Day #7 – Intermittent Fasting

Well, I would have to say so far this IF thing has been a complete success! Even though I have been a bit sick through it, it’s something that I can easily continue to do when when I don’t feel well. Which is a plus!

I actually think it helped me to make sure what I did eat, was nothing but the best during my 8 hour eating period. It helped me to focus in on the quality of my food more.

I originally set off on this venture to do 5 days of IF and I am now on day #7. It’s easy to incorporate into my life and I have never been a big breakfast person. Shakeology has taken place for my traditional ‘coffee and sugary creamer’ breakfasts, for about a year now. But naturally my body just isn’t a big breakfast eater, so not eating until 11am is easy for me. And the first thing I have at that time is my Shakeology with banana, PB2, almond milk and ice.

I think this is something I will do regularly as I have found it to be a success. My waist line has gone down and my normal evening bloating has minimized. I have only been bloated 1 night our of the 6 so far. Thats pretty awesome! It’s a relief actually.

As the evening bloat increases, I know I need change up something or it’s time for a cleanse. I normally do the 3 Day Refresh Cleanse by Beachbody but wanted to try IF for a first time to educate myself a bit.

I have learned quite a bit about my body, IF, macros and the natural concept behind IF. As I always try to get as close to nature as possible in this urban lifestyle of mine, I feel IF has taught me that sometimes we don’t need to always be shoving the best foods down our throats. Its good to let our systems clean out and give it a break. I often get lost in this circle of it, and it’s nice to see the outside view, that food is fuel and nutrition, NOT a vice or something that makes me feel I am imprisoned to.

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Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes

As a vegetarian, I am always struggling to get enough protein in my diet. Sweet potatoes are a regular go to for me as well as peanut and almond butter. This provides the best of both worlds!

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SERVES 1-2

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes
A high protein, lower-carb breakfast option!

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients

• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup oats
• 1/2 cup cottage cheese
• 1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 tsp sugar or other sweetener (optional)
• cinnamon, to taste
• 
peanut butter, for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a greased pan or griddle over medium heat.
  3. Let sit for 3-4 minutes before flipping.
  4. Flip carefully and let cook another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Flip again and let cook for 2 more minutes.

Patience is the key when cooking these. Pour in the batter, let them sit for 4-5 minutes, flip them and let them sit for a few minutes and then flip them again and let them cook a little more. You can’t have your heat too high otherwise they will burn…but the longer cooking time helps them solidify a bit more in the middle. I’m not really sure if you need the baking soda in this recipe. I accidentally put it in instead of baking powder. When I realized, I just added the baking powder as well and it worked just fine.

Drizzle with almond or peanut butter or your favorite topping! Helps if you throw peanut butter in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds to soften for easier pouring.

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Thank you to hwww.theleangreenbean.com for the delicious recipe!!!!

Day #2 – Intermittent Fasting

Well day #2 is here and I got my workout in this morning. 22 Minute Hard Corp with Tony Horton. Love that guy!

I was feeling tired this morning though and not wanting to get out of bed. My throat is a bit sore. Its going around so I am not surprised. So I will be drinking a lot of immune building tea today. Surprisingly not hungry this morning, which is not normal. I am usually pretty hungry after my workouts in the mornings, so I am embracing it. This is much easier than I thought it would be.

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I have had many people ask me why I am doing this, so I wanted to take a minute to explain.

Health is of the utmost importance to me and consistently improving(through health and mind) is as well. I like to constantly move forward, stagnant is difficult for me. So I enjoy trying new things and challenging myself…

The idea and/or concept behind IF follows many of my natural/earthy beliefs.

Some people who subscribe to primal eating behaviors believe that in caveman times food was not always available and therefore humans were forced to fast intermittently. They have carried it forward and believe that the body is geared towards it and benefits from it. They have numerous studies to support their beliefs and use them to support IF.

However, as all things in life, though. I am a big believer in balance. Too much of anything is bad. So with that I am looking forward to lunch and enjoying my Shakeology as I type.

Day #1 – Intermittent Fasting

What is Intermittent fasting and why would I do it?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

Why would I want to change the times I eat versus what I eat?

Well, most notably, it’s a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing.

Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of “simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.”

There are 5 different versions or ways to fast with Intermittent Fasting:

1 – Leangains: Which is fasting for 16 hours and then eating for 8.
2 – Eat Stop Eat: Fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week
3 – The Warrior Diet: “Undereating” for 20 hours and then eating one large meal at night.
4 – Fat Loss Forever: A combo of Eat Stop Eat, The Warrior Diet and Leangains, and combines it all into one plan. You also get one cheat day each week (yay!) — followed by a 36-hour fast.
5 – Up Day Down Day Diet: Eat very little one day, and eat like normal the next. On the low-calorie days, that means one fifth of your normal calorie intake.

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Since this is my first rodeo with this, I choose to start with Leangains. Seems easiest and works well with my schedule. Also it makes my sleep time a huge part of the fasting and its easier to sleep through it, right? Fasting for 16 hours and using 8 hours of it for sleep makes it easier.

So my first night consisted of a healthy sweet potato, carrot and kale dinner at around 6:30 p.m. I haven’t eating since, and won’t until 11am this morning. From what I have learned the best part about Leangains is that you can make your eating and fasting times anytime of day, so it can work around your schedule. Think 16:8. !6 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating.

I went for a 4 mile jog this morning and watched the sunrise. I have had a ton of water and I did have my pre-workout drink. Not sure if its allowed but I will find out! This is my biggest question so far.

I have joined a few knowledgable facebook groups and they have been a huge benefit and help to educating me.

Am I hungry right now? Yes, normally I have my Shakeology right now and it goes down pretty quick, so my body needs to adjust to the changes. I am hanging on strong though. I do however feel good. No major concerns or issues yet, just running to the bathroom quite a bit from drinking all this water.

What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

1. Reduces kitchen food prep time, therefore making you days simpler

Intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and that can be a huge help within my busy days.

2. Helps you live longer.

Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.

There’s just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?

The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.

Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.

3. Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.

This one is up for debate because there hasn’t been a lot of research and experimentation done on the relationship between cancer and fasting. Early reports, however, look positive.

This study of 10 cancer patients suggests that the side effects of chemotherapy may be diminished by fasting before treatment. This finding is also supported by another study which used alternate day fasting with cancer patients and concluded that fasting before chemotherapy would result in better cure rates and fewer deaths.

Finally, this comprehensive analysis of many studies on fasting and disease has concluded that fasting appears to not only reduce the risk of cancer, but also cardiovascular disease.

4. Intermittent fasting is much easier than dieting.

The reason most diets fail isn’t because we switch to the wrong foods, it’s because we don’t actually follow the diet over the long term. It’s not a nutrition problem, it’s a behavior change problem.

This is where intermittent fasting shines because it’s remarkably easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time. Its simply a change in your habits and creating new ones.

Day #1 and I am well on my way.
Learning while I go and looking forward to 11am so I can eat!

Resources: 
http://www.dailyburn.com
http://www.jamesclear.com