Whats the Deal with Time Restricted Eating?
Its a popular belief that what you eat for breakfast will set the tone for the rest of the day. However, there is more and more research looking into time restricted eating or intermittent fasting. The basic idea is that you eat with in a set time window, usually around 8 hour, and fast for the rest often times delaying breakfast or skipping it all together. It has been shown to support health in several ways including:
- Cellular regeneration
- Improved digestive function
- Regulated energy levels
- Stability of blood glucose levels
- Lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
- Increased endurance during exercise
I have found so much healing for myself and withothers when we combine ancient wisdom with modern science. For centuries fasting has played a roled in nearly every religion throughout the world. Fasting is used as a way of purifying the body, the mind and the soul. Fasting was often done to have clearer communication with the divine, god, and plants. From Shaman, to monks, and yogic gurus. There are several doctors utilizing longer fasts in protocols for healing cancer and other chronic diseases.
I'm not going to preach one way or another, it is up to the individual to determine what works best for them. In my own self-experimentation I have found that time restricted eating has helped greatly with symptoms of IBS, endurance during exercise and even better sleep quality. For this reason I keep my eating window at within 8-10 hours, doing an fast overnight for 14-16 hours. I have also used fasting as a form of spiritual cleansing and a way of feeling better the energies of herbs that I am working with. The first time I fasted with a plant was for seven days in the jungles of Guatemala. It was a transformative experience, one in which my ego was striped away and I was forced to face many internal struggles. After the week I felt reborn, a new appreciation for life, for food, and a respect for the plant medicine and the miracle of the human body.... I am not saying that time restricted is going to transform your emotional and spiritual world, but if could very well transform your health.
How I fast
Also there are different ways of fasting. My best friend finds that he does best fasting on just black and green tea until noon, and eats only 1-2 meals a day (apparently pretty typical for many men.) For me I have found that delaying my first meal until around 11am is best, but I usually will have a Mushroom Tea Elixir with healthy fat and easily assimulated collagen peptides works best.
- I drink a glass of room temp water with a teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt to hydrate and restore electrolytes
- Depending on the day I will practice some yoga, and take a walk to soak up some vitamin D
- I will make a Mushroom Elixir, between 7-8am. The drink consists of Real Mushrooms extracts plus a mix of a few other herbs, with 2 tbsp coconut butter and a scoops of collagen
- I eat breakfast/lunch around 11 am, a snack (usually an avocado and dark chocolate) around 2:00pm, and dinner around 6:00pm
- I don't restrict the number of calories, I don't count macros, I just eat what my body is asking for within that time window
- My eating window is 8-10 hours, with a 14-16 hour fasting period. ** I find that around my period I feel better when my eating window is closer to 10 hours**
- When traveling and out of my routine more I try to practice a 12 hour fasting window at the very least because I know that I notice the difference easily
I have found that not eating a big meal right away in the morning frees my body and brain up to do more creative and cognitive, increasing concentration, and stabilizing my energy.
Digestive Health: for years I struggled with IBS, when I began intermittent fasting I found that I was easily going to the bathroom within the first hour of waking up. I also noticed a huge reduction in bloating, gas and stomach pains. Digestion takes up a huge amount of energy and when we give our bodies a longer break it is able to focus on other bodily functions such as cellular detoxification, and hormone regulation.
Balanced Blood Sugar: Since adopting Intermittent Fasting I’ve noticed an increase in my overall energy level and focus. I have found that not eating a big meal right away in the morning frees my body and brain up to do more creative and cognitive work by increasing concentration, and stabilizing my energy. For someone who consistently struggled with brain fog, this was somewhat of a miracle!
Intuitive Eating: It might sound strange but fasting has actually helped me become more in sync with my hunger cues. I eat when I get hungry and I stop when I am full. I don’t feel like snacking throughout the day out of boredom or stress. I believe that another benefit of balanced blood sugar is a balanced mood.
Minimalism: I use to be so convinced that every morning had to start with a nutritious blast. I would load the blender with greens, healthy fats, and super foods, or make up breakfast while also trying to balance morning movement, meditation time and getting ready for work. I am now better able to relish in the morning energy, enjoy it at a slower pace and therefore have a less stressful day overall.
So I recommend that others experiment with intermittent fasting. However, remember this my own experiment of one and IF may not be fit for everyone. People IF may not be suited for are children, women who are pregnant or nursing, and people who are in the early stages of Eating Disorder recovery. I'm not a doctor, but do hold the belief that the body is intelligent and that if we listen to it then we will meet a balance and equilibrium.
If you are curious about if Intermittent Fasting is right for you, or if you are looking at more one-on-one guidance, I am open to taking on two new clients at this time.
Peace, Love, and Plants!