Fasting Update

So the 16:8 fast has really been awesome.   Since I don’t want to bore anybody in real life with the details of its awesomeness I’ll bore the virtual world!   

Just as a reminder, the 16:8 fast is when you don’t eat for 16 hours and then eat all your food within 8 hours.  The reality of that for me is that I don’t eat after dinner and then I don’t eat breakfast.  I usually eat lunch between noon and 1 so I try to stop eating by 8 pm.  

I think I started on September 16th and it is now December 11 so about 3 months.  I started at 173 and am now 162 so I’ve been losing about a pound a week!   This is absolutely unheard of for me!  

The first 3-4 weeks were hard but now it is pretty easy and I have a ton of energy in the mornings. 

I have been exercising more which I think helps but doesn’t explain all the weight loss.   I joined the gym again in August and have been slowing ramping up my exercise.  I usually do 3 cardio classes a week and if I miss a class I try to go running.  Almost all of my workouts are done while I am fasting.  At first I was really worried about getting too dizzy or tired if I workout without any food but now I’m used to it and find that it helps me in a couple of ways.   First of all I don’t have to think about timing meals and what I’m going to eat so I don’t feel sick blah blah blah.  I can just get up in the morning and go.    Sometimes I have coffee first  

Second, if I feel hungry or dizzy at all during a workout I just drink a ton of water and take really deep breaths and then I feel fine.  It’s just really changed my concept of food and fuel.  I used to think I needed all of this food to keep my body going and so I wouldn’t get low blood sugar and feel gross but now I realize that a lot of that was in my head and I can survive on much less which I suppose is what skinny people do! 

Finally, I really feel like I burn more fat if I workout while fasting.  Because there are no sugars or carbs I think I run on reserves.  There is not a lot of research that I could find on this but it logically makes sense and makes me feel good so I’m going with it.  

 Tips that have worked for me along the way 

  • Drink coffee. I usually have a splash of milk or cream but I’m trying to move towards black. 
  • Drink a lot of water.  Sparkling water if that’s your thing.   Plain, unflavored is best.   
  • I like to chew gum about an hour before lunch.  One because I feel like my breath is bad from all that coffee and is also makes me less hungry.   
  • Make sure your first meal (lunch for me) is not too big.  I like to get a big salad and eat half at lunchtime and the other half around 3 or 4.  If I eat something large like a sandwich I get a stomachache and usually really tired after lunch.   
  • Don’t overthink food otherwise.  I have always found with diets that if I have to do a lot of meal planning or calorie counting it just makes me hungrier.  With this one I just eat what I want between 12-8 and try not to eat a lot of junk.   
  • I still drink wine and I would probably have lost more if I didn’t but I’m happy with how things are going so I probably won’t stop having a glass or two with dinner.   Although, if I drink too much the next morning I am much hungrier and kind of miserable.  
  • Finally, stay busy in the morning.  Exercise, clean the house, plan meetings where the time will go quickly.   

Ok, fasting rant is over.   New book review coming soon.  

 

Low Sugar Pumpkin Loaf

As much as I hate to admit it my kids eat too much sugar.  They love sugary foods and treats, like most kids, and I indulge them more than I should.  My daughter, the older one, has always seemed to eat a little more from her French side.  She would choose to balance her healthy food with her unhealthy food and she can eat just a couple sweet things and then stop.  Her appetite is pretty small anyway so I did push her to always eat the healthy food first so she wouldn't fill up on empty snacks before the fulfilling food even had a chance.   My son, on the other hand, loves sweets and doesn'tknow when to stop.  He might get that from me.  My family and I are all sugar addicts and I was raised having access to sweets pretty much whenever I wanted.   Unfortunately, sugar also seems to make my son act a bit crazy so it's time to crack down.  Breakfast has become a problem because even though they like to eat things like oatmeal, toast and cereal, they have started adding more and more sugar to these things.  The oatmeal's sprinkle of cinnamon sugar has become a sprinkle on every bite.  Not exactly ideal.   They love freshly baked muffins and breads so I have been striving to make those with less sugar for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.  Since it is pumpkin-on-everything season I made a pumpkin bread yesterday that they are gobbling up and it is definitely not too sweet.  It came out very moist so if you like your bread more bread-y you could decrease the pumpkin to 1 cup instead of the whole 15 ounce can.  

IMG_6047.JPG

Low-Sugar Pumpkin Bread 

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal (or more flour if you don't have flax)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or your spices of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut or canola oil

Spray a loaf pan with baking spray or grease and flour.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix flour, flaxmeal, baking soda and baking powder with a fork to break up lumps.  

Add eggs to standing mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high until foamy.  Add white sugar and honey and mix on medium for 1 minute.  Mix in pumpkin and oil slowly so it does not splash.

Add dry ingredients to mixer and mix slowly until just combined.  Mix a couple more times with a spatula and then pour into your prepared loaf pan.  Cook for 60-70 minutes.  Cool in pan and turn it out when mostly cool.

 

Mrs. Fletcher

After I graduated from law school in 2008 I very quickly got married (the next day) and moved to Boston.  I had previously lived in Boston before law school so I still had a couple friends but since Boston is such a transitional town many of them had left.  One good friend remained and she invited me to join her book club.  I was very excited to be part of it and I always look forward to our meetings.  When I joined none of the members had children.  Now I think every member has at least one child and the founder is goingon #3!  Many times the discussion has focused on being mothers (we are all women) and not the book but it is still a great chance to try books that I wouldn't normally pick up or would have trouble finishing.  The book club is a small motivator to complete a book even if I'm not loving it.  On my own I have no problem just giving up on a book if I'm not feeling it.  

Our latest pick was Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta.  Tom Perrotta is known for Little Children, Election and The Leftovers.  I have not read Election but I enjoyed the other two so I was pretty sure I would like his newest novel.  

Mrs. Fletcher is about a recent empty nester who is trying to figure out what to do next.  The book also focuses on her son and his new college experience as well as a coworker of Mrs. Fletcher.  Mrs. Fletcher becomes a little obsessed with porn and the son goes through some unfortunate sexual experiences.  These morally-fraught situations for all of the characters were intriguing, however, I am not always a fan of men writing about a woman's sexual awakening, especially when it is through porn. 

I would recommend this book for a quick, lighter read.  I'm not sure it's up to being made into a movie like the rest of his books but we'll see, the world may be ready for a middle aged porn obsessed main character.

Next up is a book that a colleague lent me called Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.  I'm looking forward to it.