As long as I can remember I’ve not been a huge breakfast person. Cereal? Meh. Oatmeal? Blah. Eggs? Ugh. Bacon? Hell no! I remember when I worked in NYC and had to get up at 4.30am and I would force myself to eat oatmeal/bagel and coffee every morning just in case I’d get hungry at work before lunch. I would chug that oatmeal down even I knew it would weigh me down and take my energy. Luckily at some point I got sick and tired of oatmeal (literally!) and had to get creative to switch things up a bit. I blended green smoothies with protein powder and extra almond butter, and made chia puddings in hundred different ways. What a difference in energy!
But I still was kind of forcing myself to eat during those early hours when I wasn’t even hungry. Just because I didn’t want to be cranky with people and was so afraid of getting hungry. Then I decided to listen to my body and try one version of fasting where I would have only liquids ’til lunch. I would drink herbal teas and then have green smoothie whenever I’d start feeling hunger creeping in. At lunch time I wasn’t starving because I had so much fiber and healthy fats (almond butter, chia, hemp seeds) in the smoothie. Then I saw an article about intermittent fasting and made my own version of it because I don’t like anything too extreme. 3 day juice fast was already quite radical for me :).
What is intermittent fasting?
There are so many versions of intermittent fasting, but the only one I liked was called “16/8”. What that means is that you fast 16 hours a day and have an 8 hour window to eat. Basically you stop eating after dinner, for 16 hours, and then eat the next day when 16 hours has passed. Simples. For example if you finished your dinner at 7pm, you’d eat next time at 11am. Sounds pretty doable?
It is said that intermittent fasting can be used to optimize health and improve digestion by giving your digestive system much deserved break so your body can have more energy. It can also remove toxic buildup and enhance detoxification when all the body’s energy isn’t being used to digest food. Other benefits may include increased fat burning and improved mental clarity and focus.
I too had been brainwashed with the idea of “breakfast being the most important meal of the day”. But what is your standard breakfast? You don’t want to wake up in the morning and put a brick in your stomach which is what traditional breakfast foods can feel like. They are hard to digest and therefore make you tired. We are all different and what works for you might not work for me. Only way to find out is to try different things out. I love to experiment different things!
My gentle intermittent fasting:
8am: As soon as I wake up I have 25 ounces of pure water. I have big mason jar that I keep on my nightstand filled with water. I follow with warm cinnamon-turmeric-black pepper-lemon water.
9.30am: Then only when I feel hungry, I follow with lighter, easily digestible foods like smoothie and/or fruits. Don’t weigh yourself down. Smoothies are amazing because they’re already predigested due to being blended so very little digestive energy is required, yet you’ll get tons of nutrients and fiber.
11am: If I feel hungry I’ll have another smoothie, fresh green juice or fruit.
10pm: Water with magnesium powder before bed.
You don’t ever want to feel like you’re starving yourself and that your blood sugar going out of whack. Cinnamon, greens, protein and fiber-rich foods are great for balancing blood sugar. When you get hungry, DRINK MORE.