Today I broke a fast. I ended it at about 109 hours. I am going to give you a little insight on how I feel about it and why I did it. Now I don't always get too personal with "the world" but feel like this might relate to someone in some way, and my hopes for that is to possibly help someone understand themselves. Now I DO NOT recommend anyone doing this without RESEARCH. That is the number 1 thing. Please research all about this before even attempting any sort of not eating, and if you have ever had an eating disorder you NEED to be fully recovered, in good space and doing this for the RIGHT reasons, this is not for weight loss, and this may trigger some people. Please know yourself well, and do the research before you do anything like this.
Please listen to these podcasts before:
Primal Potential (Mastering Fat Loss): Espisodes 300, 307
On Air With Ella (Fitness, Nutrition & Mindset): Episodes 090(definitely), 092, 093A, 093B
Now when I say "fasting" I did consume things during this fast. I consumed coffee with MCT oil, bone broth, kombucha, and magnesium.
I had about each in a drink every day, some days I had more bone broth, more kombucha, more MCT oil, etc. I did what felt right for my BODY. THIS is the most important thing that you need to know, DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY. Please listen to your body. All the topics I will explain, the podcasts go deep on these topics as well so please listen to them.
The reason that I wanted to do this is because I have a history of overeating. I have been a binge eater, and over eater, I have not listened to my hunger cues and I diet, then binge after the diet is over. Some of you might relate to this as it is more common than you think. I wanted to do this because I needed to learn more about my body and my hunger cues. I tend to eat so much, sometimes I never feel the feeling of hunger, I just eat because it is a certain time or I haven't ate in a few hours so I might as well eat something. I also wanted to do this because it was a hard reset for my body. If you have any gut issues or pain I suggest maybe researching this topic a little more. My gut and stomach were always full and I felt bloated quite often. I felt gross because I had pains that probably didn't need to be there. And well that pain has since gone away since my fast.
I have learned more about who I am as a person, how my relationship to food was, a deeper spiritual connection with myself, and how to treat myself with care.
During this fast, I realized how MUCH I thought about food. Now I knew I thought about food a lot, but DANG. Food is life. And I still will always feel that because I love food, I love cooking, and I enjoy fun, healthy snacks. I just needed to learn and realize that there are other things in life that focusing all my attention to food. It seems like common sense but it isn't until you take food out of your life for almost 5 days that you can focus your attention on other aspects of life. And that is what I did, I focused my attention on other things than just food. I connected with my body more because I felt every thing that it did. I reflected on how my insides were feeling, and how my connection to my body is. Words can't even describe how enlightening and deepening a love for my body was. Like I said before, I did not do this for weight loss, I did it to help connect better with my body. And I honestly feel like I did that. Now I don't plan on doing this again any time soon but if I do, I will definitely learn something more each time. This was an amazing experience. Now I have to give so much thanks to the ladies at On Air with Ella and Primal Potential (Ela and Elizabeth) because I could not of done it without them. They put together this AMAZING support system on Facebook for support and interactions between all the people doing the fast. They posted videos in the group each day that talked about different symptoms, questions, and FUN! Without that group I don't think I could have done this.
Now for a breakdown of how I FELT during the fast. This are direct quotes from me in the group plus a little extra on how I felt.
Day 1: "Last meal was last night! Not sure what time I stopped eating but I've had black coffee with MCT oil, water, and bone broth today. Already feeling nervous 😩"
Yes I was nervous as heck. The thought of not eating for 5 days before this FREAKED ME OUT. Like it would anybody right?
For me though, I had hurt my neck (strained muscles) on Saturday and I started on Sunday. I was not going to be able to move for almost a week anyways so it all fell at the right time because I was not planning on exercising anyways.
Day 1 I was nervous but I wasn't really hungry yet at that point. I was more just intimidated at that point. Day 1 was pretty easy for me since I was coming off of food from Saturday night and my body still had food as fuel for the following day.
On day 1 I also took a "Power Pack", they are like an Emergen-C because I was feeling sick but I didn't take any more the rest of the time because they say that it may raise my insulin levels because it has stevia in it and it may initial the ghrelin (hunger cues in the stomach).
Day 2: Oh day 2. Day 2 was overall the WORST day for me. And when I say for me, everyone in the group was feeling different. For some people day 3 was worse, day 1 was worse, some people had more energy, less energy, more hunger, less hunger, it was almost different for everyone. Day 2 I was cranky, tired, I had a headache and was pretty spacey, weirdly couldn't remember things, and I was hungry towards the end of the day. I was planning on breaking my fast on day 3 when I was ON day 2.
"So I was going to end my fast today (day 3), and I said that on day 2 (difficult day), BUT I feel pretty amazing today and so I stoked up on what I am drinking during my fast because this works for me. Drinking 1 coffee with MCT oil, 1-2 bone broth, 1-2 kombucha, magnesium before bed. I'm learning SO MUCH about myself, my hunger, my hunger cues, my relationship with food and more. But I have a busy day tomorrow and thinking about ending the fast didn't sound great so I'm gonna keep going now because I have no headaches, no foggy brain, more energy and clarity on day 3!"
Day 3 turned out to be a little different. After my morning coffee and MCT oil, I had so much energy! I felt amazing, was more alert and awake and felt good! As the day went on though I could feel how weak I was and I would get light headed throughout the day a little bit. Not exercising and taking it easy were definitely key towards the evening.
"Day 4 wrap up: today was weird. I didn't really feel great. Kinda had energy but kinda felt like I was gonna pass out, kinda but not totally so I drank bone broth and kombucha, slight better. I felt like my MEMORY was off, anyone else?! I teach fitness so I did some yoga/stretching, went on a walk and was just on my feet today. I was like starving during the evening and it wouldn't go away so I made a blended hot water/MCT oil/apple cider vinegar/lemon squeeze drink for "dinner" and curbed my hunger. All I'm feeling is, one more day, I'm doing this for spiritual deep self connection and want to feel it til the end."
Day 5: Today (as I write this post), I decided I feel almost the same I did on day 4, I felt light headed and weak and knew today would be the day I break my fast. I did lose about 6 lbs during this 4 1/2 day fast. I am saying this number mainly for me to look back in case I ever need to reference this again, but please, please, please remember I did NOT do this for weight loss what-so-ever, as it may be water weight and I may gain it all back tomorrow. I did test my ketone levels with a pee strip right before I broke my fast and it said I had a small amount. Ketone pee strips test the EXCESS ketones in my urine, so my body may have been utilizing and burning ketones as fuel. I had MCT oil coffee and water during the morning and decided to eat an avocado and sauerkraut as my first meal. This was suggested in the group because it is high fiber, probiotic gut health food. I agree, it was a good choice. I then had a collagen protein bar about 2 hours later.
All I say is, if your breaking a fast, make sure you are at home or near a bathroom :)
Overall I think I would do it again if I really needed to, or had a pressing issue to. I know personally what I got out of it, and whether any of this made sense to you, I know deep down I did this for myself and I am happy I did what I did and I now know myself just that much better.
Sometimes I just cannot follow macros, diets, fads, or any other sorts because its makes me mentally go insane. I do love experimenting with different types of nutrition tips and tricks and follow clean eating guidelines but for me I always come back to a holistic health standpoint, because it works for me.
I have struggled with bulimia, overeating, and forms of eating disorders and therefore my mental state is not 100%. I do not have a super healthy relationship with food. It is something I strive towards EVERY day. I say every day because it literally is every day that something about my connection with food goes through my mind. Should I intermittent fast today? Should I eat dairy today? (I am lactose intolerant). Should I skip gluten today? Will it make me feel like crap? Should I eat my carbs after my workout? What about before? Should I eat veggies with breakfast? Should I make my lunch? Should I cook a healthy meal or just go out and get something yummy? Should I have more of this food? If I have a second helping will I feel overly full? Will I feel guilt? Can I get away with it? Should I workout twice since I ate that? These are just a few of ALL the questions that go through my head. I for the most part have healthy and unhealthy relationships with food. And yes just writing all those questions make me feel EXHAUSTED. But these are almost all daily questions I ask myself. Counting my macros puts stress in my head. I like counting my macros because my body feels amazing when I follow them but mentally sometimes I don't think it is worth it. I need to do what makes my body and my mind feel good. That being said these are just a few tips I have came up with for myself lately to follow to stay healthy without overly stressing about my food.
Holistic Nutrition Tips:
Eat 4-6 small meals a day (to help prevent overeating/binging)
Eat every 2-3 hours (or until hungry, stop when full and wait until hunger cues again)
Eat more dark leafy greens
Try to eat vegetables with almost every meal
Limit fruit, don't restrict it, just focus on limiting it
Don't restrict ANYTHING from your diet (diet=daily eating)
Generally focus on eating higher carbs after workout but don't limit it to then
Eat balanced meals (handful of protein, mostly veggies, whole grains, starchy veggies like potatoes of all kinds, some fruit)
Limit or no dairy (for lactose intolerant reasons)
Limit gluten products (they make me feel sluggish and lethargic)
Savor and enjoy yummy food
Eat for holistic healing properties
Eat more of what makes you feel alive and energetic
Eat less of what makes you tired, cranky, bloated, etc.
Now although these may work for me, these may not ALL work for you. We are always learning about ourselves and our bodies. It is important to always listen to how we feel after we eat certain foods and continue to eliminate what makes us feel crappy.
There are never "good" or "bad" foods, do not ever label them as "good" or "bad" but rather "better for my body" or "worse for my body".
Always research, learn, and provide your body with nutrients. Always move and exercise your body in no matter what form because consistency is key. Love yourself, do yoga/stretch, meditate and be grateful for the things in your life <3
And now comes the life AFTER whole30. Today is the first day to my food freedom. I have not yet eaten anything "not whole30" as I still feel good and feel in control. I LIKE how I feel eating a clean diet and I will continue to eat like this until one day something so good comes along that I do not want to pass up.
This is "Food Freedom".
Continuing to eat a clean and healthy diet while also not restricting anything from your diet. (When I say diet, I am referring to the general term of "what you eat". I typically am not referring to a "diet" that you might be thinking of.)
Food freedom to me does not mean I am going to fall off the face of the earth and stuff my face with food now that I am done with my whole30. I am now in the next phase of this process and that is reintroduction.
Reintroduction is a slow and continuous process to see what does and does not work with my body. I am going to do what author Melissa Hartwig calls the "slow roll". I am not going to eat whatever I want but I am rather going to continue to eat how I have been the past few weeks and every so often I am going to introduce a new food when it come along. I may not plan this, or I may plan to have some corn tortillas with breakfast. The most important part of this process is to NOTICE how my body reacts to these foods so I can know for the future what to expect when I eat these foods. I will keep my updates in my blog, mainly so that I can go back to my blog and read and remember how I felt when I had those foods. Now there may also be different contributors to how I felt when I ate those things, like what else did I eat with it? Does that other food usually make me feel off?
I am excited to reintroduce new foods into my diet. This has been a long learning process that I have been in for years while getting more and more into nutrition. For instance, I already know that dairy REALLY affects me. I know that if I have dairy, my insides are doomed for at least 12 hours. So for now, I will not eat dairy until something comes up that I can't pass up and that I know the food will be "worth it". Would I rather eat this and feel like crap? Or can I live without this food and continue to feel good?
Follow my journey on my path to food freedom and self experimentation about my body :)
Just recently I decided to jump back into a paleo lifestyle again. Years ago I was on and off eating paleo religiously and felt amazing. I had missed that amazing feeling and wanted my good feelings back. I decided to jump in head first and start a Whole 30.
You can read more about the Whole 30 here, but basically it is a lot like the paleo diet but strict and focused on whole foods and not creating paleo desserts because it takes you away from what they are trying to get you back to and that is real, whole foods. It excludes grains, dairy and soy. There are a few other guidelines to follow, just head over to their website if you ever want to try it.
For me this was a great way to get my health back on track, my natural energy back on track, and to well shred some unwanted pounds-because yes this naturally happens on the whole30.
For the first few days to a week it was good and my mentality was restricting those foods that I could not have. Now this felt great during the time but then came towards the end---day 14.
My family was in town, there was chips and homemade salsa on the table, I was hungry and BAM, just like that it was OVER. I caved. I ate so many chips and salsa the next few days I almost got sick of it. ALMOST.
Now, where am I going with this?
I failed, I gave up, I cheated.
It is NOT the end of the world. I am human, and NO, sometimes I cannot just do something for 30 days because it makes me go crazy and felt like a lifetime. Props to those of you who can go through something for a few weeks and not give in to anything. I unfortunately am not one of those people.
It has taken me a long time to sit down and write this blog post.
I did not want ANYONE to know that I can't even follow a few simply guidelines for 30 days. Because I can't. For me, it's not attainable.
It has been a few weeks since I have came back to my senses after falling out of the whole 30. I have been doing a lot of personal development on WHY this is OKAY.
I have been reading the book Intuitive Eating and learning a lot about myself.
It's okay to give in a little here and there. It is okay to have a cookie once in a while, or some damn chips and salsa for Christs sake. All these years I have been on a continuous cycle of binging/restricing/binging/restricting. I am most definitely a yo-yo dieter.
I will try a diet, finish it and splurge! Or splurge the night before I START a diet. Does this sound familiar? If this sounds like you please read on.
Intuitive Eating is really all about listening to your body and eating more mindful. Eat when your hungry, stop when your full. Simple as that. Well there is a lot more to it that we don't always understand. I am on Chapter 2 of Intuitive Eating and I already understand the things that these doctors are talking about. I am not a profession by any means but I really think this idea is something huge.
No more obsessing.
No more dieting.
No more binging.
It sounds too good to be true.
And for right now where I am at in my life, it might be. I need to understand the principles behind the way of eating before I can actually take this on. Everyday I try to think about my hunger and fullness cues. NOW that is the first step. RECOGNIZING.
Recognize your habits. Don't judge them. Don't try to stop yourself.
Just recognize. Later down the line, in a few days, months, years (yes years) you may be able to grasp this idea of listening to your body.
We all get so caught up in what is the newest FAD diet, nutrition supplement, or whatever!
But don't listen to them. Listen to your BODY. Do whats right for YOU.
Did that chocolate cake make you feel like shit?
Well then maybe next time you want a piece of chocolate cake you will say no thank you because it DID NOT MAKE YOUR BODY FEEL GOOD.
Now I am not saying don't ever eat chocolate cake again, but what I am saying is to listen to your body. If something doesn't settle well with you, then maybe you won't want to put it in your body and make yourself feel like shit.
Eat real foods, get REAL energy. LIVE your life. Listen to your body. Respect your body. Please do this for your own good self and treat your body with RESPECT DAMMIT.
I know it's easier said than done, trust me I do. This has been my vicious cycle of eating. I have been treating my body like crap on and off for years. Putting too much food in my stomach that it rejects it. Feeling so horrible for hours on end that I am crying on my bed because my stomach hurts so bad.
But now I am starting to get it. I need to listen to my body and understand what it is telling me. I never really truly understood that term until the past few weeks.
Something is clicking in my brain and I understand it.
Now I want to help you understand it too.
Fuel your body and mind and good things will come.
firstname.lastname@example.org---> I am an open book and have gone through a few things in my life. I want to help you with whatever you are going through because I CARE.
I am a dedicated individual when it comes to health and fitness. I love the outdoors and being active.