Give your gut a rest from time to time for overall better health.
So many theories and so little time. What to do to know for sure about our eating, how the body works and how to “get back to basics?
· Americans eat all day long, often over the duration of 15 hours.
· Biologically, the human body does not operate at optimum levels when it is in the working/digesting mode continuously.
· Old wives’ tale with lots of rationale: if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry. Food is a costly antidepressant and we tend to eat out of boredom, for entertainment, to comfort or reward ourselves.
· Starvation diets do not work and have people returning to old habits rather quickly, often gaining more weight.
What does “intermittent fasting” mean?
Intermittent fasting means reducing your food intake in whole or part, either a few days a week, every other day, or daily, for some derived time frame. This way of thinking really brings us back to basics in aligning with how our ancestors lived when there was not easy access to food around the clock.
They had periods of “feast or famine.” As Dr. Mercola notes, “the detrimental effects on the human body related to a food supply that was once hunted and gathered, but is now readily available 24/7 from the local grocery store, are profound.”
Dr. Mercola recommends and practices eating on a restricted time frame, a six to eight-hour window to consume one’s’ food. Example, if you love breakfast, maybe an 8am to 4pm window would work best for you. If you skip breakfast, maybe an 11am to 7pm window works in your favor. His key is only to eat two meals, ensuring the last meal is three hours prior to bedtime.
Science says that eating three meals a day rarely allows the body to empty the glycogen stores, as it takes eight to twelve hours to burn sugar stored as glycogen and intermittent fasting reframes the body to change the way we process food as energy.
Mercola also believes that fasting 14 to 16 hours a day gives the body time to shift to fat burning mode which then offers a more balanced energy supply while avoiding the highs and lows of many typical diets. It’s well known that once we retrain our body, we will need to consume less food to feel more satisfied.
We have also discussed in previous months the effects of inflammation and chronic disease. We know we have a major health crisis in America. Roughly three quarters of the two-trillion plus we spend on health care goes to treat chronic diseases, many of which can be prevented by a change in diet.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Activates that fat burning mode leading to weight loss and an end to sugar cravings
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
- Enhances the immune system and brain health
- Overall mental clarity and lowering stress levels
- Promotes overall health and wellness
Food choices matter. No matter what dietary theory works for you, food choices matter. Consume high quality food. Don’t be afraid of the “good fats” (avocados, quality butter, eggs, nuts), eat quality protein (grass fed animals, plain Greek yogurt, cheese), and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
As well-known food author, Michael Pollan writes, “Avoid foods you see advertised on TV. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
Don’t eat cereals that change the color of your milk. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it, as it takes enough time and work that chances are good it won’t be every day. Eat when you’re hungry, not bored. Eat all of your food at a table (not a desk, or while working or watching TV or driving).”
As with all dietary changes, starting with your physician is recommended. Those with medical or unique circumstances (diseases, underweight, children, pregnant, nursing, those on daily medications) are not encouraged to fast. A medical practitioner may be able to implement a safe program designed for you and your needs.
8 servings 133 cals
This flavor packed broth is great on its own and can be frozen into cubes so that you can defrost at your convenience. It also gives you a wonderful nutritional resource when you are fasting from solid food.
1 pound celery
1 1/2 pounds sweet onion
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound tomatoes, cored
1 pound green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound turnips, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 gallon water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)
- Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery and set aside
- Toss onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and turnips with olive oil. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and place them in the 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven. Stir the vegetable every 15 minutes. Cook until all of the vegetables have browned and the onions start to caramelize, this will take over one hour.
- Put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, Italian parsley and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced by half.
- Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. The liquid caught in the bowl or pot is your vegetable broth it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Although the vegetables are no longer necessary for your broth they are delicious to eat.
by Courtney Daylong, Health & Nutrition Coach