Depriving your body of food and the calories it needs to function can create a whole host of problems from weight gain and muscle loss, to metabolic problems to dizziness and headaches.Yet somehow I read a new article every week promoting fasting.
It's my experience that I can cleanse my body without depriving it, forcing it to burn my hard-earned muscle and slowing down calorie burning. If anything, I want that metabolism to get faster, not slower!
So, what to do? Try these easy, three steps to a body reset without starving. We can call it a fast, if you want. But it's only a clean start. Try three days to a week at a time. Whether I want to or not, I usually slip in a few of my favorite cheats after that.
Step 1: Stop eating manufactured foods. What exactly is a manufactured food? Be careful about anything that comes in a package. This includes whole grain crackers, cookies, candy, nut butters, pre-made soups, pastas, frozen pizzas, ANYTHING THAT COMES IN A PACKAGE. If you read the label and it's free from stuff you don't understand and preservatives, go ahead!
I know those M&M's are calling to you from the candy jar but don't. Settle for Greek yogurt with honey and fruit. Hell, just eat almond butter and raw honey on a spoon. (It's what I do at my desk when I get a craving. Not my proudest moment, but it works.) Just don't give in to the craving for processed foods.
Step 2: Eat more fresh fruits and veggies, and more fiber. When trying to reset my body, I roast, saute, make soups and snack on fiber rich foods like kale, pears, broccoli and beans. Try a kale, pear and avocado smoothie for breakfast to keep your system processing at optimum levels. Hummus and roasted carrots and broccoli with an egg for lunch. Lentils with fennel, delicata and spinach for dinner? You get the idea...
Step 3: Take care of yourself. This means generally: EAT ENOUGH, get enough sleep, exercise at least a little bit, and try to de-stress. Eat when you're hungry, don't starve yourself. Stress and lack of sleep can cause us to eat more, make bad choices and generally feel worse. And exercise, even just a little walk at lunch, can make a huge difference in the way your body feels and processes.
These changes help me reset my system without the fast. Good luck and good eating!
1 small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
1 ripe, soft pear, cored and sliced
4 large kale leaves, washed and de-stemmed
Small handful raw almonds
1 tsp honey
Couple drops vanilla
1/2 cup ice
a splash half & half, almond milk or favorite dairy/dairy substitute product
Blend until rich and creamy, top with flax and dig in with a spoon!