A mother has credited having regular three-week water fasts with giving her a toned physique and youthful looks.
Wellness coach Nicola Arthur, 47, from Sydney, Australia, puts her radiant looks down to decades of yoga, healthy eating and even water fasting to defy ageing.
The mother-of-two, a self-proclaimed former party girl and binge-eater, overhauled her lifestyle after a painful divorce in 2013, which saw her opera singer ex husband have an alleged affair with his co-star.
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Nicola has just finished a full 21 days of consuming absolutely nothing but water, and claims that this keeps her feeling and looking young, though she does warn that it needs to be practiced with care.
It wasn’t until Nicola got married in February 2000 and fell pregnant with her first child Lucia in May 2002 that she found the motivation to change her lifestyle and started eating more raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Nicola began to have personal training sessions three times a week and during this time, she began preparing for fitness competitions to keep her on track and motivated.
She also began practicing yoga and believes it has helped her to reduce negativity and accept herself.
I was brought up NZ, in a small town called Dunedin. Spent a lot of time growing up around the country on a family farm. I was a competitive runner and horse rider back then.
I was a real go-getter; I was positive, kind and generous.
I started a hairdressing apprenticeship at the tender age of 17, that’s when the toxic life began. I was a smoker and drinker party girl. I never did drugs though, just mainly alcohol binges with my friends. I was always very social.
Then I started to change my life around. When I turned 24, I started training for fitness competitions to get fit and lean again. Around this time, I learnt to eliminate things out of my life that I knew were simply no good for me, like drinking, late nights, bread and sugar etc.
Although this took a few years as I was yo-yoing from one thing to the next.
‘Before falling pregnant with my first daughter I was binge eating. I’d starve myself all day then only want sugar foods. I’d always feel bloated and sick.
‘Once I found out I was pregnant I changed quickly to put my growing baby first. That changed everything. I didn’t want to hurt my special daughter growing inside of me. I had a very healthy pregnancy I practiced and embraced all the natural pregnancy therapies like hypo therapy, meditation and massage.
My pride and joy was becoming a mother. I published a book called How to be a Happier Mum in 2011 – just before a terrible gut-wrenching divorce in 2013. He’d had an affair with his opera partner. I used to watch them sing together on stage. It was the hardest thing ever.
‘The divorce was terrible. There were complications that took a lot longer to heal than I would have or could have predicted. However today this has become a foundation for clear thinking and transformation.
I stumbled upon yoga when I was 27 and it slowly helped pull me out of tall hose negative patterns and self-hate about my body and I learned to fully love and accept myself. I even became a yoga teacher.
‘Water fasting began in 2017. Towards the end of March 2019, I had dinner with a friend, and it was coated with chickpeas which I know are bad for my blood type, type B positive. I hadn’t been sick in years, but I had stomach pains and my stomach was terribly bloated. So, I decided to do a 21 day water only fast to heal my body.’
Nicola says that fasting is not without its dangers and should not be performed by people with certain conditions. Nicola said;
I want you to think about the last time you got sick, what happened? You most likely didn’t feel like eating. You may have been off your food, and self-healed your body. The problem is in today’s world most people rush off to the doctors, to get answers or medication without trusting the process of self-healing.
‘Neither myself or Dr Rama Prasad (who practices Ayurveda whole-body healing) wanted me to go on medications and so I decided that healing myself in a natural way was the best step forward.
‘Fasting is not for everyone and if you don’t have a healthy relationship with food, have Bulimia or Anorexia, are pregnant, or have type I or II diabetes you should not undergo fasting.
If you fast then you can expect increased energy, clarity of mind, less cravings, improved digestive system, clearer skin, clear eyes, feel joyful, have renewed cells, feel rejuvenated, defy ageing, eliminate inflammation, lose weight and starve off cancer cells.
I believe that fasting is not a fad, but it is the future.
‘Some women think I’m extreme but then others are asking why I am always smiling and how I looks so good and young after having two children.’
HOW FASTING DIETS CAN DAMAGE THE HEART
Following a ‘fashionable’ fast for just one week can damage the heart, research suggested in February 2018.
Obese people who suddenly lower their calorie intake to just 600-to-800 units a day, experience heart-fat level increases of 44 per cent, a trial found.
Despite such dieters on average losing six per cent of their total body fat after just seven days, this fat is released into their bloodstream and absorbed by their hearts, the researchers explained.
Although this excess heart fat balances out by week eight of dieting, for people with heart problems, it could leave them breathless and with an irregular beat, the Oxford University scientists added.
The researchers analysed 21 obese volunteers with an average age of 52 and a BMI of 37kg/metre squared.
The study’s participants ate a very low-calorie diet every day for eight weeks.
MRI scans were taken at the start and end of the investigation, as well as after week one.
Credits: Daily Mail