It’s my first week of intermittent fasting and I’ve noticed a few amazing things already. I am sleeping like a baby. Yes, a baby. I used to be a late night snacker. I loved being a late night snacker and most nights would have a peanut butter toast, a big handful of cashews, yogurt or potato chips, depending on my cravings, but then I almost always would have a restless sleep and then awake the next day exhausted. Have you ever eaten right before bed? It’s actually a very uncomfortable feeling. And I all of the work your system is putting into digesting food at night actually gives you an anxious sleep where you might not even go into REM, the restorative stage.
So, my number one exiting benefit of IF this week is sleep. I’m starting to wake up feeling pretty rested for the first time in a long time and it feels amazing.
The second benefit this week is that I’m actually paying more attention to my body and my digestion. It’s a bit shocking how little attention we pay to our bodies on a day to day basis. Especially during times like this were most of us have a baseline of higher anxiety and are prone to a little too much comfier eating.
Intermittent Fasting helps you really tune into your body and your digestion and allows you to nourish your self with our over eating or inducing I’m mindless comfort overeating. Personally, I really like the structure of feeding myself from 11am to 7pm and then just giving my body a break. IF is helping me stay healthy in unsettling times.
Panic surrounding the covid-19 virus is spreading every day with the world slowly but surely shutting down, one service at a time. Panic buying of toilet paper, fights in wine stores and general hysteria seem to be prevailing.
In reality though, there are a lot of things you can do to stay safe and healthy and none of them involve stock piling TP in your home.
Staying calm, well rested, connected to friends and family, and nourishing our bodies should be priorities right now. Here are a few more tips to keep you healthy during this anxious time:
Eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies and take your vitamins to keep your immune system healthy
Don’t panic. Panic and anxiety are huge immune suppressors. Stay calm.
Meditate. Do yoga.
Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
Walk in nature. Nature heals.
Don’t completely isolate. Being part of a community strengthens our immune system and uplifts our mood.
Do something nice for and elderly person or immune compromised person. They are the ones who are truly at risk.
Refuse to live your life in fear and greed.
This too shall pass. Be balanced, care about others, wash your hands, do the elbow bump, and we will survive this beautifully.
I’m ending this post with a few photos from my morning nature walk. Nature will always calm, heal and rebalance.
I’m on sugar free day 7, feeling amazing and power walking around Vancouver’s beautiful seawall.
The first few days were rough, feeling low energy, foggy thinking and wanting to go home to sleep for most of the day. It truly felt like a typical detox from an addictive substance. Day 4 was better. And now I’m feeling really good and really energized. I’m also spending my spare time researching the effects of sugar on the human body. Did you know that the average North American eats 20 tsp of added sugar per day? 20 teaspoons!! Think about how much that is for a moment. And that’s not fruit sugar.
That’s cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other refined, processed sugars. 20 teaspoons of sugar is not going to do your body good. That amount will mess with your blood sugar, your hormones and your mood. How can people be eating so much? Try checking the labels of pretty much any packaged food and you’ll find sugar lurking there in some form. Soups, salad dressing, condiments, drinks. There it is. So, before you know it, you’re consuming several teaspoons without even knowing it. I’ve definitely been scrutinizing labels the last week and it’s been an eye~opener.
I’ve recently tried food combining. I’ve been struggling with pesky digestive issues lately, and by lately I mean the past few years. So I decided to see if this method of eating would help my bloated belly feel better.
Spoiler alert! It did.
What is food combining? It is the belief that protein and starches digest at different rates and, if eaten together, cause a sludgy build up of undigested food in the gut. This build up can lead to an unhealthy gut, bad bacteria, disease and allergies.
There are a few major rules around food combining and here they are:
Only eat fruit on an empty stomach, especially melons.
Don’t combine starches and protein.
Don’t combine starches with acidic food.
Try not to combine too many different types of protein.
Only consume dairy products on an empty stomach.
The last rule is to wait at least three hours ~ preferably four ~ between eating starch and protein.
This may sound like a lot of rules but food combining is relatively easy, and delicious, once you get used to it. And if you’re suffering from gut issues and their symptoms, it’s so worth putting the extra thought into your meal plans.
It can be as easy as eating that burger wrapped in lettuce “paleo style” or having your pasta dish with vegetable only tomato sauces.
The benefits of food combing is so worth the extra effort. Here are a few:
Kick ass digestion
Improved nutrient absorption
In cases of overweight – weight loss
Who doesn’t want at least a few of these benefits?
When I feel like practicing yoga in a place where I can sink into the lush green beauty of nature; a place filled with towering trees, pretty pink lily pads, ribbiting frogs, still herons focused on catching a fish for their lunch and ducks gliding through the forest of lilies, I stroll through Stanley Park’s tree lined trails to a little hidden oasis called Beaver Lake.
Beaver Lake is a stunning and serene setting to meditate and practice yoga.
Bird chirps fill the air, frogs ribit happily from their watery home and the calm, peaceful lake is bursting with fuchsia lily pads.
I can easily spend an afternoon soaking up the beauty of the lake, meditating and practicing poses.
And after a few hours of practice, peace and meditation, I head home to replenish and rehydrate with a sweetly simple watermelon smoothie.
2 cups watermelon, cubed
1 T fresh mint
Big squeeze of lime
Place all ingredients in a blender, blend thoroughly and enjoy the hydrating and antioxidant ingredients that will do your body good.
Here are a few photos of the first couple of time I tried sup yoga.
And these pics also document the beginning of a very happy obsession.
After taking an unintended fitness break for about a year, this class rejuvenated my love for keeping my body fit, healthy and happy. The full body workout of the class feels amazing and core muscles definitely get an intense workout as you try to stay stable on the board during yoga poses.
Sup yoga also sparked a love of regular stand-up paddle boarding (and a summer of sore but happy muscles) and rekindled my 18 year on again, off again love affair with yoga.
My activities this summer have inspired me to finally get my personal trainer certification this fall and I couldn’t be more exited (and scared). I know that studying fitness will take me further along my own fitness journey and I am excited to learn how to keep our bodies healthy and functioning at an optimal level, especially as we age.
I’ve changed the blog name to “Fit Life with Laurel” and future posts will focus on fun ways to get your body moving and delicious, clean food with the occasional scrumptious cheat meal thrown in.
A hike up a mountain is one of my favourite things to do. Especially if there is a waterfall involved.
As I get a bit older though, I realize that how I fuel my body before, during and after a hike becomes more and more important.
I’ve found the hydrating qualities of fruit and veggies to be the perfect fuel for an active body, especially during the hot summer months.
One of my favourite pre~hike recipes is my berry smoothie bowl. This powerhouse recipe has hydrating, antioxidant and fibre filled berries (did you know that raspberries have the most fibre of any fruit?) and creamy coconut milk to provide the kind of fat that will do your body good.
Add a couple of dates for iron and healthy sugars to fuel my body as I trek up that mountain and I’ve got a body loving bowl of goodness.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
Blend together, top with fresh raspberries and unsweetened coconut and you have a beautiful, nourishing smoothie bowl.