So, I have been fasting for the past 2 days. Which means, in other words, that I have been consciously avoiding putting anything into my mouth whilst cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes, it’s no problem. Like when I am driving to Melbourne and back or have a busy day going places and meeting people. I quite enjoy the challenge of not putting something into my mouth. And if you know me, that is quite a challenge…not that I stuff my face all the time, but because I cook a lot, there is always the finger in the pot, testing, trying and generally getting some oral pleasure. Other days it is a mental battle, where resentment and annoyance are my constant companions and I am learning to surrender.
Its funny, because my big girl has got the same habit, and it is only by noticing her, that I realised how much I just pick and try and savour. I would rather nibble all day than sit down to a big meal at the end of the day. In fact, I skip dinner quite regularly. I am not sure if the nibbling is a problem. Its just how I roll.
There are amazing benefits to regular fasting, the most prominent way of fasting at the moment is the 5:2 diet. I take this approach of fasting 2 days a week, but instead of reducing my calorie intake over the 2 fast days, I don’t take in any solid food. Instead, I use a product called Cleanse for Life by Isagenix, a herbal formulation with tons of herbs from Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western medicine. Mostly, these herbs are designed to purify your organs and breaking down liver fat, as well as to supply your body with all your essential vitamins and minerals whilst you are fasting. It works really well for me. It helps me take a step back from food as pleasure. It makes space for a different perspective, more quietness and reflection. It is as much a physical experience as it is emotional and spiritual.
Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years, mostly for spiritual purification and meditation. But modern research has found a number of reasons, why fasting is so amazing for our bodies.
Yes, it definitely helps with weight loss, if you have weight to lose. But it also helps improve insulin sensitivity, it speeds up your metabolism, promotes longevity, improves your brain function, raises your human growth hormone levels (great for growing some lean muscle) and lots more. Another aspect that I really like is the awareness you gain of how much food we actually need in order to feel full and nourished. We have discovered that our bodies actually thrive on less food overall. Our meals have reduced and even my high metabolism and super slim husband is eating way less at mealtimes.
It is also important to me to keep our life style in perspective. We are incredibly privileged to have this wealth of food at our disposal. Not just convenience food, but beautiful fruit and vegetables bursting from the shelves at the shops. We cannot for a moment take this bounty for granted and by using food as real nourishment, and not a mere time or emotional filler, we can show respect and gratitude for our food. So while I adore playing with food, its textures and flavours, it is good form me to take a couple of days to reset my body and mind.
So, to get back to my two days of fasting. I survived my fast days and went to bed last night feeling rather zen. Which was helped by evening yoga and a full moon. I then broke my fast this morning with a delicious protein smoothie before heading out to catch up with a friend. The morning dragged on and by lunch time I was salivating. I fantasised about what I was going to have for lunch. A million ideas popped into my head, but when I got home and looked into my fridge and reassessed. No need to go all extravagant. Instead, I made a beautiful meal out of stuff that needed to be used up. But it all turned out well….
A simple salad of leaves, avocado, tomato, red onions with a few pieces of smoked trout. Drizzled with some Macadamia oil (for those good omegas), apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Followed by spaghetti marinara. Leftover sauce husbo made on the weekend that needed to be eaten and 2 spiralled zucchinis. It still surprises me how delicious raw zucchini can be! If you haven’t tried it yet, its a definite must.
No recipe needed really, but just to show you how I sat down by myself today and enjoyed a beautiful lunch that nourished me so much.
Of course, I could not help to have a little play in the kitchen when I craved something sweet…and there is a story to that too….
Chocolate Chia pudding with ‘coco pops’
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp raw cacao
- 1 tsp coconut yoghurt (optional)
- Cacao Buckwheat (recipe below)
Pour chia, coconut milk, syrup and cacao into a glass jar with a lid. Close it and shake it! till its all combined. Let it sit in the fridge for 20 min or until the liquid is all absorbed by the chia.
Top with some yoghurt and a sprinkle (or more) of my coco pops…
Delicious for dessert. Or try adding some berries and serve it for breakfast (instant brownie points for mum).
toasted cacao buckwheat groats
- 1 1/2 cup of buckwheat groats, soaked overnight in lots of water
- 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp cacao
- 1 tsp coconut syrup
Soak the buckwheat overnight in lots of water. The next day, rinse thoroughly and spread over a tea towel to dry. Melt the coconut oil with the syrup and cacao (you are basically making chocolate). In a bowl, mix the buckwheat and your liquid chocolate and spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in a low oven (130C) for 20 minutes. Let it cool and store in a jar and use it over yoghurt, mixed with your granola or eat it as is when you need something yummy and crunchy. Because you are worth it!
There is a story to this buckwheat… Weeks ago I bought way too much buckwheat, in the hope to make some amazing new dishes with it. In particular, I was hoping to turn my fusspot from a oat fiend to a buckwheat porridge lover.
So I soaked 2 cups of those things and then kept forgetting about them. They started sprouting, which is a good thing too. Then I made a small serve to test. Totally rejected by ‘you know who’ and eaten unenthusiastically by the others. Well, I wasn’t going to make more, wasn’t I? So what to do with the left over groats that soon would start to grow in the fridge? I remembered the fancy packet of chocolate buckinis in the health food shop and while slightly tempted, I just could not justify the price. Raw and all…. So this clever mama just made her own. Thank you very much!
Delicious, treaty and just a bit fancy. So there you go. There will be many of those toasty coco pops in our house before I use up all of the 5 cups of buckwheat…
Hope you are enjoying some delicious quiet times and treat yourself to something nourishing.
Love and Peace