After experiencing the benefits of fasting firsthand and wanting to share that opportunity with others, Lee Holmes has just added Fast Your Way To Wellness to her Supercharged Food book series.
Also, for plant based meal ideas, download this FREE Plant-Based Recipe eBook filled with exclusive recipes from qualified health experts. Sign up here to grab your copy – it’s FREE and exclusive to CDK tribe members.
Here, the Nutritionist and Wholefoods Chef talks to us about the inspiration behind her new book, as well as the ins and outs of ‘intermittent fasting’.
Can you explain what intermittent fasting is?
Intermittent fasting is abstaining from food or, restricting your calorie intake, for a certain period of time. If done correctly, intermittent fasting is a healing process that is sensible and sustainable. Fasting gives your body (and mouth) time to rest and recover. The idea of fasting may seem foreign, but it’s a practice that has been followed for centuries for religious reasons or during times of food scarcity. Think of fasting as part of our history.
Is there a particular type of fasting that you recommend or follow yourself?
I restrict my calorie intake on two days a week. I find that two days of fasting is enough for me to gain all the amazing benefits without tampering with my usual routine, so that’s what I recommend. On fasting days, men should restrict their calorie intake to 600 calories and females should restrict their calories to 500 calories. The food eaten on fasting days should be wholefoods and not low-calorie, low-fat processed foods… but more about that in my book!
For sceptics wondering if intermittent fasting good for you or not – what is the scientific research on fasting and it’s benefits?
My book covers all of the latest scientific studies in fasting. We have all the studies in the ‘Notes’ section in the back of the book that people can refer to. Evolution didn’t prepare us for the modern lifestyle of widely available high calorie food and therefore, we’ve become susceptible to developing weight-related diseases such as obesity and Type II diabetes. Another interesting point is that fasting regimens can lower glucose and insulin levels, which promotes fat loss.
How long should someone practice intermittent fasting to experience the benefits?
I must admit that fasting doesn’t come easily and at first it can be hard to get used to the phenomena, especially when we’re all snack-obsessed and so used to overindulging! I would say that after three weeks of fasting, you will start to see and feel the benefits. As they say, it takes twenty-one days to create a habit!
I’ve read that while intermittent fasting can be a great way to boost your metabolism, give your digestive system a rest and promote longevity, that it can be problematic for women as it can lead to hormonal imbalances. What’s your take on this and how can we practice intermittent fasting safely?
Fasting can balance your hormones – if done correctly. Traditional fasting can have a negative effect on female hormones, sending a signal to the body that it’s experiencing famine and then, triggering the body to shut down fertility! Before we freak out, through my intermittent fasting program, which stresses the importance of including quality saturated fats, such as eggs and coconut oil, the body will know it’s in a safe environment and continue with proper hormone synthesis. On fasting days, I would say for females to include maca powder, edamame beans and good fats to ensure that hormones remain balanced.
Who shouldn’t practice intermittent fasting?
I know that fasting doesn’t suit every lifestyle and health condition. I would not recommend fasting for children or teenagers, as well as people coming from a background of eating disorders. I say that anyone who has a serious medical condition should speak to a doctor or GP before starting intermittent fasting.
With 90 recipes in Fast Your Way To Wellness, readers won’t go short of intermittent fasting meal ideas. What inspired your creation of the particular recipes in this book?
I wanted to show the world how delicious food can be that’s good for you and not full of empty calories. These recipes are all things that I’ve made on my fasting days as they’re convenient, satisfying and tasty!
How are the recipes in your book designed to suit intermittent fasting?
I’ve done the maths so you don’t have to! I have tailored menu plans to suit every lifestyle, and, that are easy enough to make on a fasting day.
What might an intermittent fasting meal plan (for one day) look like?
- Breakfast: Berry smoothie
- Lunch: Ginger and coriander fish filet
- Dinner: Rosemary and Thyme Chicken stew
And who said fasting had to be hard?
Can you share any intermittent fasting success stories you know of?
I see myself as an intermittent fasting success story. I’ve been fasting for the past four years and can feel the benefits. I’m going through menopause at the moment and it’s unbelievable how much it’s helped balance my hormones and, make me feel so light and healthy.
Lastly, what are your top tips (other than to grab a copy of Fast Your Way To Wellness!) for anyone thinking of starting intermittent fasting?
There are plenty of easy ways to make your favourite foods on a fasting day light and delicious! I love to swap noodles for zucchini or cucumber noodles, pastry-filled quiches for omelettes and lettuce wraps for bread. I always recommend implementing changes slowly, maybe starting off one day a week and see how you go. The most important thing to remember with fasting is that it’s a lifestyle change, and a big one at that! If you slip up one day, be kind to yourself and forgive.
Don’t forget: Enter here for your chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Lee’s beautiful, brand new book!
Got a question about intermittent fasting or Fast Your Way To Wellness for Lee? Pop it in the comment section below!
P.S. Do you know someone who may benefit from intermittent fasting? Help us create a tribe of healthier and happier souls by sharing this article with them now – they’ll thank you later.
P.P.S A little while back, Lee gave us a special peek into her wellness journey – check it out here.