The LifeCo Phuket

10 day waterfast

My 10-day waterfasting journey

STARTING WITH THE WHY

> Don’t forget to scroll down to see our The LifeCo teaser video, and the health disclaimer. <

Why would I want to drink water only, without eating for 10 days? Simply because I believe in the healing and rejuvenation power of prolonged fasts. We’ve been practising 19-24 hours intermitted fasting at home for years. I encourage you to read up on the subject, especially on autophagy and ketosis. You can find a lot of material out there, for example on The LifeCo Website, or you can purchase a book. Autophagy can only be achieved through fasting. It’s the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Priya Khorana, PhD, in nutrition education from Columbia University. “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. So the literal meaning of autophagy is “self-eating.” It’s also referred to as “self-devouring.” While that may sound like something you never want to happen to your body, it’s actually beneficial to your overall health.This is because autophagy is an evolutionary self-preservation mechanism through which the body can remove the dysfunctional cells and recycle parts of them toward cellular repair and cleaning, according to board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Luiza Petre. 

Longer fasts are the holy grail of cell healing and rejuvenation. Trying a longer fast had been on our bucket list for years. But it seemed impossible to conduct one at home, alongside our commitments of events, travel, dinners and shoots. We wanted to go to a place where surroundings help the process. Anyways, I had been working way too much and formed some unhealthy habits and craved a nurturing environment more than ever. If you want to relax and pull yourself back into routines of self care. The LifeCo is the place to go. Scroll down to the ‘fasting during Covid- 19 times’ section if you want to know more about fasting at home. Feel free to ask me any questons you may have.



Autophagy (or autophagocytosis) (from the Ancient Greek αὐτόφαγος autóphagos, meaning “self-devouring” and κύτος kýtos, meaning “hollow”) is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components.

CHOOSING A PLAN

The center has a variety of programs, such as the Mastercleanse, Ketogenic, Intermitted Fasting, Diabetes recovering, Liver supporting treatment etc. People with health conditions follow individual programs and diets tailored to their healing process. We opted for the waterfast, which means having 7.4 PH water only. No coffee, teas or anything like that, just two Himalayan pink salt shots per day and a lot of detox supporting treatments, such as Infrared Sauna, Electrical Beamer etc. The salt shots help the body retain electrolytes and felt like a treat each day. They seemed to give us some extra energy and we enjoyed them as if they were Tequila shots. Cheers!

HOW WAS IT?

The water fast wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was totally fine and not hungry once during the 10 days, which is very strange because at home I get hungry easily and often drink black coffee and teas during my water fasts. This wasn’t allowed at The LifeCo because it’s better to just have water. I think the ease has to do with the mindset of being there for this reason with all the support around us. We were reminded every day, about the benefits of fasting, and felt how our bodies repaired and changed. The blood tests, measuring Glucose and Ketones in order to establish our GKI levels were big motivators too; GKI results under 3 show that you are in Ketosis and living off your stored fat, which is beneficial to treat type 2 diabetis for example, or of course obesity. Readings under 1 show that your body is in Autophagy repairing itself and is getting rid of harmul cells. It’s typically used for addressing epilepsy and cancers.

Yes I was weak and dizzy and felt like taking it slow most times, but that’s exactly the part I liked so much. Instead of keeping busy and being pre-occupied all day, I just wanted to inhabit the moment, enjoy the beauty of the place, relax together and reflect. Sometimes I had energy bursts and went to the gym or for a beach run. But most times I was in my element nurturing my body and soul by reading, swimming, following the prescribed treatments, talking to the guests or staff members, going to the beach, or visiting classes at the center.

 

THE LIFECO

The LifeCo is a wonderful place. It felt so soothing to be surrounded by people that care about your health and wellbeing and are so devoted to teaching and spreading their knowledge. Everyone is truly passionate about what they do, from receptionists, to coordinators, management, juice bar, raw chefs, spa therapists and the medical team. The staff go above and beyond to make sure you’re comfortable and getting the most out of your experience. Gonca Yarimer, the program manager pointed out, that the philosophy is to make everyone feel like a guest, not a client or patient. The LifeCo is not a faceless luxus resort where you get fake pampering. It’s a professional health center that feels like home. There are daily Yoga classes, deep breathing, Tai chi, raw food ‘cooking’ courses, lectures by medical professionals and other experts, 2 hour breathing classes, daily meditation, evening movies about food and health, shuttles to the beach every hour, shuttles to town, and a The LifeCo beach cafe where you get picked up, can have your waters or salt shots, leave your sandy towels etc.. I also liked the fact that the kitchen team finds you wherever you are when you need to take your salt shot, meals or juices depending on your program. They track you down to serve no matter whether you are at the gym, the sauna or in your room. It’s a fabulous detail that adds a much beloved factor of high-end service. They also prepare a packed lunch in case you choose to take a day trip away from the center. The kitchen staff is truly caring and listen to the guests’ wishes.

WHAT I LEARNED

The retreat was a success and exactly what I had hoped for. Our stay at The LifeCo was very educational. This is also what Dr Phil said; he wants to teach his guests to continue the healing journey by fasting 1 day per week and conduct 1-2 longer cleanses per year, whilst following a mostly raw vegan diet for optimal health that keeps illnesses away. The stay helped me get back to daily healthy routines such as intermitted fasting, preparing more raw meals, eating slowly and mindful and remind myself to breath properly. Plus, I learned more about my body. I even figured out where a recurring skin issue might be coming from. I had a lot of talks with doctors, blood tests and took my temperature every morning as recommended to check whether my Thyroid’s ok. It looks like I lack certain minerals such as iodine and magnesium for example, that I can only get if I eat seaweed, sardines or supplements every day. I also need to support my lymph and kidneys with dry brushing and certain exercises, and take care of my posture. I also started feeling a discomfort of my computer when it was on my lap, it felt like an unhealthy electric current. Something I don’t feel now, but I know I should avoid it. All the above create imbalances and blockages in the body that either result in toxicity or refrain the body from doing its natural cleansing process. Fasting allows your body to heal and clean itself, to get rid of old cells, renew and recover. I felt some pain in my kidneys, in my recently broken toe, and a tooth root as signs of repair. The LifeCo was magic. I learned so much about nutrition and other aspects that are important for our bodies and soul, such as about proper rest, breathing, meditation and really listening to ourselves. Please watch the below conversations if you want to dive deeper into the individual subjects and get to know the incredible people that work at The LifeCo.

BREAKING THE FAST

If you’re fasting more than 7 days you MUST break your fast with watermelon and chew very very slowly in order to reintroduce food to your system slowly. If you’re worried about the sugar, then opt for peeled cucumber, cut in slices instead. The first meal should still be watermelon though because of the enzymes and water content. I recommend taking digestive enzymes and probiotics too. After a 7 day fast you MUST eat watermelon or cucumer for 1 full day before eating other foods again. If you fast for 10 days, then you must do this for 1.5days.  I remember how it felt to taste the first food after the fast; Melons, then cucumber, then on the second day, salads with cress, olive oil and red peppers. The taste was incredible, and the tiniest amount of food gave me the best energy ever. It taught me the love of living foods again. Now each time I am eating a raw green salad with olives, olive oil and red peppers or cucumbers it takes me back to Thailand. After our fast we were lucky enough to taste some of the incredible meals created by food and beverage manager Toh. We wanted to follow a ketogenic diet, and had the most delicious juices without fruit, beautiful raw salads, burgers made with nut patties and dehydrated coconut buns, omelettes with cashew cream, cauliflower soup, and so on. The meals are incredibly delicious and Toh has been so kind to share some recipes with me. I will share them with you within the next few days. 

FASTING TOGETHER

My husband Alex was euphoric and energetic. He was running on the beach each morning, wanted to explore the cities of the area from day one and planned many shooting slots for our video content. Which is superbe, I really love and appreciate him for being so upbeat and proactive. Sometimes it was fun going to the markets with him, but one time I overdid it. I had promised to go and therefore joined, despite knowing that I was way too weak to trott around market stalls. It resulted in a slight blackout and I almost fainted. If you’re on a detox together, it‘s really important to listen to your body and not get overwhelmed. You need to be mindful with each other. Stress is the last you want. Take it easy. Practice patience and be considerate. The stay was very positive for us as a couple. After being together for over 10 years it doesn’t hurt to continue to learn, forgive, respect and understand each other. I still remember the beautiful ocean we swam in and how I felt. It was like heaven. The ultimate happy place.

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat, and using them for energy instead of carbs. The body is now used to daw energy from fat, including your stored fat, whilst maintaining muscle mass. Ketogenic diet is used for the treatment of epilepsy. Research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show specific very-low-carb diets help people with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Researchers are also studying the effects of these diets on acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

DO I NEED TO TAKE A HOLIDAY TO FAST?

No. If you’re worried that you’ll just be laying around non functional for 10 days, don’t be. During my stay in Thailand I was in the middle of a contract with one of my Rogues Artist Management clients that needed to continue. I also had a magazine style curation deadline. As a result,  I had to work on my computer and be on conference calls most weekdays from around 4PM until 1AM Thai time. Which was tuff! But my days until 4PM were so wonderful, filled with many beautiful healing activities, instagram takeovers for the center and a lot of shooting for our content. Of course I really wasn’t looking forward to working on the computer every day and I was often sleep deprived and didn’t get enough rest because of it, especially because I liked going to the beach in the mornings for the 7 AM Tai Chi, Yoga, walks and swimming. Either way, despite it slightly stressing me out and it being seemingly impossible, I still did what had to be done and it worked just fine. We are all incredibly resilient, just dive in and get through it. However, I don’t want to advocate the message of overstraining in this post. This post is about taking care of yourself and set your limits; to refrain from burning your candle on both ends. It was of course too much for me too, and my neck was out like crazy as a result. But luckily I just relaxed into it and had the right therapists available, such as Master Singh who’s the best Thai Yoga Massage Therapist ever. He bent me back into places during his 1-2 hour sessions. I miss him dearly, he really straightens your body completely and you feel like new born walking on clouds after a session. 🙂 Renata the Yoga teacher, who is also an absolute posture specialist, intensely stretched me too and gave me exercise suggestions for my tight shoulders and neck. I also had the energising ocean to recharge in daily, water is my happy place. Life is life and you can still get a lot of stuff done and receive the benefit of a water fast at the same time. Therefore I encourage you to read the paragraph about fasting at home during Covid- 19 times below.


FAZIT

My time in Phuket was exactly what I had wished for. It gave me so much energy, made me drop some bad habits automatically and helped me start new positive ones easily. My time there was nurturing in so many ways. Also because of the great people we met. The staff really care about the well-being of each guest, and you can feel this. I am extremely thankful that we were given the opportunity to do this fasting program at The LifeCo. It was one of the best experiences ever. I am so happy that we both already inspired some of our followers and friends to try fasting at home, and have received some very positive feedback already.

FASTING DURING COVID 19 TIMES

You can easily fast at home, even if you are busy with work. Especially now during Covid- 19. It’s perfect to embark on a water fast, because there is not much else going on that distracts you. No dinner invitations, no events, no work trips and just generally more time to take care of yourself. Water fasting will strengthen your immune system against the virus, repair and rejuvenate your body, sharpen your mind and nurture your soul. It’s the best you can do for your well-being in my opinion. But please read the health disclaimer at the end of this page.

Much in life depends on your mindset. You have to focus on the positive and accept things that cannot be changed. After all, there are many factors that lead to a situation and it’s impossible to be in control of everything. It’s not always just about you, you have to think about other people too. I find it’s crucial to achieve a good balance of caring for yourself and others. Never forget about yourself in the long run. When times are bad, worrying won’t make it better. Try to be proactive. If you can do something good for your body during this time at home, you should definitely consider doing it. It will help you see things more clearly. But please read about the impact on white blood cells during longer fasts. It’s the reasons why I am not fasting longer than 48 hours during covid times. Even though fasting for minimum of 3 days can regenerate your entire immune system, it can be that your blood is a  bit weaker  during the process and I don’t want to take that risk at the moment. Supporting my body’s cleansing systems by fasting up to 24 hours during this time seems plenty. I once read that we should be in autophagy after approximately 18 hours. This means that if you fast up to 24 hours, at least you are receiving some cleansing benefits each week. I like to compare it with a car that needs an oil change once in a while. Who doesn’t want to stay young and healthy?

WORKING OUT + HOW TO BREAK YOUR SHORT FAST

If you decide to fast for shorter periods of 19-48 hours, I recommend to work out just before you break the fast. You’ll get the most benefit from your workout that way, because your human growth hormones are most potent during the fast. I like this video by Thomas DeLauer on how best to break your fast as a woman, which food to eat especially. Due to hormones, we react differently than guys. His recommendations in the video make sense and I like to follow them as much as possible. I try to follow a ketogenic, no carb, no sugar diet mostly. I try to eat a lot of raw foods but I am not a vegetarian.

Conversations

Immerse yourself into insightful conversations revealing the various treatments and the wholistic multifaceted healing approach at The LifeCo. Starting with The LifeCo founder Ersin Pamuksüzer, followed by breath teacher, TED speaker and author Susanna Eduini, cancer specialist Dr Thoms Lodi, Monk Tenzin Josh, Dr. Phil and Goncia the health program manager at the centres. I want to thank Alex for conducting the talks in order to share the incredible knowledge and experience with us. The talks weren’t planned in advance, and we didn’t have any sound equipment available. We want to apologise about some sound and image irregularities. The purpose is predominantly sharing the valuable messages with you.

Ersin Pamuksüzer is the man behind The LifeCo. He founded the company in 2005 to provide services in well-being therapies and natural healing. Ersin is also Chairman and The Head of the Basaksehir Living-Lab Project and founder of Startershub. Learn more about the reasons behind creating The LifeCo, and the inspiring Ersin himself.

Dr Thomas Lodi has been practicing medicine for over 30 years. Prior to attending medical school, he was a psychologist director of psychological services for a 240 patient facility in Hawaii. After graduating from the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, he served as a visiting Clinical Fellow at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, where he underwent training in Internal Medicine. From 1991 to 1996 he was a Clinical Instructor of Medicine. In the past 15 years his main scope of practice is integrative Oncology (caring for people with cancer).

Tenzin Josh studied as a monk with the Dalai Lama for 12 years, until he decided he wanted to use his knowledge and years of experience to help others achieve their best life possible. He gives talks on mental well-being and leads meditation sessions. Tenzin has a wealth of experience in coaching people to train their minds in order to live fuller lives and the importance of meditation.

Dr. Phil Lun Kee Chia has been practicing integrative medicine since 2004. Both his parents are Traditional Chinese Medical Doctors. Dr. Phil has been pursuing his advocacy to educate his patients to have a better understanding of integrative medicine in interventional and preventative wellness scenarios. He was our consulting doctor and gave us many helpful tips during our stay. He’s truly a caring and wonderful person.

Susanna Eduini is a Breathwork Master, Author and TEDx Speaker. A personal destiny led her to exploring holistic healing and living. Her experience spans over 18 years and has inspired countless people to take back their health by improving lifestyle practices and learning to live a life with caring and meaning. At The LifeCo she teaches breathing sessions; some are up to 3 hours long. Susanne is the author of this Raw Vegan Cooking Book.

Gonca Yarimer is the Health Program Manager at The LifeCo, Antalya, Bodrum, and Phuket. during the informal talk with Alex Lambrechts, she talks about the center’s holistic healing styles, success stories, her own experiences and practices and much more. Gonca was there for us always during our time at The LifeCo and we want to thank her for her great ‘can-do attitude’ and energetic passionate being.

HEALTH DISCLAIMER
This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.
If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.
The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution.