I just lost about 20 lbs (9 Kg) in only 2 months in Costa Rica. This was not intended, but just happened naturally. I was already on the slender side at 165 lbs when I left Tokyo three months ago, and after three months in Costa Rica I am now 147 pounds. I was probably as low as 145 before leaving Costa Rica.
I still have all my energy and strength. No aches or pains or any negative effects that I am aware of. I sleep well, only needing about six hours a night, and I have energy all day. To my knowledge I have no foul odors, no digestive issues, no illness or ailments whatsoever. And I am already adding back some muscle by increasing my workouts the past week. How can this be possible? Why did I lose about 15% of my body mass so quickly? Here are some clues…
Nutritional Density: The amount of nutrition (vitamins, minerals, etc.) contained in any food item is not usually visible to the naked eye (except with eggs), so if you look at two carrots they might look the same, but one carrot might have ten times the nutrition of the other. The same for bananas, avocados, mangos, etc. Eating local foods that are grown in the local rich soils of the mountains in Costa Rica is certainly providing me with nutritionally dense foods. (Even in Costa Rica I am careful to choose good sources for my food). It is not only the soil, the air, the water, the season, and the climate, but also the freshness that effects the nutrition of food. There is a good chance that my avocado has ten times the nutrition of the one you are eating in NY or Tokyo. Thus my body can get all that nutrition without processing the extra overhead of empty calories (and whatever agrochemicals might also be in those foods).
Synergy: My primary food source is kefir, made from raw milk and usually blended with local bananas, mangos, and/or avocados as a base. That combination provides me with a predigested cocktail of vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, peptides, and more that all work together. Some vitamins need protein to make them bioavailable, or to make them more efficient to absorb. The raw milk kefir provides those proteins. Some vitamins (D, E, A, K) require fat to be absorbed by our body, and again the raw milk kefir provides that fat (never use low-fat milk!). Some vitamins and minerals require other vitamins and minerals to be used effectively (Calcium is lost or misplaced without enough magnesium, Vitamin D, and Boron to accompany it; the many B vitamins are interdependent on each other in complex ways; and so on and so on). The kefir ‘shakes’ (very delicious by the way) are giving me a huge array of these nutritional elements that work together like a symphony orchestra. To understand more, see last week’s post on The Magic of Kefir. Keep in mind that it is also the magic of the high quality raw milk and other food items.
Digestive Support: Kefir is known for its powerful probiotics, and those are amazing for improving digestion and a host of other things. But what many people do not realize is that kefir also provides a very powerful set of enzymes that predigest the contents, and will aid in digestion of other foods. A quality kefir will have already digested 99% of the lactose in most cases, and it will have predigested significant amounts of the milk proteins too, providing your body with hundreds of unique peptides and amino acids. And it will continue to aid you in the digestion of remaining proteins, as well as helping to digest the fats.
What’s more, five of the most powerful enzymatic raw foods happen to be the most common local fruits in Costa Rica – bananas, avocados, papayas, pineapples, and mangos. There is always at least one or two of those fruits in my kefir shakes.
All of this enzymatic activity reduces the burden on your pancreas and other digestive functions in your body. As a result you get more effective digestion with less effort, and thus absorb more nutrition from your food. (I could be optimizing this even further with better use of bitters, but my limited diet has made that unnecessary so far).
Detox Effects. I was previously living in central Tokyo, and spent the last 3 months in the mountains of Costa Rica. I cannot state this for a fact; however, it seems obvious to me that the clean air & water, and clean food have reduced my body’s toxic load. Fat is used to store certain toxins, so reduce the toxins and your body will not need as much fat to store them. Clearly I have reduced my body’s toxic load. I would like to tell you that I lost the twenty pounds because I was doing more exercise and sweating it off, but that is not true. I actually did less exercise these past few months, and so I did lose some muscle mass; although not much. I did not do any specific detox protocols either. Not even that much sun bathing. My body is simply shedding unnecessary water, fat, and toxic elements, and eliminating inflammation. My body was able to do this because I suddenly had a lot less toxins coming in from dirty air, dirty water, and processed foods.
I have now been in NY for about one week, and I have been eating lots of pizza, bagels, pasta, ice cream, cake, chocolate, and other terrible (but delicious) food. Not good for me, but I still feel fine, and I am still consuming kefir and bone broth every day (which certainly helps). I am also exercising more since I arrived, and my body is handling the stress of crazy food and strenuous exercise with no problem. Still feeling great; although I do notice some inflammation. My weight is about 150 lbs as I write this, and I expect to gain more muscle before I leave. I will of course curb the pizza and bagels and get back to healthier eating 😉
However, it is definitely true that the more kefir you drink, the more pasta you can enjoy. We do not need to be perfect. We just need to give the body all the nutrition it needs, and then it can protect itself from many environment toxins, diseases, etc… as long as we do not overload it.
My cousin Chris and I actually talk about this idea, as he is ramping up pasta production for LSpecial while I ramp up kefir production for Vitagenics. And so we have a joint slogan – “Drink more kefir so that you can enjoy more pasta.”
This is not a recommended diet for losing 20 lbs, but rather an explanation of why I lost 20 lbs in 2 months. I do not believe in putting any pressure to lose X amount of weight in X amount of time. Give your body what it needs – food, exercise, time, etc., and the weight will eventually come off.