Q & A on Intermittent Fasting vs Whole Food Plant Based


Hello! Hi, I’m Ajoy Prabhu and I am Dr. Jenny Prabhu and today we’ll be talking to you about intermittent fasting and a whole food plant-based diet lifestyle. 

Like we said we’ll be talking to you about intermittent fasting and whole food plant-based diet and by way of introduction like I said I’m Dr. Jenny Prabhu I am a double MD in both internal medicine and pediatrics I treat everyone from newborns to end of life I treat unfortunately or fortunately many patients with chronic diseases between a joy and myself have tried to find ways to help people reverse these diseases and we’ll talk about in the presentation today how we’ve managed to do that without medication which is super important to both of us and which I believe our patients really appreciate and I’m Ajoy Prabhu like she said my background really is in the research end of things while Dr. Jenny would be looking at it from a clinical standpoint I will be looking at it from a research and slash pathophysiological standpoint which means how these diseases came out to be and what can be done to naturally reverse these diseases that really is my expertise.

We like to start with our favorite quotes related to each subject enjoy tell us about your favorite show my favorite code is on the screen I I found this on one of the documentaries that I saw you know somebody said eat plants not something made in one by that I mean like actual plants rather than something processed and I think it was in the folks overnight documentary that I saw what about you what’s your favorite quote mine is delay don’t deny and I’ll this relates to intermittent fasting and we’ll talk a little bit more about what that actually means that I say this to myself all the time and also when I introduce the subject to my patients I use this quote a lot.

One thing I want to mention is that there will be these two sign symbols the little circular symbol for time and it’s an aztec symbol for time and in my previous slide here there’s an Aztec symbol for corn which we’ll be using for whole food plant based diets as we compare and contrast and talk about them we’ll put these symbols in you know what we’re talking about let us talk about what is whole food plant-based and intermittent fasting let’s let’s talk about what they are food plant-based.

Yeah! Let’s start with that as far as food food plant-based it really is not about processed foods no oil no refined flour no none of the other vegan things like coca-cola you know Oreo cookies any cookies any processed things that come out of a bag fine french fries for example substitute these with fruits vegetables beans now what I have not shown here are lentils beans rice even wheat nuts okay and what about intermittent fasting what is what is intermittent fasting intermittent fasting just as the name suggests kind of is explained in the two names- Intermittent means not all the time. 

You’re not fasting the entire day you’re fasting for only a certain explicit time period during the day and then when you’re not fasting you’re feasting you’re basically eating whatever you want although it helps to be whole food plant-based during that time and we’ll discuss that later basically you fast and then you feast on these diets yes if you look them if you google them they’re considered dyes but we consider them a lifestyle change it’s something that you and your doctor you and your family have decided together you want to make a change you want to improve your life you adopt these lifestyles we don’t call them diets because they’re not just for six months they’re for the rest of your life

For example for whole food plant-based one of this is one of my favorite cartoons these are this is on the on the left-hand side imagine Dr. Jenny and this is me we had a researcher and a and a doctor trying to clean up the mess coming out of a faucet and instead of turning the faucet off and stopping the tap from flowing the water all on the floor we just keep mopping the floor and that’s exactly what doctors and researchers are doing these days we just basically try to clean up the floor instead of actually stopping the source and that’s where we whole food plant-based comes in we really are going back to the source of of why these diseases occur for example you know that’s the other thing is it’s not natural for us to eat meat. 

I mean we imagine a cat eating grass not you know they might eat it for medicinal purposes but otherwise you don’t eat you don’t see cats eating gobs of grass because that’s not it’s not their normal diet right what about intermittent fasting intermittent fasting it’s not what you’re eating per se although again we would like you to do both a healthy diet when you’re eating but it’s more when you’re eating and the effect it has on your body when you’re not eating the healing properties when you’re not eating which I’ll get a little more into later joey who can benefit from these diets let’s talk about that because I think that’s what people are really interested in okay as far as benefits are concerned.

I want to actually go back and turn the tables around instead of saying who can benefit let’s look at the people unfortunately who have been victims of this one of the one of my favorite stories and I’m going to go through a few stories here one of my favorite stories is about a doctor called Dr Burkitt who in the 1940s was in a in a hospital in Africa and one of his colleagues called him saying look look look we have the first case of heart disease here in this hospital and therefore this was the 1940s and it turned out to be a fairly overweight African gentleman who studied law in England came back and you know with picked up picked up all these bad habits of eating western food came back to his country and had heart disease all the other people in his country were not getting heart disease at all.

In fact if you go to places like Costa Rica or places like Okinawa or places like the Mediterranean Sicily and stuff like that they don’t get heart disease because they are not eating the typical western diet that’s very important the the other part is I want to give you a story about a natural phenomena that happened in you know in 1940 this is the this is how the death rate was in Norway you know from the 1927 you can see that the death rate was slowly increasing which basically means that as it goes up that means it’s a bad thing that means more people are dying and as soon as about 1939 hits guess what happened Nazi Germany the Germans came in into Norway and they took away all their cattle their their livestock their beef their I mean their their cows their their sheep all these were taken away and when they were taken away that death rate went down in the ‘41 ‘42 ‘43 ‘44 death rate was down, down, down, because they didn’t have any meat to eat they didn’t have any dairy to eat. 

All they could eat was survive was on potatoes tubers and anything any any other plants that were there and actually this this dip actually indicates that people in Norway were getting healthier day year by year by year they were getting healthier but unfortunately for them in 1945 Nazism was disappeared and they got back their livestock and look what happened as soon as they got back their cattle their their meat and their dairy their numbers bent back up it’s an actual experiment that happened in real life and unintentionally unintentional experiment which shows that meat and dairy is bad for you but what about your your case with the intermittent fasting I think the first thing most people think about who can benefit from intermittent fasting is those that are obese and overweight this chart just shows you know two different patients actually this is me and then this is one of our patients but she had more weight to lose than me and you can see how quickly her weight loss increased over time in fact this is only over a month in my case curve’s a little flatter took me a little longer but that is you can see in both cases there is weight to be lost even if you don’t have a lot of weight to lose if almost right away you’ll see the effects whether even if you don’t see it on the scale you’ll see your clothes fitting better smaller sizes etc number one is weight loss number two is patients with diabetes probably have benefited the most this is a chart looking at the hemoglobin a1c which is the average blood sugar over three months and that’s a measure of how well diabetes is controlled you can see this is over a longer time period but this is actually a huge drop from 12 all the way down to six. 

Which is where we love our diabetic patients to be without medication this is just doing intermittent fasting it’s a huge drop very impressive in medical world now let’s talk about what diseases can we treat using these lifestyle changes and we have an exhaustive list in fact we could probably do three more pages but the first thing we want to say is that these really overlap these two and which is why we feel that it’s a great partnership between us and between these two lifestyles that we like to talk about we’ll take away the barrier here and we’re not going to sit and read all of these but if you just kind of browse it we talked about diabetes you might notice coven 19 is on here they’re actual you know not standard not structured studies but patients that routinely fast have just overall done better with covenant 19 less mortality less morbidity not less death and less sickness from cloven 19. chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s inflammatory arthritis lots of inflammation related diseases are treated by these two lifestyles.

I like to think of intermittent fasting as a chance for the body to rest and heal which is why we have a picture of someone meditating sitting in a yoga pose that’s a time when you you take you know the time out to yourself to rest and heal doing things that you’ve practiced at home yoga and meditation when you’re not eating your body has time to rest and heal instead of concentrating on digesting all those foods that food that you’ve been eating for the last 10 hours your body is like oh let me look at the inflammation in those joints let me look at the artery being clogged up with plaque let me look at the mind that has many hormones floating around and it doesn’t know to do let me sit and heal and reset let me reset back to the way it’s supposed to be because now I have time I don’t have to sit and digest for several hours at a time constantly also we’ve put a picture of a little dude repairing dna because again it’s about repair time to repair time to fix time to get back to what the body’s supposed to be doing similar to the human body is supposed to be eating a whole food plant-based diet the human body is supposed to have the time to repair that’s what it’s meant to be what about patient stories I think you are better at the patient stories than I am why don’t you talk about both sides. 

Sure all right we’ll start with the whole food plant-based side this is one of one of our patients we you know she came to us and said I’m tired of taking all these medications what can I do I’m ready I want to make a big change like we do with all of our patients we introduced the concept of a whole food plant-based lifestyle and a lot of times we’ll say take it gradually you know meatless Monday dairy-less Thursday you know whatever just gradually build up to it but she was like nope I’m gonna do it all at once she went from meat and potatoes to totally whole food plant-based no no meat no dairy no eggs I saw her back in three months in the office she had dropped 10 kilograms and mind you she actually wasn’t that overweight to begin with but now she’s at the perfect weight four dress sizes was able to decrease her thyroid medication take her down from three blood pressure medicines just to one and hopefully at some point we’ll be able to stop that one completely and able to stop her her high-dose insulin also completely she is still on some oral diabetes medications but again that our goal is to get her off of that too and I think that will happen because she’s been dedicated and then on the right side of the slide is another patient and this particular location he’s this is purely intermittent fasting we haven’t talked to him yet about whole food plant-based because he was some that we thought needed need to do just one thing at a time because again we like to get to know our patients personally and we like to tailor their treatment to what we think would work best for them in his case we did if or we recommended IF and he actually dropped believe it or not, 50 kilograms in six months that’s it he again had a lot of weight to lose but he had a huge response he was on several medications for anxiety depression and even bipolar disorder we were able to stop all of those he was feeling great he got a new job and he actually just told us that he got engaged all a a positive lifestyle choice lifestyle changes how our own stories. 

I think we should tell the audience our own story a little bit we’ve done it ourselves here we will just put it all together because we did do both I mean we did whole food plant-based and then we started doing intermittent fasting primarily you with the fasting but I also joined in some you know at times here is a picture of the both of us before pictures hopefully you you want to talk about your change and and I’ll talk about mine afterwards this is what we look like earlier on with a huge I mean I was a skinny fat guy with you know I mean you can see my shoulders are like nothing and my my waistline is like out of the wazoo but this is what we look like today and this was shot just a couple weeks a couple weeks ago in Puerto Rico and you want to talk about what sure that picture before was me in high school unfortunately grew up not eating terribly unhealthy just eating whatever. 

I want all the time and that and also a typical American diet of meat potatoes lots of cheese lots of eggs and on I became vegetarian about 20 years ago but we both after many years of many sorry many hours of research decided to try whole food plant-based it’s been about two years now right two and a half years and then added in intermittent fasting about one year ago I’ve been doing it now with those two combined I dropped five kilograms now I’m at a healthy weight for my height I have a family history of liver disease and my liver enzymes which is the liver blood tests were a little off but after six months of fasting and whole food plant phase totally normal in fact they’re even below normal in a great range I had a test to look for liver fibrosis which is something you don’t want to have you want the liver to be elastic mine showed great elasticity in fact my doctor was surprised he’d never seen such a positive result on this test that was a good thing I have something called PCOS which is a hormonal condition and my you know without any medication have gone away which is you know I’m 38 years old and i’ve never felt this good to be honest speaking of feeling good I’m a runner and my running I actually run fasted I can no longer if i’ve eaten I can’t run I I need to run faster sometimes 20-22 hours as long as I have my water I’m able to go run out you know 5-10 kilometers at a time just all positive things with you know which is not. 

I like another quote that I like to say it’s simple but not easy and in my case there was a story of you know my cholesterol was going up despite the fact that we were exercising a lot but I was having a lot of protein animal protein in this protein shakes and stuff like that and my cholesterol you know crept up from 220 to 240 and Dr. Jenny said you know you need to somehow bring this down otherwise you’ll be on medication we decided to you know I decided to take the same medicate medicine that we were prescribing to others which is make a lifestyle change I changed my lifestyle and started you know stopped meat stopped dairy and my cholesterol within nine months dropped by 100 points which is very very difficult you know despite using medicines my body fat despite eating not using medicines you were not using not you I was not you yes I was not using medicines at all even now I’m not taking any medication and people are always concerned about oh you know we’ll put on weight and you know. 

I’ll put down fat and stuff like that because of the fact that I’m eating a lot more healthy carbs whole grains and and on my body fat itself down to 15 now my joint pains disappeared healing is a lot faster there is one one thing that I always tell people about you know I used to have a eczema kind of a rash on my ankle and one fine day I was asking her actually saying which ankle was it on because I don’t I don’t even see it and it seems same kind like her my running is better my my lifting when I’m lifting weights or you know doing pull-up system is a lot better my endurance seems to be a lot better thanks to the whole food plant-based primarily thanks to that but also you know thanks to fasting also let’s talk about some of the common myths in whole food plant-based versus intermittent fasting you know both of them have some myths in you know for WFPB people are like oh, he’s supposed to eat meat and I already told you the story about how our human body has evolved I mean I can go on and on for hours but I won’t right now and bore you.

There are tons of evidence showing that humans are supposed to be eating plants and and grains and fruits and nuts and berries and vegetables rather than meat and milk actually is milk makes you born strong it says that’s that’s the ad that we’ve seen at least in the united states where they say milk makes your body bone strong actually it’s a reverse milk has much acid that actually takes the calcium and out of the bones not the other way around for more for stronger bones eat green vegetables green leafy vegetables vegetables have no protein is a complete fallacy vegetable has tons of protein and we you know we just survive one vegetable protein we don’t touch any of the meat proteins I’m just jumping in to say has anyone asked a gorilla if you’re getting enough protein and you know vegetables don’t make you weak and anemic in fact you know green leafy vegetables have tons of iron and it helps the body a lot you want to talk about the intermittent fasting part like some of the myths sure and one more thing I want to say about whole food plant-based both of our children seven years and almost three years are whole food plant-based in fact our littlest one has never had cow’s milk before he had breast milk and now he has soy milk and he you know they get their routine blood tests done at their doctor’s office and measurements and he is actually between the two the the taller and he’s never been anemic you know kids can do this too

I’m a pediatrician like I said I wholeheartedly recommend a whole food plant-based diet to kids as well it’s they do not need milk they do not need ghee they just need good plant-based nutrition which you know you can always ask us to help guide you for pediatrics ask your own pediatrician but I just want to throw that out there it’s not just for adults it’s for everybody sorry I digress myths surrounding IF you are absolutely not starving yourself when you fast the body has plenty of reserves in fact like we both mentioned before the body craves this time to heal it is not fasting it’s using you know stored nutrients that it has always around for you know to be able to heal and it’s creating more of these healing nutrients while it’s fasting you know the starvation mode theory meaning if you if you don’t eat enough your body’s metabolism drops and you actually gain weight that’s again counterintuitive to what iaf actually does not to bore you with details but when you fast insulin which is a hormone that makes your body process sugar the longer your you fast and more often you fast that insulin that baseline insulin level in your body goes down over time that that’s basically as insulin level goes down your metabolism goes up when you do intermittent fasting you’re doing the opposite of starvation mode you’re actually teaching your body to process things faster and to burn fat fasting will not drop drop blood sugar in most cases now if you are on insulin if you’re diabetic and you’re on insulin that is something you really have to monitor closely with your doctor or with us if you’re you know.

If you’re one of our patients other than that though you do not need to worry about low blood sugar usually if you’re feeling nauseous or off while you’re fasting it’s more that your sodium level is down or you’re dehydrated one of the most important things is to hydrate hydrate hydrate with water and sometimes adding a little bit of salt into the water just eating a little bit of salt will make you feel much better and I can tell you this from personal experience and finally I think I mentioned this already about burning your muscles your your muscles actually will become more defined because there’s less fat in your body you know there’s plenty of examples of athletes that our whole food plan base throw that in there and do intermittent fasting and look amazing to prove it there are some studies that i’d like to bring to to your attention now instead of talking about lots I mean there are several studies where they’ve taken tons and tons of people and studied them but you know sometimes stories stick a little better that’s why I’m going to concentrate on a few stories here. 

One story is about a bunch of Buddhist vegetarian monks in Thailand that they studied over a period of time and they noticed that their rate of incidence of diabetes was 34 lower than the rest of the population what does that tell you I mean all they ate were whole food plant-based stuff and of course they meditated also maybe there’s some fasting also involved but primarily just whole food plant-based has dropped their incidence of diabetes by 34 and in medicine 34 is a huge number another this is a landmark study that was done by Dr. Esselstyn where for the first time he actually showed in an angiography of a person who started on eating plant you know having his entire diet was all plant and and fruits and nuts and he showed that his arterial plaque which is you know which is basically a clogging of your arteries becoming less and less and less and there is an actual angiogram I didn’t want to show you the angiogram but I wanted to show you a diagram of a diagrammatic representation of the angiogram that shows that how the plaque actually started decreasing which was never seen before. 

This is an actual study and you know subsequently there’s been many such studies you know then he took 25 patients and more more and more and then other universities have come up with the same study except in larger groups you know this is like a landmark study that I wanted to bring to attention another one this is one of my favorite cases is there was a lady in there is a lady in Turkey she’s a military nurse and she said that every time she would eat meat her joints would hurt and she would go to the hospital or care center and they would say no no you know this is not the case she started to show that there is pain she would eat meat the day before and then she would go to the clinic and then they would measure the joint swelling and her blood pressure and stuff like that and then it looks like you’re in pain she had to actually go the other way around say look I’m telling you that if I eat plants this gets better and this actually this this story actually turned into something a lot larger landmark study and they discovered something called leaky gut in people with arthritis that’s another case that I want to talk about that’s as far as whole food plant-based in intermittent fasting very similar studies have taken place where they’ve taken bunches of people and just through fasting and fasting alone they’ve been like a 20-25 drop in insulin resistance in diabetic patients their A1c has gone round to like normal levels just by fasting only fasting. 

Now these are not the ones that have been on insulin but I mean injected incident but these are the ones that were on therapeutics like you know an oral therapeutic another case that I want to talk about is fasting coupled with chemotherapy this here here’s a case of the these are the blue cells are cancer cells I didn’t want to bore you with some technical diagrams but I kind of simplified this diagram a little bit just for people to understand here are cancer cells and when you do chemotherapy you still have some cancer cells left and this is a one particular case that that was published and when the when you know the the same type of patient there were sets of patients there’s never these studies are done with this one patient sets of patients some patients fasted some patients did not fast the ones that did not fast they still had some remnants of cancer cells that they would find but in the ones that fasted and got chemotherapy the cancer cells completely disappeared you know it goes on to show that fasting is is very very beneficial in cases of you know cancer remission also what is let’s talk about what is attractive about social plant place and intermittent fasting. 

I’ll go first one of them one of the main ones is the environmental reason another amazing thing is that a lot of people say oh my god my the amount of food that I eat will be limited there is no limit to how much we I mean like a lot of times we take four big bowls of grain and and you know when I’m eating breakfast and i’ve dumped a ton of fruit in it and on I can eat a lot of it and but I don’t feel bloated I just feel I don’t feel heavy I I can then run but you know I never feel like oh my God, I want to sit and sit and go and go relax for a little bit no never it never happens and of course weight loss that’s that’s an amazing combination you can eat as much as you want and yet you can wait out lose weight in your case I guess it’s slightly different right I think I mentioned earlier with intermittent fasting usually within the first month or you’ll have an initial drop in weight which of course is a great motivator to continue that lifestyle a lot of patients will have you know if they have a baseline issue with their mood a lot of times that will also improve within the first couple days to be honest but also it continues to improve over time similar to whole food plant-based with if during that time when you’re actually eating during your eating window you don’t need to sit and say okay I only have to have you know 75 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fat and you know 1500 calories you you eat what you want during that time period and initially most people overeat during that time period because they’re hungry but over time your body adapts your hunger hunger signals change your they kind of heal the horn their hormones too they heal just like the rest of the hormones and you realize you you don’t want to eat as much during that time period and a lot of times you end up craving healthier foods.

I found that I you know, I use I still love carbs but now, I crave healthier carbs I crave potatoes I crave grains like I talked about good fruits I want more of that rather than the fried stuff which is still vegan but not healthy and iaf is completely free you don’t have to subscribe to a diet plan you don’t have to buy fancy apps you don’t have to do anything you just have to say okay during from noon till 4 pm that’s when I’m eating you just have to you need to watch basically how how should somebody start with the hopeful plant-based or iaf let’s let’s talk about some of that I recommend that first and foremost ditch dairy if you cannot ditch dairy completely start with a free day or you know day free of dairy in other words that day don’t have milk curds yogurt whatever you want to call it cheese ghee eggs skip all that stuff one day a week and then subsequently you can add add more to it then you know try berry and wheat substitute for dairy there’s fantastic oatmeal oat milk available almond milk available coconut milk available same thing with like you can get the same all these and you know curd form or milk form and and on for meats there are lots of meat substitutes you can even I mean I think Dr. Jenny even makes some of the meat substitutes that subsequently will probably be publicizing through our channels later. 

How to make some of these meat substitutes for people who are really wanting to have the meat texture and really a lot of times especially within indian cooking meat is a carrier of the flavors rather than the actual taste of the meat might as well just use some other meat substitutes that’s healthy that has fiber in it that has you know protein in it might as well use something like that stay tuned for recipes and then for meat we can try you know something like meatless monday and just give up meat for a day for a day of the week and then subsequently try skipping both and see only and eat only when you go out and you know taste something and then just kind of increase the time between having meat and and ultimately skipping it completely a lot easier for you how to get started with iaf like anything in medicine it’s really important to set a start date same thing with whole food plant based you prepare yourself prepare your family and friends educate yourself educate them no one’s surprised on the changes that you’re making otherwise people may be shocked you may be shocked you just want to be ready. Say okay december 31st is my last day of eating 24 hours a day I’m going to start eating you know initially only during a short fast which is the second point don’t go whole hog and start with a 22 hour fast when I first started almost a year ago I started only with a 14-hour fast which sounds like a lot but when you consider eight to ten of those hours you’re sleeping it’s really not that long and gradually over time work your way up. 

Now I fast 20 to 22 hours a day most days and but it took me almost a year to get to that point you’re not going to jump you know from here from zero to 60 in a couple weeks just keep that in mind same with gradually with whole food plan phase I also or we also recommend when you first start trying to do it during a weekday when you’re working when you’re busy with things at home you’re not thinking about when you want to eat you’re thinking about the things you have to get done and finally water water water I think we keep for both things it’s important but especially for keep yourself full and hydrated you feel well any final tips I’ll leave you in the cable hands up Dr. Jenny in terms of we talked about food plant-based and we talked about invented fasting there is life beyond that there are lots and lots of things that you need to do to keep yourself your mind body healthy you know maybe you can go over some of the tips that that you know the final final parting tips for our audience. 

I mean a whole food plant-based and if is only the beginning you know there’s many other things you can do to round out your lifestyle change to heal your body and your mind yoga is a great example even during the pandemic you can look up on youtube you can read books and you can practice it at home with your friends and family same with mindfulness and meditation there’s apps tutorials exercise is very important for especially for for your heart health but also for your mental health if you don’t have a hobby now we have extra time at home why not consider starting a hobby in fact when we first interview our patients when you know one of the questions we ask is a hobby because that we would consider that a mentally healthy fully healthy patient if they have lots of hobbies spirituality you know whether you’re hindu christian jewish muslim jai and whatever your spirituality even if you don’t have a specific religion it’s just a sense of something greater than yourself and to you know every once in a while become one with that and channel that energy and then finally charity giving to others monetarily giving to others of your time all of these things together really help you just heal in general with that we come to the end of our talk. 

I hope this has been useful as our new name for our company and this is our little emblem here which will kind of tie in with our name more to come soon. If you have any questions, or if you want to talk to us more, you can contact us on the website. There’s a whatsapp link and a facebook link you can do it that way through social media. 

We’re excited to share our research and our experience with you and we hope that our talk has given you some incentive and made you excited to consider these lifestyles.  Thank you so much again, thank you for having us appreciate the time that you’ve given.

Bye! Thank you! 

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My condition was progressively deteriorating over the past 2 years. I’d been good at taking my medicine and exercising so knew I should have felt better. My arthritis and scleroderma were really affecting my quality of life. Increasing pain and fatigue were wearing me down.

Dr. Jenny and Ajoy came well-recommended so I got in touch. I completed a short questionnaire before my consultation. Covid meant it was all done over VC. They put me at ease, and it was like we were in the same room. They asked all the right medical and lifestyle questions without judgement. They devised a plan which was holistic, realistic and easy to follow. Their gentle and knowledgeable coaching kept me on track.

The resulting decrease in swelling and pain has given me a new lease of life in a few weeks. I feel so much better and look so much happier. I felt they were genuinely interested in my well-being. Happy to highly recommend them.