The Latest on the Science of Intermittent Fasting

Welcome Spring! The weather is warming up, and with all seasons of spring we start stripping off the layers. So naturally, people begin their‘Spring Break Bod’ plans [#SpringBreak2020]. There are so many different diets out there that claim to help with weight loss and disease prevention: low-fat, low-carb, ketogenic, paleo, whole 30, vegetarian, vegan, DASH, Mediterranean, MIND, etc. But I want to talk to you about one of the latest trends: the science of intermittent fasting, otherwise known as IF in the world of food and nutrition.

You may be used to eating three meals every day, plus snacks. That’s pretty common. With intermittent fasting you can essentially eat how much of whatever you want—but here’s the catch: you have to stay on schedule. With intermittent fasting there are scheduled periods of time when you can eat and others when you have to fast. Unlike most other diets, intermittent fasting tells you when to eat, not what to eat.

And, many people say that it can help lead you to better health and a longer life.

Sound interesting?

Let’s dive into some of the pros and cons of intermittent fasting.

How to intermittently fast

Most of the diets that help achieve weight loss work by reducing the number of calories consumed. Intermittent fasting does the same thing, but in a different way. This way of eating significantly limits calories (requiring fasting) for certain durations of time (intermittently), while allowing little or no restrictions the rest of the time.

Intermittent fasting essentially means skipping meals on a regular basis, sometimes daily, weekly, or monthly. Here are a few different approaches:

  • Time-restricted feeding—Having all of your meals during an 8 to 12 hour window each day, drinking only water the rest of the day.
  • Alternate day fasting—Eating normally one day but only a minimal number of calories the next; alternating between “feast” and “famine”.
  • 5:2 eating pattern—Consuming meals regularly for five days per week, then restricting to no more than 600 calories per day for the other two. This happens by eating very little and drinking only water on those two fasting days.
  • Periodic fasting—Caloric intake is restricted for several consecutive days and unrestricted on all other days. For example, fasting for five straight days per month.

What are you planting?

Have you checked out our latest Lunch and Learn yet? Now that many of you are stuck at home, now might be a great time to start your garden! 

Finding your why

Check out the latest Lunch and Learn the Facebook Client Club! Then come back and check out this referenced video for even more tools and inspiration. 

Foraging for Food - Nutrients are not only in your grocery store

The natural botanical world has always been intriguing to me. Farming, or agriculture as we know it, is still a relatively new concept. Before livestock and crops, we were hunters and gathers. However, the knowledge of what plants we gathered has somewhat been lost to history. That is not to say we do not know, it is simply no longer common knowledge whereas this knowledge used to be key to our survival. Why is it we don’t forage for our food and medicine anymore? Why is it we feel the need to terraform habitats and replace them with fields for crops? Simply put, it’s convenience- more food for “less” work. Agriculture has allowed humans to stay in one place and build settlements, cities and civilizations, paving the way for modern life.

However, this did not come without a price. We now live on this precious planet rather than within it. We traded quality for quantity. While early farmers concentrated on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a better balance of other nutrients. Crops are also subject to disease, and when affected can cause situations like the potato famine of the 1840s - killing hundreds of thousands. Today just three high-carbohydrate plants - wheat, rice, and corn - provide the bulk of the calories consumed by the human species, yet each one is deficient in certain vitamins or amino acids essential to life.

So when we talk about what to forage, which plants are we talking about? Believe it or not, the common dandelion was actually brought to America due to its abundant nutrients and medicinal properties. It’s a great source of Vitamin A, B-6, C and K, protein, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Now we just see it as a weed; it’s all about perception. Those orange carrots you eat - descendants of plants like Queen Anne’s Lace- easily and commonly found along most roadsides in this area (not to be confused with poison hemlock- always be 110% sure what a plant is before you attempt to use it!)

If you are interested in knowing more about the wild plants that surround us, I highly recommend this website to get started: It covers topics including Proper Identification of Wild Edibles, Sustainable Foraging, Foraging Safely, Start With Common Plants, and Improve Your Foraging Skills. If nothing else, enjoy the walk outside in the sunshine! Happy Foraging!

Food for thought:

Work on Compounds

IMG 20190316 162836Compound movements lay the foundation for strength training programs. You probably didn’t even realize you were using them until now. Compound lifts are multi-joint movements like squats, dead lifts, lunges, rows, etc. It is important to emphasize on these lifts as well as incorporating isolation exercises to target specific muscle groups.

Compound lifts use the main muscles in the body and are a great tool to gain strength, cut down on time in the gym, and it also helps burn more calories. These multi-limb movements can also help improve overall balance and coordination. Isolation (focusing on one muscle group) exercises help build strength and muscle in specific targeted areas whereas compound lifts focus on overall strength. Both are very beneficial within a workout program so utilizing both can make for an overall well rounded workout!