Posts tagged meal plan
Detoxing through Intermittent Fasting

Bowl by Brickett Davda

Bowl by Brickett Davda

Did you know that our amazing bodies are naturally designed to self-detox down all the way to the cellular level?  Did you also know that we have the ability to help ignite that detoxing process?  It involves timing meals - or fasting and a few specific foods to help move the process along.  

Why is it important to make sure our bodies are properly detoxing on a regular basis?  No matter how hard we try to practice clean living, modern life overloads us with toxins we can’t avoid.  I am talking about pesticides, EMFs, dirty electricity, pollution, cigarette smoke, chemical ridden skin care, sugar laden diets, an overload of stress, lack of sleep, lack of full body, full range, all-day movement…I can go on, but I think you get the picture.  Our toxic load and lifestyles won’t allow us to shed weight, wreak all sorts of havoc in our guts and ultimately push the aging process into hyper-drive,

How can we help our bodies naturally and deeply detox and slow the aging process down?  Let's take a look at intermittent fasting.

Perhaps you’ve heard or read about it already.  For those of you unfamiliar…simply put…it is a way of eating that consciously alternates periods of eating and not eating and can be done in several ways.  It can really assist in weight loss and fat burning and boasts a number of incredible therapeutic benefits as well. 

Fasting can help improve neutral connections in the hippocampus part of the brain, the area associated with memory, mood and motivation, and has neuron protecting qualities.  For similar reasons, it is also helpful for those recovering from brain injury.  It also promotes mental acuity and focus.

Periods of fasting stimulate cells to cannibalize.  This process, known as autophagy, or “self” (auto) “eat (phagy), is the body’s natural ability to clean out detox and recycle cells that are no longer functioning properly.  Through this function, your body can boost the immune system, prevent diseases related to aging as well as cardiovascular diseases, increase insulin sensitivity, and boost energy.  According to studies, fasting can even prevent or slow the progression of cancer. 

There are several ways to intermittent fast.  Some people chose to eat only during an eight-hour window. For example, you can eat from 12 pm to 8 pm, then fast from 8 pm to 12pm.  Another, more advanced form of intermittent fasting would be fasting for 24-36 hours once or twice a week.

Can anyone fast?  In my experience, it’s not for everyone and not all the time.  In general, pregnant women, and women dealing with fertility issues should probably stay away from fasting.  Gut issues, blood sugar imbalances, sleep issues, adrenal problems and a history of eating disorders are also conditions in which I would suggest avoid fasting.  Ultimately, if you have any chronic health condition or any doubts, clear it with your doctor before trying.

What are some tools to use while fasting to help the detoxing process along?  There are several foods can that help ignite the detoxing process.  Some of these foods are almonds, walnuts, leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, coffee, green tea, butter, cream, lentils, mushrooms, garlic, red wine, dark chocolate, and chia seeds. 

Supplementing with hemp oil is one of the most powerful tools to combine with fasting.  It acts as a catalyst, stimulating the endocannabinoid system, bringing the body into a balanced state and allowing it to heal itself.  For more information about hemp oil and its incredible benefits during fasting and otherwise, look up hemp or CBD oil on pubmed.gov, or projectcbd.org.  If you are looking for a resource, let me know!

I am launching an intro to intermittent fasting guide with accompanying meal plan.  It is geared towards those getting started and experiments with different types of intermittent fasting.  It's 5 days long, includes a meal plan designed to fire up the benefits of fasting, recipes, tips and tricks, bonuses, daily motivation and accountability reminders and access to coaching by me throughout the 5 days.  If you are interested, contact me.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23168220

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19171901

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17413096

https://www.osher.ucsf.edu/patient-care/self-care-resources/cancer-and-nutrition/frequently-asked-questions/cancer-and-fasting-calorie-restriction/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27557543

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15372870

https://www.projectcbd.org/cannabinoids-and-mitochondria

Meal Planning Deconstructed

Unlike the outburst of laughter or less welcomed silence experienced by stand-up comedians, when writing into the blogging abyss, you never know if anyone is actually relating to or enjoying your material.  To date, our posts about sleep, our upcoming retreat and food have been the most comment-inducing.  With regards to food, the question most asked has to do with meal planning and prepping.  Folks are looking for concrete direction on how to execute healthy eating in a realistic way.  Obviously everyone's lives are different and the spectrum of time to dedicate to meal planning and prep vary vastly, but in case you are wondering, here's how we do it.

As with most things we aim to excel at in life, planning lies at the very core.  For example, you won't master a new language by desire alone.  Classes/private lessons/full-immersion language-dedicated extended holidays are in order if you are to actually achieve your goal.  The same goes with healthy cooking, especially for busy families where spare moments are often at a deficit.  Planning is also the most efficient and cost-effective way to turn your kitchen into a home-cooked, nutrient rich mecca of deliciousness.  For me, meal planning for the week happens every Sunday.

I generally stick to the plan, but don't obsess over it.  After all, individual meals are important, but not as important as the sum of their parts.  What I mean is that on days where I've been stuck in traffic or on a subway train going nowhere, I just can't follow the "master plan" and breakfast-for-dinner (runny eggs over a salad is my favorite) or stir-fried left overs (or even pre-made meals from Whole Foods) are just fine.  Stressing over this would simply undo any of the nutritional goodness originally intended by the meal! 

Some of our go-to quick fixes include:

  1. Organic, preservative-free hotdogs.
  2. Organic, preservative-free sausages.
  3. Canned sardines.
  4. Canned smoked oysters.
  5. Eggs (steamed, fried, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, baked...with bacon, avocado, spinach, cheese, etc).

Ok, so begin with choosing a meal planning day.  For me Sunday morning over a cup of coffee works.  It makes sense for me since I often go to the grocery store and farmer's market on Sundays as well. 

I ask myself the following questions each week:

  1. What do I want to cook/eat?  You are more likely to make it's something you personally want:)
  2. What is my schedule like this week?  When will I have time for create more elaborate meals and/or prep for the following day?
  3. How can each meal be transformed into tomorrow's lunch?  This is key.  It simplifies things and eliminates any early morning decision making about the kids' lunches!
  4. What's already in the fridge/freezer/pantry?
  5. Where will I get it?  My grocery list follows the flow of the aisles at the market so there is no doubling back and forth for items lower down on the list.  I also my shopping stops according to my schedule.  For example, my daughter's bus stop is near our favorite fish market.  If I am picking her up there, I'll plan seafood for that night's dinner.  
  6. How long will it take to prepare?
  7. If I am experimenting with something new, and I tend to do this once or twice a week, what's the back up plan?  Sometimes I'll get to the market and spot something special, with that freshly-harvested look about it.  I am usually unable to resist the temptation of buying it whether I know what to do with it or not.

Then comes the menu creation.  This is what a sample week looks like for us:

Monday

  • Breakfast - Black coffee for me & Gregg, prosciutto wrapped egg & spinach muffins for Solé.  (Our favorite coffee is from Purity).
  • Lunch- Leftover roasted chicken over a mixed green salad for me & Gregg, and for Solé, chicken over last night's cooked vegetables, seaweed snacks, carrots and homemade hummus.
  • Dinner - Romaine lettuce with homemade anchovy vinaigrette, grass-fed burger, mashed cauliflower, oven roasted sweet potato shoe string fries and a side of sauerkraut.
  • Dessert - Reishi hot chocolate from Four Sigmatic.  (Reishi is an edible, medicinal mushroom mostly known for its calming effects).

Tuesday 

  • Breakfast - Black coffee or blended coffee with cream for me & Gregg, collagen and sometimes egg fortified oatmeal (with fermented oats for easier digestibility and increased gut health) and a spinach smoothie for Solé.
  • Lunch - *Organifi smoothie with added greens and herbs, grass-fed collagen, avocado, mushrooms (usually lion's mane and/or chaga), moringa, cinnamon, sea salt, and sometimes a bit of stevia.  For Solé, lettuce-wrapped left over burger, lacto-fermented pickles and a homemade chia bar.
  • Dinner - Big mixed green salad with fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil, slow roasted arctic char, pan fried crispy brussel sprouts with lardons, homemade sourdough bread.
  • Dessert - Warm golden milk with a drizzle of raw honey (turmeric and coconut milk made with ginger, and other spices -  anti-inflammatory and soothing).

* (If you are going to buy Organifi, take advantage of our discount code, greggcook, for 10% off)!

Wednesday 

  • Breakfast - Black coffee or blended coffee with cream for me & Gregg, spinach and cheese omelet for Solé.
  • Lunch - Big green salad and a can of sardines, and for Solé (can you guess??), leftover arctic char and brussel sprout, grape tomatoes, a piece of dark chocolate.
  • Dinner- Asian inspired pork meatballs, stir fry shirataki noodles (Japanese noodles made of konjac root) with mixed veggies, side of kim chee.
  • Dessert - Fresh berries.

Thursday

  • Breakfast - Black coffee or blended coffee with cream for me & Gregg, homemade brown butter and dark chocolate chip granola for Solé.
  • Lunch - Last night's meatballs over a bed of greens.  Solé will get the meatballs with seaweed snacks and carrot sticks and mini peppers.
  • Dinner - Grilled and sliced flank steak over arugula, butternut squash soup with watercress and pistachio pesto.
  • Dessert - Homemade yogurt with blood orange and a drizzle of raw honey.

Friday 

  • Breakfast - Black coffee or blended coffee with cream for me & Gregg, almond flour pancakes for Solé.
  • Lunch -  Avocado & egg salad.  As a sandwich with homemade sourdough bread for Solé.
  • Dinner - Crab cakes with homemade garlic aioli, steamed artichokes and fennel and radish salad.
  • Dessert - Flourless triple chocolate cookies.

Saturday (we tend to eat a later brunch, skip lunch and eat an early dinner on weekends)

  • Breakfast - Mochacchino with grass-fed raw cream and organic cacao powder, grain-free pumpkin waffles with dark chocolate sauce.
  • Dinner - Stilton & leek savory cheesecake, kale and anchovy salad.
  • Dessert - Creamy coconut chia pudding with crumbled cookies from Friday night (if we happen to have leftovers) or homemade granola or macerated strawberries (Sometimes this also doubles as the next day's breakfast)!

Sunday 

  • Breakfast - Double espresso and grain-free bagels with lox and cream cheese or almond butter and raw honey.
  • Dinner - Indian butter chicken, cauliflower rice (or sometimes white rice), sautéed garlic spinach, sprouted green pea flat bread.
  • Dessert - Homemade dark chocolate and coconut butter cups.

How does all of that sound to you?  Just writing it (pre-lunch) makes me hungry.  Need help with meal planning?  I work with many clients on this and am working on a subscription based platform with every detail covered.  If you are interested, shoot us an email!

*Full disclosure:  While we make a small profit from the affiliate links above, these are products we personally use and have benefitted from.  We will never endorse anything we do not fully believe in.  


Road cycling in  Mallorca

Road cycling in Mallorca

What we are dreaming...moving outdoors, enveloped in nature and breathing fresh air.  Mallorca, September 2018.