Sunday, December 9, 2012

Almost Jamaica Time

This Friday my hubby and I are heading to Jamaica! So looking forward to our vacation in the sun...

Despite my efforts, I was not able to make my goal of feeling comfortable in a bikini...but I am happy to wear my one piece instead...I know that I will get there...just need to be patient.

This week I have an appointment with a personal trainer...I thought it might be time to bite the bullet and see how I can incorporate exercise into my routine. I have been on a plateau for so very long. I know that I must do more in order to ever see my ultimate goal.

I am very lucky to have a job that generously gives $600 per year for wellness and this includes the services of a personal, I will be using my wellness money to try it out and see where it takes me. I have chosen a trainer that offers a fusion of traditional workouts with Pilates mixed in. The place is walking distance from my commuter train station so I can easily walk there after work and hubby can pick me up from there instead of the train a couple times a week.

We will see how I like it for these first few sessions and if it goes well, I will purchase some more.

Looking forward to a new chapter and hopefully the push that I need to get me moving towards my goal again!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting Back on Track with Fasting

I have had a comment to ask how to get back on track after taking a break from fasting.

Sometimes it is easy to get off plan, when little by little the food cravings take over. This happens to me from time to time.

I notice my cravings are worse when I eat more sugar. During Halloween they were at an all time high and eating all that sugar made me crave food something fierce. I wasn't just craving sweets but craving food in general. The yeast in our bodies feed off of sugar and the more you eat, the more they want and so they scream out for sugar in any form, carbs and sugars mainly.

If you are having trouble getting back on track with fasting because of cravings, try to avoid sugar for a few days before you go back on plan. This should help to keep those cravings down. Also, drink lots of water to flush out the system.

Once you start your fasting plan again, the best thing to help you along is to keep busy during that fasting time. Schedule in a project that will keep you occupied for most of the time. Avoid TV as much as possible...I always find that watching TV increases my food cravings because there is almost always food or eating on shows and movies, not to mention all the food commercials ( and even if you PVR and fast forward through the commercials, it isn't hard to miss all those close ups of burgers and pizza!).

Continue to drink lots of water or clear tea with no sugar during fasting as that also helps keep the cravings at bay.

Let me know what helps you get back on track?

Good Luck!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Listen to your Body while Fasting

This week's two day fast was not a good one. I didn't feel well yesterday during my first day of fasting. I had a headache and I was really all I could do was think about eating an entire pizza...

So, today I decided to just eat lunch as normal.

I always recommend that you listen to your body while fasting. Maybe you are tired or fighting off a cold. Maybe your body is just not in the fasting state of is ok. Just listen to your body and eat if you feel you need to.

I usually feel really good during fasting but occasionally there is a day here and there that I just don't feel at my best and eating is what I need to feel better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Intermittent Fasting has transformed my tastebuds

I have noticed more lately how much I enjoy food. Fasting two days per week has given me new appreciation for the joy of chewing and the flavours of food.

But even more interesting is that the food I really enjoy the most is the whole, natural foods. The junk is not as appealing and I find that it seems too rich for me when I do have it.

I used to be able to eat two huge cookies no problem and try to contain myself to eat a third. The other day I bought one of those big cookies from Starbucks and half way through I had to stop. It was way too much for me.

Today I broke my fast at noon with a delicious salad, two hard boiled eggs, 1/4 of an avocado, a handful of cashews and a slice of wheat free bread with flax seeds. It was all SO good. It tasted amazing and was way better than any chocolate chip cookie!

I love how intermittent fasting has transformed my taste buds.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Fasting 5:2 diet

My husband has been continuing on with his version of an Intermittent Fasting schedule called 5:2.

He decided to try this after we had watched the BBC Documentary "Eat, Fast and Live Longer."

He lost 8 pounds in 5 weeks and an inch off of his waist. This 5:2 option is a great place to start with intermittent fasting. If you struggle with the 19 hours per day way of fasting, take a few weeks off and try the 5:2 option instead and see if that helps. It is a much easier plan and seems to have similar results.

I have been continuing on with my own version of 5:2.... Fasting 19 hours per day as usual five days per week and then doing a full day fast for two days per week. So far I have lost 10 pounds.

There is a great article about the version of 5:2 diet that my husband is trying here

Below is a breakdown and excerpt from that article:

The 5:2 diet: what is it and how does it work?
• With the 5:2 diet, you can eat whatever you like five days a week — so-called feeding days. On the two “fasting days” you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories if you are a man. 
• It doesn’t matter which days are spent “feeding” and which “fasting”, as long as the fasting days are non-consecutive and you stick to the 5:2 ratio. 
• On fasting days you can consume your calories in one go, or spread them through the day — there is no medical research into whether filling up at breakfast or snacking throughout the day is more effective for weight loss. 
• A typical fasting-day breakfast of 300 calories might consist of two scrambled eggs with ham (good sources of protein), plenty of water, green tea or black coffee. For a typical 300-calorie lunch or dinner, try grilled fish or meat with vegetables. 
• On feeding days you can eat whatever you like. Most dieters, rather than feeling a need to gorge, found that they were happy to consume around 2,000 calories — the recommended daily intake for women (2,600 for men) — and did not crave high-fat foods. 
• Contrary to popular opinion, fasting can be a healthy way to lose weight. It can reduce levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1, which leads to accelerated ageing), switches on DNA repair genes and reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. 
• According to current medical opinion, the benefits of fasting are unproven. As a diet, it is not recommended for pregnant women or diabetics on medication. Anyone considering a diet that involves fasting is advised to consult their GP first, and to do it under medical supervision.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to avoid hunger during fasting

I had a comment from a reader asking how I avoid hunger now that I am water fasting for two full days every week...

Well, here is the secret is all in the mind!

Water and tea with Stevia (which is a natural sweetener as well as an appetite suppressant) are what I use to help me through, although I find that I only feel hungry when I let my mind take me there...

The power of the mind is amazing. You have to make a decision in your mind that is firm and once you do that, once you KNOW that you will fast until the end of the set time, it really is no problem. The hunger is gone.

When I have my regular eating days, I start getting hungry around 11. When I am on a fasting day, it is 12:30 and I am just realizing that I haven't felt hungry at all.

That is because on my normal eating days I KNOW that I am going to eat at around 11am my body starts anticipating this and sending signals in the form of hunger, looking forward to the food.

On my fasting days I KNOW that I won't be eating and so my brain doesn't bother with signals, no hunger pains.

When I pass a sign with a juicy hamburger on it and I am fasting, I will get a pang of hunger. Here is the interesting part, the hunger pains are stronger when I feel tempted and mild when I feel strong.

It is all in the mind. Work on your thinking.

The other thing is to work up to the fasts. Start small and gradually increase. I first began with the every other day way of fasting. Eat whatever you want one day and eat nothing the next day.

I found that to be very challenging at first. I cried at the end of the day the second time I did an all day fast. It was really hard. That is because I just jumped in and didn't work my way up to that point. It was too much to take all at once.

We need time to adapt. The body is amazing at adapting to change but it is much easier if it is a gradual change. I switched to the Fast 5 way of eating shortly after and still struggled in the beginning because I tried to have my eating window at 5pm. This meant that I was doing most of my fasting all in one big chunk, from 10pm to 5pm the next day. It was only when I switched my window to 12pm-5pm did I notice that it got easier for me. I was then able to eat in the middle of the day and fast a little before and a little after with sleep taking up a good amount of my fasting time.

Then I slowly added in a one day fast during a time when I was really busy (I take a pottery class and stay for an open studio once a week that keeps me busy for 7 hours)  and now after almost three years of fasting regularly I am able to do a fast for two whole days once per week. (one of my all day fasts is still during my pottery day so that helps to keep my mind on other activities)

So take your time and work on your thinking. Slow changes over time = long lasting results.


Monday, October 1, 2012

On the right road to bikini

My new goal is to feel comfortable in a bikini in December when I go to Jamaica for a week. I usually feel fine in a bathing suit but haven't worn a bikini in quite a few years.

This new plan is working really well and I think it will help me meet that goal. I am down around 8 pounds since starting this almost 5 weeks ago. That is a nice amount in a short time.

Today I am on the second day of my two day fast and plan to break my fast tomorrow at lunch with only veggies and protein.

My husband is also near the end of his five week experiment to try fasting in a modified way doing regular eating five days a week with two days in a row of only 500 calories for the day.

He has lost a good amount of weight as well and last time we measured, a half an inch off his waist. Tomorrow morning is the final weigh in and measurement to see the progress this has created.

I will let you know if he decides to continue this way of eating and what the final results were.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Fasting Schedule

Well, it is week two of my new fasting schedule of two full day fasts once per week and 4 days a week of eating very healthy/low carb/low sugar.

So far I have lost 6.5 pounds!

Pretty impressive. I have also been walking an hour every day and doing pilates twice per week.

I'm feeling really good. I think this is something that I could easily maintain. Especially when I start up with my all day Sunday pottery classes again in a couple of weeks.

I am really enjoying eating clean most of the time too. The past couple of years I have been eating much better but now that I only indulge once a week is a big difference. I look forward to my healthy food much more than my indulgent food now. I think I will switch my indulge day up a bit too.

We had been eating in a restaurant once a week as the indulgent day, which is great, but I find myself wanting home cooked meals more on that day. So, I think we will rotate between home cooked goodness and restaurant treat. Saves on money too and always nice to make a meal at home.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits

I had a comment from a reader who wanted to know more about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. We all focus on the weight results but of course there are significant health benefits as well for someone who has no weight to lose.

Below are some links to great content and research about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. I strongly suggest everyone watch the BBC Documentary in the first link. It is available on You Tube and is a great example of the types of health improvements that fasting can produce from a very reliable source, the BBC, British Brodcasting Corporation.

It is very entertaining and well put together. One of my favourite moments is when we watch a man who is 101 years old and has practiced Calorie Restriction (CR) for his whole life, complete a full marathon...amazing! He also is on NO medication, which is astounding for his age. (There is a ton of research that shows that CR has significant health benefits and can significantly increase your lifespan. Research has shown that Intermittent Fasting has similar results to CR without the actual caloric restriction.)

Studies have shown that fasting has so many benefits; longer life, reduced risks of cancer and heart disease, reduced risk of alzheimer's, improvements in arthritis...the list goes on and on.

Personally I have seen some significant health benefits.

I have always been a yo-yo dieter. Gaining and losing large amounts of weight is very hard on the body. For years I would lose 30, gain 50, lose 40, gain 55 and on and on...

Finally my body decided it couldn't take it anymore and I had to have my gaul bladder removed. Gaul stones at the age of 33... not really the most common diagnosis. Gaul bladder attacks, excruciating! I suffered for several months, in and out of the emergency room, before anyone put it together that this young woman had gaul stones!

I had high cholesterol and blood sugar numbers as well which was contributing to this. So, after my gaul bladder was removed, my doctor would regularly monitor my numbers to make sure that I didn't get in the danger zone again.

About 6 months after I began intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, I went for my normal check up at the doctor. He was astonished at the change in my numbers. I told him what I had been doing and he was very interested. He said that he doesn't normally see that kind of improvement without the use of medication. I have his blessing to continue what I am doing and he is always interested to see where I am at health wise when I go for my yearly checkups.

I have also seen significant improvement in the health of my skin. I used to have excessive ache on my face and on my shoulders and upper back. It was a constant thing that would increase or decrease in waves.

Since I began fasting almost three years ago, I have not had any ache at all. It has disappeared and never returned.

I also see improvements in my immune system. I was always the person who had two big flu's a year. And when I get sick, I am really sick, no half way for me. In bed for a week minimum when I have a cold or flu.

Since I began intermittent fasting I have been sick only a couple of times. Once with a mild cold that I could easily work through (which has never happened before). And once more seriously, with pneumonia, which I have had in the past and so I am more susceptible to. Basically that means I have avoided 4 of my usual bad flu or colds so far.

The long term effects of fasting on my health personally remain to be seen but I do believe that I am on the right path and my risk factors have been greatly reduced.

Check out the following list of links for more information on the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Eat, Fast & Live Longer

Fasting as Effective as Chemotherapy

Intermittent Fasting is Good for the Brain

Fasting in the News

Intermittent Fasting & Health

Intermittent Fasting Articles

Intermittent Fasting Articles 2

Intermittent Fasting for Health & Longevity

Fast Way to Better Health

Eat Less, Live Longer

Anti Aging

113 Year Old Man!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eat, Fast & Live Longer

Just heard about a BBC documentary on fasting called Eat, Fast & Live Longer. I haven't watched it yet but will put aside some time this weekend to check it out. It sounds like it will be really good. Here is a link to it on You Tube:

Last week was my vacation and I definitely went off plan a bit. So hard with 4 people staying at our house and constantly eating to avoid eating an extra meal or two. So for about a week I ate 2 meals a day. I tried to get in as much fasting as possible but even with that effort I found myself feeling terrible.

I was really tired and felt sick. I was so bloated and uncomfortable. I don't know how I lived like that for so long. This week I am back on track with my 19 hours per day and what a difference. I feel so much lighter.

All that eating has made me want to reassess where I am with my fasting lifestyle right now. I have been way too flexible about it this past year and I think that is why I have been having trouble moving the scale.

When I began intermittent fasting I was super strict on my schedule. At 5pm on the dot I would eat no fact it was usually earlier because I had my last snack around 3:30 or 4:00. But lately I have had a snack or two when I got home from work at around 6pm and I would occasionally break my fast early too.

The other thing that I have been doing which I think has been keeping the scale from moving is my random schedule. I used to have a specific routine. I ate between 12 and 5 Monday to Friday and had a dinner on Saturday with a long all day fast on Sunday. But I found that I missed having dinner with my husband and so I switched to dinners on Friday's too. Then when pottery class was out I would eat on Sunday as well and move my all day fast to Monday. This is a really different schedule. Tuesday to Thursday lunches...Friday to Sunday dinners...3 lunches and 3 dinners...I don't think this works as well with intermittent fasting as a consistent schedule does.

I think it is important to keep the fasting window as consistent as you can. Moving it for one day here or there with an extra long fasting window surrounding it doesn't seem to make a difference but switching back and forth between lunches and dinners too regularly seems to have a negative effect.

I realize that if I want to eventually reach my goal I need to re-focus and tighten the reins. So I have decided to start a new schedule for the fall and be a consistent as possible to try to re-gain my momentum. I also need to kick it up a notch in order to try to release the last 40 pounds of my excess weight and reach my goal.

Here is the plan:

Tuesday-Friday (4 days), Eat Lunch: 12-5pm window.
Saturday, Eat Dinner: 5-10pm window.
Sunday and Monday, Long fast: 62 hours.

I find that when I switch my schedule from a lunch to a dinner it helps to have a longer fast on either side of the switch to "re-set" the body so to speak. This helps to counteract the switch in schedule and throw the body off a little so it doesn't get stuck.

I also plan to add in an hour walk per day, minimum of 5 days per week but hope to achieve 7. I already do Pilates twice per week so I will continue with that too.

While my husband's family was visiting, his brother and his wife walked one hour every day. They have done this their whole marriage. They say it is not only good for their health but also good for their relationship. It will also be good for our dog too so looking forward to that.

I am scheduled to be in a bathing suit in December when we vacation to Jamaica...and I want to aim for a bikini by then! Gulp...Three months to get bathing suit we go!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Doing much better

Doing much better lately...back to the old schedule and feeling good.

Next week I am on vacation. We have family coming in from Newfoundland to stay with us for a couple of weeks. I am sure there will be lots of eating and fun to be had. I will be switching to dinners starting tonight to accommodate this.

I always find that it is easier to do dinners when I am on vacation because that is usually the big or important meal that everyone sits down to or meets up for. Should be a great week exercise wise too because we will be doing lots of walking and tourist things...Bike rides and sight seeing.

I love being a tourist in my own city, it is such a beautiful place but when you see it every day, you sometimes take that for granted. So seeing it through the eyes of visitors is always refreshing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fasting = Fasting. No slips!

Lately I have been starting to relax a bit on my fasting rules. I eat a little outside my window or extend it slightly. I have a latte when I should just have water, I chew gum.

These things don't seem like they are all that bad but I have noticed the scale creeping back up. Little things DO matter when it comes to fasting. Fasting means Fasting. No gum, no juice no nothing!

I am going to stop this bad habit and go back to my strict ways. Nothing but water or tea with no milk or sugar. Sticking to my window with a vengeance and trying to avoid any slips.

It always seems so easy to just slip back to old habits, even after I have been doing this successfully for over two years, I still struggle. It is an ongoing battle but one worth fighting.

Stay strict my friends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Starving Nutritionally

I read this great book called the Gabriel Method. In it he talks a lot about starving nutritionally. I know it is hard to wrap our brains around but, when we are obese, we are actually starving to death, literally.

A great analogy that he used in his book was to use the example of a baby, what if, every time a baby cried for food we fed it Coca Cola? The baby might stop crying long enough to drink the Coke, but it wouldn't be long before the baby would start screaming again. If we continue giving the baby Coca Cola, the baby would probably get really fat, look like it was really well fed, too well fed even. Yet, the baby would only continue to scream. Why? Because the baby would be starving nutritionally. Starving to death, literally, because a baby cannot live on Coca Cola. It would develop diabetes, or heart disease or cancer and eventually die.

The baby is the same as what we have done to our bodies, we are starving nutritionally and we are literally starving to death! That is why our bodies scream for food constantly, because it isn't screaming for that donut and bag of chips, it is screaming for nutrition.

Now that I have found intermittent fasting, my body has stopped screaming. I have begun to look at hunger in a whole new light. Hunger is not my body needing food but yet my body screaming for more. More junk? No, more nutrition. I used to get the WORST hunger pains. They were physically painful. I never get those anymore. I think they were me starving nutritionally. Hunger is so mild if at all now. I feel like the less I eat, the less hungry I feel.

Fasting allowed my body to understand what it was that it needed and it started to be able to communicate those needs to me in a better way. I started to crave the foods that would be best for me nutritionally. I am not saying I don't ever eat junk...I do, but I also eat lots and lots of veggies and fruit and healthy fats. My body doesn't need to scream anymore.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Over Eating

I have been over eating a lot during my eating window...STILL have a hard time with that one. It is like when the flood gates open, it is hard to close them up again.

So, in response to that I decided to do another long fast to get myself back on track. This morning is my third day fasting. I plan to break my fast this afternoon at lunch which will make a total of 60 hours fasting.

I always find these fasts help to clear my mind and show me how much better I feel when I am not stuffed to the brim with food. I feel cleaned out and calm, light and confident.

I am really frustrated though with my re-accuring issue of over eating that never seems to be cured. I think it is like a mental illness that I really need to work on. If it wasn't for intermittent fasting, I am sure that I would easily be over 300 pounds by now. When I started this journey, I weighed 215. I ate so much food that I really don't know how I even functioned. My body must have been severely overworked with digesting...and I am sure that it wasn't able to digest half of what I stuffed into it.

I still struggle, but at least the amount of food I eat has been drastically reduced and it is a manageable amount for my body. However, I still need to fix my issues and figure out a way to make that scale start moving again! I have been exactly the same weight now for well over a year! Which in itself is good...staying the same is a real victory. Keeping the weight I have lost off, that really is amazing, I have never done that before. But now I want to heal. I want to go the rest of the way down this path.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Intermittent Fasting forever

Today is my wedding anniversary...8 years married. And today is another anniversary...900 days of intermittent fasting!

Wow, I can hardly believe it has been that long, yet somehow I always knew this would be a lifelong journey for me. When I first started fasting for weight loss, I would talk a bit about the intermittent fasting program with people I knew and I got a regular question: "But, what will you do once you lose the weight, go back to eating normally?"

I knew from my past failures with dieting that of course it never works to change your routine temporarily. I knew this because I had always gained back any weight lost while dieting. So when I found intermittent fasting, I decided right away that I had to do this forever.

And that really is the key. Doing something forever, whatever it is.

I say it all the time, diets don't work. That is only because diet = temporary. If you took on any diet out there as a forever thing, they would all work! But really, who can eat only lettuce forever, or count calories forever, or not eat carbs forever? Not many people I know.

Lifestyle change is just a fancy phrase that means forever. And the only way you will want to do something forever is if it doesn't feel like work, like effort, like a diet.

Intermittent fasting is my forever thing. What is yours?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How do I lose weight?

Everyone thinks they know the answer to this question.

Less carbs, No sugar, Count Calories, Crash Diet, Surgery, Diet Pill, Join a Gym...on and on and on...They are all can lose weight doing these things...but chances are you will find it again...

I don't want to lose weight...I want to release it...forever.

The real question we should be asking is how do I release weight? This is much more complicated and only creates more questions.

Why are we fat in the first place? 

If you think it is because you have no time, or you are tired, or you are lazy or you have no willpower or you just eat too much or you don't exercise enough, these are not the real problems...they are only the symptoms. The real problem is much deeper than that.

Do any of you know someone who has just always been skinny. They have never struggled, and yet they seem to always enjoy food and be just as busy as we are and yes they are tired too...the difference is that they are not trying to fill a void (or maybe their void doesn't fill up with food as nicely as ours does, they may use other things to fill their voids).

What is your void? 

Happiness...we all want it, it is the one thing that everyone will say they want, the problem is that we don't really know what it is or how to get it. Maybe it is as simple as that, you don't really know how to be happy. Maybe it is more complicated than that. It is a fight that is going on inside.

The fight is deep, it is harder than a change of diet or an addition of is psychological. The void is the culprit and sometimes that void is so well hidden that it may never be found. Go deeper than just the actions that have caused weight gain...look to why weight gain is making you feel better.

I know, you are saying: "What!? But I don't feel better, I feel awful, I hate being fat, I want to be thin, being thin will make me feel better!" Maybe not.

Being fat is a response that your subconscious has created to protect you from something. Maybe you are padding yourself against the world. Maybe you want protection against being hurt or being loved. Maybe you want to be invisible. Being fat makes you invisible in a way, people look away or see the fat and not the true you. Maybe you are punishing yourself for not being who you think you should be or who others think you should be.

Being fat is the symptom, not the problem.

What is the problem?

Look deep. Pain is usually the culprit. There is deep pain somewhere. Release the pain if you want to release the weight. A diet is not the answer. A new exercise routine is not the answer. Surgery is not the answer. These things are not treating the problem, they are only treating the symptom.

Talk about it, with a friend, with a counsellor, in an online forum, in your church...reach out to those who can understand and help you see the truth. The problem is sometimes well hidden. You may not be able to see it yourself. You are too close, to comfortable living with it. Someone else can help you to see things in a new light.

Be open to accepting this problem and facing it. It may be hard, you may have trauma to deal with. You may not want to think about it or talk about it. But in order to truly release, the pain and your weight, you have to accept the problem.

How can I change?

One small step at a time. Only things that are done out of pleasure really continue to get done. Even a job we don't like comes with reward, a pay check, benefits etc. We get pleasure out of it and that is why we keep doing it. If there was no reward and no pleasure we would stop. That is why a crash diet won't work because you will stop doing it eventually.

Change little by little and all the while look inside, go deeper. See fat as a symptom. Find the problem and face it, rid yourself of the void to get to the cause of why we are fat in the first place and finally RELEASE.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Long fast complete

Today is the end of my long, long fast to try to counteract some of the damage I did while on vacation last weekend...I ate two meals a day for a few days and definitely ate too much!

So I started this fast on Tuesday Evening at about 9pm and will end it tonight at about 5pm. That makes about 68 hours. Phew! I felt great though, no hunger, not weak...and now I feel much better. I was pretty bloated after all that indulging over the weekend!

Planning to have some yummy mexican food and a glass of wine outside on our new patio set tonight.

Intermittent fasting is so great for getting things back in line...even when you stumble.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Intermittent Fasting is good for the brain

ANOTHER fantastic article on the benefits of fasting! Check out this link, and excerpt below:


The scientific evidence is compelling, Mark Mattson says. Reducing your caloric intake and fasting regularly can prolong life, lead to a healthier life, and particularly help preserve brain function.
“Our genes, our genetics, are geared to us having food intermittently,” Mattson, an internationally recognized authority oncalorie restriction, told an audience of about 120 people Tuesday during a medical-education conference at St. John’s Hospital on “healthy brain aging.”
Mattson, 55, a biologist, is laboratory chief of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore. He said he knows it’s heresy for some people to consider anything other than the American standard of three meals a day.
But three meals a day isn’t what the research indicates is best for promoting a long, healthy life or for delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, he said.
“I’m comfortable with saying that it’s healthy, it’s fine, to skip meals,” he said after his presentation. “The animal studies are very clear.”


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Long Term Intermittent Fasting

Had a comment asking me if I have stuck with this since I started in January of 2010.


I fast every single day for 19 hours. Of course there have been times when I went off plan, but only for a few days on vacation or a day or two during Christmas. Nothing substantial.

I also do a long fast every Sunday, meaning that I do not eat at all on Sundays. I take a break on that during the summer months, but Spring, Winter and Fall, I fast all day, every Sunday.

Also, sometimes before and/or after a vacation where I may eat outside my window or indulge a bit more than usual, I may include a three day fast before and after to try to counteract the excess food.

Despite all of this, I still struggle with over eating during my eating window. Fasting helps this issue not effect my weight in any significant way, but I do want to fix this problem in my life eventually. I am so grateful for intermittent fasting because it has helped me control the effects that my over eating has on my body and my health.

For me, because I have been practicing intermittent fasting for a long time, it just feels natural. It has become my way of eating, my lifestyle, my routine. I rarely think about it, and find that I only feel hungry when it would normally be time to break my fast. It really is something that the body can easily adapt to. I truly believe that humans were made to eat this way...early humans had to hunt for food, not just make a trip to the store. It would have been common to go without food for long periods of time followed by short time of plenty, after a kill.

I feel like what is abnormal is eating constantly. The body doesn't know how to handle all the food and it is a lot of work to be in a constant state of digestion.

Funny story, there was this young girl on the train with me the other day. She was telling her friend about her dinner the night before. She said: "Like, I was SO hungry, I was like, give me food NOW or I am going to DIE! I am STARVING! I mean, I hadn't eaten one thing at all since lunch!"

People do think it is abnormal to not eat constantly...eating between meals is common and expected. People think that skipping a snack means that they are STARVING...honestly I find this a bit arrogant. They have no idea what true starving is and have never even tested their bodies tolerance to lack of food.

Fasting calms my body and my mind. I could never go back. I will practice intermittent fasting for the rest of my life.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fasting in the News

Another article on the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Over Eating

I still over eat...I try so hard but it is just something that I can never fully shake.

During the week I do pretty well, I eat mainly fruit, veggies and protein. Hardly any carbs and very little sugar. Occasionally I have a treat as well, a muffin or a cookie..but I really want to cut that out during the week.

But, then on the weekend I just eat what I want, still within my 5 hour window but most of the time I eat too much.

This habit is hard to break, fasting has helped but not solved the problem. Over eating is like an addiction to food. And being addicted to food is the worst!

If a heroine addict was taken to rehab and they told the doctors:

You need to stop taking all this heroin, it is bad for you, we want you to have just a little bit of heroin every day...but don't have too much!

How successful do you think that addict would be at kicking their habit?

We have to eat. We have to eat to live. If I lived in the middle of no where and didn't have a TV, could only live off the land, maybe I would do better. But there are all these commercials for food and billboards for food and pubs, and restaurants and corner stores and gas is absolutely EVERYWHERE.

How successful do you think that addict would have been if he was also sent out into the world where there was heroin for sale on every corner, with big advertisements on how wonderful heroin is? He would  probably overdose in the blink of an eye.

So, I am trying...most days I am successful, but I am certainly not perfect and I don't know that I ever will be, but I am trying.

At the very least, I have released a bunch of weight that will never return thanks to intermittent fasting. And I have added a ton of healthy food to my menu which is wonderful for my health. I hope that someday, somehow, I can kick this addiction to overeating and release the last of this unwanted weight...

One day at a time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Intermittent Fasting Articles

Check out this new article that mentions intermittent fasting as a great way to manage weight.

And this article that talks about the health benefits, this time mentioning that it could greatly reduce the onset of Alzheimer's.

I love how many articles seem to be popping up shouting the benefits of intermittent fasting. Slowly but surely it is getting the recognition it deserves!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Intermittent Fasting Timeline

Nothing changes overnight.

Why don't diets work? Because people on diets don't have a long term plan. 

If they did, they would never try diets like the cabbage soup diet or the pre-packaged chemicallized food diet. No one can do those diets long term. And to really succeed in weight loss you need to change something forever. Do you know anyone who wants to eat cabbage soup every meal forever?

Why don't diets work? Because people on diets have unrealistic expectations.

Their new diet plan sounds good on paper. But, is it really realistic that someone who is 100 pounds overweight is suddenly going to eat salad every day and work out 5 times per week? Absolutely not.

Intermittent Fasting is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. Lifestyles do not change overnight. They change little by little, very slowly.

Do what works for you. 

Do a fast when you normally don't eat very much. If you eat most of your food at night, fast in the morning and afternoon. If you eat most of your food in the morning fast in the evening. If you don't think you can fast the whole 19 hours at once, break it up into two parts and eat in the middle of the day instead. Remember that 12 hours or so of your fast is evening wind down time or morning wake up time and sleeping. If you eat at noon, then you only have to fast a bit after you wake up and a bit after 5pm until bed. That is much more manageable than all at once.

Don't overdo it.

Some people have great success combining a certain diet with intermittent fasting. For example low carb or calorie counting. But I wouldn't recommend it if you are new to fasting. Get used to it, do it for a while, months, before you try to mix it up. You need to give your body time to adjust. When people overdo it they fail because it is just too much at once, too big of a change.

Don't give up.

Just because you have a day or week or month where you are off plan or off target doesn't mean it is all over. People who are thin are thin because overall they stick to their lifestyle. They may have a vacation where the alcohol and food is plentiful. They may have a day or two when they are enjoying celebrations where desserts are many and the wine is flowing. They may have a treat here and there, but just because they indulged for a while doesn't mean they give up everything they do most of the time. They go back to the lifestyle that has kept them skinny in the first place. They go back to what they know, and they don't beat themselves up.

Assess what you don't need.

Everyone has habits. They do things because they have always done them. If you ask them why, they probably won't know. I'm sure there are things you do that you could do without. For example, I gave up soda/pop. I didn't really like it, I just drank it because I always had. It was there and easy and something I would have in a restaurant when I didn't know what I wanted to drink. It was filler. When I realized I didn't need it, it was easy to give it up. Look at your habits, ask yourself if you really need them. You might be surprised how easy it is to give some of them up.

Accept what you do need, especially if it helps you get what your BODY needs.

I need croutons and my favourite dressing in my salad. They make my salad more enjoyable. The reason I love salad is partly because of them. If I had to get rid of my salad dressing, I don't know that I would want to eat salad every day. Yes, salad dressing has sugar and calories and there are better things I could use. But, if I was to stop using it and that resulted in me not eating salad at all, I would be much worse off. I read a great example of this in the book The Gabriel Method where he talked about adding greens and veggies to his diet. He said he hated them but knew his body needed them, so what he did was cut up a piece of pizza and put it in his salad. Or do the same with a burger and fries. It made the salad part more enjoyable and got him to eat the good stuff along with the bad rather than not at all. Baby steps that led to him eventually not eating the pizza or burger at all anymore.

Take it one step at a time and allow yourself to stand still as long as you need to.

Lifestyle changes happen over long periods of time and only become a lifestyle after you have adopted them as your routine for a long period of time without abandoning them. Who cares if you haven't lost a pound in over a haven't gained either...and that is the real victory. It took a long time to put this weight on, and if you want to lose it and never find it again, it will take a long time to get it off too. That is ok, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep doing the steps above and you will slowly find your way to the perfect balance that takes no effort at all.

When you are ready, take the next step but remember to follow all the same advice above when doing so.

If you are ready to make another move, change some more, remember:

Nothing changes overnight.

Have a long term plan.

Be realistic.

Do what works for YOU.

Don't overdo it.

Don't give up.

Assess what you don't need.

Accept what you do need, especially if it helps you get what your BODY needs.

Take it one step at a time and allow yourself to stand still as long as you need to.

I have created a new lifestyle for myself that is a huge improvement over what I once was. It happened so slowly that it felt effortless, yet if I had tried to do it all at once I would have failed miserably. Only when I did what I described above, did I finally succeed. And it is still ongoing. I am always re-assessing and making small tweeks, tiny adjustments that over time make a huge impact.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Intermittent Fasting Reduces Belly Fat

Check out this new article on Intermittent Fasting and Belly Fat...

Reduced Sugar Cravings

Since I have been eating less sugar for about a week now, I notice a huge difference already in the amount of sugar I want.

Even at the end of last week after only 4 days of eating just three squares of chocolate per day and no bread or other carbs I have little to no sugar cravings at all.

At the beginning of last week I decided that I would have desserts and/or sweets and carbs only on weekends and in small amounts, so the beginning of the week I was thinking about what dessert I was going to have on the weekend and starting to look forward to that.

Well, Friday came around and I got all the ingredients and groceries I needed to make my mexican meal of burritos with home made guacamole. I made my meal and enjoyed dinner with my husband and family and after dinner we started playing cards and having some wine. Only then did I realize that I had forgotten all about dessert!

This may sound like no biggie, but for me it is huge. Even my husband said that he was wondering if I was going to mention dessert, that it was very strange for me to not plan out what sweet to have.

It didn't even cross my mind...And I think I would have forgotten about it all together if not for the fact that we had company over and I was reminded of it because I usually offer something after dinner to guests.

So, I think this is working quite well so far. I haven't had any problems reducing my sugar intake because I still get my 3 squares of chocolate and I have only had to make a few modifications to my regular diet rather than a huge change. If I had done this at the beginning of this journey it wouldn't have worked at all. It would have been too drastic a change. But now, little by little, I have made adjustments that have become my way of living. Sugar is just the next logical step.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fasting as Effective as Chemotherapy?

Wow! Check out this quote:

The study authors found fasting cycles without chemotherapy to be effective against breast cancer, melanoma, glioma and human neuroblastoma. Additionally, fasting increased survival of mice exposed to human ovarian cancer and delayed the spread of melanoma to other organs within the body.

Read the full article on the HERE.

The article is based on research that you can read more about HERE.

Avoiding Sugar

So far so good. I have been avoiding sugar all week. There were about 4 dozen donuts in the office on Tuesday and I didn't have one! YEAH!

Planning to keep that up, no treats in the office anymore! My only indulgence will be three squares of chocolate per day and I plan to only bring three squares with me so that I don't eat more. That should take care of my sweet tooth while still being a moderate amount.

I have completely illuminated grains and carbs during the week, but will have some in moderation on Friday and Saturday. Will also have one dessert on Friday and Saturday as well.

These small changes should make a big impact.

I used to have a treat at work whenever offered, which added up to at least one per day. Plus, I would eat chocolate every day too, at least one chocolate bar per day. Then on the weekends I would sometimes have more than one dessert after dinner. Because I am fasting 19 hours per day, I was able to do this and remain the same weight, which is great. But, I want to lose another 30 pounds so I really need to step up my game.

But, those of us who hate dieting know that a diet will not work. So, small changes are going to be my key. I am not eliminating carbs and sugar but I am greatly reducing them and when I add up what I will be getting rid of, I don't see how that can not translate onto the scale.

Fingers crossed! We will see how it goes, but so far, I am finding this to be no struggle at all because I still get my little sweet and my weekend splurges to look forward to!

Goal weight I have you in my sights!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sugar is evil

Thanks so much for your recent comments. I have had regular advice from many of you to cut out sugar. It has been a struggle for me to commit to that because I have always loved the freedom that intermittent fasting has allowed me and sugar was a big part of that.

I think I will go the middle way and greatly reduce rather than eliminate all together. I have a new plan to try to get moving again towards my goal.

I want to incorporate eating similarly to the South Beach diet but without actually dieting and without being 100% off of anything.

Here is what I am thinking:

19 hour fast, 5 hour window. Make small adjustments to what I already eat most days eliminating sugar as much as possible and eliminating grains.

Brocoli Coleslaw
Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds
Chicken Breast
(need some kind of crouton substitute, something really crunchie any suggestions? Nuts are an option but I prefer something similar to croutons or tortilla chips without the grain.)

Home Made Dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sesame Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Natural Peanut Butter

Hard Boiled Egg
1/4 Avocado
Cheese Slices


Hard Boiled Egg
with Hummus Dip

3 Squares of Chocolate

NOTE: Avoid all the extras! There are always extra treats and goodies around the office. Just say no.

24 hour fast, break fast at dinner, 5 hour window. Cook at home, healthy, hearty recipes that may or may not include grains, carbs, or dessert.

19 hour fast, break fast at dinner, 5 hour window. Free day, eat out, don't go overboard, but enjoy.

NOTE: On Friday and Saturday, stick to 5 hours, have a tendency to go over...

All Day Fast 36+ hours.

NOTE: Once per month do an extended 60-72 hour fast.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

So, now that I have stopped the pill because of my allergy, I have gained weight. This is the first time since I started fasting where I have had significant weight gain. I have gone up about 10LBS.

They say that when you stop the pill, there should not be weight gain, but there definitely is something going on. I did a search online and found that there are a lot of people who have had the same experience, all claiming about 10Lbs gain. I am doing absolutely nothing different. I had been at the same weight within about 3Lbs for almost a year and then boom, it shot up.

I am trying to be patient and just wait it out and hope that it will stabilize again and I will go back down. So frustrating. At least that terrible rash is gone I guess. But I feel so bloated and yucky. I was happy at the weight I was at before. Fingers crossed that this will easily fix once my body and hormone levels normalize again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Allergy Update

So I figured out what was causing my rash...the birth control pill!! UGGGGG!

The naturopath had asked me several times to stop taking it. She really doesn't think the hormones are good for anyone long term but she has said that these kind of reactions are normal with the pill. I wouldn't listen though until the third time she asked and after hundreds of dollars on expensive pills and treatments with no results. Finally I stopped and days later I was all cleared up. Hasn't come back...

I don't know what is wrong with me, I should have listened earlier, but I have been taking it for so long, I just assumed that it was fine. The crazy thing is, the brand changed a while back, around the same time my rash started...should have put that one together but I guess I was just so used to taking it that I didn't put two and two together. My regular brand had been discontinued and so a replacement was prescribed.

But anyway, thankfully, my rash is finally gone for good and no more itching!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back to normal

Well, the holiday season is over and I am back to my regular schedule. Fasting every day for 19 hours, Fasting once per week for 36-48 hours and Fasting once per month for 64-72 hours.

I have completed one of my longest fasts ever, doing a full 72 hours last week. I needed it to help me get back on track after the splurge of the holidays. I gained about 5 pounds over the holidays which isn't too bad considering that I essentially took a whole week off and ate generously during that time to say the least.

But the great part about intermittent fasting is that even when I splurge and eat too much, I never feel like I have failed and need to give up. I can always get back to normal and just pick up where I left off.

I feel like it was really good for me to eat so much during that week vacation. It reminded me how I felt when I ate like that...slow, tired and not happy, bloated and fat. I am more committed now to eating less during my window than I was before. I was eating too much, even before vacation and now I feel more able to control my portions. Even after my long 72 hour fast, I didn't over eat. I broke my fast with Indian food, something that any diet would not allow but with intermittent fasting is not an issue. I ate an enjoyable dinner of butter chicken, naan bread, and samosa. Afterwards I had a slice of apple torte that I had made from scratch which was delicious. But then I was done. I didn't snack or go overboard. I just enjoyed the rest of my evening and went to bed without another thought to food. That is an improvement for me.

This year, I want to take control of my eating window hours and limit my portions more. I have lost a great amount of weight, a few pounds shy of 50 pounds which is fantastic. I have never felt better. But my original goal was to lose 80. I have just over 30 more to go to get there. Eating less is the key. Intermittent fasting has helped me eat less enough to lose almost 50 pounds and keep it off for two years, now I need to take it to the next level and lower my intake enough to maintain losing 80 pounds...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Holiday Season!

Been really busy over the holiday season. Went on a trip to the Bahamas, which was absolutely stunning and so of my favourite trips for sure. We stayed at a Sandals resort and so of course there was tons of food and drinks...I went a bit off my regular schedule during that week and ate two meals per day.

Then we got home just in time for Christmas Eve which of course is also full of wonderful goodies and treats to eat and so continued my off schedule eating...Now it is New Years day and I am celebrating two years of intermittent fasting success. Even though I went a bit off schedule during my vacation and the holidays, I will have no trouble getting right back to normal schedule now that the holidays are over.

I have also found the cause of my mysterious rash! It was the birth control pill I was taking....the one I usually took was discontinued and so my doctor prescribed a new one. For some reason I didn't put the two together when everyone asked was there anything new I was using...but as soon as I stopped taking it, my rash went away and hasn't come back...! YEAAAAHHH! Fingers crossed that I have solved that one for good!

I am sure I have gained a bit of weight over the holiday season...I will do a weigh in next week to see for sure, but I know that once I go right back to my normal routine, anything that went on will easily fall off again.

Looking forward to another great year of intermittent fasting success and better health!

Happy New Year Everyone!
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