Intermittent fasting (IF) is NOT a diet, it is a way of eating that is sustainable over the long run to help you live a long healthy life. It increases the body’s ability to protect and repair itself and reduces chemical reactions in the body that promote aging such as oxidative damage and inflammation. IF has been shown to help reduce obesity, high blood pressure, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, caner, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory loss.
One of the ways IF is protective against all the above mentioned diseases is because fasting lowers IGF-1, (Insulin-like Growth Factor), which we need when we are young and still growing, but high levels of IGF-l appear to cause accelerated aging and cancer later in life. IF also switches on repair genes by a process called autophagy which means to “self-eat”. During autophagy the body breaks down and recycles old tired cells and this sparks the production of new cells and stimulates the product of stem cells (cells that when activated can grow into most any other cell). Fasting also reduces activity of a gene called PKA. PKA produces an enzyme that normally slows down regeneration, so by reducing PKA we stimulate our stem cells to switch into regenerative mode. IF increases BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factors) which have been shown to increase memory and mood and protect the brain from dementia and age-related mental decline. And finally, fasting improves insulin sensitivity making it easier for our body to regulate our blood sugar. Put simply, high levels of insulin lead to increased fat storage and low levels lead to fat depletion.
The easiest way to approach IF is to choose 2 days a week (or 3 if you are looking to lose significant amounts of weight) and do not eat for a period of 16 hours. Most people choose to fast through breakfast, but you could fast from lunch to the following breakfast. You can choose two different days each week if your social calendar changes from week to week. During the 8 hours you are not fasting women can have 500 calories and men can have 600, split into two small meals. By not eating for 16 hours, you are telling your body to turn off your fat storage and turn on your fat burning. The other 5 days a week you continue to eat a balanced whole food diet.
This information is excerpted from the book The FAST Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley. If you are interested in trying IF, I highly recommend you read Dr. Mosley’s book. You are also welcome to consult me as I have adopted this way of eating and I am happy to share my experience and knowledge with you.
Dr Julia Wray
2 cups of cauliflower florets
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼-1/3 cup vegetable broth
Salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Pulse 2 cups of cauliflower florets in a food processor until finely chopped (will look like grains of rice!).
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes.
Add cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the vegetable broth starting with ¼ cup and adding more if needed. Steam the mixture, covered, until broth has evaporated and cauliflower is tender, about 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, add minced parsley and serve.
Notes: Be careful not to add too much liquid to the cauliflower or cook it for too long. You don’t want it to become mushy. You are looking for a tender but firm bite, like you would for rice or pasta. You can add other vegetables or seasonings to jazz this dish up any way you like. It goes well with any meat, fish or grain entrée.
Recipe from the Jan/Feb, 2013 issue of Whole Living Magazine www.wholeliving.com
Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts and Blueberries
2 cups organic rolled oats
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt
¼-½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)
2 cups whole milk (can substitute coconut milk)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter (or use coconut oil) the inside of a square 8-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, half of the butter, and vanilla.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Gently mix in the blueberries being careful not to mash them. Pour into the baking dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set. Let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter and serve.
2 cups unbleached all–purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sweet butter, chilled
½ cup light cream
sweet butter, softened, for topping
6 cups strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar (or other summer fruit)
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together into a mixing bowl. Cut in the 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles oats. Pour in cream and mix gently until just blended.
Roll dough out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 5/8 inch. Cut into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter, Gather scraps, roll again and cut more rounds; you should have 6 rounds.
Bake shortcakes on a greased baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned.
Cool the biscuits slightly, split them, and spread softened butter light over the cut surfaces. Set the bottoms on dessert plates; spoon on sliced strawberries, and crown with the tops of the biscuits. Whip chilled cream, and spoon a dollop onto each shortcake. Serve immediately.
Note: To make drop biscuits, use an additional ¼ cup cream and drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake as directed above.
Recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Russo & Shelia Lukins.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
4-6 stalks rhubarb, washed & chopped
1 cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey (or more to taste)
10 strawberries, cleaned, hulled and diced
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Simmer the rhubarb and cinnamon stick in a small amount of water on the stove. Add the strawberries and lemon juice, cook to soften and sweeten with honey. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place in a blender to puree (or use an immersion hand blender). Drizzle over ice cream, yogurt or add to a smoothie. It’s also good drizzled over chocolate brownies!
Dr. Wray's Organic Gluten-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie
1 cup organic strawberries cut into 1/2 ' chunks
4 cups organic rhubarb trimmed and cut into 1/2 " chunks
3 tablespoons organic quick-cooking tapioca
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup firmly packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour
2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon (Whole Foods carries this brand)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)
frozen gluten-free crust from Whole Foods
Make the filling:
In a large bowl stir together the strawberries, rhubarb, tapioca, sugar, vanilla and butter,
and let stand, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Make the crumb topping:
Combine all the crumb topping ingredients except the nuts in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Mix the nuts into the topping.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crust (prick with a fork or use pie weights to
keep crust from bubbling up) for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Take the crust out and increase the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees. Add the filling to the crust and bake the pie for 15 minutes at 450 degrees on the lower shelf. Reduce the heat back to 350 degrees. Add the crumb topping to pie and bake for 50 min - l hour on the middle shelf until the filling is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Let cool and refrigerate.
Serve with organic vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Natural by Nature has the best whipped cream and if you want to go dairy-free try vanilla coconut milk ice cream. This will knock your socks off!!!!
Strawberries With Balsamic Vinegar & Black Pepper
16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Place sliced strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over the strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for a least an hour but not more than four hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries.
I know it sounds weird but give it a try! It’s delicious served over vanilla ice cream or your favorite shortbread recipe.
Recipe from Allrecipes.com
1 cup raspberry jam
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 cups pecans (crispy nuts are best!)
¼ cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup raw honey
½ cup butter or ghee
½ teaspoon sea salt
Oil a 9 ½” tart pan or baking dish with coconut oil or butter and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom.
In a food processor, process the pecans until they are tiny pieces (you do not want nut butter). Add the honey, vanilla, salt and mix. Add in the coconut flour and mix again. Add in pieces of the butter while the processor is running to mix it in with the batter – it’s ok if you see small pieces of the butter in the batter – just don’t over mix it.
Take the dough and press it into the oiled tart pan or dish. Press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan as evenly as you can.
Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When the crust is cool spread the jam around the bottom of the crust and place the fresh raspberries around the edges and in the middle on top of the jam.
Slice and serve or refrigerate.
Notes: Be sure to use jam and not jelly for the filling. You can purchase coconut flour at My Organic Market or Whole Foods. Look for Bob’s Red Mill or Coconut Secret brands. This recipe could be made with any berry - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. Recipe from: realfoodforager.com
1 can pumpkin puree
¾ cup sucanat
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon powdered cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup crème fraiche
Cream eggs with sucanat. Gradually blend in other ingredients. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until custard is firm. Serve with whipped cream.
Pecan Pie Crust
1 cup pecans
¾ cup arrowroot
¼ cup butter or coconut oil softened
¼ cup sucanat
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
Place nuts in a food processor and process to a meal. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Press into a well-buttered and floured pie pan. Bake at 325 degrees for ½ hour. Let cool and then add pie filling and bake as directed for pie.
Recipes from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
1-cup raw pecans
6 tablespoons coconut or walnut oil
½ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup arrowroot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x8x2 inch baking pan In a food processor, grind the pecans to the consistency of meal Transfer to a medium bowl and add the oil, sweetener, eggs, cocoa, and arrowroot. Stir to blend. Pour into oiled baking dish.
Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, let cool and cut into bars. Be very careful not to over bake.
From Dr. Mark Hyman’s book Ultrametabolism.