What if you drank only lukewarm raw milk, and didn’t eat anything else?

Former Home on the Range agister, raw milk advocate, and speaker at the recent Vancouver conference “Fresh Milk, Food Politics”, Alice Jongerden, has decided to go on a milk fast. It seems that a milk fast is a diet in which you drink raw milk, but don’t eat anything. Simple enough. She’s been on the fast for a few days now, and sends this progress report to the Bovine:

Author Alice Jongerden, photo by Shannon Mendes, from Vanmag.com. Original caption  “Alice Jongerden’s Home on the Range Dairy raises its herd on the back 40 of a derelict farmhouse in Chilliwack. From there, the unpasteurized milk and other dairy products travel to depots around the Lower Mainland…” Click image to go to the October 2010 Vancouver magazine article about Alice’s backstory.

I recently read an article about a Raw Milk Fast, and was reminded of a conversation I had quite some time ago, from a lady who often enjoys her raw milk fast, her longest one being 45 days . I thought to myself…Yes, that is what I should do. A Raw Milk Fast!

Being constantly surrounded with raw milk joy and controversy, it seemed a logical step to take.

I love milk, but I seriously wondered if I could really enjoy having ONLY milk for a week or two or three. I wasn’t sure if I could even make it through one day.

In addition, usually I like my milk cold. But cold milk can be hard on digestion. So if I was going to start a milk fast, I knew that I had to get used to the idea of drinking lukewarm milk.

I had nothing to lose (other then some excess weight). I own a pastured jersey cow that provides me with the most amazing fresh milk daily! And raw milk being a complete functional food, I saw the opportunity to cleanse and balance my body.

…..That was Monday. Today I am completing Day 5 of my very first raw milk fast, and last night at our Fresh Milk Food Freedom presentation at Banyen Books, I was encouraged to blog about it. Not much of a blogger, but here goes.

Day 1. I planned to drink 1/2 gallon (2 quarts) of full fat warm fresh milk, and as much water today as I wanted, however I wasn’t sure that 2 quarts would get me too far in the day, so I decided I would allow myself to consume up to 1 gallon. I started my day off with a full glass of warm milk. I left the rest on the counter for the day so it would be warm when I wanted it. I had another mid morning, lunch time, mid afternoon, and late afternoon. By that time I was quite surprised to still feel very full and content, with a few more cups in the jar. I had one more glass in the evening, completing my first full day.

Day 2. I awoke with a headache. I kind of expected this, because of detox. I took the milk I left on the counter overnight, and continued to drink as much milk and water as I desired throughout the day. By days end I consumed the same amount as day 1. I was surprised that I wasn’t having any cravings.

Day 3. Still had a headache, and my muscles were complaining at me. I continued the same pattern as day 1 and 2, and by noon I was feeling much better. I continued my regular daily busy schedule. By day’s end I had enjoyed almost 2 full quarts of milk and a small amount of raw yogurt, and water. Nothing else.

Day 4. Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Good thing, I had a big day planned, including a Raw Milk Presentation in the evening. By now I was thinking about how easy this has been. No cravings, always feeling satisfied, and now feeling quite energized. I also have been enjoying the warm sweet milk. I didn’t realize how sweet it was. Today I reveled with each glass at how amazingly delicious this food is. I envision myself enjoying this fast for some time.

Day 5. Woke refreshed and ready to get on with my day. Still feeling energized, and not experiencing the afternoon lag! Not sure exactly how much milk I had today, but not more than 2 quarts. I am thinking tonight I might have some more raw yogurt. It rich and tangy, and a mouthful of flavour. I will probably have about 1/2 cup. Other than yogurt, I am not thinking about other foods yet.

Day 6.  Today was a long day. I was at the Vancouver Farmer’s Market, sharing the secret, at a Raw Milk Presentation with Slow Food.  I felt great until about 3, and the lack of sleep the night before hit. So I had 1 cup of raw yogurt which I didn’t end up having the night before,  and a bite of cheese, and was amazed how quickly it picked me up. Enough to drive home awake, and clean house when I got back.

Sunday, Day 7. I awoke feeling great once again. I figured today would be a tough day, as I had a social dinner engagement tonight. Funny enough, it wasn’t difficult at all. Before I went I enjoyed some camembert and a glass of milk, so I was content on arrival, and enjoyed some water and a bit of milk while there. I am still amazed how sweet and enjoyable warm milk is. No wonder my youngest was always asking for warm milk. We used to call her our Milkoholic, as for about 2 years, it was pretty much all she had.

Since it has been one week since I started, it was time for me to weigh in. How exciting to see that I lost 9 lbs. That’s encouragement for another week! Not only have I felt great, I lost weight too.  I also noticed that my tooth no longer has been bugging me. Since I had a filling about 8 months ago, it has always been very sensitive when I brush my teeth, and hot and cold sensitive, but the last couple of days, it hasn’t bugged me at all. I will be paying attention to this change.

I am still undecided how long I will continue this, but 30 days seems to stick in my head.  That would bring us to the day before election time here in BC.  I will keep you posted as I continue my raw milk journey.

Alice Jongerden

Alice and her husband run an organic food delivery business, taking online orders. Here’s the link: store.homeontherangefarms.com

Elizabeth Walling did an extended raw milk fast a few years ago, and wrote about the experience. 

It will be interesting to follow Alice’s journey, as she gets deeper into her own raw milk fast. Stay tuned to the Bovine for more updates!


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35 responses to “What if you drank only lukewarm raw milk, and didn’t eat anything else?

  1. Beverley Viljakainen

    Good for you, Alice, and thanks so much for the daily renditions . . . reminded me of the adage, scientifically proven, that milk is a truly whole food in terms of its nutritional content. Ancients in India and Tibet have been known to live on nothing else . . . Of course, we are talking about milk-milk here, straight from a grazing cow, not what’s now being passed off as milk in the interests of profit. All the best!

  2. Robert Toor

    Great job Alice. I loved reading about your experience. Looking forward to hear the rest, and best of luck to you and hope fully you remain healthy throughout the fast. But I know milk is a truly wholesome food and you should be good! We need to show this government!

  3. Nice to read this adventure that you are on. I’ve been considering doing this myself later in the spring when the cows are back out on pasture. Hoping it works out that I can.

  4. I just finished my second year of doing the milk cure. Both times I’ve done it for 21 days and blogged my experiences. I’ve seen amazing, but different health related results each time. This year, my blood sugars have gone down (I’ve been considered per diabetic for years) and are now consistently under 100 throughout the day. Even since I’ve gone back on real food

  5. Heidi

    I LOVE this idea–but we are unable to aquire raw milk anywhere within a few hours of our home. I guess there is that one dairy farmer, but they aren’t pasture cows, and he uses added hormones. Sigh.

    I should say that any time I have tried any kind of fasting, at first I have the detox feelings, but I get the energy kick, too. I really believe that although putting good foods in you is by far the best choice, I think my boost of energy is really just eliminating additives such as sugar, caffeine, etc. I eat and feed my family in a healthy manner, but sweeteners (even natural sweeteners) and grains (even freshly ground grains) really drag me down after awhile. If I eliminate both of those, my energy soars. I think you need to listen to your body, and find the fast that works to detoxify you, and just do it.

    Again, if ONLY I could find a source of fresh, raw, non-adulterated dairy, I would try this fast!! Thanks for the great post!

    • Patricia

      I have been drinking raw milk ,butter and cheese for over 50 years. I am 88 and take no medications. My dog pulled me down and I broke hip and wrist. Was hospitalized for 5 weeks and all tests proved did not need any medications. They gave me a heart scan and my heart tested perfect and like a much younger person.. The great Doctor Bieler M.D. started me on healthy foods. Dr. Bieler cured my sister of Ovarian cancer in 4th stage. She had been given 6 months to live at a large Los Angeles hospital. She rerfused hospital treatment and went to see Drf. Bieler. He cured her of cancer by diet alone. she was 49 at time of diagnose of cancer and passed away at age86 and not from cancer.
      I do not eat anything with preservitives in it. Eat very little salt. Eat my meat rare.

  6. I’m also Canadian, a Dr. of Natural Medicine and food freedom advocate. I wrote a book about my discoveries on a 35 day cleanse on nothing but raw milk from last Spring. It is doing brilliantly on Amazon. Let me know if you’d like a leg-up with regards to publishing your journals as my husband and I own a publishing company for books in specific health niches. All the best with your fast! http://www.amazon.com/The-Raw-Milk-Cleanse-ebook/dp/B00BFLE0IG/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

    • Sounds like a lovely idea. Just not finding enough time to keep the details 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out your book though. Thanks for the tip.

  7. thebovine

    1,124 views on this story so far. Way to go Alice.

  8. charles jasunas

    If you want to add to your raw milk plan start taking virgin coconut oil one tablespoon a day for a week and then after that 3 tablespoons per day at every meal. The more you take the more you loose weight. Virgin coconut oil keeps blood sugar down. To know all the health benifits of this oil go to Dr. Fife’s web site, coconutresearchcenter.org

  9. This is the most useful link for following up on Elizabeth Wallings 23 day raw milk fast . It consists of 14 different posts about it.
    The other links in the above Bovine article have expired as of April 2013 .


    Raoul Bedi
    Facebook: Canadian Raw Dairy Consumer Advocacy

  10. gonzales

    I’m curious–why WARM milk? (I’ve always had a distaste for milk that was neither cold nor hot.)

    And how do you overcome food fatigue?

    • Gonzales: Good question. I would try to answer your question partly by modifying it to should one be drinking ANY kind of cold liquids ? Ayurveda frowns on drinking cold liquids of ANY kind. It slows down the digestion . More energy is required from the body to effect overall digestion . But in North America it has become almost a cultural norm. Here is a specific scientific answer why not : The digestive enzymes in human works best at the optimum temperature of between 37°C and 42°C. This is the temperature range where the rate of food digestion is the maximum. When you eat food it enters the stomach at a temperature of between 37°C and 42°C, and if not, it’s regulated by the body to that temperature range. For example: The enzyme pepsin in the stomach degrades food proteins into peptides at the optimum temperature of between 37°C and 42°C and optimum acidic environments of pH of 1.5 to 2. The body has sensors with memory, or it’s linked to the brain, and immediately it sense the food in the stomach has temperatures and pH outside the optimum range, it uses the energy and acids stored in the body to regulate the right conditions for the optimum digestion.

    • Food and drink that is really cold is hard to digest. The cold tends to slow down the release of enzymes that aid digestion. Some people actually have quite severe digestive problems when foods are too cold. Western medicine isn’t too concerned about this but Chinese medicine and Ayurveda both prefer that foods and drinks be at room temperature especially in someone looking to build health. Someone quite healthy probably doesn’t have to worry about this as much but doing something like the milk cleanse is a way to detox the body and build health so it just makes sense to have the milk at room temperature to cover all bases.

      • Donna


        Just happen to see this since I was just starting a raw milk diet. I wanted to clarify that it’s not Western medicine that ignores hot and cold common sense but rather Corporate medicine that does. My mother grew up in Europe and until it became more Americanized much later, you could not find any ice anywhere. It was common knowledge that icy cold and very hot food and liquids were bad for the gums and teeth as well as your digestion. In fact the first time I went to Europe in the early 70’s all of the drinks everywhere were lukewarm, there was no ice to be found. We need to distinguish between what post-war America has been teaching as “medicine” and what early America and Europe understood as health care which is quite different. Also keep in mind some of the greatest health pioneers were European and American. Their immense knowledge and contributions should not be clumped in with the corporate mess that constitutes modern medicine.

  11. Wonderful, Alice!
    I’m at least a “believer” in the milk fast. I know a self-proclaimed “raw milk fanatic” here in California who went the great distance of starting a CSA dairy farm and essentially devoting his life to assuring having the finest grass-fed milk possible, Maybe some day he can publish his account on how long he has gone just on a diet of milk.

    I have been culturing virtually all my dairy products and now enjoy about six to seven cups of kefir every day. Some times I have a cup or so of raw, grass-fed creme fraiche. I stir with about three cups of my home made kombucha and about four cups of whey plus a couple tablespoons of minerals. About every other day I add two tablespoons of spirilina to the mix that totals one full gallon. That is about 80 to 85% of my diet. I have never felt better in about fifty years of my adult life!

    Culturing adds great variety and greater digest-ability. Maybe some day i will start my own dairy!

    Enjoy the experience!

    Chef Jem
    Executive producer: “Raw Milk: The Whole Truth”

  12. Sue

    I have a question about “raw milk yogurt”. I have Guernsey cows and enjoy raw milk and the associated products everyday. When I make yogurt I always heat it to185 deg. before cooling and culturing it. I’ve read that you have to heat the milk to change the proteins so that thick yogurt is produced.
    Is it still called raw after heating it? Are there other ways to successfully make yogurt without the initial heat treatment?
    I’ve been curious about this even before reading this article.

    • If you have your own cow, you can make the most amazing yogurt raw. The trick is to use the milk as it is fresh and warm from the cow, before the bacteria system changes, and add your yogurt culture (more than regular yogurt) and leave it to ferment 18 or so hours. You can email me at alice@homeontherangefarms.com if you need more info. Raw is considered heated less that 110 degrees

    • HI Sue. I make mine starting from cold milk since I pick it up that way. I then warm it to 110 degrees very slowly and with low heat. I ad a culture called ABY2C that I get from Glengarry Cheese in Ontario. This culture makes the nicest thickest raw milk yogurt. I then culture it for 24 hours. After a week or so some of the whey will separate but that is okay with me because I use it to start my fermented vegetables or add to sourdough starter. Sometimes I use that whey on my house plants watered down well with pure water.

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  15. Heating milk to 185 degrees is called PASTEURIZING!!! It’s no longer raw.

  16. Jennifer

    What if you can’t get raw milk what can I use instead

  17. Ben Powell

    I have been on nothing but milk for almost six months. Have you ever heard of anyone I could research that has been on raw milk that long? Thanks…Ben Powell

  18. Thank you so much. I was actually recommended milk diet by my doctor in ireland. Tried drink only milk and water for two weeks nothing else and lost alot of weight. I’ll soon write a detailed blog and share my whole experience with you guys. once again thank you

  19. Mapoule

    I thought milk was responsable for breast cancer, at least one factor among others. It is so full of hormones, a calf and a baby needs them for a while, after that, what other animal drinks milk, that is my question…..

  20. Mapoule

    But that is interesting to read Your experience, I might add 🙂 looking weight is easy, keeping it of is another story, don’t you think ?

  21. Mapoule

    Whatabout now ? That would interest me a lot to know, I bet I am not the only one 😉 cheers

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