Functional vs. Therapeutic Fasting

Is This Medically Supervised?

Functional vs. Therapeutic Fasting

Fasting is rising to a level of acceptance and popularity here in the United States that has never been seen before. For some of us that have been in this game, practicing fasting and teaching this practice for a long time is nothing less than amazing to see.

As fasting becomes more popular and embraced by more people it is important to make some specific distinctions in the fasting lexicon and terms.

Simply put, therapeutic fasting is a targeted approach done for a specific outcome, usually to heal a significant health problem or many.

Therapeutic fasts are usually quite strict allowing only water to be consumed and restricting physical activity and sometimes movement altogether. Therapeutic fasts also traditionally have a health professional close by coordinating or supervising the fast.

Functional Fasting as I like to call it is a practice of incorporating various fasting models into your normal living. The Functional Fasting model is usually more flexible in the structure and what can be used or consumed during the fast.

Some examples of Functional fasting are:

Eating windows, or when you would limit your eating for the day to a set number of hours, windows are usually 4-8 hours.

Intermittent fasting where you would essentially skip either breakfast or dinner to extend the time without food overnight while you’re sleeping.

Alternate Day Eating (A, D, E,) where you eat normally one day and not the next. or eat one day normally and limit the next day’s food to one regular meal and a half size meal as written about in The Every Other Day Diet by Dr. Varaday.

Extended fasting where the fast is 2 or more days consecutively and can go 2 to 30 days or longer.

Then are types of caloric restrictive models of “fasting” such as:

Pseudo Fasting, which is similar to A.E.E. and restricts the amount of food eaten to 500-800 calories per day, just daily and no skipping. Also known as a “Very Low-Calorie Diet.” (V.L.C.D.) Often promoted by Dr. Jason Fung in his model and books.

Similarly, there is the “Fasting Mimicking Diet” from the research by Dr. Walter Longo where he used a VLCD that is designed with low insulin producing foods and promoted in his book.

One might argue that Keto Diets (H.F.D. High Fat Diets) and the Carnivore Diet are types of fasting-mimicking due to the state of nutritional ketosis they promote in the body which mimics the metabolic profile of fasting.

Functional fasting can include different versions of the fasts above allowing drinks and at times food items during the fast and do not restrict activity or require rest while doing them.

I personally use and teach a Functional Fasting model in what I call a "Fasting Rotation." The Insulin Friendly Lifestyle and Rotational Fasting runs on a calendar where we plan our 6-month program out week by week with no consecutive weeks repeating using all or any combination of these fasting methods above.

I have done this for a long time with thousands of people in large groups in the population health space and in my 1 on 1 program and small groups.

That experience continued and through study and collaboration with other doctors and practitioners using fasting protocols, and consulting directly with each of the authors mentioned above, I gathered a significant amount of data. I have files upon files on the practice of fasting, the benefits, population statistics on who likes and completes different fasts, who doesn’t, why, which fasts work more efficiently than others, and most importantly, which fasting methods work the best used together when combined with other healthy lifestyle modifications.

What I found was certain combinations of fasting, support, and lifestyle mods would actually magnify the results.

This is what makes my approach quite different than the others, and why they are much more comfortable for new people to practice. They are not only more comfortable but more effective in the short term and a more sustainable Lifestyle option in the long term.

Whether you choose to work with me, or use somebody else’s model, always keep an open mind and work with an experienced professional to guide you.

Fire away any questions or experiences you have in the comments or send me a direct message for info on the Insulin Friendly Lifestyle and Rotational Fasting metabolic health program.

We can do better!
Dr. Don

Why Do So Many People In My Family Have Weight And Blood Sugar Issues

If Insulin Resistance Is Not Genetic, Then Why Do So Many People In My Family Have Weight And Blood Sugar Issues

What is the number one reason our life expectancy is going down further and further with each generation?

Insulin issues.

Call it Insulin resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-diabetes, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's (type 3 Diabetes), Obesity, Heart Disease, or any combination of these and more.....they all have Insulin as the driver.

For example:

If diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes at 40 years old a man will lose 12 years from his lifespan or 15.7%, and a woman will lose 14 or 17.2% of their life.

If diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes before 10 years old girls will loose 18 years of life and boys 14 years, and if diagnosed at 26-30 people lose 10 years.

Obesity lowers life expectancy up to 14 years.

And the list goes on.....and on.

AND the numbers are going up as we see type 2 diabetes hit kids younger and more aggressively......EVEN under "OPTIMAL medical treatment."

Whoa???? Even while being treated medically, as in oral medications through insulin and keeping blood sugar in optimal are still getting worse?


Considering that both type 1 and 2 as well as childhood progression of diabetes STILL reduces one's lifespan AND reduces quality of life along the way.....the question becomes, is it the blood sugar issue or the treatment doing this?

I think it is the attempt to reduce blood sugar vs. remove the insulin dysfunction that causes it.

How much more evidence do we need to change our narrative about this and our approach to solving it?

How do you avoid this for you or your kids?

Live as if you have it now!

Create an insulin friendly lifestyle and diet.

We can do better, but we have to start now!

Feel free to search back here on my wall for more specifics on how to do this and keep following for more to come!

Be well my friends,
Dr. Don

How Do I Know If I Have Insulin Resistance

How Do I Know If I Have Insulin Resistance

What are the two most important blood tests to predict your health and health future?


Blood sugar?


Omega ratio?

I, at the current moment, believe they are fasting insulin.....should be no surprise there and vitamin D.

A healthy insulin level is below 5....3 are even better.

A healthy vitamin D level is above 60....the higher the better.

As it turns out, insulin and vitamin D are extremely tightly related with an inverse relationship.

This means as one goes up, the other goes down.

So, if your insulin level is high and vitamin D high, or vice versa, then something is already started to move in the wrong direction.

If you have a high insulin a low vitamin D level then your body is not well.

It doesn't matter how you look or feel, your system is insulin resistant and the chronic disease ball is rolling.

Many practitioners here in the pacific northwest where there is little sunlight all year round see clients taking tons of vitamin D and yet it still tests low.

The same is true in CA, FL, TX, AZ, and other very sunny states where people get tons of sun exposure and yet still have low vitamin D test levels.


They have an insulin issue.....and therefore their vitamin D WILL NOT go can't....insulin is holding it down.....and there is a reason for that, but that is another post.

What's the solution?

Take vitamin D?

Sure, I do. But more importantly, live an insulin-friendly lifestyle and if that ball is rolling for you or your family, TAKE ACTION NOW!

This process can be reversed, but it takes more than most people understand and usually needs a long-term plan. We start at 6 months as an example.

Test, don't guess my friends!

We can do better!
Dr. Don

Is A Low Salt Diet Causing Or Contributing To Insulin Resistance

How a low salt diet could be causing or contributing to insulin resistance, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, Alzheimer's, and hypertension and heart disease.

It appears by shifting our diets to a low fat, low salt model could be exactly what is driving our chronic health and weight issues today.

By promoting a low fat diet several decades ago it caused a dramatic shift in what we ate. As we cut back on the fat we significantly upped the sugar and grains. After all, we had to eat something, right?

Then we added the low sodium recommendation encouraging Americans to drastically reduce salt intake.

So, what do you think happens to the taste of our food when you take the fat and salt out of it? It tastes BAD! Bland. Boring and unappetizing.

That makes it hard to sell food, especially processed and restaurant food.

After all, salt and fat is what butter and bacon are all about right?
So what was the solution?...... SUGAR! Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at supper time. Sugar was the answer to producing palatable foods and hence forth came the long list of added sugars, from plain old sugar to high fructose corn syrup and the list of over 40 other sugars by different names.

This is a huge triple whammy:

1. Increased sugars drive high levels of insulin leading to insulin resistance AND at the same time caused sodium excretion and depletion in the body.

2. Decreased dietary intake of salt combined with the insulin promotion of sodium excretion caused a state of sodium deficiency functionally in the body raising heart rate, increasing vascular resistance (both trump any rise in blood pressure) and promote increased insulin resistance.

3. Stress: Sugar has been shown to increase stress hormones (cortisol) by 300%. Increased cortisol raises insulin levels.....which in turn lowers sodium levels which increases adrenal hormone output and kidney stress.

And around and around we go!

Low salt plus high insulin (sugar/grains) means:

Insulin issues: insulin resistance, prediabetes, diabetes.

Hypertension, heart disease.

Kidney stress.

Adrenal stress/fatigue, energy issues.

Weight issues.

Increased risk of Alzheimer's / Cognitive decline.

What do we need to do?
Here's a start:

1. Bring the healthy, natural fat back into our diet....yes, even saturated fat.

2. Cut the insulin producing foods, mainly sugar and grains.

3. Up the natural sea salt intake in our diet significantly.

What else? Dedicated sleep improvement plan, stress resilience work, metabolic focused exercise, detoxify our house and body, make a commitment and get a plan, then follow the plan!

I hope this made can make my head spin at times. If you have any questions, shoot them over and I will do the best I can. If you want more details and depth, I suggest reading The Salt Fix. By Dr. James DiNicolantonio.

We can do better my friends!
Dr. Don

Food is not fuel

Food provides our bodies with so much more than energy it is ridiculous to over simplify food's role in our existence as simply fuel.

The calorie dogma needs to be re-thought and the language and understanding of it all seriously upgraded.

The laws of thermodynamics DO NOT APPLY to the human body's energy consumption and output the same way. They only apply to linear, closed systems by definition. The living human body is an open, dynamic does not translate.

Calories intake has NEVER reliably predicted exact weight loss or gain when put to the test. With SO MANY calories in and calories out exceptions, how can this "LAW" doesn't.

Food provides all the raw materials to build and run this amazingly complex, learning, adapting, and elaborate system of ours.

Some of the elements of food can be used to make units for energy production (ATP). The food we eat does NOT get burned literally as energy.

A lot of what we eat is used for building structures in our body, as in amino acids to make proteins for enzymes, genetic material, cellular mechanisms, muscle, and fatty acids to make lipids (fats) to build cell membranes, organs and storage, and glucose to make glycoproteins, cellular micro-receptors, and storage. Not about making energy.

As important as the structure material found in food are the chemical components like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and much more. Not about making energy.

Food provides and feeds the bacteria in our body. There are more bacteria in us than human cells. Not for making energy.

Food also supplies water. Not about making energy.

Most importantly food provides information. Every bit you eat tells your body about the world around you....the season, temperature, quality of the air, land, water, health of the environment and your ability to survive in it. Not about making energy.

This food derived information sets up a tremendous cascade of bodily functions and changes all the way down to how your genes express and what info gets passed on in new DNA with new cells and future generations. Not about making energy.

In fact, if you eliminate genetic learning your cells die or mutate instantly.

Lack of water kills you in a matter of days independent of energy.

Severe nutrient depletion without renewal will drive disease and shut down your system and cause a quick death independent of energy.

Not having the materials for repair will destroy your system, independent of energy.

Not having "food for fuel" will actually initiate great health benefits in the short term (days to weeks) and would take months to cause harm or death in the average person today.

Quality of food, amounts, meal frequency, and the resulting physiological impact take on a whole new meaning and importance when you STOP LOOKING AT FOOD AS JUST FUEL.

Here's to health 2.0 thinking my friends!

We can do better.
Dr. Don