Slow Detox Program, intermittent and extended fasting, carb cycling, and movement

Detox?! It is such a BIG WORD, right?

I’m a WILD party animal. 

I LOVE to party. 

I LOVE food. 

I LOVE to have a drink(s). 

And above all, I LOVE pasta.

I could eat pasta every day. 

If someone were to tell me: you can not eat pasta (carbs) anymore for the rest of your life, 

It simply would not be possible for me. 

It just doesn’t work.

That’s why I came up with my SLOW DETOX PROGRAM. A detox program for the people who love living. 

Youtube Channel "From Slow to Flow", Secrets with Julie Spark: watch here


Podcast Channel "From Slow to Flow", Secrets with Julie Spark: listen here


Plan 1: Easy In

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of fasting and eating. There is no restriction on what to eat or drink, but rather when you should eat. There are several different intermittent fasting methods.

Main Goals:

Intermittent fasting has been proven to decrease heart disease, liver disease, risk of stroke, cancer, and other chronic illness. Intermittent fasting helps with weight loss, boosting energy levels, and increasing cognitive function, among many more which I will get to later. All of the above-mentioned benefits are due to elements relating to hormones, the organs that secrete those hormones, and glands that produce and regulate other beneficial hormones in the body. 

HGH – Human Growth Hormone

HGH is arguably the most important hormone in the body. It is produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland and is responsible for water regulating, cell reproduction, cell regeneration (this is possible through fasting as you will kill off weak cells to generate new ones in a minimum of 16 hours fasting), Lipid metabolism (using your fats as energy), bone density, muscle growth, among more. Sadly, the production of HGH in the body starts to slow after around 30 years of age and rapidly after 40. This affects energy levels, sleep patterns, and increases fat storage.

When you fast, your body goes into a sort of “fight or flight” mode whereby it feels it needs to utilize hormones and any other beneficial aid in the period where your body isn’t getting food. This means that in order to regulate water properly and to increase energy, it will start to stimulate HGH. In doing this, it will kill off and eat old cells and start producing new, stronger, healthier cells to keep you strong (with a minimum of 16 hours fasting). 

Another very clever thing the body does while fasting is it starts to use fats for energy, as your glycogen (energy from carbs) stores are already depleted. This process is also known as Ketosis. 

In 1 gram of carbohydrates and protein, you will receive 3 calories of energy. With 1 gram of fats, you will receive 9 calories. You want your body to be programmed into using fats as your fuel and NOT glycogen from carbohydrates for 2 reasons. One: carbohydrates spike your insulin levels and insulin basically tells the body to store fat. Two: because you receive 3 times the amount of energy from fats…insulin also makes you very tired and lethargic (hence why you feel sleepy after a very big pizza or pasta dish). This leads me to the next topic and the huge contributing factor to fat loss when fasting:


As I mentioned above, insulin not only makes you feel lethargic but it basically tells the body to inhibit lipolysis which is fat burning. Your pancreas (specifically the Beta-cell within the pancreas) is the organ responsible for secreting insulin and is the organ that takes most strain when your diet is full of sugar or if you are always eating simple carbohydrates (like white bread). Insulins’ job is to allow a cell to absorb blood glucose so the glucose levels in the blood don’t stay too high. When the cell can’t absorb all the blood sugar, it is known as insulin resistance and an extreme case of insulin resistance can be something like diabetes. We don’t want that. Insulin sensitivity is where we can absorb nutrients properly due to proper absorption of blood glucose, and this is what intermittent fasting does. 

These are the two main hormones that will help you with your fat burning and increased energy. The increased HGH will also help you to sleep very well. I could list all of the organs and hormones, but I think you get the gist of what I’m trying to say so let’s move onto what you need to look out for when fasting.


A common misconception is that just because you aren’t eating food, you are fasting. IE: a lot of people drink juice, have milk with their tea or coffee, drink a protein shake, and this completely defeats the object. In fact, even if you just taste something and don’t even swallow it, you have broken your fast. You see, your saliva acts as a messenger for the gut. It will send a message telling the pancreas to get ready with insulin as there is food coming and it will need to regulate blood sugar causing a slight insulin spike which will Inhibit fat burning.

The only things you may have in your fasting period are as follows:

Black coffee

Black tea

Green tea

Water (Natural or with gas)

And that is it. Coffee is a great one because it actually tells your body to oxidize fat cells for energy and increases metabolism, so having a coffee before any form of exercise in the morning is very beneficial.

What about training:

When fasting, training in the fasted state will bring the best results. Another old misconception is that you need to eat before you work out for energy, this is wrong for two reasons: 

1. You will stop the fat-burning process that your body is already using as an energy source

2. Insulin spike

So actually, having a banana before a workout is one of the worst things you can do—the energy will also not last very long.

Try to time your work out for the last hour of your fast, so you can break your fast after your workout to feed your muscles. This will keep muscle tone and increase muscle metabolism, meaning you will have a higher fat burning rate at rest (basal metabolic rate). After your body gets used to the IF program after 3 – 7 days, you will notice that you will have a lot more energy when working out.

How long should you fast?

Anything above 12 hours will start using fat cells as fuel. Personally I do a 16 hour fast every day and Maybe an 18-20 hour fast once a week or once every 2 weeks. When you go to 16 hours or more, you start getting the hormonal benefits I have mentioned previously. A 12-hour fast will not stimulate HGH enough but will have a positive impact on the insulin…so maybe start with 12 then 13 then 14 etc etc. There are no specific times, you just need to count the hours of your fast from the last previous calorie, ie: if you finish your glass of wine at 22:00, you may eat at 14:00 the following day (if you are doing a 16 hour fast). This may sound crazy, but once your body is used to this, you are hardly hungry during the fast and your energy levels and mental focus is considerably better. Personally I fast from 20:00 – 12:00 every day.

Breaking the fast:

The thing you don’t want to do when breaking a fast is to have too many carbohydrates. Your body will be sensitive after having such low insulin levels (a good thing!) for the duration of your fast, and a carb-heavy meal to break your fast will shock the body, causing a big insulin spike. 

The best things to break a fast with are :

  • Lean proteins like eggs (egg whites are best but 1 yolk is not a problem)

  • Greek yogurt

  • Some fruit (strawberries, apple, grapefruit is good, stay away from watermelon and banana initially in the morning) 

  • Nuts (I prefer almonds)

Note: never buy fat-free products! 

Food manufacturers actually pump more sugar into fat-free products, and if you are giving your body fats it will not feel the need to hold onto existing fat and you will be able to burn it as energy much faster.

After the fast is broken:

This is the great thing about intermittent fasting…the restrictions on food become much less. As your total caloric intake decreases while fasting, you will have increased metabolism and your body will be programmed to burn fat for fuel. This means, within reason, you can pretty much eat what you like. I would stay away from foods high in sugar (but having a treat every now and again is not bad). Try to have foods dense with good calories alongside a protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

Cheat Day:

We all know that going out to eat with friends or family is not where you want to be dieting—you want to eat the foods you like and drink what you like. Having a “cheat day” once or twice a week is actually a good thing. Your body gets used to eating a certain amount of calories a day and at certain times, when you put an influx of calories into your diet you ramp up your metabolism, but then go back to fasting and eating cleaner the next day with a heightened metabolic rate, therefore, you do not plateau. Cheat days are only valid if you have been eating relatively well during the week, ie: if you have been eating pizza every day, having two pizzas doesn’t count as a cheat day…you’ve been cheating the whole time 🙂


This is something that we both have in common, says Nick, my nutritionist @kokoro_healing in Gili Air. His wife Sherri and I LOVE drinking wine—we used to share a bottle every night with dinner. However, this has become somewhat of our cheat too. We try to restrict wine to 1 or 2 days per week now, and it has worked very well. Each glass of wine contains between 130 and 150 calories, empty calories that have no desired effect on the body (although red wine is much better, it’s not food), so if possible, try to treat wine like a special occasion 1-2 times a week.

Life hacks:

– Coldwater first thing in the morning. People say it “bad” for you but that’s not the case. It’s merely not optimal for absorption as your body needs to warm the water to absorb it fully. However, during that process, you kick start your metabolism and thermogenesis effects

– Cinnamon with anything sweet—it maintains low insulin sensitivity

– If you eat a high carb meal, make it low fat. if your meal is high fat, make it low carb. 

– 0.8 gram of protein per kg of body weight for girls, 1 – 1.2g for men

– Black coffee before training makes your body oxidize fat cells before glycogen

Plan 2: The Power Track

Carb Cycling

As the name suggests, carb cycling involves eating more carbs on some days, and less carbs on other days. 

Some say carb cycling is an effective way to lose fat faster while retaining muscle when you’re cutting. 

Carbs have a double-edged sword;

On the one hand, they create a more anabolic environment in our bodies by fueling our workouts and stimulating muscle growth.

On the other hand, by spiking insulin levels, carbs feed our body fat with glucose for it to store.

If we want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible, we need carbs. Yet, we have to pay the price of an ever-expanding waistline.

What if I told you that carb cycling can deliver most of all of the carbs’ muscle-building benefits; with little or none of the fat-gaining drawbacks. 

In theory, carb cycling allows us to build muscle, while fat burning. 

On a day where you are training more intensely, you’d consume more carbohydrates. On days where your training is less intense, low-carb days would occur. 

High-calorie high-carb days, on intense training days, which improves performance. 

Low-calorie low-carb days, to maximize fat burning. 

To reach ketosis, which is when your body gets its energy from the freezer (fat), instead of from the refrigerator (glucose), consider that generally 50 grams of carbs per day is needed. Start here as a low- carb day.

Tough workout days, match with high carb days. From the extra carbs, you’ll get an energy boost, for your workouts. 

The bottom line is, you want to eat plenty of protein, if you want the best possible result when dieting to lose fat.

Ensure your protein intake is adequate and maintain a calorie deficit, if you’re using carb cycling for fat loss. I like using My Fitness Pal App to monitor it. 

Basically there is not 1 rule for carb cycling or one way to do it. This is just for inspiration. Just tailor your week around your lifestyle. 

The concept is simple:

– Hard training, high carb diet

– Soft training, low carb diet

– No training, no carbs

– IF: 16/8, and we add 1 day IF: 20/4 after your weekend. Or just pick your favorite day. 

What I was doing, is either 1 full-on hour training; or 20min of training 3 times per day. I’d schedule my diet around the type of training I would do, depending on my mood. 


I’d wake up and jump on my mat for 20 min, I’ll go to the beach and swim for 20min (45min before eating), then I’d walk around the island for sunset. If I had the power, I’d walk & run, HIIT (high-intensity interval training, burns more calories); run for 1min, then walk for 4min. 

I love the app “Workout Women”. Check where your excess fat seems stored. Train accordingly. You can download it, and use it every day if you feel like it’s your kind of flow. 

Yogalates: Hips & Hamstrings, on our youtube channel From Slow to Flow, playlist Movement and Flow.

Pilates will work on strength and flexibility. It focuses on engaging the transverse abdominis muscle, which is like a natural corset that supports your entire body. While strengthening the TVA (transverse abdominal muscle), you’ll release your lower back.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a cardiovascular exercise strategy where you push yourself to the maximum during every exercise set. I like to think to myself 20 seconds full-on, and then 10 seconds of rest/stretching. See how you flow with the app. 

The point is, we want to trick our body by constantly changing our habits and training. Like that it will burn more calories.

Experiment and find the best fit for your body.

Plan 3: Fast for Weight-loss

Crash course on fasting

What is fasting?

Fasting means you willingly refrain from eating, for a period of time. The metabolic status of a person that hasn’t eaten overnight, is referred to as fasting. 

Tips to help fast safely:

  • Stay hydrated

  • Keep fasting periods short

  • Don’t break your fasts with a feast

  • Go for walks or meditate

  • Stop fasting if you feel unwell

  • Eat enough protein

What can I consume during fasting periods?

As a general rule, the body will remain in a fasted state, as long as when you drink something, it has less than 50 calories. 

I usually try to stick to:

  • Water (still or carbonated)

  • Tea (black/green)

  • Coffee (hot/iced)

  • Soda water, helps when I have food cravings

Every person is different. If you feel like it, some people say that you can add:

  • Coconut water

  • Homemade broth

  • Green juice (extractor)


Make sure you drink sufficient water during the day when you fast. Flat, mineral or carbonated water. 

What you are allowed to add to your water:

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Slices of other fruits (infused water, do not eat the fruits or drink the juice from the fruit)

  • Vinegar (raw/unfiltered, apple cider vinegar)

  • Himalayan salt

  • Chia seeds (1tbs)

  • Flaxseeds (1tbs)

What you’re not allowed to add to your water?

  • Sweetened powder/drops (sugar-free or not)


On a fasting day, you can consume up to 6 cups of coffee. Black coffee is preferable, it can be caffeinated or decaffeinated, or an unsweetened iced coffee. 

What you are allowed to add to your coffee:

  • Coconut oil

  • MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil)

  • Grounded cinnamon, for flavor

  • Butter

  • Ghee

  • Heavy whipping cream (35% fat)

  • Half and half

  • Whole milk

Avoid low-fat and skim milks, powdered dairy products, and natural or artificial sweeteners of any kind. 

What did she say? 

Butter? Ghee? Oil?

In my coffee?

I know right?! 

Not my cup of tea either, although I have to admit my naturopath in Ubud suggested a drop of coconut oil. Which I followed, and my hunger cravings came later, and my bowel movement improved. 

We are all unique in our own way, try it and see what fits best.

The recipe that follows is bulletproof coffee and is mostly used by bodybuilders. 

They call it fat-burning coffee. 

I tried it, again not my thing, but it might work for you. 

The drink is designed to keep you feeling full all morning, it helps you get into ketosis, which is where you burn fat as fuel rather than counting on glucose from a normal heavy carb diet. 


It can be consumed once a day while fasting, it will help you feel satiated. 


  • 1 cup of coffee

  • 1-2 tbs coconut/MCT oil

  • 1-2 tbs butter

  • 1-2 tbs of whipped cream (min. 35% fat)


Add equal parts butter, oil, and cream to the coffee; blend until creamy. 



During your fasting period, you may consume an unlimited amount of herbal teas. Black tea is preferable, or an unsweetened iced tea.

What are you allowed to add to your tea:

  • Coconut oil

  • MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil)

  • Grounded cinnamon, for flavor

  • Butter

  • Ghee

  • Heavy whipping cream (35% fat)

  • Half and half

  • Whole milk

  • Lemon

Avoid low-fat and skim milks, powdered dairy products, and natural or artificial sweeteners of any kind. 


Herbal teas naturally free of calories or sugar, come in a variety of delicious flavors. 

While more research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that:

Lemon balm tea helps in relieving anxiety. It improves heart, skin health, and antioxidant levels.

Passionflower tea relieves anxiety and improves sleep.

Sage tea benefits colon and heart health. It also improves cognitive function and memory. 

Ginger tea stimulates the immune system, it’s a remedy against nausea, it relieves period pains and offers benefits for people with diabetes. 

Green tea is a good appetite suppressant. 

Black tea, oolong tea, and bitter lemon tea; can help lower blood sugar levels. 

Cinnamon chai tea can help lower blood sugar levels and is great for surprising cravings for sweet foods. 

Peppermint tea is a good appetite suppressant and is good to relieve discomfort in the digestive tract.  

Chamomile tea is calming and a great sleep aid. It helps relieve premenstrual symptoms and high blood lipids, blood sugar, and insulin levels. 


To help you through your fasting days, you may consume as much broth as you need to. During your first few fasting periods, you might experience some lightheadedness. This is caused by dehydration and decreased levels of electrolytes. By consuming a nice homemade broth it can easily be remedied. Use either vegetable broth or broth made with the meat or bones of any animal or fish. Unlike vegetable broth, bone broth contains gelatin. If you have arthritis or other joint problems, it will be very beneficial for you. You’ll need less and less homemade broth during your fasts, as time goes on. 

What are you allowed to add to your broth:

  • Onions or shallots

  • Carrots

  • Leafy greens

  • Any vegetable that grow above the ground

  • Animal meat

  • Animal bones

  • Fish meat

  • Fishbones

  • Himalayan salt

  • Any herbs (dry or fresh) and spices

  • Ground flaxseeds (1tbs per cup of broth)

  • Bitter melon

Avoid adding vegetable puree of any kind, potatoes, yams, beets, and turnips. Do not buy store-bought broths, even organic. 


Generally speaking, you should break your fast with a light meal, that doesn’t contain calories. The best way to break your fast is to start off with a light meal:

– Tomato and cucumber salad, seasoned with some olive oil and parsley. Try and keep your protein source to poultry and fish

– An egg and a quarter of an avocado

– A cup of almonds

Can I exercise while fasting?

Certainly, benefits include:

  • Due to increased adrenaline, you can train harder

  • Due to increased fatty acid oxidation, you’ll burn more fat

  • Due to increased growth hormone, you’ll recover from a workout and build muscle faster

Perfect! Burn fat, build muscle, and train harder!

If you follow a very low carbohydrate diet, also known as a ketogenic diet. You’ll train your body to burn fat. During fasting, our body switches from burning sugar to burning fat. 

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