As many of my readers know, I began living an intermittent lifestyle on January 2, 2019. I began documenting my journey to wellness in mind, body, and spirit here in my blog series, “IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness in mind, body, and spirit.” In our new pandemic lock-down world, navigating through COVID-19, my journey to wellness has taken on a new reality.
Journey to wellness in mind, body, and spirit
Winter is excruciating long in Michigan for those who like myself relish summer over the colder months. The holiday season becomes difficult even when intermittent fasting has become a lifestyle. The cold cooped-up months of winter coupled with celebrations in my first “IF” winter season had me falling off the IF wagon.
Once off the wellness wagon, it was more difficult to hitch a ride again.
I found it frustrating to try get back into intermittent fasting when I had seemed to initially acclimate to it so easily.
What had changed?
Late November I had begun working remotely from home 3 days a week. My home office is but a few steps to the kitchen than a long walk from my cubicle to the breakroom and the company’s café. In December, my husband who also works from home was suddenly looking for a new job which created stress and tension. The Christmas and New Year holidays came and went.
A new year and a fresh start
January came with the stress of new workload demands, a grumpy husband, and my son’s (who still lives at home) anxiety of starting his post-college career. February begins with the announcement of a new job for hubby and the death of his father all on the same day.
A COVID-19 Reality
Mid-March, all three of us began working remotely from home. (We are grateful for our employers for the opportunity to continue working when so many are unable to work.) A stay at home lock-down has seemingly been the perfect opportunity to focus my energies on my journey to wellness, what could go wrong?
IF I am being honest, the truth about isolation
As a writer, I thought this is a great time to make progress on my book. In January, I wrote a journal-writing series for my blog, The Prayer Journals and related Facebook page covering the Lenten season, which was my saving grace during the beginning of lock-down. While I have made progress on my book project since the Easter holiday, the boredom of isolation had me binging Netflix, EPIX and social media. It also had me binging more on sugar and processed foods. I found myself physically expanding each day including my anxiety.
“Life in the Fasting Lane” – A condensed book review
Before I began my IF conversion in January 2019, I had conducted significant research on intermittent fasting. I concluded my research convinced that IF could help me in my journey to wellness. My IF resources included the books written by Jason Fung, MD and others (see my book review here https://thebloggingowl.com/2018/12/30/3-in-1-book-review-healthy-2019/).
The first book was “The Obesity Code” that I refer to as the science textbook behind intermittent fasting. Dr. Fung’s book with Jimmy Moore “The Complete Guide to Fasting” was the motivational textbook to get me started on fasting intermittently. I experienced almost immediate success with weight-loss, sleeping, energy and brain-fog to name just a few issues.
When “Life in the Fasting Lane” written by Jason Fung, MD, Eve Mayer, and Megan Ramos was released on April 7th, I knew this may be my answer to getting back on the IF train. The sub-title to this book is, “How to make intermittent fasting a lifestyle – and reap the benefits of weight loss and better health.” I call this book the support-group book to Dr. Fung’s previous IF books.
The book is separated in four parts:
Part I: Fasting, Food, and Hormones
Part II: Prepare to Fast
Part III: Your Fasting Plan
Part IV: Problem Solve Your Fast
This book, “Life in the Fasting Lane” really helped me to not only solve getting started again in an IF lifestyle; but the book’s advice helped me solve re-occurring issues throughout my past IF experience. I highly recommend all three books by Dr. Jason Fung and his associate authors. The Blogging Owl gives all three books a 5-Hoot Rating!
Jump-starting my journey to wellness during a global pandemic
Firstly, I re-examined my fasting hour schedule with when I would break a fast and when to have one or two meals per day only.
Saturday-Sunday is a 12:12 fast with breakfast and dinner.
Monday and Thursday are an 18:6 fasting days with a meal at 12:30 and a meal at 5:30 with nothing to eat after 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday are a 20:4 fasting days with a meal at 2:30 and a meal at 5:30 with nothing to eat after 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday is OMAD (one meal a day) or 23:1 fasting day. Dinner is at 5:30 with nothing to eat after 6:30 p.m.
This bell curve fasting schedule has helped me to get back to daily fasting. Once I am firmly cruising in the fasting lane, I may add an OMAD day here and there.
Fasting Lane Lessons
I was drinking too much black coffee. The acid was building up on an empty stomach causing me to have severe acid reflux. Severe acid reflux with anxiety can feel just like a heart attack. Please note that I am not self-diagnosing. This learned lesson was in conjunction with my primary care physician and my cardiologist. The cure I came to realize from the book, Life in the Fasting Life was drinking organic tea. The organic tea I found to be most helpful for me was an organic detox tea of burdock root, dandelion root, and dandelion leaf. In the morning I drink 2 cups of black coffee, followed by 2 cups of organic detox tea, and then a minimum of 64 oz. of water for the remainder of the day.
Absolutely NO sugar and keeping processed foods to an absolute minimum have also been key to returning to less joint pain, bloating, water retention, headaches, and insomnia. Wild-caught salmon, chicken, lean pork with minimal beef and potatoes with a variety of roasted vegetables and salad have re-entered my fasting lane life. If I need a “crunch” I will eat a hard breadstick with a few pats of butter versus cookies. I have found Italian restaurant-style breadsticks are the perfect trick when I am desperate for a carb during my eating window. I have also found that taking a shower and brushing my teeth at lunchtime also helps me from entering the kitchen.
IF I am being honest, exercise is still a problem for me. The weather for me plays an enormous part in my level of activity. I am a summer person. Since I have been working remotely, I have not been climbing stairs or taking that long walk from across the parking lot up three flights of stairs and the long walk to my cubicle. The pandemic lockdown has also caused me to stay in my writing chair or lounging on the sofa binging on HDTV or Netflix. I bought a Kettlebell and Pilates bar. I ignore their existence as I click the television remote. A summer person during the winter, a rainy and bitter spring, and a global pandemic add up to a bad motivational recipe for exercising.
Fasting from social media and all press conference briefings has been the ticket to overcoming isolation anxiety. My passions, blogging, writing, and journal-writing has also been my relief from all the overstimulating coverage of the political and pandemic coverage. If there is a positive in being lock-down and isolated from family, friends, and the public at large is that I know that my Christian faith and my writing offer me the greatest peace from all the nonsense this world can throw into my fasting lane toward wellness in mind, body and spirit.
IF I am being honest…
I am looking forward as many of you are to getting back into a new normal routine in for wellness in mind, body, and spirit. The important thing is to stay safe for everyone’s sake especially for the all the essential workers across the board that have worked tirelessly when we have been safe in lock-down in our homes. I continue to pray for all the essential workers and for those who are less fortune – who are out of work, out of food, and out of patience. Our individual journey to wellness in mind, body, and spirit is being challenged right now and it will continue to be challenged as we slowly migrate back into the fast line of life.
Stay home. Stay safe.
The Blogging Owl
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