5 Day Water Fast Experiment at True North (Part 1) : The Renegade Health Show Episode #630

Monday Aug 9 | BY |
| Comments (50)

After visiting the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, my curiosity about water fasting was at its height…

So I contacted Dr. Alan Goldhamer and told him I wanted to come and film myself at the facility doing a 5 day water fast. I thought it would be great way to show you what it was all about as well as experience it so I could explain this medical (yes, medical and, of course, natural!) approach to healing.

Dr. Goldhamer said yes to the idea and so now for the next few days, you can follow me along on my journey. I promise you it’s going to be intense!

Day one is my medical intake with Dr. Michael Klaper where you’ll learn a bunch about medically supervised water fasting.

Take a look…

Your question of the day: There are 3 options at True North, which one would you choose if you were to visit? Healthy eating, juice fasting or water fasting?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

If you’d like to learn more about the True North Health Center, please visit their website here; http://www.healthpromoting.org

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Katie says:

    What is citric acid? I cut out sugar from my diet about a month ago. Then I recently found out I was allergic to all of those gums they put in packaged foods, such as xanthan, acacia, guar, etc. etc. So, I cut those out. But now I’m wondering what citric acid is. Is it bad for you? Is it natural?

    I know just eat raw fruits and veggies and whole foods, but I just like to know what makes a food bad so that it gets in ingrained in my mind not to eat it.

    I tried looking up citric acid, but I can’t seem to find good information on it. Anyway, hope both of your days are going well and that maybe I’ll get an answer….or did you already talk about this on an episode…hmmmmm…..

  2. Richard says:

    Sweet video Kevin! I’m working on a mini series of videos on fasting right now as well as possibly an ebook… both on the natural and spiritual benefits of fasting.

  3. Richard says:

    I’d choose the prolonged water fast. I’ve done 1 40 day water fast and the results we’re amazing. I only wish I had known as much about living and raw foods as I do now. I started fasting today… just water and it’s pretty neat you made these videos. Great encouragement and confirmation to do this fast that I’m on.

  4. Leam says:

    All three options sound beneficial, but I would like to see what would happen on a water fast. Thank you for taking us along and sharing your experience.

  5. Mary Artemis says:

    I did a water fast at Tanglewood Health Center with Loren Lockman in Panama 2 years ago. My fast was for 11 days but I would have liked to go more. I lost 20 pounds and regained the energy I had as a child!! UNBELIEVABLE! The cravings went away after Day 4-5. How interesting is that? So, I would say that in a water fast you typically do NOT have food cravings after you “get it out of your system”. Who would have guessed that God put such a fantastic healing program design into us?? ? ?? ???? !!!

  6. eyla says:

    I’d chose the water fast,because I have never tried one and they sound incredible, but so taxing on so many levels,
    I’m sure I would enjoy a juice fast much more!!

  7. Carl K says:

    My longest water fast was 12 days, My hunger wasn’t bad at all and totally went away after 2-3 days. I would like to have done a full 40 day water fast but was not able due to work. I found a great resource that I found very helpful, it’s out of publication but free on the web. I found a copy on ebay. The fasting stories are great and quite remarkable. http://chestofbooks.com/health/Isabelle-A-Moser/How-and-When-to-Be-Your-Own-Doctor/

  8. Katya says:

    I would choose the water fast, though all 3 options sound wonderful. I’m very curious as to the scope of the improvements I would experience. I would love to have my body rejuvenated like Dr. Klaper described. Having that personal experience and information would be of great benefit to my clients as well.

  9. Diana says:

    I would chose juice fasting. I have done a water fast for 2 days and juice fasting for a bit longer but I love eating – chewing that is. I don’t just eat because I am hungry, I eat because of the action. That I think would be the hardest for me by far. I would feel like something is missing and get really restless and not be able to think. The action of eating is what I guess I am addicted to. I am also very thin so water fasting would put me at about 80 lbs – not good.

  10. Beth says:

    True North sounds like a great place for healing, and I like the fact that they have 3 options.
    I would choose the juice fast, because I have not done one before.

  11. Kelly says:


    Citric Acid (when processed from corn) can be a form of MSG, here is a website with some info that you may find helpful: http://www.msgmyth.com/hidename.htm

    Hope this helps,

  12. Micele says:

    I would probably do the water fast, but maybe the juice fast.
    Can you please talk about how to do a safe water fast at home. I have done The Master Cleanser (the lemonade diet), but since have heard a lot of negatives about it. Please give us solid info. on how to do this at home. Thanks!

  13. Karen says:

    I think I’ll wait to choose when I see what you go through first. VERY interesting! I’ve always wanted to know about water fasting. Thanks Kevin!

  14. I would choose water fast. Never have i tried it, but it looks like they follow a very safe way to do it.

  15. Andrew Casson says:

    I’m presently on day 3 of a green vegetable juice fast. So I would go for the water fast if I were to visit True North.

  16. Laura says:

    I’d do a water fast. I’ve done a 72 hour one in the past and I felt quite good. I’d love to have the time to do a long water fast. Thanks for filming this.
    Thanks be to God.

  17. Tania says:

    I would do the juice fast.
    I’m too much of a “chicken” still to do the water fast. But I admire those who have the strength to do this. 🙂

  18. Wendi says:

    Likely the water fast to just get threw all the stored up toxins but not sure how well I’d do. Even on a jucie fast I get massive headaces but just keep trying to work threw it.

  19. Trina-Lea Briggs says:

    I would love to do the water fast but I think I would start out with the juice fast especially if I was fasting on my own.
    True North sounds like a fabulous facility…I can not wait to follow your progress. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Sophia says:

    I would chose a juice fast!!!

  21. Russ says:

    would love to hear you share more about your hormonal imbalance and acne. i was tested and have the same issue and am trying to get back into balance but it’s not easy.

  22. Sharon says:

    I’d choose the water fast for sure! I did 7 days once at home and never again would I do such a dangerous thing unsupervised!!! All those fasting books were written decades ago when our world was not quite so toxic. Water fasting is not a do-it-yourself job.

    I guess you’ll probably tell us sometime why you only did FIVE days? Seems to me that’s about the time you’d start to feel really good.

  23. snowmoonelk says:

    I’m sorry to say that I find both Kevin and Dr Klaper speak way too fast for my British ears!

    I had to listen very hard over and again to try and catch what is being said…

    My answer to the question is I would do a water fast.

  24. gilles st. george says:

    went for 2 weeks an did 5 days on water an2 of juice then ate the good food. a great place an wounderful folks

  25. Sue says:

    Absolutely fascinating! What he said about arthritis is exactly what happened to me when I went on a water fast. However, when I stopped the fast and began eating again I became severely crippled and in pain within 20 minutes. Can you ask him how he prevents people with rheumatoid arthritis from flaring up again once they go back to eating? I would love to hear a lot more from this guy.

  26. grannyk says:

    I would choose the 30 day water fast. I did a fast incorrectly though for a month a long time ago and it was amazing. I did not drink just water I also couldn’t give up my coffee. I still cleaned out my system and the amount of energy midmonth was amazing but towards the end of the month like the man said you start to slow down. I also noticed getting back to eating was interesting. If I was allergic to an item I could pinpoint what the item was and I couldn’t do that before.

  27. Christi says:

    I would choose the water fast because I’ve never done one before and I think it would be the best one for me.

  28. Diana says:

    This is so timely for me! I just finished a 3 day water fast at home. It wasn’t that hard and I wish I could have continued. I felt kind of dreamy and otherworldly and needed to get back to work and family and felt that I had to stop to be effective. Actually I started Juice Fasting a couple of weeks ago and I’m back on that–day 13! I feel really good.

    Thanks Kevin

  29. Hi Kevin,

    Having lived on juice alone for 120 days nearly 20 years ago, and having done more than 3 dozen water fasts of 1-3 weeks, I would definitely water fast. Water fasting is virtually always safe if done properly, and is many, many times more powerful than juice fasting.

    In the last 14 years, I have supervised more than 2000 people through water fasts of 1 to nearly 10 weeks and have seen many “miracles.”

    Michael Klaper is right when he suggests that there is nothing so powerful as a properly conducted fast. At Tanglewood, we provide an amazing environment in paradise where your body can cleanse and heal itself and then amazingly delicious fresh local fruit for refeeding.

    Anyone who wants to feel and function their absolute best owes it to themself to find a place that they resonate with and experience this incredible process…But do it right! It is Not beneficial if you are not resting as completely as possible and can actually harm you.

    Loren Lockman

  30. Janet says:

    FYI. Citric acid is often used to clean out a water distiller.

  31. Janet says:

    I would do both the water fast and the juice fast. You need the juice fast to break the water fast.

  32. alllison says:

    I am glad that the conversation about water fasting is back on the table. I have done numerous water fasts and it is very different from a juice fast. You can feel, smell and taste the toxins moving out of your body. It is powerful and unyielding and definitely gets the job done of cleaning your body more quickly than a juice fast. After 14 days water fast I shrunk a fibroid tumor the size of a melon down to almost nothing. Juice fast does not reap as quick and certain results for fibroid. You will definitely feel much weaker on a water fast and it is harder to do than a juice fast. Getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest part because the energy has been pulled deep into the cleansing process. Though harder than a juice fast it is totally worth while. When doing a water fast it is best to rest as much as possible and try to keep energy focused on the healing process rather than going to activities which pulls the energy into the muscles.

    Water fasting is a very profound and powerful experience which has its rightful place in the healing domain

    Allison Dunnigan

  33. Erica says:

    How timely is this! I’ve been water fasting for 9 days so far. I’m looking for specific health outcomes and planned to do a 14 day fast, but I may have to go longer. Kev, I’m jealous! I wish I had the cash to go to True North, but as I live in the mid-west it’s a big expense getting there.

  34. Velda says:

    Great information, Kevin. I’m not really sure what I would choose. I once did a water fast for 7 days and it was not as hard as I thought (however, I did not fast from soaps, tooth paste, etc. Actually never thought about that). At present, I do a water fast 2 to 3 days each week. I am almost 63 years old and I have actually been wondering about the wisdom of doing a water fast 2 days a week. I get extremely tired on the water fast and have recently began drinking an 8 oz glass almond milk in the evning if I am extremely tired. It is that tiredness that concerns me. I have also done juicing in the past but have never done a juice fast. I would probably, at first, choose the juice fast. However, I would like to see what their healthy eating program looks like. Whew, a long answer to your question, I know. Velda

  35. Amy Davidson says:

    I have never done a fast before, so I would choose the juice fasting program. I’m actually planning on starting a green smoothie fast on the 15th for 10 days. I’m excited to see what happens!

  36. Hi Kevin

    Thanks for doing this, so people will understand the process. What Dr. Klaper says is 100% correct and I have experienced what he is talking about, especially on an extended fast/cleanse.

    If I was to go to True North or some other place for a supervised fast, I would do water. The longest I have ever done a water fast is for 7 days, but I didn’t remove everything, such as soap, lotions, but I will try that the next time I do my quarterly cleanse. I prefer to do mine with coconut water and have had excellent results, as well.

    You can visit my blog http://www.rawsomegal.wordpress.com and read about my 42 day cleanse using coconut water and stevia which I completed mid-January 2010. I have also written about my transition back to food. I have not had the time for new posts and hope to resume some time soon. To read about my cleanse from day 1, click on the archive for December 2009. Share this with others who may be interested and I love to receive comments. You can also subscribe so you will always receive the latest posts in you email inbox.

    Chef Mindy aka Ageless Raw Beauty

  37. Nick says:

    Who duh thunk in this consumer cult that fasting was the fast track to health. I may be never have had I not gotten sick, felt horrible, heavy pains, even & looked up what to do. Wasn’t too hard to figure out either, given my extravagances in diet blatantly, or at least clearly worsened my condition. So fasting was just like going in the other direction to me. But I was young, very likely with more resilience, elasticity.

    In hindsight I’d eat raw for a while, then juice feast, and only, then water fast…had I the luxury.

  38. Susan Bessette says:

    A juice fast would be the next stage in my development.

  39. Tiff says:

    He says that at day 5 ketosis begins. I don’t think ketosis is a healthy or natural state for the body. He points out that weight loss happens in ketosis as the body burns fat. Well, we saw over this decade how that works with the Atkins diet. As soon as the body is out of ketosis, the weight comes back and is subsequently harder to lose each time. That was the weak link of Atkins–people can’t stay in ketosis for the rest of their lives. For myself, I would choose a different method of cleansing than this water fasting/ ketosis. I don’t have any weight to lose, but when I did, I lost it thru exercise and clean diet.

  40. Dee says:

    I would start with going for the healthy eating.

  41. Traci says:

    I have only water-fasted for a maximum of 3 days. I would be likely to do the clean vegan diet, then juice fast, then water fast. It would be nice to hear how he transitions his patients back onto foods after water fasting.

  42. Nihacc says:

    Juice or water fasting.

  43. David says:

    Hello Renegade,

    Doing the healthy food or juice would be nuts for you since you are already there. Water fast is the only thing for you, but if I were going to do three days of starving I would want to get in more than two days of fat burning and toxin removal.

  44. Jessic a says:

    I would definitely do a juice fast (no fruit) and possibly a water fast…. I am quite thin and am a fast oxidizer, plus I take supplements that are essential for my emotional well being. If they approved me for a water fast I would definitely give it a try. Maybe I wouldn’t need my “essential supplements” anymore. That would be amazing as they are very expensive but at least they are natural.

  45. Steph says:

    Wow!~ I wish I had 40 days to cleanse out ALL the toxins! I’d water fast hands down. I’m even tempted to do it …eh not so much! I live in NYC!

  46. Randy says:

    I’ve choosen water fasting.
    I first tried water fasting after experiencing leg infections following a dog bite. Standard medical treatments by so-called “experts” did not help.
    Reading “Fasting and Eating for Health” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman introduced me to the idea of fasting, and going to TrueNorth for the first time in summer 2007 finally set me in the right direction.
    Another book that cites the value of fasting is “The Lupus Recovery Diet” by Jill Harrington…TrueNorth Health and Dr. Alan Goldhamer are mentioned at various times by Jill Harrington and others who have SUCCESSFULLY recovered from lupus.

  47. Laurie says:

    I have been eating raw for about 2 months. I love the results and have been finding I still suffer from extreme body pain. I would choose the water fast as the results look worth it.

  48. Isabel says:

    I would do the juice fast for a few days and then switch into the healthy eating. I did a water fast for 7 days in my early twenties. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I did get dizzy after the 5th day and felt weak. I did it unsupervised and didn’t stop using soaps and the like. My goal was to shed weight, but I only went down three or four pounds.

  49. Connie says:

    I’ve heard that a juice fast is actually harder than a water only fast–because your body never really gets to rest from food so it’s always looking for more. Whereas with a water only fast your body soon gets the idea that no more food is coming and it starts eating up the garbage you are trying to get rid of. So I’m not likely to do a juice fast under any circumstances, nice as it sounds. Can’t remember what the first option was–just healthy eating? That would be good–I’d like to have someone do all the prep for me and teach me some interesting new recipes. However, if I were going to pay someone to help me fast I would go for broke and do the water only fast for as long as I could handle it.

    I’ve done two short water only fasts this year and I felt great, so I want to do another one. I actually just accepted a 30 day challenge to eat 100% raw so that’s what I am doing now. Half of my family is away right now so I’m actually thinking of doing the water only fast right now. I think I will, beginning tonight. Might as well enjoy a thorough break–from meal planning and prep, cleaning up, and food.


  50. Debra Harrison says:

    I would like to have a copy of the 8 part series of true north. Could you not make it part of iTunes? Can you make it available?

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