantasy she was placing upon her husband or ‘soulmate’ at the time. As a result, she couldn’t embrace the reality of what happened, thus creating a perfect scenario for longterm emotional stress and depression, resulting from the gap between her reality and her fantasy. Her fantasy about him was so strong that it was more powerful than the pain of what he did, in her perception.

I asked her to describe how her ‘soulmate’ in fact wasn’t a soul mate. This line of questioning isn’t something she had thought about before, but after just 15 minutes, I had her soulmate turned into a normal human being with emotional challenges just like her. Once she got to that point, she was able to start appreciating that there were major benefits to being away from him. Within 15 minutes this person went from suicidal to loving her life as it is, simply by clearing the illusion that she ‘lost’ a ‘soulmate’ and he should still be with her. And as a result of our short session, she decided to go back to school and start empowering herself instead of living under the depression of fantasies.

Start planning and acting on goals that inspire you (and say no to those that don’t)

Unless we intentionally do things with our life that inspire us, our time, money, energy, and focus will be taken up by things that don’t. Besides dealing with traumatic experiences, the second most depressing experience is living a life in which you’re not being fulfilled by what you’re doing every day. If you’re not waking up thinking ‘I can’t wait to get started on today,’ you’re not really waking up.

Start paying attention to what is actually important to you. This isn’t what you think should be important to you, or what others think should be important to you, it’s what is actually important to you. To determine this (and also to help determine your values), ask yourself how you truly love to spend your time? What do you truly love to talk about? What are the things you plan for, that are truly meaningful to you? Ask yourself, “What are the things that are still important to me, when I’m away from all my friends, families, and responsibilities?” Use these answers to guide your life. Say yes to opportunities that inspire you and align with your unique values. Say no to those that you feel would be a sacrifice to what’s important to you. This isn’t to say you should never engage in new activities, but the most successful people I’ve ever met only really do what inspires them. If you can see a new activity as helping you achieve what’s already inspiring to you, you’ll have a greater level of engagement in anything new instead of reluctantly doing things you don’t love.

Meditate (or do something that gets you present)

If you’re not present in your life, you’re less capable of being self-aware and making decisions that are good for you. Meditation is one way of getting you there, but it can also get in the way. Meditation is not an escape from your problems, but rather a reminder of what you really feel like — what you really think like, beyond all the illusions and judgments, infatuations and resentments.

For some people, meditation comes in the form of yoga. For others, it comes in the form of making a model airplane. Whatever form of meditation you do, it’s important to keep doing it. It can help solidify a place in your life where you can practice being you. It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on, but getting caught up isn’t equal to empowering your life. Use your meditative time to help you solve the lingering challenges that are piling up. The more challenges you solve during your day, the less carried over challenges you’ll have tomorrow, which can help you be more inspired to keep going.

I recommend during your meditations to ask yourself what is getting in the way of you being fully alive and present in your life. Write down what comes up and start brainstorming how to solve these challenges. Ask your friends for advice. Use your resources to discover the solutions. The more ‘in time’ you are with your present reality, the more you are capable of doing in it. When you are constantly dreaming about how your reality was or should be, you’re less capable of taking action in your life and the more you’ll withdraw from it, leading you to emotional depression over time.

Stabilize your wins and your downs

The majority of adult depressions, in my experience, don’t make sense to the person experiencing it. They often say, “I was out the night before. It was the best night ever. I went to bed and woke up with depression.” This is a very much misunderstood function of intention. If you say you just had the best day ever, you have set up a belief system that makes every day from now on, terrible. Many people aren’t willing to admit that the beliefs they make up are so tuned in this way, but they are.

For example, I was finished my clinic work day, driving home with my friend, and we had just completed a series of incredible transformations with clients. We were riding so high in our elations that we literally said, at the same time, today was the best day ever. In that exact moment of supreme elation, our phones rang with an automatic voice saying that the clinic security alarm was going off. We were literally being robbed at that same instant we celebrated our gain.

The law of balance doesn’t discriminate.

If you don’t balance yourself, the world will, or your body and mind will, to ensure you aren’t looking back on wins but instead focusing on continuing to serve the world for now and the future. I often take clients, who have recently had this ‘elating’ and next morning ‘depressed for two weeks’ phenomenon, through a series of questions that helps them identify the downsides in the ‘up’ experience, which, when done, the client can no longer identify with the depressed feelings. It’s gone, simply, because the elation has been balanced.

Of course, not everyone is wired to experience this form of depression, but with pre-existing memories, especially childhood traumas that haven’t been emotionally balanced, a person becomes highly susceptible to experiencing elations and depressions because their nervous system is still wounded by the earlier traumas. When this occurs, the person is often stuck in a fight or flight mode, with their defenses up, literally, in a state of anxiety in the background for years. The nervous system was never designed to hold on to an emotional pain for so long and eventually, when that pain is escaped by an elating experience, withdrawing from that elation can slam a person back into their pre-existing trauma, psychologically and physiologically.

Imagine running a nervousness in your body for 30 years, behind the scenes, covering it up with eating ice cream or some other addiction. When you get slammed back into those traumatic feelings, you’ll really experience them, to the extent that you are stuck in bed for two weeks. This is what depression really is and it’s why it’s very important to balance our emotions in our traumatic past. By doing this, you shut off your fight or flight response and become more able to function normally, without triggers, and without the super-highs and inevitable lows.

With these 5 tips, you’ll be better equipped to handle depression than 99% of people in the world who have it. It’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be. However, the rewards are worth a lifetime. If you’d love to learn more about these tools and specifically how to heal past traumas, visit this link and connect with me: https://coaching.stephangardner.com/optin.

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Stephan Gardner is a Self-Management Consultant known as a Mental Architect. A master facilitator of personal evolution, he helps professionals create the shifts in their lives necessary for fulfillment, achievement and excellence. Stephan is the Creator of The Visionary Method, a self-awareness and purpose-planning tool designed to help solve the questions of life, business and creativity through a deep clarification of values and destiny. Stephan serves business professionals, creative artists and entrepreneurs from around the globe, helping them live inspired and masterful lives.

Stephan has attracted work with Katrina Campins, Dr John Demartini, Dr Nima Rahmany, Gregory Gallagher & Kinobody, Nikki Jumper, Emily Gowor, Melissa Ramos, Kevin O’Leary, Sanjay Burman, Kai, Sovereign Wealth Management, Mercantile Exchange, The University of Toronto, Collective Evolution, Business News Network and many more.

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Awareness

Cancer-Linked Monsanto Chemical Discovered In Five Major Orange Juice Brands

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The non profit group Moms Across America discovered glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, in popular orange juice brands across America.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is glyphosate ending up in our food? What kind of safety testing is our food going through? Why is Roundup legal in North America yet Illegal in so many other countries? Why are these findings not presented on mainstream media?

It’s confusing why non-profits spend so much time and resources on raising money and awareness for cancer research, but completely leave out the links between cancer and harmful pesticides, heavy metals, processed meats, electromagnetic radiation, various cleaning and cosmetic products,  as well as several other cancer-causing sources. All we do is try to raise money, and yet in doing so, we pay no attention to the causes.

If you have ever walked, ran, ridden, played a sport, or grown a moustache in support of large corporate-sponsored efforts to cure cancer, you are to be sincerely commended for your time, your effort, and your concern for your fellow human beings. Just know that such efforts have likely not—and will never—contribute to finding a cure for cancer.

Western cancer research is organized as a business whose fundamental motivation is profit, and has become the subject of numerous excellent books and documentaries, among them being Forest Gamble’s Thrive and Ty Bollinger’s The Truth About Cancer. Western medicine will likely never cure cancer because it’s so profitable, and it’s sad that they often ignore the causes of it. Doctors are only allowed to recommend the patented treatment.

One cause of cancer, among several other diseases, is glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. In November 2012, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled Long Term Toxicity of Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant genetically modified maize by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). It was a very significant study that made a lot of noise worldwide, as it was the first of its kind under controlled conditions that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide. The rats studied developed cancer, but the study was retracted and then republished in several journals across the world, but the original retraction caused hundreds of scientists to sign a letter in support of the study. It’s one of many examples that highlights how corporations control science and brush the important research that threatens their interests straight under the rug. You can read more about that particular study here.

In fact, I also recently published an article on Robert F. Kennedy explaining how our federal regulatory agencies have been completely compromised by these big corporations. You can watch that video and read about some more examples here.

There is a wealth of science showing how harmful glyphosate is to human health as well as the environment. This is why it’s completely banned in dozens of countries, as they’ve cited numerous health and environmental concerns. It’s quite clear that it’s not safe, and this isn’t really debatable.

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In fact, EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, and their decision was based on an assessment that was plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that, for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the companies that manufacture these products instead of seeking out independent scientific studies. A group of MEPs decided to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about that here.

The only science showing that glyphosate is safe is the science that’s dished out by the manufacturers and shareholders themselves, which is in stark opposition to all independent science as well as the science coming from foreign countries.

Corporations can’t be trusted these days, unfortunately, and neither can our federal regulatory agencies. This is why ordinary people are turning towards organizations that don’t stand to benefit or gain from these products and are completely non-profit, citizenry-driven organizations like Moms Across America.

Moms Across America is a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms. Their motto is “Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids.” Their mission is  to “raise awareness about toxic exposure, empower leadership, and create healthy communities. We support local activities, initiate campaigns and share solutions nationwide to improve our health and freedoms.”

Glyphosate & Orange Juice

They are the group who took initiative and discovered that glyphosate is found inside of all 5 major orange juice brands across the United States. These juices are heavily marketed as ‘100 percent pure orange juice,’ but that’s not true as they’re loaded with unhealthy amounts of added sugars.

What is glyphosate doing in orange juice? Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient in Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, and 750 other brands of glyphosate-based herbicides. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, often sprayed as a weedkiller between citrus trees and found in irrigation water and rain.

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt stated, “The discovery of glyphosate residue in orange juice is unacceptable, especially since a branch of the World Health Organization designated glyphosate a probable carcinogen, two years ago, back in the spring of 2015. The EPA has had ample time to revoke the license of this chemical and restrict its use in our food and beverage crops. As confirmed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, our children (who frequently drink orange juice for breakfast) are especially vulnerable to pesticides and measures should be taken immediately to protect them.”

Two samples of each of the following brands were tested for both the herbicide glyphosate and its residue AMPA. Positive results ranged from 4.33 parts per billion (“ppb”) to an alarming 26.05 ppb. Chemical farming proponents will claim that these levels are too low to cause harm, and are definitely lower than the EPA’s allowable glyphosate residue level of 30 ppm on citrus, but these claims are irrelevant in comparison to new data. Studies have shown that only 0.1 ppm (100ppb) of glyphosate destroys beneficial gut bacteria, weakening the immune system, which can lead to a wide variety of health and neurological issues. Considering the standard American diet is high in wheat, sugar, oatmeal, soy, and corn, with levels of up to 6000 ppb or 1.67ppm detected,  a child can easily exceed the 100 ppb if a glass of orange juice is added at  26 ppb. Additionally, 1 part per trillion (ppt) has been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. 1 ppt is equivalent to 1 drop in the water of 22 olympic swimming pools combined. Considering that studies show glyphosate bioaccumulates in bone marrow, any amount ingested is unacceptable.

Below is a chart of the brands that were tested as well as the results.

The full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”

The Health Research Institute Laboratories routinely undergoes independent, third party proficiency testing of its methods. The lab is also certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments act of 1988 (CLIA-88) to perform high complexity clinical testing.

The Takeaway

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

The only takeaway here is for one to be aware of and share this information, and to vote with your dollar. Don’t get your lawn sprayed with Roundup. Instead, seek out alternatives and don’t buy conventional food. Try and switch to organic and non-GMO products.

At the end of the day, human beings are the source of these corporations’ profits. We must educate ourselves and seek out information independently.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Health

How To Activate Autophagy: Your Body’s Self-Cleansing System

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Autophagy, the body's self-cleaning system, allows the cell to get rid of old cell machinery, breaking them down into smaller parts to be reused by the cell. Activating autophagy through fasting has neuroprotective and immuno-regenerative benefits.

  • Reflect On:

    Intermittent fasting (IF) is an easy and sustainable way to activate autophagy as well as reap many other health benefits. The easiest way to IF is to pick an eating window that is eight hours or less every day that works best with your schedule.

 

The fountain of youth has long been sought by man, science being the critical avenue in which we’ve explored this prospect, and one Nobel Prize-winning scientist recently uncovered a vital piece in the search.

On October 3rd, 2016, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a term that translates to “self-eat.” In short, autophagy is the body’s self-cleaning system, a mechanism in which cells get rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes). It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components.

The process of autophagy is like replacing parts in a car—sometimes we need a new engine or battery for the car to function better. The same thing happens within each of our cells. During autophagy, old cellular debris is sent to specialized compartments within the cell called “lysosomes.” Lysosomes contain enzymes that degrade the old debris, breaking it down into smaller components to be reused again by the cell.

Fasting & Autophagy

Scientists have found that fasting for 12 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy, which is thought to be one of the reasons that fasting is associated with longevity. There is a large body of research that connects fasting to improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, weight loss, and improved brain function, and Oshumi’s findings provide greater insight into this research.

“Sporadic short-term fasting, driven by religious and spiritual beliefs, is common to many cultures and has been practiced for millennia, but scientific analyses of the consequences of caloric restriction are more recent…short-term food restriction induces a dramatic upregulation of autophagy in cortical and Purkinje neurons. As noted above, disruption of autophagy can cause neurodegenerative disease, and the converse also may hold true: upregulation of autophagy may have a neuroprotective effect.

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Food restriction is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and harmless alternative to drug ingestion and, therefore, we propose that short-term food restriction may represent an attractive alternative to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases in which candidate drugs are currently being sought.”

So autophagy and fasting is in essence a form of self-cleansing, getting rid of the junk to make room for new healthy cellular components. And it is the accumulation of the junk that may be responsible for many of the effects of aging. The consequences of accumulating old proteins all over the place can be seen in two main conditions – Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and cancer. Alzheimer’s Disease involves the accumulation of abnormal protein – either amyloid beta or Tau protein, which gum up the brain system. So, if inducing autophagy cleanses the body of denatured proteins, it would make sense that the process has the ability to prevent the development of AD.

Other Benefits of Fasting—Stem Cell Regeneration

While inducing autophagy is one of the key benefits to fasting, there are also many incredible longevity-related reasons to fast.

A study in the journal Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

Fasting triggers regeneration of immune stem cels.

In a study on mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial involving patients receiving chemotherapy, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch,” changing the signalling pathways for liver stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems. Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose, fat and ketones, but it also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induced changes that triggered stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. In particular, prolonged fasting reduced the enzyme PKA, an effect previously found to extend longevity in simple organisms, which has been linked in other research to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency (the potential for one cell to develop into many different cell types). Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone linked to aging, tumor progression, and cancer risk.

How To Fast Intermittently & Activate Autophagy

While there are many ways to fast, one of the more sustainable methods of fasting is intermittent fasting (IF). IF is done cyclically and for shorter periods of time, so it is much easier to adopt IF into your weekly schedule as it won’t take much out of you compared to longer periods of fasting. In fact, practicing IF will have you more focused and energized throughout your day compared to when your body is in a constant state of digestion.

The easiest way to IF is to pick an eating window each day and stick to that window. This can be an eight hour window or less, but typically you want to keep your eating window under eight hours in order to reap the most benefits. An example of an eight hour eating window could be 11am-7pm, or if you normally eat later in the day then you could try something like 3pm-10pm.

During your fast you can still drink beverages as long as they contain no calories such as lemon water, tea, or coffee (without cream or sugar). There are incredible regenerative benefits to dry fasting as well (abstaining from consuming any food or water); however, dry fasting will push the body into deeper levels of detoxification and should be approached more slowly.

Breaking your fast is just as important as the fast itself. The first meal after a fast should be easy to digest. Juices, coconut water, and smoothies are great options as well as watery and astringent fruits such as grapes, cherries, and oranges. After that, salads are the next best option. After breaking the fast with raw fruits and vegetables, you can then move on to eating cooked foods as your digestive system will be activated by then.

Autophagy and fasting are the key to regenerating the body on a cellular level and, when used strategically and systematically, these tools hold enormous potential in transforming your health.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Awareness

My 400 Days Without Candy & What I Learned About Sugar Addiction

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At the end of 2017 I decided to temporarily say goodbye to my dietary Achilles heel.

While I’m certainly not suggesting that I am some beacon of ideal healthy eating, I have always been someone who, for the most part, makes what I’ve found to be healthy choices. Except for my one glaring weakness… candy.

In particular, the really sour and heavily sugar coated kind, but you’d be hard pressed to find me turning down even those better classified as sweet, with all of their sugar fused within the confines of the chew. Cherry Blasters, Sour Patch Kids, Fuzzy Peaches, Sour Punch Straws, you name it, I ate it, and usually with a big smile on my face.

But no matter how much my tastebuds loved this stuff, I’ve always known that it’s not good for me (I can’t imagine that there is anyone out there who actually thinks it is), so I decided to listen to my body, just as I had already done with a number of my other dietary changes. I opted to no longer ignore the stomach and headaches that would often come shortly after my sugary indulgences and give it up.

What started as a one month challenge quickly evolved into a three month challenge, followed by a one year challenge, and then a 400 day challenge simply because I liked the sound of the number. Here’s some of what I learned from this journey:

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The First Days Are Undeniably The Hardest

The old adage that it takes approximately 21 days to break a bad habit or make a new one in this case certainly held true. It was right around the 3 week point that I started to find myself far less tempted and far less frequently on the search for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. And believe it or not, the longer I went on, the less appealing the idea of eating candy became. It almost felt as if the memory in my tastebuds that had controlled so many of my past decisions had gradually faded away.

Mindset Is Everything

While I will fully admit that my quest to 400 was helped by it naturally feeding into another one of my “addictions” (a great joy in setting records and tracking analytics), I found that so much of the temptation to consume these sugary, salty and greasy foods really was incredibly temporary. Challenge yourself to at least not let it win once and you’ll likely see just how quickly its strength can fade.

It Paid Dividends

While I didn’t completely cut sugar out of my diet, as many people have so admirably done and documented about, I can say that cutting back even as much as I did felt really good for me. Some may be quick to chalk it up to the placebo effect, and understandably so, but I can honestly say that the above mentioned stomach and head aches occurred far less often over the 400 day span.

Real-Time Analysis: After The First Bite

Having now officially consumed my first piece of candy since 2017, believe it or not, it tastes different. Is it still tasty and did it satisfy me at some level? Absolutely. But it also tastes way more sugary and foreign to my body than it once did. It’s as if my body really wanted to make it clear by saying, “are you sure you want to bring this stuff back into the picture?”

Side Note: For those that are curious, since it’s the most common question I’ve been asked since embarking on this journey, the candy I chose to eat as my first piece was a Vegan Wild Cherry Belt by Squish Candies. (And no I’m not getting paid to brand-drop, and no I don’t make any commission should you choose to buy any at that link… unfortunately LOL).

Where I Go From Here

While I don’t see myself going completely cold turkey on candy again, I also cannot see myself consuming it nearly as much as I once did. And I do so happily, not out of punishment. While I’m also certainly not qualified to be giving out dietary advice, I am comfortable challenging all of you to give up something you know to not be good for you. See how your body feels both without it and after you re-introduce it.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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