February 23, 2012

A Gift of Time

"A good meal ought to begin with hunger." French proverb

Did you ever wish you had 2 hours more per day to do what needed doing or what you wanted to do?

Well, on ADF (alternate day fasting) I'm finding I have that time and it's really fun deciding how to best take advantage of it. Think of it--on a typical day of eating, I dish out yogurt and add fruit and maybe a couple of eggs. For my main meal, I peel a grapefruit and  chop/slice a large leafy salad, cook (usually fresh) vegetables and cook or re-heat a little meat. I then eat my meal and have to wash the dishes and pans. I'd estimate I spend at least an hour, and usually closer to 2, on meal-related activities.

Now contrast that to my fasting days--I spend 5 minutes re-loading the coffeemaker for the next day. Period. Oh, I pour a few glasses of water from a pitcher in the fridge but I do the same on eating days too so that one's a wash, as is the 10-minute daily water kefir routine (on fasting days, I don't drink water kefir. I bottle it so on eating days I have a little fresh and a bottle of carbonated. And my home-made yogurt lasts twice as long so the time spent on that is also cut in half.

I won't lie--on my fasting days, there are times when I get sudden, wistful thoughts of eating but I divert my thoughts to what I'll eat the next day. I'm not distressed or low-energy. I do feel happy anticipation about what I'll fix and eat tomorrow.

On my feeding days, I obviously enjoy the meal-related activities a great deal--not to mention the meal--but I also find myself thinking about how I'll use my gift of time on the fasting day. Another round of happy anticipation. I find it's easier to remember to chew thoroughly and eat mindfully since I know the food is all I'll have for a long time.

I assume this eating pattern is not for everyone as many people would hate having to go completely without calories 3 days per week but right now it suits me perfectly. My gut is happy, happy. It might be less happy if I were hitting junk food on feeding days but since I'm eating healthy meals of whole foods my body relishes them. The last 2 mornings, my waking blood glucose has been 93 and 76 which is a great improvement.

Warning: I'm about to describe bathroom matters. Perhaps because I eat a lot of watery fruits and vegetables, I've never been a very thirsty person. If I drink, I pee and it seems liquids go straight through me. Even if we include the time I was pregnant, I don't think I've had puffy ankles in my life. So it's something of a relief that even though I make an effort to drink water (and morning black coffee) on fasting days I don't seem to have to pee quite so often as before. It's as if my body is seizing the liquid and making use of it so I don't need to pee so much. To give my stomach a break on fasting days, I dilute my black coffee to about half-strength since it won't be followed by food.

Another area that might concern other people considering ADF is bowel movements. I've always gone too often in my opinion--1 to 3 times per day. Very healthy consistency but too frequent for convenience. I eat 2 pieces of fruit per feeding day plus a large serving of cooked veggies and a large bowl of leafy, crunchy salad. Happily, I'm only going once per day now and I actually skipped one day. I can see where that might scare you if you only go every 2 to 3 days when you're eating every day. 

So, did you ever wish you had 2 hours more per day to do what needed doing or whatever you wanted to do?

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