18 August 2022

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
Why a photo of loose leaf black tea? Because it's the only thing I consume during the fast.
Water, black coffee, and herbal tisanes are also allowed.

Since I've been at this intermittent fasting lark for several years now, I thought it was time to give you an update. It is something I researched for several months before I started doing it more than four and a half years ago (I don't like to rush into things!). 

Other than my emphasis on sustainable, local, organic whole foods, I don’t follow any particular diet or have a lot of food rules. Just three:
    Always interested in maximizing my health and preventing problems before they occur, I’ve always believed something Mark Hyman, MD, said so succinctly: The most powerful medicine is at the end of your fork.

    I do a bit of daily exercise, including weight training, to prevent the loss of muscle mass that starts occurring much earlier in life than you might imagine. According to WebMD: Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you'll still have some muscle loss.

    The other key to avoiding muscle loss is maintaining healthy insulin sensitivity. And that is what got me interested in intermittent fasting, specifically 16/8 intermittent fasting.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor of any kind, have no formal education in the field of diet or nutrition, and would suggest that anyone who is under a doctor’s care for any condition should consult their doctor about dietary changes as their medication dosages will likely need adjusting. According to Dr Jason Fung, people who should not fast are those who are: underweight, malnourished, children, pregnant, or breastfeeding. And if you’ve ever had any sort of eating disorder, consult your doctor. I'm not an expert, I’m simply telling you what works for me.

    But there is plenty of information out there from people who are experts. So do your own research before making up your mind. On completion of my research, I knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life.

    This is not “a diet”—I don’t believe in temporary diets—it is a way of eating that can be done for a time or for a lifetime. I spent months researching it before starting it. I learned it has many benefits and is really quite easy to do. You can choose any 16 hours to fast, including however many hours you sleep. If you sleep 8 hours, that’s half of it right there.

    Since I had already stopped after-dinner evening snacking a few years before, it was really just a matter of postponing breakfast until 10:00 in the morning. So I decided to do all my eating between 10 am and 6 pm. This might mean packing a breakfast to have at work or wherever you're going—something with lots of protein, not Starbucks and a donut!

    But no need to get obsessive about it. If the 16/8 schedule won't work for you some days, just make it 15/9 or even 14/10. It's all good! I was not doing it for weight loss, but soon found myself losing weight. Had I continued with the 16/8 regimen, I would have continued to lose weight, which I did not want to do.

    So I switched to 15/9 to give myself an extra hour to eat enough food to maintain my weight. That did the trick. Stable weight for four years and counting! Anyone interested in losing and maintaining, or just maintaining, a stable weight will appreciate that a stable weight means not having to keep three sizes of clothes in their closet!

    Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
    Black tea - my beverage of choice during the fasting hours
    (and every other waking hour!)

    Benefits of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

    • Regulates insulin and glucose, lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, fatty pancreas
    • Stimulates metabolism for slow, steady loss of body fat (including that dangerous excess visceral fat) rather than loss of lean body mass
    • Improves lipid profile and heart function
    • Stresses the brain in the same (good) way that exercise stresses the body, reducing amyloids in the brain and lowering the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Increases human growth hormone and boosts immune system
    • Reduces oxidative stress and stimulates the body to maintain and repair cells and tissues
    • Increases energy level
    • Eliminates food cravings
    If this is something you think you might like to try but think it's going to be difficult, I'd just like to tell you it's really quite easy. If you like, you can build up the number of fasting hours gradually. It's compatible with any diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto ...), compatible with any schedule, and doesn't require willpower.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on fasting, dieting, nutrition and health. And don't worry, I'll be back with a really good comfort food recipe next time!


    04 August 2022

    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes

    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes - Curating a Wardrobe / www.delightfulrepast.com

    A wardrobe post at Delightful Repast? That's right. No food today! For the first time in 12.5 years, I'm posting about something besides food. And that is because the weather has made me lose all interest in cooking and even eating this week, so instead I've been spending time "curating" my wardrobe, weeding out the unworn clothing.

    Some people who know me would call me a minimalist, but I recently saw the word 'enoughism' and decided that I'm really more of an enoughist. Of course, if you could see all my kitchen equipment, you'd question how I could call myself an enoughist! I wrote a bit about minimalism six years ago in this Pasta with Chicken and Spring Vegetables recipe post.

    And the year before that I wrote about conquering a very specific type of clutter in this In My Kitchen post. I hope you'll read these two posts if you're at all interested in the topics of decluttering, organizing, minimalism, or enoughism.

    There are many ways to pare down one's wardrobe. One is the capsule wardrobe, great for some people, but it would take up way more time than I’m willing to spend. I've always limited my wardrobe to what would fit in my small closet and chest of drawers by practicing the one-in-one-out rule, but I decided to take it a step further. 

    My 90-Hanger Closet

    I started by measuring my closet rods. There is one rod for long items on the right side, and an upper and lower rod on the left side for short items. The three rods total 90 inches, so I decided to have 90 hangers. Sounds like a lot, but I also decided to stop storing any clothes in drawers. So now ...  

    All of my clothes—except underwear, swimsuits and coats—go on a hanger. No folded garments on a shelf or in a drawer. Every item, including scarves and belts and my workout pants and tops, is on a hanger. Nothing gets rotated in or out for seasons or any other reasons. It’s all there, all the time. 

    If I want to add a new garment, it has to replace an old garment that will be promptly relegated to the rag bag, if it's worn out or damaged, or donated to a charity shop, if it no longer fills a need.

    It would be grand if I had the "bandwidth" to deal with consignment shops or other methods of selling things, but I don't. So the ordinary items go to an ordinary thrift store and the really good stuff to a special thrift store that is very particular about what they sell.

    A Working Closet, Not a Warehouse

    I purged 13 items that had been taking up space for far too long, most of which were going to require altering if I was going to wear them. Six of those pieces were three rather elegant pantsuits that I wore regularly for years in a business that called for that level of dressing. It was hard to let them go, but it made no sense to go to the expense of alterations for things I no longer needed.

    Three hangers out of the 90 are empty. Three have skirts that need altering. And I have resolved to get that done before the end of the year. If I don't, they must go. The empty hangers can stay empty! If I find I can whittle those 90 hangers down even more, that will be wonderful. I don't want anything in my closet that isn't getting worn somewhat regularly.

    I need business-type dresses or skirts and tops (including blazers, jackets, and cardigans), a few times a week; dresses that can be worn for special occasions every couple of months; dressy-casual (also called, smart casual) pants and tops; casual pants/jeans and tops; workout pants and tops. I am not likely to have need of a ball gown or evening gown ever again, so no need to keep one of those on hand.

    What is your take on this subject? I hope you'll tell me all about how you handle your wardrobe. And then, I promise, I'll get back in my lane—food! The cake above, by the way, is French Almond-Rum Cake, and you need to make it! 


    Veering Out of My Lane - Talking About Clothes / www.delightfulrepast.com

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