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267: The Spiritual Benefits of Fasting

267: The Spiritual Benefits of Fasting

with Shane Idleman

My guest today is someone who I became fast friends with, just moments after meeting. This special person is Shane Idleman, and he’s the lead pastor of the Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. Today, he’s here to discuss fasting – but not only the physical benefits, but the spiritual benefits too. Join us today for this engaging, lively, and motivating conversation dedicated to fasting.

Additional Information:

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Transcript:

Dr. Pompa:
One of my favorite topics of all time on this episode of Cell TV, fasting, but it’s different. I promise you. I interview a pastor, Pastor Shane Idleman. Wait ‘til you hear the message. I’m telling you, fasting, you’ve heard the physical benefits, but spiritual, emotional, that’s how Fasting for a Purpose started. I don’t know if you actually know that story, but 20,000 people on my Facebook, we fasted, obviously, many times and growing. It was actually started for a spiritual reason. I tell that story.

I’m telling you, wait ‘til you hear the message. If you weren’t excited about fasting after this episode, you’re going to be even more excited, and I believe, if you’re on the fence of, hey, I want to fast but, this is going to change your views, no doubt. By the way, all religions have one thing in common. It’s not prayer. Fasting, I believe we’re called to it. The pastor makes the point and many more you’re going to want to hear on this episode of Cell TV. I’ll see you then.

Ashley:
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Cellular Healing TV. Today we welcome Pastor Shane Idleman, and he and Dr. Pompa are here to discuss the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California, and he is an inspiration to his community on the topics of fasting, breaking plateaus, spirituality, and mindset. You can read more about Shane in our show notes. You can also find him at shaneidleman.com, and I’m going to turn this over to you two. I know you have a lot to talk about, so welcome, Dr. Pompa and Shane.

Shane:
It’s great to be here. I’m ready for the questions.

Dr. Pompa:
Hey, Shane, yeah, no, my viewers know, right? This is one of my favorite topics of all time. On my Facebook, we have over 20,000 people who we’ve led through several fasts. On my Facebook, I can’t help myself. Of course, I talk about the physical benefits of fasting, but I also on my Facebook talk about the spiritual benefits, the emotional benefits, the benefits from a different perspective that I never discussed here on Cell TV. This is a first. I don’t know who it was. It was one of my Facebook fasting group people that sent me an article that you wrote. I read it, and I said I’ve got to interview this guy on Cell TV so welcome. That’s why you’re here.

Shane:
It’s great to be here, and I stumbled on fasting like you did. It’s been about eight years now for spiritual reasons, and I was reading it throughout the Bible. I thought you know what? I better try this. It’s all over the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the spiritual benefits are enormous, which we’ll talk to, obviously, in a bit. I stumbled into it. I was 40 pounds heavier back then, so my preaching has changed. You don’t have that mid-morning nap. I changed my whole diet around, and just feel ten times better.

That’s I guess one good point is anytime you make spiritual benefits God has designed us in such a way that there will be physical benefits as well. Fasting not only spiritually, physically benefits us as well. You talk about autophagy a lot and cell regeneration and things like that. It even affects it at the spiritual level as well.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. I always say, look, you look at all the different religions in the world, and they disagree on everything, I mean, even prayer, except fasting. Probably people watching this don’t realize this. God, in the Old Testament, He really gave the Israelites, His people, very clear instructions on what they need to do to keep their health, regain their health. I mean, people don’t realize that unless you’re a student of the Old Testament. Fasting, I mean, it is the oldest therapy known to man. I mean, again, God gave us so many reasons to fast, and it was just part of lifestyle then. I mean, they fasted to make decisions. They fasted for many reasons.

I believe from a scientific standpoint—I just interviewed a scientist on this. Our DNA is set up to fast. The problem is, today, who fasts? I mean, we were forced to fast. It was cultural to fast. Ancient ancestors were forced to fast, but who fasts today? Scientifically, it’s missing, man. I mean, talk a little bit about what you learned here.

Shane:
When I started to dive into fasting, first, I obviously studied a lot in the Bible. You’re right; people used it for direction. They used it to seek God. It might be good to really sum it up really quick. From a spiritual perspective, what you’re doing and why all religions agree on this is because you are actually starving the flesh, the thing that wants to eat too much and drink too much, this nature inside of us that is hell-bent on not doing what is right, and so what you do is you actually starve the flesh. I know to some people it might not make sense, but you take away a lot of that strength that it has. For example, gluttony and alcoholism is often related. When you give over to one area of life, it takes you down another area because your flesh is in control. Everyone from, like you said, Muslims and Hindu and different religions, they will fast because they realize the strength of bringing the flesh, the carnal man, whatever we want to call that—and as a pastor, some of these terms might not make a lot of sense. Let’s just say the—I heard Billy Graham talk about analogy once where there was an evil dog and a good dog within us constantly battling, and whatever dog wins is the one you feed the most.

Fasting is a form of starving that flesh, and as a result, we are filled more with God’s spirit as believers, as a Christian. Obviously, I’m a pastor, so I started to see the spiritual benefits in the Bible and then also in my own personal life when I began the journey. Then I started to tie in the physical benefits like you mentioned, epigenetics with the doctor you just interviewed, and autophagy and cell regeneration and just the health benefits are enormous. We have food establishments on every corner. We’re not eating good as a nation. That’s our healthcare problem right there. It’s not more money. The healthcare problem in our nation is obesity and what we’re consuming. The benefits of fasting spiritually to sum that up would be—on a spiritual side is to starve that flesh that competes with what God wants to do in our own heart.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I mean, from a spiritual perspective and I talked about this on one of my Facebook Lives is we become weaker physically, right? I mean, we’re eating—like you said, starving the flesh. However, we become stronger spiritually. I can speak for myself. Those are the times in my life that we hear from God very, very differently because we become—He becomes stronger. One of the things that I brought in my message was, look, when you feel that physical weakness, just know this, it’s absolutely opposite. You’re actually becoming stronger, so reframe yourself on how you look. Literally, I mean, I get breakthroughs, even from just being able to solve problems when I’m fasting. I get thoughts. I get connected to God in a way that, again, it’s the distractions of life. I don’t what it is, but it no doubt happens when I fast.

I don’t know if people realize watching this. I just explained this to you that I was trained early on, in the early 90s, on fasting for a physical standpoint. That was a little over a year ago now that my wife and I decided to pray for our son or fast for our son. She just decided I’m going to do a Facebook Live. I decided, and she started a group called Fasting for a Purpose. Out of that was birthed this 20,000 people group that we fast with. Folks watching , if you haven’t gone to that, it’s dr.danielpompa. That’s my fan page. All the videos are actually still there, but Fasting for a Purpose, join the group.

Anyway, so that was birthed out of us doing this for our son and, by the way, breakthrough. Steve, from a biblical—I just called you Steve. I just interviewed a Steve. Shane, from a biblical standpoint, why do we get breakthrough emotionally, mentally, clarity, and even breakthrough for when we’re—like we were fasting for our son? What is it?

Shane:
It’s interesting. There’s no scripture that outlines exactly what happens when we’re fasting in the New Testament, but we do see Jesus even as a model. I mean, think about this. We don’t hear from Him for 30 years. He’s baptized in the river with John the Baptist. Then He goes into the wilderness for what, a 40-day fast? Then He comes out of that. The Bible says He was filled with the Spirit of God. Then He began His ministry.

Fasting for Him was a preparation. It starves the flesh, and it draws you closer to God. Anytime you starve what is taking you away from God, which is the pull of the flesh and the lust of the flesh—the Bible says the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life. All these things compete against our relationship with God. Fasting actually starves all three of those areas, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life. It’s humility. You know the verse. Many people like to quote II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways.”

Fasting is incorporated in all four of those areas. It’s humbling. It’s praying. It’s seeking God. The quick answer is you’re actually starving the part of the body that is at war with God. It’s at enmity with God. If a person is a glutton and they’re drunk, they just had a six-pack; they’re not going to be real close to God because of that—feeding that carnal nature if there’s a good way to put that. Also, all the coffee, the sugar, the caffeine, I mean, it’s a drug you know that’s very—it’s a central nervous stimulant. It has a lot of adverse reaction.

What this does, it’s basically you stop feeding the thing that is pulling you away from God, and you say, Lord, I’m drawing close to you. I’m going to deny my flesh. Really, what is the value of something when it costs us something? To give up broccoli isn’t costing us much. That’s pretty easy to do, but when we say, Lord, I’m going to go without food for a day, or a couple meals, or a couple days—the longest I ever went is nine days on just water. You start to grow spiritually. The Bible comes alive. The prayer life is dynamic. Worship penetrates your heart, and you just feel so much closer to God. I think you’re starving to some degree that element that pulls you away from God, if that makes sense.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, specifically, what are the—God tells us, hey, fast. When? Give us some of those whens. If people watching us going, yeah, I need a breakthrough in my life, one of these times that the Bible urges us to fast.

Shane:
In Matthew, it’s interesting. Jesus said when you give, when you pray, and when you fast. It’s not really an option. I would encourage most people just step out in faith. Should I pray about praying, or do I just pray? Do I pray about giving or just give? It should be part of the Christian faith.

However, to answer your question, Ezra prayed for faith and fasted. He fasted for direction in the Old Testament. Esther prayed that the king’s heart would change in the Old Testament. Elijah prayed and sought God for direction on his life. Moses prayed. I mean, you see all these people praying. Usually, it’s for a breakthrough, like you said.

Dr. Pompa:
Fasting, fasting and praying, yeah.

Shane:
Yeah, fasting and praying, something—I need a breakthrough in this, financially, relationally. One of the Scriptures that some Bible translators are put in dispute but I think the principle is there is when Jesus said this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting, and He was talking about a demoniac, a boy being delivered from a demon. He told His disciples this kind, what you’re dealing with here is not going to come out except by prayer and fasting. What you’re doing is you’re holding onto Heaven. You’re pulling down Heaven. The famous Daniel fast, when he was praying, when he was fasting, the Bible actually records that God said, Daniel, I heard your prayer the very first day, but there is a demonic restraint holding me back. After 21 days of seeking God and praying, the breakthrough finally came.

I believe it’s part of warfare. It’s part of spiritual warfare, of contending and persevering. I would encourage people to do it just to draw closer to God, and also, if you’re needing a breakthrough, if there’s a demonic oppression, if you’re needing like you did with something to happen with your children, health issues, to me, it just brings in—I don’t like to say prayer on steroids, but that’s kind of what fasting does. It lifts us up to a much higher level. I mean, think about it. Is it easy for you to pray after eating a big Thanksgiving dinner?

Dr. Pompa:
No.

Shane:
No way. I mean, it’s like, oh, I don’t want to pray. I just want to lay on the couch. Fasting helps prayer in that way. There’s something starving physically but hungry spiritually, so you’re moving the hunger from one to the other.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I believe there’s something on brokenness. I think through one of my fasts God gave me that. It was like I was reading—it was a part. It was a few parts. Things were broken, and Jesus broke bread. When you look at brokenness, gosh, it was the—where they broke the jars. I’m drawing a blank right now, but anyways, brokenness is fasting, right? It represents brokenness before God, and when that brokenness happens, God now—it stimulates God moving in our life and healing.

Again, I think it was in Jehoshaphat. There was three big armies from the north. They were coming down. Every situation that was impossible in the Bible, sure death was coming upon Israel, what did they do? They called upon a fast, at least when they did it right. Jehoshaphat called the Israelite people. They fasted, and God showed up and gave mercy. Those stories touch my heart, right?

It’s like when the Israelites were going back from Babylon and crossing over. They had all this gold and silver, basically, that the Babylonians took, right, Nebuchadnezzar? They were like we don’t have protection. We’re doomed. They fasted. In the impossible, you fast, and I encourage everyone watching, same thing, right?

Shane:
Yeah, you know what? You had a great point at the beginning of this just a few minutes ago that God says I will not turn away a broken and contrite spirit, a broken and contrite heart. I look to that person. My eyes go to and fro to look to that—look for that person. What better way to be broken and humble before God than saying I’m not going to eat, God, until you answer, until I meet you, until I find you, until—because it costs something. It’s hard to go a few days without anything. I mean, you’re fighting that desire, that hunger. It’s really transferring a hunger for food to a hunger for God. You were right. A broken and contrite spirit, it’s humbling, Jehoshaphat.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I hear a voice. I don’t know if—I don’t where that—is it Ashley? Ashley, you might want to mute yourself. Anyways, it was actually Gideon that I was thinking about. Not Gideon, that sound I just heard. Gideon, it was interesting. Again, there was a situation there that it was desperate. They were outnumbered 300 against hundreds of thousands. How possibly could they win? God had them break the jars.

Again, it represents just brokenness. Here we are, weak. There’s no way we could win this battle. Again, to modernize it, whether it be cancer, whether it be your children, whatever it is, brokenness, it represented us coming to God. That was that word that God gave me about fasting is it represents…

Shane:
I think that’s good, and that’s what people should take away from this. Where do we get our olive oil from? The olive is crushed. Where do we get perfume from?

Dr. Pompa:
Broken.

Shane:
The flower is crushed. Now you know why I love A. W. Tozer. He said God will not use a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply, meaning broken before God. Like you said at the beginning, in our weakness, understanding I can’t do this without you, God. I need you, and through that weakness, you’re strengthened. For me, fasting should be an everyday part of our lives. Don’t get discouraged if you blow it. You get back on track.

So many people I think just aren’t prepared for the withdrawals. That’s what I’m seeing. I’m going to stop alcohol and cigarettes and processed food and sodium nitrates and caffeine. It’s like an addict going through withdrawals, and they get frustrated and defeated. You just taught recently or wrote the book on how to prepare to fast. That was so important. How do you prepare your heart? You break. You heart has to break.

Dr. Pompa:
Exactly, I mean, I believe, again, we’re meant to fast for emotional, spiritual, and physical reasons. Because of the lifestyle that we live today, it’s important to prepare for a fast. I’m sure you’ve seen it in your congregation as I have. People fast and their life falls apart. It becomes very impossible because they’re so stuck with today’s living from every aspect, constant stimulation, food, sugar, all of it. There’s preparation needed today to fast.

I believe fasting will change your life. It has yours, pastor. It has mine. When people say what is the most profound thing that you’ve ever done for your health, it’s fasting. My wife was diagnosed with a pre-cervical cancer, fasting. She fasted for 11 days. To the doctors’ surprise, they didn’t need her services. She didn’t need her services. When he said you’ll be back, wasn’t. I watched my 12-year-old son fast for 11 days, and it just transformed his addictions as far as food.

Of course, I mean, hundreds and hundreds of testimonies from very sick people, but I’ve watched people breakthrough from addiction. I’ve watched emotional things. I’ve watched people fast for their children. This last fast that we just did, we were fasting—a woman, her daughter was told that her baby should be aborted because it was maimed. Our fasting group started praying. The last report last week back was, well, it actually looks like things are good, maybe just missing one kidney. That baby was going to be aborted.

One of the things I had our group praying for and I know you upset everyone always but these late term abortions. We fasted, and we prayed for that. I believe that these decisions are beyond political. I believe there’s good people on both sides of the aisle that are really very against this, and I believe it could be the downfall for our country. Fast and pray for that, folks.

Shane:
Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. You mentioned the disease aspect. You would know this more than I do, obviously, but they’re finding that cancer is more metabolic than genetic, metabolic meaning metabolism, and our food converts energy and the toxic effects of what we’re consuming and glyphosate in all the Roundup and different things. Fasting, I mean, it should become a disciplined part of a person’s life. You know what helps? It helps you discipline your whole life. Paul said I bring my body under subjection. I discipline my body. Paul said through much travail and much fasting.

If you look at the early church fathers, Irenaeus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, fasting was—it was just part of life. I know you’ve heard of probably John Wesley, Methodist. He wouldn’t ordain a person unless they fasted Wednesday and Friday. I mean, that’s a little hardcore. What he’s saying is, if a man can’t discipline his body, he’s not fit to lead others, and there’s a lot of truth in that. It is a discipline that I think helps. For me, it flows into all over, into all different disciplines. People are struggling with lust. If they fast, it kills it. Now, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come back again, but there’s a discipline of what’s taking place in the body.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I mean, feast-famine and we’re stuck in feast mode. Our bodies are designed to fast for—again, our minds, we’re craving it as a nation right now I believe. As a people, as a human, we’re just—we’re stuck with abundance, really, and there is consequences to that. I believe by adding fasting into your world, I mean, your life will change. I’m telling you, it will. I mean, there is no doubt about it. How long ago was your first fast?

Shane:
You know what? It’s funny. I look at the videos, and I’m 40 pounds heavier back then. I think it was 2011. I just got up in the morning, just going throughout the day, and I could feel my blood sugar. I thought I was hypoglycemic, borderline hypoglycemic, but come to find out, I was really addicted to sugar. So many people are misdiagnosed. I mean, the body’s designed to fast. Your body will regulate its own blood sugar levels. It will release hormones at the correct level at the correct time.

I actually barely got through my first day. I had a little bit of orange juice. I had ups and downs, tremendous downs, and then I started to get into a little bit more and encourage people. The first couple days can be really difficult because your body’s going through some serious cleansing, so you want to make sure that maybe it’s a vacation day. You’re not working. You’re not around people if possible. That’s when I really started was 2011. I started to teach on it on our website, westsidechristianfellowship.org. We’ve got about 12 sermons on fasting, the spiritual benefits of fasting from a biblical perspective.

Dr. Pompa:
You put it all in one book, too. What is the name of the book and where do they get it?

Shane:
Yeah, it’s called Feasting & Fasting: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why. Actually, it’s a free eBook at westsidechristianfellowship.org. They can just click the eBooks, and it’s right there. It’s one of the free eBooks. Many years ago, I was a district manager for 24 Hour Fitness. I don’t know if you have that in your area. We merged and became a big corporation. You didn’t talk about fasting in the fitness industry, bodybuilding. It was, man, no way.

Dr. Pompa:
It ruins your metabolism, I mean, the whole thing. Everything’s the opposite. It ruins your metabolism. It fixes your metabolism.

Shane:
Exactly, and you know fasting—I mean, easting consumes—it takes what, 50% of our energy? It’s very taxing on the body and trying to assimilate and then get rid of the junk we’re eating. I think it’s a great discipline that we should incorporate. If people are wondering how, I would suggest starting with a meal or two if you haven’t done it before and then building up. You can chime in even more so. I think that the benefits—you’re going to have to probably plan on a three-day water fast to really start to get benefits, but the longer you go, the more benefits they’re seeing.

Dr. Pompa:
Exactly, more autophagy.

Shane:
I will tell people, well, here’s what you need to do because it also—what you’re trying to accomplish will also determine how long you’re fasting. In your wife’s case, you could’ve went weeks, or she could’ve went weeks to get rid of that cancer. When autophagy takes place and the body begins to consume the cancer cell, the cancerous tumor, that’s not a quick process sometimes.

Dr. Pompa:
No, exactly, and longer fasts, you can dial into that autophagy at a much greater—yeah, in my new book coming out, Beyond Fasting, we take people. We get them fat adapted, so it’s a seven-week program. We talk about how to move into a ketotic state, and then we start skipping meals. Actually, first thing we do is take snacks away. Believe it or not, the average American is eating between 17 and 21 times. Now, I know people think they’re not because they’re not sitting down to a meal, but they’re heating a handful of nuts, the kombucha, the boom-ba-boom. It’s all of that. Every time you raise glucose and insulin, it’s a meal.

Shane:
I heard you say that a month ago, and I was like I don’t know—I watched, and you’re right. You grab some cashews. A little bit later a KeVita drink. A little bit later grab this. I was up to 12 times after lunch. It’s amazing. I’m sorry, yeah, I cut…

Dr. Pompa:
People think of that as sitting down to a meal. I’m like, no, it’s not really how it works, anyways, and then the next week start. We miss a meal. Then we start intermittent fasting, that fat adapted. Then I imply my diet variation principle where we’ll go one day with one meal. Then we add a feast day in there because the feasts are actually as important as the fast days because it reminds the body it’s not starving. Then we enter into the fast, and then the last week is how to break the fast.

Yeah, so it really is—to your point, there’s a way to prepare to get fat adapted, so when you get in—here’s the whole thing is you can benefit—once you become very metabolically flexible and fat adapted, what takes people four days to start benefiting from a fast, you can actually start benefiting one day in a fast.

Shane:
Yeah, you’ve got the body ready. I should throw this out there too just in case. If a person feels that God is leading them to a fast, I would say do it. Even go cold turkey and deal with it. I’ve known people who said, “Shane, it wasn’t that bad at all.” I’m like, “You stopped Crispy Crème and coffee and fast food?” She goes, “Yeah, I’m sleeping great.” I’m like, “That’s a miracle.”

Dr. Pompa:
I believe that too, man. If God puts it on your heart, just do it. We prepare people to maximize the physical benefits. I think you’re talking about, when God puts it on your heart, you just fast.

Shane:
Yeah, He’ll be able to see you through.

Dr. Pompa:
[00:27:21]
said fast for yourself.

Shane:
You might want to clarify too what you mean by fat adaptation. Adaptation is when the body’s adapting to burning calories in a certain way.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, so using fat, your cells can use two things for energy: sugar or fat.

Shane:
Ketosis.

Dr. Pompa:
When you become adapted, now you’re able to use fat as an energy. Most Americans are stuck hormonally as sugar burners, meaning they can’t go back and forth. What happens when they’re not eating? They either crave sugar or carbohydrates, or it’ll break their muscle down into sugar, right? I mean, it has to get sugar. It’s either craving, and if you’re strong enough to do without the craving, it’ll break your muscle down. Becoming fat adapted is to get the cells to actually use fat for energy when you’re not eating.

Shane:
What’s the easiest way you’d recommend people do that? Basically, by cutting out mainly the complex carbs, a lot of the sugar?

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I teach on ketosis. I’m not a believer in staying in ketosis.

Shane:
I’m right there with you. Overall, it’s not a good spot for the body to stay.

Dr. Pompa:
Our bodies are meant to be in and out of that state. It’s survival.

Shane:
I just met somebody this week, or not this week, last month. His cholesterol was at 400. He’s eating butter and turkey and bacon. He said I’m never touching beans. I’m never touching fruit, but they forget about the antioxidant properties in the fruit. The beans, look at the bacteria, the probiotic benefits and the…

Dr. Pompa:
Absolutely, yeah, it feeds your good bacteria. See, when we look at our ancestors, they were forced in times of eating beans and legumes and all kinds of vegetables and fruits. Then there’s times when they ate lard for three, four months, I mean, because that’s all that they could do, or there was times of famine. Our bodies need those different times. Yeah, so to get fat adapted, you could drop someone’s carbohydrates under 50, and it’ll force them eventually into a ketosis.

Shane:
Ketosis state, yeah.

Dr. Pompa:
Again, so fat adapting and then starting that fasting principle, you will get more out of you fast. I mean, there’s no doubt. You’re basically putting yourself in the way our ancestors were, very metabolically flexible, meaning you can go back and forth from sugar burner to fat burner. That’s a very healthy place to be. For me, if I’m not in ketosis and I’m eating just even a plant-based diet, if I go without food for—maybe I don’t eat ‘til 3 p.m. in the afternoon. My ketones will be .9, 1.0. I’ll go into ketosis that quickly.

Shane:
That’s really good.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, that’s being metabolically flexible. It’s because I fast a lot, so you train your body.

Shane:
Are you trying? Your carb storages are low in your liver and your muscle then. You’ve depleted your carbohydrate storage, and you’re going into fat as your fuel much quicker.

Dr. Pompa:
Absolutely, and you can train your body to do that. Basically, it’s what our ancestors—they were able to do.

Shane:
Have a grocery store on every corner where they could pick grapes and bananas and beans and potatoes. It was selective based on seasons, really, what was growing. If you go back to the—people ask this a lot too. If you go back to creation, I believe God created us to be primarily plant based. The life-giving elements, the enzymes, the phytochemicals in the plants are to give life to us. Now, I’m not against meat, but you don’t see meat introduced until after the fall and after the flood. Sixteen hundred years after creation or so, if you take the Bible literally on the dates, which I do, then God said, okay, now it’s permissible to eat meat, but is that because vegetation was sparse and now it’s…

Dr. Pompa:
Then you’ve got people arguing. I mean, our genetics changed. No doubt, we became omnivores, to your point, actually. Then add from that plant-based diet in times of what our ancestors did, times of ketosis where you’re eating higher fat, higher meat, and there’s massive benefit there. If you stay in those times, there’s no doubt it could be detrimental. Again, my argument and I make the argument in the book is we have our camps. We have our vegans. We have our Paleo. We have our ketosis people. We have our vegetarians.

Shane:
Then the raw crowd, no cooking anything.

Dr. Pompa:
The raw crowd, there’s [fruititorians]. I don’t know what the heck you call them. I forget.

Shane:
You just eat all fruit.

Dr. Pompa:
The point is though is the beauty. When you look at ancient culture is the magic is not one of those diets.

Shane:
No, it’s all of them.

Dr. Pompa:
The magic is the variation. Speaking of the scientist I interviewed, he talked about why our DNA is set up for that variation and why these shifts actually make more sense. When you look at studies on just something as simple as weight loss, you can compare every diet, plant, just vegetarian, vegans, Paleo. Nothing works better than a diet that actually varies.

Shane:
You know why too, though? You’ve talked about his before is your hormonal balance, your growth hormone levels, your testosterone, cortisol, even feeling better, dopamine. What you’re doing is the body doesn’t become used to a certain diet and then it adapts. It has a reaction. It adapts to what you’re doing, and you can stay stuck in this area. Our bodies were meant to change and our hormone—more growth hormone is released during fasting. You have more of—cortisol is released here, testosterone. Then it’s declining. You see this wonderful balancing act, and it goes back to how we were created. We were not created to go and open a refrigerator and eat whatever we want as much as we want. We’re definitely paying the price now.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, there’s no doubt. I think the best example is just exercise. If you go in the gym and you do the same exercise all the time, in the beginning you got results, but then it just—the results stopped. Oh, and then you go to a new gym or someone comes along and shows you the new thing and you’re like, oh, my gosh, all these results again. It wasn’t the new thing. It was the change.

Shane:
People, when they shape their body muscle, it doesn’t really grow while you’re working out. It grows as you’re sleeping, after it’s been torn and worked out. If your body gets used to the same press machine day in and day out, it becomes—it adapts to it. If you begin to change that angle, you add more stabilization, training where the body doesn’t know how to adapt, you’ll see remarkable results because the body as a whole. Now your core is engaged. Your abdominal muscles are going to get stronger. Your legs are engaged. Your chest is engaged so mixing things up.

Isn’t that how we were designed? You’re out in the field. You’re farming. You’re working. You’re moving. To me, it’s commonsense. Look at how the Creator created us.

I go back and forth sometimes now that I’ve released some videos on this. Look at the human body. How can you believe it just happened on its own? I mean, that takes more faith to me. Look at a birth of a child. The placenta knew how to connect to this, and the sperm and the egg met and then the creation and then the heart and liver start to form. I mean, it’s just mindboggling. It just screams Creator.

Dr. Pompa:
It’s amazing. God put in our bodies that ability, that innate intelligence to survive. By the way, everything that you were talking about is driven by survival, the growth hormone rise, when you change exercise. It has to adapt, so it raises up hormones. Hormone optimization, it’s one of the benefits of fasting. When you shift your diet, you literally have to adapt to that food change. It uses the same adaptation principle it does with exercise. You get stronger. Your microbiome gets stronger. Anyways, yeah, that’s the…

Shane:
Wait, no, a hormone that not many people are talking about—I think I probably heard a few of your videos but glucagon, which opposes insulin being released. People have insulin being released all the time. Type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing. We don’t know what to do. It’s diet related. As you’re fasting, glucagon, this hormone increases substantially. What does glucagon do? It’s very supportive in fat loss and weight management, not storing fat. Insulin is the fat store because it pushes into the cells, and it causes the body to store this fuel where glucagon during fasting teaches the body to remove these items and burn these, this stored energy, instead of storing it so just incredible how we were designed.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, it’s opposite of insulin. It’s stored fat. Glucagon, let’s release fat. Yeah, we got to burn it up. Yeah, it is. It’s amazing design, right? It only points to God in my mind. How do you ignore that? You can’t. As a pastor, I’m sure—have you done any fasts with your congregation, like group fasts? I mean, obviously, your congregation must be educated in this topic more than most.

Shane:
Yeah, we tried it. The hard part with corporate fast, we’ve grown quite a bit as a church, so it’s hard to have everyone involved because you  have working moms, working men.

Dr. Pompa:
You invite them.

Shane:
Yeah, we’re expecting our fifth child, and that will change some things for my wife fasting, obviously. You don’t want to—I don’t really recommend that. Pregnant moms and breastfeeding, you obviously need that fuel. Yeah, corporately, funny you said that. We started a 40-day fast, and people can do water throughout the time. They can do a Daniel Fast. I don’t really call it a Daniel Fast because you’re not fasting. It’s really a Daniel eating program, but you are starving that fleshly element of wanting meat and dairy and sugar, so yeah, we have seen—we could talk for the next hour on the benefits we have seen for people, which marriages being restored, the prodigal sons and daughters coming back to God, health issues, everything from inflammation to diabetes to heart disease. You see tremendous results, and that’s why it’s so hard. I believe that those things in the spiritually speaking that are the most important, praying and spending time with God and fasting and seeking Him, that’s why they’re so difficult because they’re so important.

Yeah, we’ve seen some amazing results. We actually have people that have just fasted from caffeine, coffee. It’s debatable on this topic, for sure. If you’re going to have caffeine, I would suggest maybe some green tea. When you’re having a pot a day and all these energy drinks and people with tremendous results just coming off of caffeine, they’re calm. They don’t fight and argue with their spouse as much. They don’t get upset in traffic. Fasting, I would encourage people to take it to God and say what area do I need to work on? What do I need to remove from my life?

Begin removing those things and plan. I tell people plan for Hell but pray for Heaven when it comes to withdrawals. Lots of times people give up because they don’t—they’re not prepared.  Oh, I’ve got a headache. I feel lightheaded. I better eat. Not necessarily. You might need to lay down and let this fast work its way through, but we do encourage medical support and consulting with—throw that disclaimer out there. Many people know they just need to breakthrough. They need to get through that difficulty, especially if they’re coming off of medications.

Have you seen the opiate crisis now? So many people are addicted to Vicodin and Xanax and oxy and trying to get off of those things. You don’t want to just come off Xanax, for example.

Dr. Pompa:
No, there is a warning there. If you’re on it, you’ve got to talk to your doctor about it because certain diabetic medications, psychotropic medications, all the medications you were referencing, pain medications, you need to speak to your doctor because it’s a game changer.

Shane:
It’s a weaning off process because you’re re-stabilizing the brain chemicals, and there’s a process of walking the body back through and back down to a healthy state.

Dr. Pompa:
Give some viewers like, okay, I’m going to—this time, hey, I want to fast for spiritual reasons. I want to fast for my husband, daughter, whatever. It could be someone else. It could be you for spiritual reasons. Give some people some advice on what you would recommend you do. How do you pray? What do you do? How do you set up? You really want to maximize your time with God. Do you have any recommendations?

Shane:
Yeah, actually, that’s great question, and most people should start out just praying and seeking God. Okay, Lord, what do you want me to do? I think it’s important to have some type of timeframe, a goal to shoot for. Anytime I say you know what? I’m just going to fast. I’ll see how long this goes. Your body, you’re the—we call it the defense attorney within. He talked you out of that fasting as quick as you got into it. I’ll start Monday. It wasn’t a good day, and then I start fasting. Oh, let me start after this potluck.

I would say, okay, I’m going to do this for a week. I’m going to use this first couple days to get off all the junk food, processed food, caffeine. I’m going to cleanse my body. People don’t realize how hard of a fast that is. You know. That’s not an easy venture at all to starve yourself of all these things you’ve been addicted to, so I would encourage people to get with God. Set up a commitment, 7 days, 10 days, 21 days of maybe using the first week to get healthy. Then start, like you said, adaptation, getting the body ready. I think there’s wisdom in that. I think it’s wise to prepare.

Then you set the goal, and you pray, and you fast. We don’t want to forget about praying and fasting. Now, ironically, you’re going to find that you have a lot more time when you’re not eating. I was shocked how much extra time—I mean, you’re talking what, two, three hours extra a day that you have? Set that time aside and pray and seek God. Let’s say after four days you just snap and you grab some cashews like I’ve done in the past. You get back on track.

Now, you might lose some of the benefits of the autophagy and ketosis and things, but we’re doing it for spiritual reasons. God doesn’t look at perfection. He looks at your heart. It’s the heart that’s set and going in the right direction. Not that it’s perfect. Now, I don’t want to give people permission to just indulge, but I want to encourage them. I mean, my  first one week fast, I had a scoop of raw protein powder with a little rice milk at night just so I could get to sleep because the growth hormone levels were high, cortisol release, and I could not get to sleep. I had a speaking engagement the following morning, and I just got back on track the next morning. I fell forward.

I hope that answers your question. I would have a plan. Whether it’s one day, okay, I’m going to miss breakfast and lunch, and I’m going to go into this slowly, or whether it’s two days or three days, just have a plan in place. Then honor that commitment. Try to honor that plan, and ask God what He wants you to do. I believe we’ll get this sensing. We’ll get this direction of what we need to fast—I know there’s people in our congregation who have fasted 20 to 40 days, water only, and it can be done. You don’t die. I mean, you know the record is what, over a year and a half?

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah.

Shane:
They monitored him at the Scotland University. He was taking supplements during that time. We don’t recommend it, but the body can go into—because you’re not starving. If you’re 20, 30 pounds overweight, you’ve got a good month’s worth of caloric intake there, of caloric reserves that you can burn. Starvation is when your body starts to burn critical organs and things. Very few people reach that because your body also tells you, okay, it’s time to eat.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I mean, it does. I mean, you get hungry. The innate intelligence knows, right? I mean, it really does, and there’s some other manifestations. We had a guy at one of my past seminars. He was on a 120 days of just water. Now, he was obese, but he had lost 100 pounds at that point. He was off 14 different medications, with his doctor, and his blood work went from you’re a dying man to spot on.

It was funny because I spoke about how you know when to break a fast. It was one of my topics. He was like, oh, my gosh, this just started happening to me. His tongue was like—it went from white to yellow to green to black. Then a week ago it had started turning pink again. I was explaining how that’s one of the signs to break a fast and how hunger comes back and thirst changes again. Anyways, he ended up breaking his fast I think a week later. Yeah, so the body is capable of doing some amazing healing during that time.

Shane:
You know what? You mentioned the medications. This might be a good thing. If somebody’s on a blood pressure medication, for example, and it’s lowering their blood pressure, fasting in and of itself is going to lower your blood pressure. You don’t’ want to be medicating on top of fasting. That’s why you want to talk with your physician. You want to make sure—and here’s what I found. You need to tell your physician here is what I’m doing. Will you monitor me? Don’t say what do you think about fasting?

Dr. Pompa:
Right, no.

Shane:
No, I mean, my cardiologist has a pot of coffee. I go every few years. I had myopericarditis when I was a young—in my 20s from steroid use, testosterone [enanthate], proprionate in the bodybuilding. I had strep throat. It went to my heart as a viral infection, so I’ve monitored it. They’ve got this huge pot of coffee. It says do not take at a stress test. He’s overweight. They don’t eat healthy.

Another doctor wanted to put me on high blood pressure medication three years ago. I asked him, “Did you use the large cuff to measure it?” He goes, “Oh, no, I don’t think we did. We used the small one.” Then they put the large one on. “Oh, you’re fine.”

It’s just there’s things like this they want to prescribe. Hey, take this antibiotic. It’s Ciprofloxacin. You know the box warnings on Cipro. They don’t know how the body works. We need doctors. I love physicians. They’re friends of mine. When it comes to how the body works, many of them have—they don’t know how the body—they know, hey, here’s what’s wrong. This pill will fix it.

For example, you go to a physician. They’ll prescribe statin drugs for your high cholesterol. Why not look at the diet? Cholesterol is good. HDL, LDL, both of those are—cholesterol overall, our body needs it. Cholesterol is not bad. It’s the inflammation that’s causing it. It’s the damage that we’re doing to our own body. I think sometimes we throw out the baby with the bath water.

Dr. Pompa:
I have a big smile on my face because I’m thinking, my gosh, this guy is the most educated pastor on health that I think in history. I’m really happy.

Shane:
It’s by God’s grace. I think He’s shown me a lot of this. Actually, when I listen to you and doctors speak on this area, I feel very inadequate. I’m more of a jack of all trades, trying to get a little bit here and there from all different groups. I think God has called—I think pastors should be not only voicing spiritual truth in our culture. Don’t get me going on that, the direction of our culture and the pulpits being silent, but we also need to help people in their—shepherd their body. A lot of pastors are addicted to coffee. We’ve got doughnuts in the lobby. We love the big potlucks, and if we don’t have this area under control, it’s hard to preach on what you yourself are not practicing.

Dr. Pompa:
Listen, I have been to a lot of churches where, oh, we don’t discuss that here. Meanwhile, they’ll talk about all these off ramps in relationships. I mean, they’ll go through all the thing, money, relationships. I’m like where’s nutrition here? Where’s diet? I can tell you, I’ve been sick, and you become very selfish when you get very sick, right? You become very self-focused. My mind was not focused on God. I was surviving. I can tell you, you better add it to the pulpit, no doubt about it.

Shane:
This might help a lot of people. Many pastors think and this was brought in in early Christianity where the flesh is bad, so anything to do with fasting, go live in a monastery out in the desert. We’ve came to the other extreme where now we think that—we put fasting with the monks, and we’re works-based religion. I’m abstaining. I’m doing works. Really, it’s about feeding the spirit and denying the flesh. It’s very biblical.

Also, a lot of pastors think bodily exercise profits nothing when, really, the Scriptures say bodily exercise profits a little, but don’t put that above spiritual benefits. It’s a matter of putting—I’ve seen this so many times. When a person is disciplined spiritually, it helps physically, and when they’re disciplined physically, it can help spiritually. They run parallel. They’re not distinct compartmentalized. They run together. Discipline in all areas, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. You need that.

I hate to talk down on pastors because I know it’s a hard job, but we have to look at this topic and look at our own bodies. I’ve prayed with so many people about anxiety, panic attacks, angry outbursts, and in my heart, I know a lot of this is diet related. Get off the energy drinks and the caffeine. Stop snapping at your children. I’ll pray for your heart disease and your diabetes, but you have to lose 70 pounds. That’s just wisdom. That’s wise. We’re actually reaping what we’re sowing.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing. Pastor, pray for me. Pray for my heart disease. Pray for my diabetes. Then you see them eating the doughnut. I’m like, oh, man, we’re dying from a lack of knowledge often times, pastor, right?

Shane:
We do, yeah, and I should interject that people—God does answer in spite of their lifestyle choices. I mean, I’ve seen Him…

Dr. Pompa:
Thank God.

Shane:
Yeah, thank God, but we are called to be good stewards of this wonderful gift that He has given us. I think we forget that. This is this wonderful gift, and we know.  I mean, ask anybody, should I eat an apple or a Snickers bar? We know. They know they need to be eating God-given, God-created food. I think there’s some disobedience going on too when we choose to continue to eat in a destructive way.

My heart breaks for the children. Look at what we’re feeding kids, I mean, from Doritos and energy drinks. That’s the most popular thing right now, Doritos. You look at the ingredients in them, monosodium glutamate, food coloring, GMO processed. I mean, it’s not good, and so we’re giving them candy and cookies. Why are cavities? I mean, when I was younger, you’d get cavities, but now it’s like some kids have five, six, seven each time.

Oral health is so important. I mean, oral health really affects our whole body. What are we doing to our kids? People say, well, they’re not overweight. No, but they’re malnourished. Just because they’re skinny doesn’t mean they’re healthy. I mean, they could be living off caffeine like a crack addict lives off that addictive substance. I know it’s a little hard to hear for people, but I think we need to start telling people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.

I’ve got some videos on YouTube, The Pantry Pastor. I’ve went through people’s homes and go through their whole pantry. You have to throw out 90% of what is in our pantries and in our refrigerator. Ninety percent of what is in there is not good. What we mean by that, is it God given? You know this. Is it how God designed it, all the enzymes, the phytochemicals, the antioxidants, which take the—what are they, free radicals? They fight the free radicals. You’re eating God-given, God-sustaining, life-giving food, or you’re eating dead food from a factory. I’m just surprised we’ve made it this long with this type of…

Dr. Pompa:
I hope your congregation grows to beyond your expectations. You’re speaking some stuff that not many pastors are speaking. Let me tell you something. What a balance you are, I have to say, and balance is the key.

Shane:
That’s the key.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, when we look at why people are sick, I mean, beyond even physical, mentality, spiritually in every aspect, it’s this imbalance, lack of homeostasis in their spiritual well-being, their physical and their emotional well-being. Look, I mean, fasting’s a part of it. All of these other topics that you’re hitting on is a huge part of it. One last word, advice for people on this topic, fasting, I mean, if you had one last word for them, what it be?

Shane:
You mean good leaving question?

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, here I am watching this show, right? Here I am. Think about the person watching the show going I’m worried about fasting. Should I fast? What would your advice be?

Shane:
Number one, overconsumption is killing us. Fasting doesn’t. I would encourage people to fall forward. I don’t know too many people who said you know what? I’m going to fast, and they’ve actually accomplished a three-day water or a four-day—I mean, there are people. I know them. The majority of people I’m seeing, they start out, and it’s so hard, so difficult, that they just give up. I want to encourage that person. That was me years ago. Sometimes now it’s still a challenge to fast.

I do intermittent fasting like you do. I haven’t eaten yet today. It’s 3:30 our time. I’m going to go and eat a nice, huge, big salad and get—I usually get my protein from bone broth shakes and things. To fall forward, hey, learn—I like your new book coming out. I recommend that they read that. Get their body adapted. Unless God is saying, no, do something now.

Then the direction our nation is going, like you mentioned with abortion, with calling good evil and evil good, the direction we are going now is not a good direction. More than ever, we’ve got to wake up. We’ve got to humble ourselves before God, and we’ve got to just start. That thousand mile journey starts with the first footstep, so I would really encourage people to fall forward. You might not master it your first time, but you’ll start to educate yourself. You’ll start to discipline your body instead of your body disciplining you.

Last word of thought here is maybe start with one meal. People say, oh, that’s pretty easy. It’s a lot harder than you think. Try to go six, seven, eight hours without eating nothing but clean water, and you’ll see just how hungry your flesh is. Don’t give up, though. There is a breakthrough right around struggling. To me, the struggle, the difficulty just confirms how important it is.

Dr. Pompa:
Pastor Shane, you’re a wealth of knowledge. Just give your website again, where your church is, and all that information one more time.

Shane:
You got shaneidleman.com. They can go to shaneidleman.com, or the church website is westsidechristianfellowship.org. Also, we just purchased four radio stations, so they can find us at WCF. That’s WCF for Westside Christian Fellowship, wcfradio.org. We’re trying to get some of these health messages on the radio as well because it’s so important, especially for believers to really steward their bodies.

Dr. Pompa:
Absolutely, where’s your church located exactly?

Shane:
We’re in Southern California. Most people don’t know where Palmdale is, Lancaster. We’re in Leona Valley, which is about 15 minutes west of Palmdale in Southern California. I just tell people an hour north of Los Angeles.

Dr. Pompa:
I’m going to be up in—for a wedding, I’m going to be in Laguna Beach. How far are you from there? I might come see you.

Shane:
About two hours if you don’t hit traffic.

Dr. Pompa:
If you don’t hit traffic, that’s funny. You’re funny.

Shane:
I’m going to be on foxnews.com tomorrow with Lauren Green. If people put in Fox News—Shane Idleman on Fox News, they can see some of the recent debates I’ve did on Fox News. I’m heading down there tomorrow. I’ve got to take into consideration the traffic. We’d love to connect sometime and get you out here to just speak to our people about the benefits of—you take it to a whole new level in regard to autophagy and the body consuming itself and epigenetics and how the DNA works. We’d love to get some resources on that.

Dr. Pompa:
I’ll do it. I love the topic. Because of your knowledge base, I’d love to do it for you. Pastor, thanks again.

Shane:
Let’s do it. I’ll see you guys later. Thank you.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah.

Shane:
All right, bye-bye.

Ashley:
That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. This episode was brought to you by CytoDetox. Please check it out at buycytonow.com for more information. We’ll be back next week and every Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. We truly appreciate your support. You can always find us at podcast.drpompa.com. Please remember to spread the love by liking, subscribing, giving an iTunes review and sharing the show with anyone you think may benefit from the information heard here, and as always, thanks for listening.