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Seattle woman gives up on photosynthesis, adopts food-based diet

Naveena Shine ended her "Living on Light" experiment after losing 20 percent of her body weight.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 18, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 1:12 pm CDT

Naveena Shine is calling it quits on her attempt to live on light—in spite of the fact that human beings have no ability to photosynthesize—on Wednesday after living on nothing but light and tea for 47 days.

Over the course of her experiment, Shine lost about 20 percent of her weight, but that’s not what ultimately prompted her to end the experiment. She stopped because she ran out of money. Sunlight may be free, but phone and Internet service aren’t.

“The overt reason is that on that day the phones and internet will be cut off and I have nothing to pay for the space I am in,” Shine wrote on her blog. “In practical terms I cannot continue. However, I see money as simply energy and symbolic for many other things. There is nothing like the black and white clarity of money for bringing important messages into our lives.”

Shine is also ending it because of the negative response she received following her decision. She concluded from the reactions that the world wasn’t ready to hear her information.

“I was just asking a question, but there was just so much negative response that that means the question can’t even be asked,” she wrote.

She had wanted to see whether breatharianism, which is a belief that sunshine can be substituted for food, was possible. She ultimately concluded that she came to the experiment from the wrong approach and doesn’t know if she lived on light or accomplished a “slow starvation.”

She also worried that if others decided to follow her lead without the proper preparation, it would be “synonymous with giving a loaded shotgun to [a] baby.”

During the experiment she reported feeling tired or dizzy, vomited after drinking water, and had twitches and cold hands, according to the Seattle Times. She will slowly being the process of eating normal food on Wednesday, starting with a little bit of maple syrup.

And while she ultimately had to end her experiment, she hopes that it will open a dialogue and encourage future research.

“I would say that the ‘Living On Light’ experiment has been amazingly successful,” Shine said. “It did not do what I thought it was going to do but it did do what Existence wanted it to do. That is what I call ‘perfect.'”

H/T Seattle Times | Photo via Living On Light/YouTube

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*First Published: Jun 18, 2013, 5:42 pm CDT