30 Days of Intermittent Fasting: The Why’s and How’s

A great look at intermittent fasting! Awesome article Katie! 👍

disclaimer: I am not qualified to give medical advice, and this information is not meant to cure or treat any disease/health condition. Whenever you start a new dieting plan, it is important to notify your physician or healthcare practitioner!

I have decided to try an intermittent fasting style of eating for thirty days in a row to see the benefits it will bring to my body, athletic performance, mental cognitive state, and overall well being.

I’m excited to enter “nerd mode” for a moment and bring you guys all of the information and research I have done on intermittent fasting and how it can benefit your body.

I realize “fasting” may sound kind of scary and intimidating, but intermittent fasting does not require starving or depriving yourself. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather, it is a style of eating. What you do is give yourself a window of…

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My Food Journal: Goals, Sugar & Elimination Diet – Days 9 to 15 (July 18 to July 24, 2017)

Today, since I’m so late getting posting this article, I’m going to be short and sweet with this post. First, I’m going to take a look at how my goals are going…

On May 20, 2017, I wrote a blog discussing my problems with soda, and wrote some goals, which were updated on June 11, 2017. On the list below, I have crossed out the goals that have been accomplished.

HERE ARE THE ORIGINAL GOALS: (TODAY’S UPDATES ARE IN RED)

  • SUGAR UPDATE!  “stay away from soda-

      • UPDATE – I have now been sugar/soda free for 70 days. 

  • “Walk 5 miles a day–

    • My goal was to work up to walking 5 miles a day (10,000 steps)

    • (TIMELINE-ACCOMPLISH THIS BY AUGUST 31, 2017)
    • UPDATE – I am behind on this goal, but it is still achievable. By now, I should be walking 7000 steps a day. This week I only averaged between 2000 – 3000 steps a day. I didn’t take regular walks this week. However, on my normal walks, I average 6000 steps a day, which is approximately 3 miles. I have been increasing the weekly goal by 500 steps a day. In order to reach my goal by August 31, I’ll need to increase the weekly goal by 750 steps per day.
  • Meditate every day for 30 minutes– This is easily accomplished, it will just take the ambition to get it done.

    • This was to begin on July 21, 2017

    • UPDATE: This has not started. I will put this on top of my agenda for this week. 
  • Drink 100 ounces of water a day-When I’m not drinking soda, I drink only water. So no problem here. I track it with mynetdiary.com
    • UPDATE: I currently drink 180 ounces of water a day
  • Eat whole foods 90% of the time.-allow myself to eat 1 or 2 “fun foods” a week (non-sugary of course.)

    • UPDATE: On my elimination diet, I am eating whole foods approximately 95% of the time.
  • Log all food/meals-Again-easy enough to do…just need to do it.(Begin this June 11, 2017) Tracked with mynetdiary.com

    • UPDATE: This is being done on a fairly regular basis.
  • Do power yoga 2 times during the week– every Tuesday and Thursday – I hate lifting weights, but LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga. I’m hoping that by doing power yoga instead, my muscle tone will improve. (begin this on July 1, 2017)

    • UPDATE: I have a lot of trouble working yoga into my daily routine. I need to get more organized. I have only done yoga a few time since the beginning of the month. 

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So, as you can see, I’m doing well on the food portion of the goals, but fall well short on the exercise portion of the goals. I have always struggled with exercise and fitness, never really enjoying it. I do like walking, but find excuses not to go walking in the heat. I LOVE doing yoga, but it sometimes feels like a guilty pleasure, when I have so many other things to do. Meditation is the same, it just seems a little too enjoyable, when there’s work to be done. But, I must remind myself, that meditation and yoga are just as beneficial to the body as walking and proper nutrition.

ELIMINATION DIET DAYS 9 to 15.

Well, the first 2 weeks are under my belt, just 1 week left, until I can begin adding foods back in…maybe. I may end up going 4 weeks. My headaches are basically gone, but the congestion, though lessened, still remains. I had been eating almonds, which are allowed on some versions of the elimination diet. I have decided to remove them, in an effort to confront this ongoing congestion. My other symptoms, fatigue, psoriasis, and arthritis are completely gone. Now I just need to figure out that darn congestion.

My weight loss for this past week was only 1 pound. However, considering I lost almost 5 pounds last week, this isn’t surprising. Also, I basically did not exercise last week, so losing a pound…without exercise…eating more carbs….eating more calories, I’m happy with the loss.

Here are my food log totals for this week:

  • Average Calories/day – 1503.71
  • Macronutrient percentages
    • Fat average – 27% – 47 grams
    • Carbohydrate average – 53% – 207 grams
    • Protein average – 19% – 75 grams
    • Fiber average – 29 grams

If you’d like to take a look at my weekly food log, you can follow this link: FOOD_LOG_JULY18_TO_JULY24_2017

 

 

How to eat healthy: 5 Reasons to Keep a Food Log

Ugh, keeping a food log isn’t my favorite thing to do. And, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m horrible at it. I’ll do it for a week or two, then quit. I really don’t know why I struggle so much. It doesn’t take that much time. As I started my elimination diet yesterday, logging food is essential to my success. So, I’m doing my best to log every meal…

Anyway, if you’re trying to eat healthy and lose weight, keeping a food log is a must. But, why?

Why you should keep a food log…

  1. Food logs show you what you’re eating – While you may think you know what you’re eating, in my experience, keeping a food log is a very enlightening process. We imagine that we eating 3 meals and a healthy snack or two, often we don’t count the little nibbles and bites along the way.
  2. It can help you lose weight– It’s easy to dismiss just how much food you’re eating. A bite here, a nibble there…it all adds up. But, keeping a food log, of EVERY bite you take, helps you know exactly what you’re eating and how much. It’ll tell you just how many calories you’re eating, as well as your macronutrient percentages. This is all important information for anyone trying to shed a few pounds. According to WebMD, one study showed that people who kept a food log and had weekly support lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t keep a log.
  3. Helps keep your diet balanced – Knowing exactly what you’re eating throughout the day can help balance out your diet. It allows you to look back at your day and make adjustments. Maybe you realize that you’ve only eaten 1 serving of veggies, you can make sure to balance that out at dinner, by adding an extra serving.
  4. Helps with meal planning/meal prepping – I’ve found that food logs not only help with food I’ve already eaten, but helps me plan out future meals. I can go into the days ahead and add in my meals before hand, therefore planning out my week. This also helps with meal prep. The two go hand in hand.
  5. Helps you understand portion control – With a food log, you typically have a set caloric intake. Logging food allows you to better track your calorie intake, by learning about and controlling your portion sizes. You learn to spread your calories through out the day. Instead of 2 cups of pasta salad, which would take a good percentage of your daily calories, you know to only take 1 cup. You still get your pasta, just less of it.

Types of food logs and what I use…

Now that you know WHY you should be logging food, we need to discuss HOW to log food. There really is no hard and fast rule to a food log, as long as you log everything you eat and drink, in some way.

It all comes down to personal preference. It can be as easy as writing them down in a notebook or on a printable paper log, to using a smart phone app or developing a computer spreadsheet. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

I’ve tried a few different methods of food logging, including trying out several smart phone apps. Using a paper log just isn’t for me. I prefer a smart phone app, since my phone is always with me, it makes logging easy.

After trying several phone apps, I find MY NET DIARY works best for me. I use the paid version, at about $5/month, which gives me the ability to track blood sugar levels and other extras. But the free version is wonderful as well. What do I like about it?

  • They have a catalogue of over 761,000 different foods.
  • Calculates a recommended daily calorie intake based on your activity level, weight and goal weight
  • UPC scanning capability-  meaning you can scan the barcode of a food, for ease of entry or if it can’t be found in the database.
  • Create your own recipes. – This is a wonderful and easy to use aspect of this app.
  • track individual nutrients
  • track exercise – which is accounted for in the daily calorie intake
  • track weight loss
  • track body fat percentages
  • track body measurements
  • track all forms of health data – including resting heart rate, blood pressure cholesterol, etc
  • links with my smart phone health app and other fitness devices – to track steps and other health info.
  • tracks water – Most apps do this, but, I love the flexibility of this one. It doesn’t just give you 8 glasses to cross off, but gives you to 15 glasses and allows you to adjust the ounces per glass. For instance, I drink 180 ounces of water a day. I was able to adjust the ounces per glass from 8 to 12 ounces, allowing for the extra water intake.

I could go on. I’m sure there are other apps with these same capabilities, but, I just find My Net Diary relatively easy to use. Here’s a sample of my own diary from yesterday:

 

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Other food log apps- Authority Nutrition’s 5 best calorie counter websites and apps

My Fitness Pal

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Lose It

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Fat Secret

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Cron-o-meter

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Spark People

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Free printable paper logs:

Weekly Food Log 

From: Get Buttoned Up

Free Printable Diet & Exercise Worksheet

Free Printable Diet & Exercise Worksheet

Weekly Food Log

From: The Project Girl

theprojectgirl.com-foodjournal

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Daily Food Log

From: The Freebee Mom

foodjournal

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Daily Food Log

From: Built Lean

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Other food log templates, apps and resources:

Well, there you have it. Now you have no excuses. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you log your food, as long as you do. What’s your favorite food app? I want to know! 🙂

Have a beautiful day everyone!

God bless, Namaste!

#sharethejoy #onesong

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Daily Log: Elimination Diet-Day 1

Exercise in the morning, before your brain figures out what's going on. - Unknown.png

I started an Elimination Diet today to try and determine the cause behind my daily sinus headaches. I know it’s food related, I just need to pin down which one, thus this new plan. It’s been a rough day, which is why there was only a meditation post and not a motivation post. I apologize for that. I’ll try to post it later in the week, when I’m feeling better.

As a refresher, I’ll be eliminating the following foods from my diet for the next 21 days.

  • Dairy products (lactose and casein)
  • Wheat (and other gluten containing foods)
  • Eggs (whites particularly)
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Tomatoes and all nightshades
  • Shellfish
  • All citrus fruits and juices
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Alcohol
  • Soy
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Yeast

 

I had to cut back on my walking. My goal is still to reach 10,000 steps/ 5 miles per day, but, it is currently on the back burner, until after this first week of my elimination diet is done.  (I am currently averaging about 6000 steps per day, which is approximately 3 miles.) During the first part of the elimination diet, it’s important to take care not to over exert yourself. The first week is the hardest, as evidenced by my first day.

Today, I have been battling one of the worst sinus headaches I’ve ever had. I spent most of the day in bed with a cold washcloth on my face. Unfortunately, I don’t expect tomorrow to be any better. But, just knowing that these headaches will be history after this first week or two, helps get me through it.

Onto my daily log:

Food and water intake:

 

 

Daily food log:

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Daily Exercise:

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Have a wonderful night everyone!

God bless, Namaste!

#sharethejoy #onesong

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Wellness Wednesday: How to Do an Elimination Diet and Why

Are you depressed? having trouble sleeping? tired? achey? constipated? chronic headaches? eczema? Are you taking medication for acid reflux? It could be something you’re eating. You may want to try an elimination diet, to identify just what food is causing your symptoms. The term elimination diet is thrown around a lot, but, just what is an elimination diet?

What is an elimination diet?

Basically, a true elimination diet is an eating plan, lasting about 6 to 8 weeks, which is designed to identify food sensitivities and/or allergies. During the course of the diet, you eliminate the top foods proven to cause allergies and/or food sensitivities, for at least 3 weeks, possibly longer, depending on your symptoms. (10) These foods are known to cause inflammation in the body, and reduces your ability to heal properly. (8)

After 3 weeks, these foods are re-introduced one at a time, over the course of  4 days each. During those 4 days, each individual watches symptoms that may reoccur. If no symptoms occur, that food is safe. On the other hand, if the individual notices symptoms, that food is not safe and needs to be eliminated.

Who needs to do an elimination diet?

If you have recurring symptoms, and can’t figure out the cause, this could be the answer for you. The following symptoms are likely to clear up with an elimination diet: (10)

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Mood disorders
  • Skin flare-ups like eczema, hives and acne
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Hardening of the arteries, a precursor to heart disease
  • Cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Learning disabilities
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Migraine headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Kidney and gallbladder problems
  • Digestive disorders (including GERD, leaky gut, irritable bowel, etc)

Benefits of doing an elimination diet. (9, 10)

  • Helps heal leaky gut
  • Improve symptoms of auto-immune disorders
  • Reduces digestive issues
  • Relieves skin irritations, rashes and disorders
  • Discover allergies and/or food sensitivities
  • Improve learning disorders
  • Combat migraines

ELIMINATION7STEPS_SummaryEliminationDietBenefits

Why not just get allergy testing?

Because allergy testing specifically finds food allergies, not sensitivities.  You can get a negative result on a food allergy test, and still be sensitive to that food. In other words, a food sensitivity (not allergy) can be the root cause of disorders such as GERD (Acid Reflux) irritable bowel or leaky gut.

How do you do an elimination diet? (8, 10)

  1. Avoid the most common food irritants/allergens for three weeks. (This is the minimum length of time it takes for inflammation to leave the body. It could take longer for you. Be patient.) Don’t move onto the next step until all symptoms are gone.EliminationDiet_SummaryPic2
  2. Read all labels carefully! The best way to ensure you don’t accidentally eat one of the forbidden foods is to eat only whole foods. However, if you do eat processed foods, read the ingredients carefully to be sure the offending foods aren’t present. If you aren’t sure what an ingredient is, don’t eat that product.
  3. Keep a food journal. This is a very important part of the elimination diet, especially during the re-introduction phase. The journal will help you track foods, how you feel and which foods caused the symptom.
  4. Re-introduce foods, 1 AT A TIME! After 3 weeks, or when symptoms are gone, re-introduce each food 1 at a time, waiting 4 days between each re-introduction. Eat the food for 3 days, then hold off on that food during the 4th day. It can take up to 96 hours for symptoms to appear. Take note of any symptoms in your journal. If no symptoms appear after 4 days, that food is safe. If symptoms appear at any point during the 4 days, stop eating that food immediately. That food is not safe for you. Wait until symptoms disappear again before re-introducing another food.

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Tips for surviving an elimination diet. (7)

  • Ask your regular physician if you are healthy enough for this plan. It is a form of detox, which can be very hard on the body, particularly, the liver. Some people might be too sick to try this. Be careful.
  •  Help your liver detox. You can do this by helping it get rid of the toxins that are being cleansed from your body:
    • dry brushing your skin
    • salt baths (I prefer Himalayan Salt, but Epsom Salt works too)
    • sauna
    • sweating
    • enemas
  • Start on a weekend. Because your body is releasing toxins, things will get much worse before they get better. The first 3 days are the worst. Make sure you have some time off to properly take care of yourself
  • Prepare your  home/kitchen ahead of time. Buy the healthy food/snacks you need AND rid your home of any tempting junk.
  • Maintain blood sugar by eating a healthy fat, protein and carb at EVERY meal and snack.
  • Don’t plan on any vacations or parties during your elimination diet. This is a time for you…don’t plan on any gatherings or vacations during this time. These could tempt you and set you back to square one.
  • Head to the farmers’ market. This is the best place for fresh produce.
  • Drink LOTS of water. This will help keep you full and flush the toxins out of your body.

This is not an easy diet to do. It’s meant as a healing diet, only to discover any food sensitivities that may be contributing to your symptoms. While you’ll probably lose weight on this diet, weight loss is not the reason to do this.

Because of the difficulty involved, I have been procrastinating on doing an elimination diet myself. I have chronic sinus headaches, sometimes daily and need to pin point just what is causing them. So, I’ll FINALLY be starting my own elimination diet on Monday, July 10, 2017. You can follow my progress in my daily log, which will be starting back up on that day.

Let me know if you have any questions….

God Bless! Namaste!

#sharethejoy #onesong

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Elimination Diet Resources:

  1. Whole Life Nutrition – Free Elimination Diet Resources
  2. Dr. Liz Lipski – Comprehensive Elimination Diet with food list and recipes
  3. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – Simple Elimination Diet Basics
  4. KarenCropper.wordpress.com – Food allergy symptom journals – phone apps
  5. Authority Nutrition – How to Do an Elimination Diet and Why
  6. Whole Health Solutions – Comprehensive Elimination Diet with food list, 7 day meal plan and recipes
  7. One Medical – Tips for surviving an Elimination Diet
  8. Dr. Jocker’s – 5 steps to follow on an Elimination Diet
  9. Dr. Jocker’s – 7 benefits of an Elimination Diet
  10. Dr. Axe – Elimination Diet
  11. Dr. Oz Elimination Diet

Elimination Diet Recipes:

Featured photo & source courtesy of Authority Nutrition