Fasting: an Ancient Health Practice

Northern Survival

I’ve talked about fasting and its benefits on this blog before because it ties into my survival novel, Northern Survival. One of the main characters, Olive Tweed, fasted to improve her health. The two posts were

In the novel, there’s a scene where Olive shares personal information with the other main character, Jonathan ‘John’ Stone, on how she got hooked on fasting. Here’s a short clip:

“I had a health scare a few years ago. Doctors said I had six months to live. They said there was nothing I could do.” A muscle twitched in her cheek. “I refused to believe them. Shortly afterwards, my brother died with complications due to Type 2 diabetes. I didn’t eat for a week, and I felt better.” She released an uneasy chuckle. “I thought I was crazy until a friend told me about the benefits of fasting. She gave me a book; it changed the way I thought about food and my body. I read other books and researched online. I watched countless YouTube videos. Some only recycled what the others said but now and again, I’d find a nugget I could use to help improve my health. Six months passed. Ten months. The doctor’s office called, and I ignored them. The diet and drugs they wanted to put me on would have killed me quicker.” She shrugged. “I haven’t been to a doctor since. That was four years ago.”

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Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is my 55th Christmas Eve. While I don’t remember all them, several stand out, including the Christmas Eve I flew home from Montreal.

A week before Christmas in the late 1980s, my brother and I went to Montreal, Quebec, to watch an NHL hockey game. My favourite team, the Philadelphia Flyers, was playing his favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens.

The days leading up to the game were spent touring the city, going on my first subway ride and shopping for gifts. I don’t remember who won the game, but meeting the players afterwards was extremely fun. These were the days of Ilkka Sinisalo, Peter Zezel, Ron Hextal and Dave Poulin. Oh yeah, and Patrick Roy and few other Canadiens, but that was the other team. Haha.

The days after the game were also spent visiting stores we’d never been in before, including one that was several stories tall. I think one shop was on the seventh floor. Here in Nova Scotia, the best we have is Mic Mac Mall, which is only three storeys.

Running out of money and not having bought anything for Mom, I came across a pink and white pull-on shirt in that 7th-floor store. It was the right price and size, so I bought it. [Just to note, Mom wore the shirt for decades. It became quite faded from all the washing, but I swear she got 20 years out of that shirt that cost me about ten dollars.]

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The Tidal Bore Rafting Challenge

Each summer, I challenge myself. One of those challenges is to do something I’ve never done before. This summer, that something was tidal bore rafting. If you’ve never done this, all I have to say is, “Do it!”

I’ve thought about it and talked about it for many years, but I never took the plunge and jumped into the boat. It looked wild, wet and thrilling, something I knew I’d love. The benefit of living in Nova Scotia is we have the highest tides in the world on our doorstep.

The Basics

The Bay of Fundy is the waterway between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. What makes the tides even greater for tidal bore rafting is the water squeezed into Minas Basin and Cobequid Bay at high tide. The rafting experience begins at Maitland and continues for several miles along the Shubenacadie River.

The company we went with was Fundy Tidal Bore Adventures. Kyle was our captain. As instructed, we arrived an hour before departure, checked in, secured our valuables with staff, got fitted with a life jacket and listened to a briefing of how the day would unfold.

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