5:2 fasting day #9! Things that fasting is encouraging me to do

So, today is my ninth fasting day. Ninth! That means I’m in my fifth week of fasting. Woah. I haven’t weighed myself recently, so I don’t know whether it’s having big impact or little impact right now, but I’ll do that tomorrow morning and report back.

It’s funny, I’ve had three really great fasting days recently, but today’s feeling harder. I’ve drunk lots of water and tea, and I held off with lunch until reasonably late, but it’s 4 pm and I’m really hungry and my brain’s fading. The silly thing is that I haven’t had the apple or cottage cheese I’ve allocated myself for snacks, so I actually have food there, but I’ve been getting into the habit of eating less during the day so I can have a bit of protein with my dinner, and come in a tad under 500 calories. Tonight is an all-veg meal, so perhaps I should just eat the cheese now. Or, as I’ve just calculated, I could have two squares of lindt 70% chocolate after dinner. Decisions!!!

The last four weeks of fasting have not only given my body a break to start changing, but also given my mind a chance to start thinking and reflecting. As well as that, I’m seeing some small changes to my non-fasting days, without even intending to. They’re small, but they’re a start – and they’re sustainable. So without further ado, here’s three things that fasting’s encouraged me to do:

  • Consciously eat
    I think I suffer from a little bit of food fomo. No matter what I eat, I hurry through it lest I miss out on the next thing. Eating on fasting days, especially eating dinner on fasting days, has forced me to slow down. Once I realise that after this dinner is gone there is no more, I slow down my eating. I enjoy each mouthful, I take my time, I chew properly, and I savor the taste that lingers in my mouth after I’ve finished the meal. The same thought is starting to pop into my mind while I eat on non-fasting days now. Slow down, savor the food – you don’t need anything more than what is on your plate.
  • Drink more water
    On fasting days, I’ve started filling a waterbottle and having it on my desk. I sip it throughout the day, and it keeps the tummy rumbles away. I’m not normally great at drinking much water, so this is a big step for me. Having the bottle there on non-fasting days means I’ve started sipping throughout the day on those days as well, which can only be a good thing!
  • Question my hunger
    For the most part (excluding this afternoon) I rarely feel hungry on fasting days. I feel peckish by lunchtime, but I snack slowly across the afternoon. The only time I feel really hungry is the occasional morning after I have fasted, which is probably because of the lack of protein in my dinner. I often think I’m hungry while I’m cooking dinner, but when I really think about it I realise it’s just habit. Habit that I normally eat at this time, habit that I don’t have anything else to do right at that moment, habit that I should be hungry. Rarely am I actually hungry.
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5:2, fasting day #4 – and a dinner recipe

So here I am at the start of fasting day #4. When I say start, I mean it’s 12:47 pm and besides my morning coffee I’m yet to eat. I’ve just made myself a cup of green tea- the hope is that if I have that, I might actually put of eating for a little bit longer than usual. Ultimately I think it will depend on how my brain goes- I can fill my stomach with water, but if my brain fades then I’ll need to eat.

5:2 so far has been an interesting exercise in reflecting on my usual eating habits, and what my body wants vs what my mind wants. Do I, for example, need to be eating breakfast on non-fasting days? If I’m fine up until 12:30 ish without food, then is breakfast just extra calories I don’t need? My PT says no, I should be eating breakfast. A high protein breakfast at that. I’m not so sure – so I’ll keep listening to my body to figure it out.

So, day four of fasting, and I’ll be eating the same dinner for the third time. I’ve tried two different dinner recipes so far – I’m in search for some more! I need to refine my second one a bit before I post it here, but for now I thought I’d share my stirfry recipe that comes in under 250 calories.

raw veg

Ingredients

  • 90 g red/spanish onion, sliced into strips – 22 calories
  • 150 g (1 bunch) asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut in half – 32 calories
  • 150 g mushrooms, ends trimmed, cut in half – 38 calories
  • 100 g snowpeas or green beans – approx. 35 calories (depending on which ingredient you use)
  • 124 g zucchini, cut in half lengthways then into 1.5 cm chunks – 19 calories
  • 100 g broccoli, cut into small florets – 30 calories
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce – 4o calories
  • 1 tsp cornflour – approx. 36 calories

Method

  1. In a frying pan or wok, cook onion until well cooked (if you’ve got some calories to play with, use a very small amount of oil for this)
  2. When onion is well cooked, add all other veggies (if you prefer non-crunchy broccoli, add this first for a few minutes)
  3. Stir cornflour into a small amount of water in a glass, then add to the pan (this will give you a thickened sauce)
  4. Add soy sauce, and salt/pepper to taste. You won’t need much/any salt, but go to town with the pepper!
  5. When veggies are cooked to you preferred softness, serve.

This recipe makes two decent-seized bowls. Depending on how hungry you are, it’s more than one serve- have a play with it, and adjust according to what works best for you. If you’re not so much of an end-of-day eater, you could easily have half of this portion for lunch and half for dinner, freeing up extra calories for snacking.

Note: when I’m not fasting, I make this stirfry with chicken. I just brown off the chicken before cooking the onion, remove it from the pan, and add it again to finish cooking with the rest of the veggies.

stirfry

(excuse the horrible pictures, but it gives you an idea!!)

What Eat like an Adult means

Alright. As referred to a couple of days ago, here’s what Eating like an Adult means to me:

  • Wine is for weekends (and so is any other alcohol)
  • Take breakfast and lunch to work every day
  • Cook dinner most nights
  • All baked goods consumed must be home made
  • If goods are going to be baked, a raw option must be seriously considered first
  • Food preparation and planning is essential. Bulk shopping and cooking will happen on Sundays or Monday nights
  • One coffee per day- two on weekends
  • Work towards the long black with milk. Work away from the latte.
  • Craving something sweet? Eat fruit
  • Craving something sweet? Eat some good fat
  • No bread, no rice
  • Eat as little sugar as possible. The WHO recommends 6 teaspoons a day- aim for that
  • Dessert is a sometimes food. So is chocolate.
  • Have Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate in the house at all times, and eat sparingly when required
  • Re-visit raw chocolate mousse
  • In times of Take-Away, there will be no rice and no roti consumed
  • No diet soft drink. No full-sugar soft drink. No juice.
  • Water and mineral water, lots of it
  • Focus on good protein and lots of vegetables at meal times
  • Protein doesn’t need to be meat
  • Make home made hommus
  • Love cooking. Invest time into cooking. Reinvigorate cooking as a hobby.
  • Figure out how to satisfy the 3 pm craving at work. Cook or bake accordingly.
  • Eating out? Soup is a good choice. You always enjoy it more than you think you will.
  • Eating out? Choose the most delicious looking meat-and-veg dish you can see on the menu. You might like the idea of the pasta, but you’ll like the taste of the other dish more.
  • Choice between salad and chips? Go the salad
  • Read the packets. Stick with the natural stuff. If you’re going to eat pre-made, then make sure the ingredient list looks like a recipe list.
  • Control the food fomo. When there’s lots of food on offer, take only what you need (not what you want)
  • Listen. Is your body hungry? Are you bored? Are you dehydrated?
  • Know what qualifies as a special occasion. Choose your moments to indulge/celebrate.
  • Do not indulge on a daily/weekly basis
  • If you’re going to eat like a kid, at least make it worth doing (don’t eat the really bad high-calorie food. Eat the really good high-calorie food. Choose the cheese over the chips)
  • The following foods are not to be eaten every single day, but nor are they to be associated with guilt when consumed:
    – Sweet potato
    – Cheese
    – Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate
    – Any ‘raw’ home-baked goods
    – Corn
    – Barley/Quinoa
  • Eat nothing from service stations. Eat nothing from fast food outlets.

So there you go. I might come back to this list and add stuff- I might decided some of it’s not so adult after all. I might call this list The Rules- or I might find that restrictive, and not. We’ll see!

Some lessons hard learned (but learned none the less)

fruit and veg

My dinner for the last fortnight

The last fortnight has been busy for me. Super busy. I’ve been away from home a lot, and I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare meals. In fact, for a few days there everything I ate was completely out of my control.

For the most part I’ve been really good- what could have easily turned into an excuse to eat McDonalds every night for dinner for a fortnight instead became a love-fest for apples, carrots and capsicums. In the last two weeks I’ve consumed a minimum of 14 apples, 7 raw carrots and 7 raw capsicums- and that’s just been the contents of my dinner. My protein intake’s been a little bit low as a result, but overall I’m much happier for having eaten huge amounts of raw veggies than I would have been if I’d eaten maccas.

For the first half of last week I was on a campsite. Like, the kind you go on for school camp. The site I was at does pretty good food by campsite standards, it’s not entirely gross, but unfortunately it didn’t fit in very well with my current diet at all. I’ve been going to this place for years, but I’d never quite realised just how many wheat-based carbs they pump into their visitors. Cereal and toast for breakfast, sandwiches and wraps for lunch, pasta and pizza for dinner, and scones, cakes and biscuits for morning tea and supper. On top of that I was incredibly tired and gave out to some nasty old snacking habits.

I just hadn’t had time to mentally prepare myself for my time away, so I hadn’t psyched myself up to pass on the morning teas and suppers, or to say no to the copious amounts of lollies and chips that were being passed around. I did fine at breakfast, eating fruit and coffee instead of the wheat-based carbs, but by morning tea I was on the bandwagon and eating the sweet stuff. Lunchtimes were fine- I passed on the rolls and wraps and chose to have the salad and proteins by themselves, but that’s as good as I got. Lolly snakes were my major downfall, as was a late afternoon box of TeeVee Snacks chocolate biscuits.

Couple all of that eating with a grand total of zero exercise, and by the end of day three I’d put on a whopping two kilograms. Wow. Not only was I heavier, but I was feeling revolting. For the first time I truly understood the meaning of the word ‘bloated’- my tummy felt bloated, as did my arms, legs, face, feet….. I just felt really blown out. Without going into too much detail my bowel was seriously confused, and I was letting off some pretty foul smells. For the first time I realised just what a huge impact my dietary change is having on my body.

Upon returning home on Wednesday I was immediately back into my preferred eating habits- lots of fruit and veg, enough protein, minimal carbs, and no wheat. Within half a day I was feeling better. Despite being tired I hit the gym three days in a row, and by Saturday morning (just 48 hours after I’d weighed in at 2 kg heavier) I’d dropped 1.25kg again.

What a freaky lesson in, well, everything. The importance of listening to my body, the importance of exercise, and the impact that refined carbs and refined sugar has on my body. I’m back on track again, and with only 2 weeks until the conclusion of The Challenge I’m hoping to be very close to having lost 8 kg by the time it’s over.

 

P.S- a few blogs ago I wrote that I was aiming to deadlift 60 kg soon. On Saturday I managed to do just that- and do a set of 10!! Pretty stoked, and looking forward to smashing some more PBs in that area 🙂