Friday, February 26, 2010

Why this works for me

Tonight I felt like I got a really understood why this works for me...

We had company over, watching Olympic Hockey (We won by the way! Yeah! Canada to the Gold Metal Game!). Company usually means drinks and food. There were snacks around, and pizza, I really felt like eating. When I started to consider it and thought, "what's one night, no big deal," The thought was automatically dismissed. Why?

Because I had already planned to break my fast tomorrow at 12:30 with brunch at our favourite spot, The Log Cabin. They have amazing breakfast with fresh made hash browns and all the trimmings. As soon as I thought about eating chips, I was reminded that my next meal was going to be so much better than chips and all I had to do is just wait a little while.

With diets, there is no indulgence waiting just around the corner, no break from the deprivation. Unless you "cheat". Then the guilt would set in and you would stress about the weight. Stress causes you to gain weight, and so a vicious circle begins.

The best thought in the world, just wait a little while, then enjoy!

That's why this works for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The "IF" Life

I recently found a new free book on the subject of Intermittent Fasting by Mike O'Donnell, link below.

I find it interesting how people react when they hear what I am doing. They all wrinkle their eyebrows and look at me like I must be crazy. They say things like, "Why don't you just try eating 6 small meals a day instead?" and  "You know if you don't eat, your body will just store fat when you do eat."

Well, that's weird because since I have been doing this I have dropped 20LBS!! Strange, since my body is supposed to be storing fat right?

The IF Life book talks a bit about the 6 meals a day myth and Paula posted something about it on her loving life a latte blog earlier as well. It is a MYTH that your metabolism will kick into high gear and burn more fat with 6 small meals a day. There is no difference between 6 small meals a day and one big one. Unless you count the fact that one big one is MUCH more satisfying than eating rice cakes and salad six times a day. Not to mention the fact that food runs your life at 6 small meals a day.

Take a look at Mike O'Donnells book at the link below.

The IF Life

Monday, February 22, 2010

Re-training the body

Today was an interesting day. I think the full fast Sundays have really given me perspective on what excess food (and junk food in particular) does to my energy levels.

I fasted all day Sunday and felt great all day. This morning I woke up feeling very proud of my accomplishment the day before and it also reflected on the scale, back in a downward motion. At work I felt great, and got so much work done before lunch with energy to spare.

I usually break my fast at around 12:30, which I did today. Since it is Olympic fever here in the city our office has added some "perks" in the form of every kind of junk food known to man in MASS quantities placed in every corner of the office.

In the large boardroom they have the Olympic games playing on the big screen all day and the meeting table is COVERED with M&Ms, Cheesies, Popcorn, Chips, Twizzlers, Cookies (several different kinds), Gummy Bears and Pop.

In the kitchen there is free breakfast every day consisting of eggs, bacon, toast, bagels, muffins, donuts, waffles, cereal, english muffins, cream cheese, peanut butter & jam! To top all of that off we were lucky enough today to have a special guest in the office, an Olympic torch bearer with his torch and so they did a little gathering to hear his story and see the torch and they finished this meeting with 4 different kinds of ice cream bars to choose from!!!


I think my company is trying to kill me! Through all of this I resisted temptation! Even after fasting all day yesterday, I did not cheat and have a little bite of anything until lunch. At lunch I ate my wonderful enchiladas that my husband made on Sunday night with brown rice. After that I started snacking on all the junk that was under my nose. Chips, cookie (I just had one!), M&Ms, gummy bears and an ice cream bar. About 2pm I felt AWEFUL! I realized that I was so sleepy and bloated and slow...I got no work done in the afternoon and I just wanted to lie down. It has taken until now, about 8PM, to finally start feeling a bit better. I really hope I haven't undone all my good effort and work of Sunday's fast!

I had no idea that this is how I used to feel all the time. I feel like I have started to re-train my body what to eat and how much. I now know that eating so much of the junky foods make me feel sick. Fasting has pointed that out to me (I know you would think it would be obvious, but I just was used to it I guess). I am really going to start limiting the portions of food I eat during my eating window and try to avoid all of those "perks" my company has provided for the rest of the week!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Full Fast Sundays Part 2

Extend the fast for a plateau kickstart!

This is my second Sunday now where I have been attempting to fast for the entire day. It is one of the recommendations that Dr. Herring suggests for breaking that plateau and I have noticed that it definitely gives the body that kick start to get back to moving in a downward direction!

Last Sunday was a breeze. No problem at all, no hunger at all. I kept a full stomach of water and tea and occupied myself with creating beautiful pottery!

Today is my second attempt of the full fast Sunday experiment and so far it is also going very well. Pottery class took up most of my day. I feel full of energy, very clear minded and calm and I am looking forward to my reward meal tomorrow when I can eat my husband's famous ENCHILADAS!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Olympics have brought the world to my city!

The Olympics are in full bloom in the city right now. Every day when I am downtown, I look around and all I see is a sea of red and white with flashes of the word CANADA everywhere. GO CANADA! The support in the city is amazing. There are so many visitors and they are all in awe of our beautiful city!

The weather is not so great on the mountains as far as snow goes, but down here in the city it is beautiful sunshine every day! Such perfect conditions for all the tourists. There are so many people just walking around, soaking up the spirit!

It makes me realize how beautiful this place is and how lucky I am to live here. I pass the views everyday and start to take them for granted until I hear a visitor say, "Wow, look at that!" or see someone taking a photo of our beautiful mountains. It is so nice to have the ocean and the mountains on our door step!

Vancouver is so special, I am glad the rest of the world gets to have a nice close up look! Take a look at what they are seeing below:

View of the "World of Science" (the blue ball in the middle).

View of Downtown Vancouver with the mountains in the distance.

View of Canada Place (the white sails) from the sea wall at Stanley Park.

The skyline from False Creek. You can see The Lions Peeks in the distance. (The two snow covered mountain peeks on the right hand side)

An aerial shot of downtown Vancouver with the mountains in the distance.

An aerial shot of vancouver with Stanley Park 
(the big green island in the water) and North Vancouver in the distance. 
The RED circle is the building I work in!

View of Vancouver with Stanley Park and North Vancouver in the Distance. The big white dome in the middle is BC Place, where they have football, home of the BC Lions.

The amazing mountains that surround our beautiful city! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Snacks are one of the reasons that I am overweight...

In doctor Herring's book he describes what the body identifies as a snack:

"Do you drink coffee with cream and/or sugar? Sugar-sweetened sodas, lemonade or tea? Alcohol-containing drinks? Count each as a snack. To your body, every packet of fuel that comes into the stomach looks like a snack, whether it's liquid before it enters your mouth or not."

When you add the above snacks to the meal sized snacks I used to eat all day, it is no wonder why I struggled with my weight. Fasting makes it fool proof as far as avoiding snacks. When I was on other diets I would just add that extra spoonful or handful or one or two more pieces, or just another bite. When I add all that up it puts me way over my "points" or "calories" or whatever it is I was measuring or counting.

When what you are supposed to have is ZERO during a certain time, then there is no room for error, there is no way for those "snacks" to get through. During the eating window if you have snacks, they are guilt free and part of the program.

19 hours = Freedom!


I love making pottery. I have been doing it for about a year now and I am fully addicted! I wish I could do this all day, everyday!

I have many new projects on the go right now that I am continuing to work on and will soon bring home. Here are a few pictures of the pottery I have already completed.

The largest of three nesting bowls.

The nesting bowls, nesting.

My first large item, a vase.

My adorable dog, Bexley and his food and water dish.

A pot that I carved the outside with a plastic tool I had to create the indents.

An utensil holder with a leaf pattern carved out of the side.

A large bowl.

A set of canisters.

Pottery is a wonderful outlet for me. I love the calming effect it has. 
I always love creating, especially at this organic level. 
Such a wonderful feeling to make something from scratch like this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eat less, live longer!

Time magazine did an article on how eating less can make you live longer.

One interesting quote was: 
"Calorie restriction is pretty much the only thing out there that we know will not just prevent disease but also extend maximal life span," says Dr. Marc Hellerstein, a nutritionist at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the biological effects of fasting.

Check out this article.,28804,1963392_1963366_1963381,00.html

The East Coast Hurlburt Siblings (photo by Jason Grow for Time) 

Six of the Eight Hurlburt siblings live in New England. 
Peggy (79), Helen (88), Millie (93), Peter (80), Agnes (96) and Muriel (89) 
are models of long-lived, healthful vigor 
which makes them perfect candidates for the Long Life Family Study. 

As Agnes points out, "none of us have canes."

Read more: 

Check out this blog

I was inspired to start a blog by Paula at

Her blog is very inspiring, take a look at what she has to say about intermittent fasting and the Fast-5 Lifestyle. Thank you Paula!

A sample of my "Break-Fast"

For me breakfast (break-fast) is at 12:30pm. This is when I break the fast and eat my first meal. I thought it would be a good idea to post some samples of what I eat in a normal day so viewers can see that I truly am eating what I love and not depriving myself at all.

Today at about 1pm I had lasagna and garlic bread...mmmmmm yummy!

Then at about 2:30pm I had some veggies and hummus for dipping and some grapes. Gotta get in those fruits and veggies! I also had some vitamins, Natural Factors pro-biotic, Si Su multi-vitamin, and a Calcium/Magnesium/Vitamin D combo. I try to take these everyday with my "break-fast".

At about 4pm I had dessert. Angel food cake, low fat chocolate pudding, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and light cool whip! One of my favourite desserts that I always used to eat when I was doing my old stand-by diet, Weight Watchers (without the ice cream of course). 

Now I am nice and full and had a great meal of foods that I love!

The Number 19

The number 19 has always been important in my life. It is like a sign post directing me along my path. It tells me if I am on the right track, good or bad. Sometimes bad things need to happen in order for good things to happen.

I am not a religious person. But, I do believe in a higher power. Is it God? Is it Fate? Is it Luck? I don't know. I think that is the most honest thing we can ever say about religion, I don't know. No one knows, not really. It is just "Faith". Faith in what they choose to have faith in. I don't know what the answer is, I only know what works for me, what I choose to have faith in. For me it is a simple number.

19, it is not just lucky for me, sometimes it is there when I am struggling, but it is my sign that the struggle is necessary for me to grow. 19 has been a part of my life for a long time.

My birthday is the 19th.

When I was young in elementary school, 19 would always pop up. It would be given to me, or just show up, I wouldn't look for it. I would be assigned books with the number on it, I would be assigned team shirts with the number on it. It just followed me around. There are many, many more examples of this happening.

Strange things would happen around 19... 

I would be on the train, reading or watching a dvd. I take this train everyday. I rarely look at the scenery, I have seen it all before. I am usually occupied. One morning I was watching a show on my portable DVD player and got distracted with my thoughts about a stressful event that was happening in my life at the time. I looked up and out the window. Just at THAT moment on my side of the train, we passed a very small square white sign that had only one thing on it, the number 19. I smiled, and my stress level lowered.

What are the chances of that happening? Just at the one second it would have taken for us to pass that sign I happened to look up and see that number fly by. There were other numbers along the track, I later noticed. But I looked up when the number 19 was being passed. Coincidence? I don't know.

Out to dinner. Our table was against this wall with all this elaborate piping and industrial looking design, hoses etc. I was looking at the design and my eyes finished just next to my chair where a little tiny sticker was on one of the pipes. The number 19. I looked all over the wall again to see if there were other numbers...none. Just one, next to me that read "19".

I would be walking in a mall and notice a TV playing news highlights and weather. I glance at it just when they do a close up of the back of a hockey player's jersey; number 19.

Happy things happen around 19...

Before we were married, my husband and I were travelling. We were on our way to Santorini Greece. I would later find out was the trip that my husband had chose to ask me to marry him. At the airport, Gate 19. On the plane, row 19. I mentioned to my husband that it looked like this was going to be a good trip. He started thinking, maybe there is something to this 19 thing...

Planning our wedding. We had chose a location and wanted a date in August. I called the location and they told me that unfortunately August was booked. They had only one date left for the summer and it was June 19th.

Moving into our new home. We looked at many locations and nothing felt like home. Finally I saw some pictures of a place that really spoke to me. This house looked perfect. The realtor hadn't found it, I thought, that's odd, it is just what we are looking for. When we decided we wanted to see it, we looked at the address. It was on 119th Avenue.

Finally feeling FREE from dieting! I started this new way of eating. I loved the freedom. It took me a few weeks before I realized the fasting period is 19 hours.

19 hours = Freedom!

What is your 19?

The hardest thing about Fast-5

The hardest part for me is the social aspect of it. Society has drilled it into our minds that you must eat three meals a day, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", "if you don't eat your body will go into starvation mode", "you should eat 6 small meals a day", etc... etc... 

Humans were not made to live in the environment we live in...there was no grocery store or Mcdonalds on the corner for the early humans... they hunted their food and probably fasted for quite a while during the time it would have taken to organize the hunt, kill the animal and prepare it for eating. Then, they would have had to eat one big meal all at once because the food would go bad if they saved it for those "6 small meals throughout the day". 

Hunger is only so difficult because our bodies are not used to going without that "fix" of food. Now that I have gotten used to fasting, I RARELY feel hunger pains and when I do they are much more faint than they were when I was eating all the time. Before Fast-5, when I went without food for 6 hours I would feel "STARVING" so much so that it would HURT. I NEVER feel that way anymore and now I go without food for 19 hours! 

10 reasons why I love Fast-5

Since I have been eating only during my "eating window"
(around 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm), I have noticed a lot of changes.

Here are 10 of the reasons why I love Fast-5:

1. I have gotten smaller. 
    18 Lbs gone forever. 

2. I have more energy.
    No more sleepy afternoons or sugar crashes.

3. I am less bloated.
    I used to feel so gassy and full after eating all day. 
    The evenings were very uncomfortable.

4. I have clearer skin.
    I used to struggle with acne and now I have consistently clear skin. 
    No more breakouts!

5. My hair is healthier and shinier.
    I drink way more water now than I ever did and I think it is helping 
    with my skin, hair and nails. It is flushing out all the toxins I have 
    been storing up for years.

6. I am happy and hopeful about my weight.
    I never felt hopeful when dieting. I always felt grumpy and irritated. 
    I felt hungry and deprived. I felt like it was a temporary change that 
    was a lot of work and would never last. I always wondered how I was 
    going to maintain the lifestyle the diets constricted me to. 
    I always wondered how much weight I was going to put on 
    again after stopping the diet.

7. I enjoy my food more.
    I look forward to my eating time. I think about what I am going to have 
    and it tastes so good and is so enjoyable. I don't eat quick and 
    mindlessly like before. I eat the foods I love!

8. I sleep through the night.
    I used to wake up anywhere from 3-6 times during the night. 
    I would feel uncomfortable in bed, toss and turn and rarely 
    wake up rested. Eating less throughout the day has improved 
    my quality of sleep. I now wake up only 1-2 times per night. 
    I get way more sleep.

9. No more guilt trips.
    I used to feel so guilty when I would eat the foods I love. 
    Now I can enjoy pasta, bread, sweets, whatever I want with no guilt.

10. I am healthier.
    With all of the above, my health overall has improved.
    I drink more water, get more sleep, I take more vitamins.
    I feel less stressed and more happy! I have started to be more 
    aware of what I am eating and the nutrients that I am getting. 
    I eat more fruits and veggies because I know that since this is 
    my only meal, I need healthy foods.

No one can argue with the above 10 results I have seen. If I feel good and am seeing results like these then that is all the proof I need to recommend this lifestyle to anyone. Fast-5 works!

My Weight Loss Journey

Welcome to 19 hours = Freedom! I wanted to set up this blog so that I could keep track of my weight loss journey, for myself and for any others who are looking for a new lifestyle rather than a new diet!

I have been dieting for many years and have struggled with my weight since I became an adult. I love food, especially sweets and my weakness has always been snacking. In January this year I decided that it was time for me to stop the yo-yo dieting and get on board with a new lifestyle! That is how I found Fast-5!

Fast-5 is a lifestyle created by Dr. Bert Herring. You can view his website through the link on the right hand side of this page. He wrote a book about the lifestyle and you can download it for FREE on his website, yes FREE!

Dr. Herring came up with an amazing way of eating that has saved me from dieting! Basically, you eat only during a pre-set 5 hour "eating window" during the day, and fast the rest of the time, about 19 hours including about 8 hours of sleeping. Any window of time during the day is ok, just choose the time period and stick to it. This puts your body into a "fat burning state" because fasting allows the insulin and leptin levels in your body to fall to baseline levels and stay there for a longer period of time. This allows the body to use up the fat stores we have for fuel.


Since I started this new way of eating in January 2010 I have "released" 18Lbs of fat!

This is the easiest thing I have ever done! The first few days were a struggle as I got used to the feeling of fasting. Now that my body has adjusted, I feel better than I have felt in years! I have TONS of energy during the day and I rarely feel any hunger pain now in my fasting period.

The best part of all of this is that I never feel deprived. Feeling deprived was the number one reason that diets never worked for me long term. I always craved and wanted the things that I was not allowed to have. I would watch others around me eat the foods I loved, I would not be able to eat out with friends or enjoy the treats that others always had to offer.

With the fast-5 lifestyle you can eat what you want. Anything you want. NO food is off limits. Of course you don't want to binge and eat donuts all day. But, if you want a donut, have a donut! No measuring, no counting, no planning, no expensive grocery bills, no powders, no pills, NO DIETING!

Fast-5 has given me FREEDOM.
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