So let’s talk about Lyme Disease and diet.
I’d mentioned before that I did intermittent fasting (IF) –and while there are many ways of doing it, (don’t eat for entire days, eat under 500 calories in a day) to me, it means that once I’ve finished dinner I don’t eat again until at least 12:00pm the next day.
I drink teas, I drink coffee, and technically I “cheat” because I add the juice of half a lemon to water, but other than that – nada.
It’s actually not a tough thing to do once you get used to I, but it does take a little bit of planning. For the most part, you have to make sure that you have healthy, clean food in the house to eat once you break your fast (if you’re starving and all you have are Christmas cookies, guess what your lunch is going to be?)
I like doing this (in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet – no gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, low meats) because in a way, it’s a type of meditation for food.
I don’t need to eat after dinner because if I’ve eaten a good dinner then I have more than enough calories to get me to the next meal. But even intellectually knowing this, you might be surprised at how much extra eating goes on in the evening not because you need to eat food but because you are eating out of habit.
- Want to watch a movie? I’ll start the popcorn.
- No one wrapped up the leftovers, I’ll just take a bite before I put them away.
- As long as I’m in the kitchen, wonder what’s in the fridge.
- Hey, I forgot about that box of chocolates!
By not eating food after dinner and then waiting, it makes me more aware of what I eventually do eat. When I finally sit down for that “break-fast” I don’t want to eat junk, I want to eat good, healthy food. I prepare it, I make it special. Surprisingly I also don’t sit down and pig out when I’m finally “allowed” to eat, I just sit down and eat what would have been my normal meal. I’ve found that this has been a way to ground my relationship with food. It puts me in charge of what I eat and when.
Except that it’s difficult to do during the holidays. I stuck with it until I couldn’t and for the last 2 weeks, not only have I not been fasting but I have also been off of my anti-inflammatory diet – oh what the heck, I’ll have a small piece with a glass of wine. I ended up getting very sick (I mean sick like a dog) over New Year’s – coincidence or did I stress my immune system to the point of failure?
I don’t know but with a new year comes a new chance to begin again.
The “theory” behind intermittent fasting is this:
Most if not all of us are already carrying a little extra weight, but because we are constantly nibbling we never get to the point where we are actually fasting where our bodies would need to dip into our fat reserves. Think about it you’re not going to lose that extra tire if your body never has a need for the stored energy inside.
By creating a time of fast, your body realizes, hey, I need some energy and I’m not seeing anything lying around, let’s take a look around and see what else I can find. Your body starts to use up the extra reserves.
One thing you’ll notice fairly soon after starting IF is that your fat belly will appear flatter. I’m not talking gone, I’m talking, flatter. It doesn’t take long to start noticing some results.
Another theory about IF is that if you are constantly feeding food to your body, then your body is constantly digesting. It takes a lot of energy to digest food. By going for a specific amount of time (roughly 18 hours) without food, then your body all of the sudden has some free energy.
Let’s see, what can I do with all this energy? Oh I know, let’s prepare some damage in the body.
If you combine IF *with* an anti-inflammatory diet, you’re freeing up even that much more energy for your body to use.
A lot of results from IF are stories from people who are using the method. They talk about weight loss and body repair. (just as a general point of discussion, I have virtually eliminated beer (gluten)and my joints hurt less.)
IF is not for everyone, if you are on medication that requires food, low blood sugar, or some other condition that would require a constant supply of food, then this is not the diet plan for you.
But Griffin and I have continued with this method since we learned about it this summer on our border-to-border walk and we’re both very happy. If you have a chronic illness (um, Lyme Disease), if you’re carrying a little extra weight, then it might be something for you to try.
What do you have to lose?
Go ahead and ask any questions, that’s what I’m here for.
Note: although I have a medical background, I am not a physician. IF is not a cure for anything, it is a meal plan based on restraining from food for a specific amount of time. For more information google “Intermittent fasting.” Or check out this beginner’s guide post (http://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting.) If you have health conditions, check with your doctor before you change any medical approach.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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