7. Foodie Friday — Cultivate Style: Food nourishes us. Some foods give us more enjoyment than others. Some foods leave us feeling less than ourselves. What foods nourished your soul and body this year? What food choices can you make in 2013 to cultivate more self-care?
This year has been sort of a breakthrough year for me in regards to nourishment. We eat pretty clean to begin with but I notice certain foods are not as friendly as they used to be. Not sure if it is part of getting older (I turned 40 this year) or just that I’m noticing things more the cleaner I eat – or both.
In April, I started following Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat which involves intermittent fasting.
I love it.
Basically, you pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Coffee, tea and water is permitted. I usually fast Sunday to Monday 2pm – 2pm and Thursdays after supper until Friday supper.
The rest of the time, I try to make sure I put at LEAST 12 hours between last meal of the day and first meal of the next day. I really try to shoot for 16-18 hours to give my body a rest from eating.
Now I know what some of you are thinking but I am not starving myself nor am I being unhealthy. Quite the contrary. I have more energy and more clarity of mind than ever before. You are NOT going to starve or waste away simply by abstaining from eating for 24 hours. It is good to give your system a break.
I started slow. I would put 12 hours, then 14, then 18 hours between meals and then jumped to 24 and it was NOT a big deal. Some days are more difficult than others – depending on what’s going on. I don’t force it either. If my body is feeling weak or rundown for some reason, I don’t fast. But the thing is that when I am regularly fasting every week – I have never felt better. Food tastes better. And I think that I savor it more.
I will admit, I have not been doing it in earnest the last couple months. I let some personal stuff get in the way. And guess what happened? I got sick. I am inching my way back in the right direction. I miss how clean and invigorated I feel following a fast.
Just to be clear, fasting doesn’t give me license to trash my body the rest of the time. It does give me a little leeway if I want to indulge because it puts you at a caloric deficit for the week. So if my husband and I have dinner plans – which is not often – but when we do plan a special night, we both usually fast up until we go out and then we enjoy ourselves. For the most part though, we try to eat as unprocessed and clean as we can. We do have our naughty days but they are becoming more infrequent.
Since April, I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’ve stagnated now only because I’m not pushing it as I was earlier. I also have not been doing my kettlebells because I injured my shoulder back in April or May. It was my fault entirely – stupidity really – as I went to move a kettlebell – the 35 pounder and I did not pack my shoulder but rather swung it out at an awkward angle while talking to my husband and not paying attention to what I was doing. I felt my shoulder go immediately. NOT good. So I put it on rest and now it is healed so it is time to start swinging again. Anyone curious as to kettlebells and the method I follow, go here, here and here. I truly admire these people.
Once the holidays are over, I will be getting back to my kettlebells as I have sorely missed them. No excuses any more. And my plan is to clean up my nutrition even more. Dairy and gluten are not my friends and I need to remember that. Too many issues to make it worth hanging out with them any longer. Let me tell you, giving up dairy – in the form of CHEESE is not an easy thing for a Wisconsin girl. UGH.
I do want to add that fasting is not a diet. It’s a way of life. It’s sustainable, it feels great and it is something I really feel strongly about. It works for me. It might not work for you. But that’s okay. We each must follow our own path and do what is right for ourselves.
*I’m participating in this year’s December prompts series that began as Reverb and has branched out into several other incarnations of the project. It is a way to close out the year by reflecting on that which we are leaving behind and looking ahead to the possibilities in front of us. I hope you’ll join us as we strengthen old friendships and make brand spanking new ones.