Tag Archives: lifestyle

What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?

Hey feel more gooders! This post will touch on various aspects of Intermittent Fasting. Not sure what that is, keep reading! What are the benefits of intermittently fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (also commonly referred to as time restricted eating) is a method of eating in which you only eat within an 8-hour window. The most common window is eating in between 11am-7pm and fasting from 7pm-11am.

What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

  • Increased hormone function
  • Decreased inflammation in the body which contributes to chronic health conditions
  • More thorough recovery from rigorous activity (ex: Crossfit, marathon training, etc.)
  • Can reduce insulin levels + blood pressure
  • Helps brain function
  • Benefits neurons on a way that protects memory + learning
  • Reduction in visceral body fat
  • Increase in lean body mass alongside consistent exercise

Source: An Intro to Fasting

Second to thermoregulation (if you were to jump into an ice-cold ocean and your body is fighting to maintain warmth), digestion is the most taxing bodily process that it participates in. And think–we do this on a daily basis, several times a day. It’s no wonder why our energy lags and we feel less than 100%.

How Do You Start Intermittent Fasting?

This can look different for everyone, depending on your chosen window of fasting,  what your schedule is like, etc.

A good entry point to fasting is to wait until 11am to eat your first meal. Making sure you are hydrating upon waking (lots of water) will help your body facilitate detox and feel full.

I like to describe fasting as a spectrum. On one end, you have the most extreme, exact way of IF fasting in which you don’t have any fluids besides water until 11am, and then eat like clockwork starting at 11am and ending precisely at 7pm.

Modification:

On the other end of the intermittent fasting spectrum, you have the approach that I’ve found works well for me: drinking a morning coffee (i add a few tablespoons of Laird Superfood powder), water and some elixirs in the morning.

I’m not doing a by-the-book fast here, but it’s somewhere on the spectrum. It allows me to be giving my digestive tract a break from digesting meals while also allowing me to have a little fuel in me for morning workouts (some days I do 5am Crossfit workouts at our gym).

Is Intermittent Fasting a Fad, or is it Here to Stay?

From my understanding, knowledge accruing and anecdotal lectures from a few professional athletes I follow, fasting is a practice of our ancestors. At that time, it was just how daily life was, as they didn’t have a pantry a few feet away for frequent snacking. They often hunted + foraged for their meals and they only ate after they sought out and located that food.

So, they were forced by the limited availability of food to eat this way. Turns out, there are a a lot of positive health implications to giving your digestion a break during a chunk of the day.

I can see how and why this would be viewed as a fad, but I see it as an ancient practice that is surfacing again, as we look back to our ancestors for some insight on wellness.

Is There Anybody That Should Not Fast?

Totally! Remember that the way you eat is your decision; and it’s one that should be made based on what feels best to you. If you adhere to the parameters of your MD, naturopath or functional medicine practitioner, you should discuss this with them, consider their feedback and make the best decision for your unique genetics, goals,

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The Perfect Superfood Hot Chocolate Recipe

This post contains a recipe for the perfect superfood hot chocolate!

There’s something about the holiday season that makes you want to snuggle up with a warm cup of chocolate goodness! This superfood hot chocolate recipe will not disappoint.

Most store-bought hot chocolate mixes are rife with processed sugar and other ingredients that are added for shelf stability.  So, you probably experience a sugar rush followed by a crash after indulging in one of these (not to mention you increase the inflammation in your body).

The cool thing about a superfood drink is that you don’t sacrifice flavor but you increase the health benefits tenfold. Sign. Me. Up!  I also personally feel like the flavors are way more complex, interesting and satisfying.

I have made this drink many different ways with many different add ins,  but consider this recipe a great foundation for the superfood hot chocolate of your dreams.

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Perfect Superfood Hot Chocolate Recipe

-1 tbsp Cacao Elixir (mood enhancing, overal vitality, exercise recovery)

-1/4 tsp Cordyceps Mushroom Powder (increased bodily oxygenation, athletic performance)

-1/4 tsp Chaga Mushroom Powder (grounding energy, gentle detox, immunity)

-2 cups plant based milk (almond, coconut, oat, hemp, cashew, etc. will do!)

*Optional add-in for various applications:

-5 drops liquid monk fruit sweetener

-1 tsp Spirit Tonic (for nighttime + relaxation)

-1 tsp MCT oil (for added flavor + healthy fats + sustained energy)

-2 capsules of Collagen (for protein + aided recovery)

-1 tsp Chi Tonic (for a morning boost of energy)

-1 tsp Love Tonic (for ladies; this blend nourishes the feminine)

-1/4 tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder (for resisting stress)

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If You Do 5 Things for Your Health…

run

It seems to me that many individuals are seeking a healthier lifestyle, but struggle with where to start. Some questions I often hear are: Is it bad that I eat this? What should I start eating? What’s the best work out? 

In my opinion and based upon my own experiences, I believe that there are 5 great places to start. There are no overnight fixes, but if you implement these small changes, then you will be on the road to forming habits that will serve your health, not hinder it.

1. Stop cold-turkey or ween yourself off of soda.

-I understand what it’s like to have a routine with what you drink (I’m a coffee drinker). That said, I also understand that some people fail at quitting soda cold-turkey. Whichever way you choose to stop drinking soda, do it. It’s worth it–and there are plenty of alternative drinks that are chock full of nutrient dense wonderment. Swap the soda for Kombucha, coconut water, or something as simple as adding lemons & limes to your water.

2. Fill your refrigerator with food you would be proud of eating.

-There’s nothing that will enable you to keep making poor food choices more than having that food around you all the time. Shop for good, whole, real food. Think: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, plant based milk (coconut or almond milk), free range eggs & grass fed beef. Also, find a non-gmo protein powder that you like and keep that around for a quick protein smoothie. Buy organic when you can.

3. Practice the 90-10 rule.

-Nothing turns me off quicker than hearing about over-obsessed eaters who are on the verge of a full blown mental disorder because of their relationship with food. The point is not to fear food, it’s to focus on good food and eat that the majority of the time. Aim for this: 90% of the time, eat the good stuff–like I listed above. The other 10% of the time, let yourself eat dinner out at your favorite restaurant, or enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other. It’s about balance, not being neurotic about food.

4. Find a fitness routine that you have fun with.

-There’s a great quote for this one; I can’t say it better than Laird does:

“Fitness doesn’t have to be a duty. It doesn’t have to mean charts and graphs and heart rate printouts. It should be a pleasurable part of your life, and it should include things that you do purely because you enjoy them. Fun is an ingredient that people often forget in their fitness program.” -Laird Hamilton (professional surfer and world-class athlete)

I can tell you first hand that I have not been a runner since a young age because it’s a chore that I must do. I run PURELY because of how it makes me feel. I feel happy, relieved, de-stressed, empowered, strong and revitalized every time I run. Nobody else has to understand why you do what you do, or why you run 10 miles a day, or why you spend hours in the gym. The important thing is that YOU are being true to what makes you happy in fitness. So, find a routine that makes your inner light shine and do it daily. Turn on your favorite music, dance a little if you want to, and challenge your body. 🙂

5. Don’t forget to lift weights. (this elaborates on #4)

-I think this one is incredibly important because of my own experience with lifting. So, here’s a story:

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, training for various sports. The running aspect of my training was always easy for me–I went out and did it because, at the risk of sounding corny, it fueled my soul.

However, I knew that I “should” be lifting too.

But, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I was so stubborn. I thought, “I like to run, it’s good for me, so that’s what I’m going to do. Screw lifting.” Luckily, with age I’ve become increasingly less stubborn about fitness. I am more open to new things if I believe they will truly benefit me.

About a year ago, I started lifting. I mean, REALLY dedicating myself to lifting–making it a priority. I lift every day now, with a rest day every week or so. Despite being sore and feeling a little weak at first, I almost immediately felt stronger and more powerful. My body started to change, I was becoming a bit leaner.

But, how could I be enjoying this process? I didn’t like lifting. My point in all of this rambling is that sometimes if you step outside of your comfort zone or what you think you’ll have fun doing, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. You’ll find out that you grow to love it because it is positively impacting your body.