This past week, I did something that I’ve never accomplished before — I fasted for an entire week. This wasn’t a typical zero food fast though, this was a wild foods only fast. Meaning, I was only eating foods that I had personally harvested with my own hands and absolutely nothing else for an entire week. This was arguably not the best time of the year for a fast like this when there are no wild berries, no mushrooms and very little edible vegetation, but thankfully I had plenty of protein saved up from harvests throughout the year, plus eggs from my hens so I had a good amount of foods to get me started.
Days 1-3 were relatively easy — dropping five pounds in 72 hours and feeling great. I was sleeping better than I have slept in a long time, falling asleep early and sleeping soundly through the whole night.
Day 4 is when things started to take a turn. First of all, I desperately needed flavor (I also wasn’t using any seasonings or herbs for this fast unless I harvested them myself). So starting on day 4, I began incorporating seaweed salt into almost every meal. The seaweed salt I used for my meals was made from seaweed that I harvested and dried this past spring from the Alsea Bay and ground up in my mortar and pestle into a salt-like consistency. This seaweed salt was a game changer, adding much needed salt and additional nutrients to my meals.
By day 5, I was pretty exhausted. Although I was still sleeping great and eating more food in a day than I typically would, I wasn’t getting the carbohydrates and sugars my body was accustomed to, so I was starting to feel really sleepy all day. In an attempt to recharge my batteries, so to speak, I took to nature! Nature’s medicine can be the most healing, so I went outside to soak up some of that beautiful sunshine we were having, as well as taking my shoes and socks off and placing my bare feet in the damp grass to ground with the earth. (If you haven’t heard about the healing effects of “grounding” or “earthing,” a great film to watch on this subject is called “The Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding.” This film can be found on YouTube.) After only 20 minutes barefoot in the sunshine, I felt remarkably better, so I was able to efficiently power through the rest of my day without a nap.
On day 6, I was feeling about the same as day 5 energy-wise, so my little ones and I walked down to the beach to put our toes in the sand and to enjoy that beautiful sunshine before the rain returned, which is always such a great way to spend a day anyway. After a whole afternoon playing at the beach in the sun, I felt great and ready to hit the ground running on day 7. Perhaps day 7 was such a breeze because I knew I had reached the end of my wild food fast, or maybe it’s because I had fueled my body all week with only things that directly came from nature. Real food, fresh ocean air, sunshine and grounding.
Our bodies are directly affected by everything we nourish and surround them with — from the food we eat, to the air we breath to the amount of natural sunlight we get. So it’s no surprise that although a bit tired at times, at the end of this fast I felt better than I have felt in a very long time. Subsequently, I shed six pounds along the way, which wasn’t my intended goal, just a fortunate side effect.
I would highly recommend this fast to anyone who feels up to it. Most importantly, make sure you’re extremely knowledgeable of the wild foods you’re consuming — never consume wild foods you’re unfamiliar with unless researched or confirmed by a professional.
Anyone interested in learning more about my fasting experience can find my food journal on Instagram — @thekitchenwild
Although this isn’t a meal that I consumed during my fast, it is a great wild meal made from vitamin packed salmon with very little ingredients, and ready in under 15 minutes if you were looking to incorporate some simple, flavor-packed wild foods into your diet.
Old Bay Salmon
(Recipe by Hungry Happy Home)
1-1.5 pound salmon filet, or substitute with 4, 6-ounce salmon filets
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 fresh lemon cut into slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using paper towels, pat salmon filet dry and lay skin side down on baking sheet. When I pat dry, I like to feel around a check for any bones that may have been missed.
Using a basting brush, brush the melted butter on the salmon, making sure to cover the whole filet evenly.
Coat the salmon evenly with 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.
Place the lemon slices in the baking sheet around the salmon filet.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Serve warm and enjoy!