My Christmas present to Grant and Sarah was a jet-ski tour from the Hervey
Bay marina to K’gari (Fraser Island) so we’ve been up there this weekend for
them to do that. It was grey and drizzly and apparently quite rough and
challenging out on the open water but they both enjoyed it. Plus, it was
something that neither of them had done before. (And both are saying their
muscles are very sore today).
This week I continued my morning walks and added in a few extra workouts as well. My back is still achy and sore when I walk, but you’ll all (I’m sure) be pleased to know the dodgy ankle is less dodgy than it was last week.
My just one thing this week was to give time-restricted eating (TRE) (or
Intermittent Fasting…. call it what you will) a shot.
The whole idea behind this – and there’s plenty of science which I’ve read but won’t bore you with – is that fasting for a period every day can be very beneficial. Naturally it also has benefits from a weight loss viewpoint as you have fewer hours within which to eat, but it’s about more than that. It’s about cell repair and…I said I won’t bore you with it, if you’re interested, there’s plenty of reading material out there.
As for how long you should be fasting? Some proponents say you should fast for 16 hours and eat only within an 8-hour period, others say 14 hours, and, from what I can tell, even going 12 hours a few times a week gives your body a break.
Then there’s the question about when you should end (or begin) your “fast”. One book I read a couple of years ago, The Pioppi Diet (named after a village in southern Italy where the population is said to enjoy a longer life expectancy and recognised by UNESCO as being the home of the “Mediterranean diet”) suggested that residents regularly skipped breakfast and broke their fast later in the morning. Other studies show that the fast is more effective from a weight loss viewpoint if your last meal of the day is late afternoon and your first is a good breakfast.
The thing is, though, I reckon you could probably find a study to support whatever it is you want to think about – the research is relatively new and constantly developing – so the best time is the time that suits you and that suits your life. Given that I’m always rushing around in the mornings – from walk to workout to shower to desk – and that I look forward to relaxing over dinner each evening, I figured that I wouldn’t miss not having breakfast during the working week, but would resent not being able to sit down at the end of a crappy day to enjoy a meal with my husband. As such I decided to delay eating until 10am each day if possible, therefore “fasting” for around 14 hours a day, and set myself a target of doing this four times a week.
How did I go? I’d get hungry at about 8.30, ie when I sat down to work, but a cup of tea (I drink my tea black) and more water would see me through. Weirdly, telling myself I wasn’t allowed to have anything before this time stopped me from randomly opening the fridge during the morning and grazing on whatever happened to be in there. Yes, I’m a boredom eater. Regardless of the science, intermittent fasting seems to be helping me be more mindful about my eating.
While I enjoyed breakfast on the weekend, I had it later and tended not to have a full lunch as well – something I would previously have done.
The verdict? While TRE/IF isn’t for everyone – and mightn’t be for you (the usual fine print applies about medical advice and seeing your doctor before beginning anything) – I’ll be keeping this particular change in my daily routine for a little while longer.
If you want to know what Michael Mosley says about it, check out this episode of the Just One Thing podcast.
Healthy Recipe of the week…
No pic, but my healthy recipe of the week was this roasted salmon with soy, orange and ginger dressing. The recipe is probably behind a paywall, but essentially you mix up a dressing of:
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 tsp good-quality runny honey
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (I grated it instead)
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced into rounds
While it’s cooking, stir fry or steam some greens (Asian greens, broccolini, whatever) and serve the cooked salmon with these and with the remaining dressing drizzled over and, if you want, some basmati rice.
Marinate a couple of salmon fillets in half dressing of this for no more than 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan). Pop the salmon (and its marinade) into a roasting tin and cook for 10-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon) until cooked but slightly pink in the centre.
Early morning pics for the week…