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Hello and welcome to my website. I am a British-born, naturalized American, living in California. Based in Los Angeles, I work as a correspondent for BBC television, radio and digital outlets, covering everything from US politics and world affairs to technology, natural disasters and Hollywood. I also host the Live Long and Master Aging (LLAMA) podcast. My special interest is the science of human longevity - food, fasting, exercise and long-term health. All views expressed reflect my personal experiences. I advise anyone considering adopting a new diet or fitness regime to first consult with their doctor. Links on this site are to my personal portfolio of audio, video and text. Copyright of broadcast works remain with the BBC and LLAMA podcast content with Healthspan Media LLC. Thanks for the visit!

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Periodic Fast #1: Day One

Today is day 1 of my first 5-day periodic fast of 2014. The next 5-day period will be mid-March.  The rest of the time I eat normally - but sensibly.The regime is the same as I experienced last year during the USC trial.  5 days eating only laboratory-designed foods made to deliver low calorie but high nutritional content.  I am starting on a Sunday because I know it will be an easy day at home and the finish day will be Thursday. Back to normal Friday and, while it will involve easing back into regular food,  I will be able to resume a social life and dine out in the evening.  A treat.Starting weight 179.0 lbs (17.8% Body Fat) BMI 25.1 as measured on a Withings scale.  

My stats can be followed in detail here via Fitbit.

0700 -- The days started with a black coffee (the only external food/drink allowed) and 2 x 8oz glasses of water.I am going to try to stick to my usual morning routine which includes an approximately 1.5-2.0 miles dog walk/hike/run. About 0.5 mile of this is a steep climb through a canyon trail - my daily dose of intense aerobic activity.Water #3 - 8oz

1000 --Meal #1Energy bar: Ingredients: Almond Meal, Macadamia Nut Butter, Honey, Pecan, Coconut, Flaxseed Meal, Coconut Oil, Vanilla Extract, Sea SaltSupplement: DHA Omega-3 (from algal oil) 200mg

1200 Black coffee + water #4

1430 -- Meal #2Vegetable soup:  Ingredients include, rice flower, dried onion, inulin (chicory fiber), dried tomato, dried carrot, salt, dreid red pepper, dried leak, potato starch, olive oil, basil, spinach powder, parsley.Supplements: NR-1  -ingredients include a large range of vitamins and minerals.

Water #5+6

The soup comes as a powder which is mixed with a cup of water and slowly heated. I prefer this (for convenience) to those I used during the clinical trial, which were frozen.The meal easily satisfied me.  So far today I do not feel like I am fasting - in fact it feels like there is quite a lot of food to get through.  My usual non-fasting regime involves two substantial meals a day and a tiny lunch - so today feels like I'm actually snacking away, more frequently than I need to. But I am making such to eat all the food because I know the portions are small and I need the nutritional content.  There next four days may not be so easy.1700 

Meal #3 - afternoon snack. Energy bar + chamomile flower tea.


Meal #4 - dinner.

Water #7+8I was not particularly hungry but had the final meal anyway.  I left a few kale chips.  The pumpkin soup is good, tastier than the vegetable at lunch. I left me feeling satisfied although the salty aftertaste is not great.

So, day #1 was easy. I was tired for much of the day, which was spent at home, although a long work day and a late night yesterday are probably to blame for that.  Interestingly, when I am tired I usually turn to food, even though I don't need it. Today I did not feel the need to do that, although I was focussed on the special meals and mentally prepared not to eat much.

No headaches today which I remember suffering the first time I did this regime.  Plenty of water helps. I suspect tomorrow will be a little harder. 

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