During 2014 I spent a lot of time focusing on getting my mind and spirit in the right place but I dropped the ‘body’ ball. I gained way too much weight and was not feeling good at all. Towards the end of 2014, in an effort to lose some weight and improve my fitness, I started to increase my activity by walking most days. Sadly, due to getting very painful Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot (now also mildly in my right foot) I had to ease off on the walking in order to rest my feet but more on that in a post coming up soon!
Meanwhile, I have been reading and researching in order to find the right nutrition and eating lifestyle that I would like to adopt for a healthier and slimmer me. In the journey to losing weight 80% is due to what you eat and only 20% is how much you move. You can literally change your life by what you put in your mouth.
One thing ‘the tennis player’ and I have just started is The Fast Diet where you fast twice a week and eat as usual on the other five days. This doesn’t mean two days of no food or liquid at all. It means two days of 500 calories for me (female) and 600 calories for him (male). We have chosen Monday’s and Thursday’s as our fast days. We have breakfast and we have dinner and in between we drink tea or coffee and lots of water. Hubby will reduce to fasting one day/week soon as he is doing it for the health benefits more so than any need to lose weight. I on the other hand have oodles of weight to lose and will be sticking to fasting two days/week for the long-term. If you read the book, you will see that there is flexibility as to what times of day you eat your allotted calories. It’s a matter of trial and error and doing what best works for you.
I first became aware of The Fast Diet by reading this post written by Nikki of Styling You. Nikki and I have the same thyroid condition and compromised immune system. Reading about what is working for her greatly interests me as it is highly likely it could also work for me. I ordered the book and read it cover to cover. I also watched the ‘East, Fast, Live Longer’ documentary featuring Dr Michael Mosley, the author (along with Mimi Spencer) of’ ‘The Fast Diet’ book.
Why did I choose to fast twice a week? Because the science behind it and the benefits from doing it all made sense to me. You give your body a break from the regular process of metabolizing food and time to do the repair work it was designed to do. We weren’t designed to eat as regularly as we do these days. The 5:2 regime not only helps with losing weight but it also brings with it a wide range of health benefits. Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity. Studies show that intermittent fasting could help people reduce their risk of developing diabetes, dementia and cancer. One of the medical experts that Dr Michael Mosley interviewed said: ‘There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting.”
The photographs above (with the exception of the Egg Pods show what I’ve eaten for breakfast and dinner for my first four fast days. Both of these meals are chosen from the examples provided in ‘The Fast Diet’ book (dinner is from the men’s example dinners and so is altered somewhat to reduce calories).
Both these meals are absolutely delicious!! Yum, Yum!! Combined, they amount to around 500 calories. In between breakfast and dinner, I drink lots of water and have a couple of coffees.
Some days have been easier than others. It’s important to keep busy! I think I will become more used to it as time goes by but so far I am surprised by how much easier it is than I thought it would be. Amazingly, I have not had any hungry tummy rumbles! I am already feeling better for doing this and have already lost some weight, however I am aware that this would not be for everyone.
Importantly, as a perimenopausal woman with an *ahem* rather heavy monthly flow, I have made the decision that I will not fast during menstruation weeks as I need every bit of sustenance possible during that time. It’s important to be sensible!
I’m no medical expert but after reading the book and watching the documentary, I made the decision that this was something that I believed in and wanted to try. It won’t be for everyone and I’m sure there will people who don’t agree with the concept. However, the good thing is that I am responsible for me, I make the choices for me, and this is one choice for me that I think is a good one!
So we fast on two days and eat ‘normally’ on the other five days. For the five ‘normal’ eating days, my husband is happy to continue on the healthy foods we eat now. Myself – well I know that I need to change my diet to reduce the amount of processed foods. I have a compromised immune system. I’ve had gut and reflux issues. I’m going through a rough time with perimenopause. I’m a middle-aged woman with a very sluggish metabolism! I need to really nourish my body and not put anything bad or unnecessary into it.
I’ve become very interested in The Paleo Way and will soon be taking steps to transition to the paleo way of eating. I may not eat 100% the paleo way but I’ll certainly try my best to eat as Paleo as I feel comfortable to. As the chief cook and bottle washer in this household, this means my family will end up eating a lot of paleo foods. However, they are free to choose to eat whatever they like outside what I feed them!
I’ve been interested in what Pete Evans has been putting out there about the paleo way of eating. He has copped quite a bit of flak in the media. They like to make him out to be a bit crazy and obsessive and they say that the paleo way is an unhealthy fad diet. Personally, I don’t agree but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Meanwhile, I have liked Chef Pete Evans Facebook page and have been watching his TV series ‘The Paleo Way’ which has been airing on the weekends. See episodes HERE. I bought Pete’s recipe book ‘Family Food’ for a friend for Christmas and it looked so good I’m going to have to buy it for myself. And finally, I have joined his TRIBE by signing up to his The Paleo Way 10 week Activation Program which kicks off on 18 January. I will keep you posted as I ease myself into this way of eating.
Here is a description of The Paleo Way in Pete Evans’ own words:
Ok here we go, what is the Paleo Way (not diet!) ….
An abundance of fibrous organic NATURAL vegetables, either raw, cooked and we also promote some fermented veg for good gut health.
Moderate amounts of well sourced protein from land or sea animals that have had a NATURAL diet. (no animals should be raised in horrific conditions or fed an unnatural diet that makes them and us eventually sick.)
Quality fats from NATURAL dietary sources such as avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, and from animals from land and sea that have had a NATURAL diet. (this is what our bodies and brains need to thrive.)
We also celebrate herbs and spices to enhance not only the flavour of food but for their medicine properties too.
And lastly, the promotion of drinking the most NATURAL water you can find.
As for my ‘activity’, well it’s not been great! I’m working on getting my Plantar Fasciitis (PF) healed before I can resume my favourite activity of walking (out in nature is much more favourable to me than on a treadmill!). There will be a post soon on PF. Meanwhile, I’ve done the occasional walk (gorgeous beach walks lately – much easier for me on the hard sand up near the water! Soft sand = PF pain!) and I swim in my pool. I plan to start back doing some activities on my Wii Fit and also some exercises with my 3kg hand weights. I’m looking forward to soon being given heaps of exercise tips by Luke Hines, a personal trainer and member of Pete Evan’s The Paleo Way team!
I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
Ciao for now,
[NOTE: I have not been paid to promote any of the aforementioned people, books or programs – I am just sharing my own humble opinions and thoughts. I also have no medical background and have no formal nutritional training.]