Overview of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a technique that helps your body jump start itself out of disease, fatigue, inflammation and potential immune decline. It is not a diet, but an understanding of how to help your body switch from solely relying on glucose and insulin for energy, to fat burning which is better “fuel” for your body.
It’s hard to believe that fasting can actually increase energy, but that is exactly what it does by giving your body a break from high demand for glucose (insulin) in order to digest food. In some ways we suffer from overabundance. We can get foods from all over the world and the food industry comes up with more and more products that are convenient and seem to take some of the work out of food preparation and meal planning. Truth is that we eat more than we need to and the processed food industry has created a monster in that those foods may be convenient but they have little nutritional value and cause sugar cravings as they break down into sugar; along with the added sugars in the rest of our foods.
Intermittent fasting causes a physical body response to lack of glucose and causes it to go looking for defective and old cells that it can recycle for the proteins that are available and eliminate the rest. That process called “autophagy” (auTOF-agee) triggers our stem cells to make brand new cells to replace the recycled ones. That means as your body is recreating cells, it makes them from new vital cells not old, defective ones. So any precancerous, autoimmune or diseased cells are eliminated before they take hold.
There is another fuel source that our body uses when glucose is not readily available. It is called fat. Not only will your body eat it’s own fat stores (like belly fat) but it can function very well on good fats that you eat like avocados, olive oil, nuts and nut butters, full fat greek yogurt and others(we have food lists). AND the real science is, contrary to public opinion created by the food gurus, FAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FAT, HEAVY STARCHY CARBS MAKE YOU FAT!
So the technique of intermittent fasting is to allow time for the body to go without glucose long enough to go looking for recyclable cells and fat to use for energy. Once your body becomes used to using fat for energy, you can eat good fats with each meal, leave out the starchy carbs, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits and good proteins. When that happens, you will find you no longer have sugar cravings. And over a 15 day period of eliminating breakfast 3 days a week, you can begin to see and feel the difference in your energy and health.
A Mother's Day Blessing
It has been a busy week here at Healing Leaves Center with the start of another season in The Potting Shed. It has also been a blessing being a spiritual mother in the Body of Christ as those who God has given me to nurture and help along the way, have returned to share what God has done.
It is easy for us to misconstrue the expression "Mother Earth" if we look with the wrong set of lenses; but it is part of the creation that Father God created and is an amazing picture of how we are nurtured by the beauty of nature and even healed by this realm of beauty when our stressful lives become too much.
With that thought, I would like to share with you an Apache blessing that comes from the appreciation of just one of our native tribes who lived well from the earth.
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and
Know it's beauty all the days of your life.
Burst of Spring!
Spring has FINALLY come to the Northeast and what a joy it is after an unusually long winter of sporadic temperatures and overcast days!!!!
It feels wonderful to feel the warmth of the bright sun on our faces as we soak up the natural Vitamin D that we all need so much. Be aware that this time of the year the sun’s rays are very intense, even more so than the middle of summer, so we should take the precautions we need to, to keep from overdoing it. I prefer to wear a hat and not put anything on my face but perhaps some facial lotion containing zinc oxide. St John’s wort oil is a good natural sunblock. If you have extremely sensitive skin, approach hot days carefully and wear long sleeve, loose fitting shirts if you are going to be in the direct sun for a long period of time. Otherwise just breathe deeply and enjoy it.
Then there are the little faces of spring. The flowers come in such bright contrast to the brown earth and then against the bright green of the grass as it turns overnight. Flowers like dandelions, viola, spring cress and green superfoods like burdock and ramps (wild onion) that we can add to our salads.
Forage in your lawn for plantain, viola leaves, and dandelions. (That is if you don’t spray your lawn with pesticides!). It’s amazing what your lawn will provide if you let it grow naturally.
Forage at field’s edge for coltsfoot which flower before their leaf comes marking the place to pick those leaves later on, so take note. Horsetail is prolific and tender to pick for tinctures, drying for tea and tooth powder.
Forage in the forest for trout lilies(dog-toothed violets), sorrel, cress, bloodroot
Forage in your perennial garden beds for French sorrel and asparagus(great for strengthening the kidneys after a long winter).
Don’t forget to just take some time to stretch your legs for a walk amongst them. It’s a great way to reduce stress God’s way. These days you can almost hear them stretching their “limbs” from a long winter’s nap, their colors crying out for attention to admire their beauty.
Don’t let spring pass you by, without taking note of what’s around you and maybe collecting a few specimens to take back and identify from your Peterson’s Field Guide. If plant walks and foraging are your passion, let us know. We are just putting together our summer evening series for July and August. Or perhaps you’re a more serious forager and want all the particulars of what to do with these plants so you can use them. If so you might want to join our Family Herbal Series that starts the end of June for 5 2-hour sessions of learning. More serious than that? Consider joining the first year class at the Potting Shed Herbal School. There are many ways to learn and we are a community of folks with similar passions, ready to share our knowledge as well as fun.
Greetings Wellness Seekers
I know that it's been some time since we have updated our blog. Our apologies for keeping you all in the dark as we prepared, partnered together, learned and reset our courses for health at the "Sticky Facts About Gluten" health day. It was awesome! Not only did we learn a lot in the morning about the sources for these problems, how to recognize them and how to avoid health reactions to gluten containing foods; but we learned the steps to overcome them and gain our health back. Then we had a truly adventurous time in the kitchen with our New England Culinary graduate, Kim Post, who showed us how to make awesome transitional food dishes, without gluten elements that were delicious as well as easy to make. We all got to participate in putting the dishes together and then enjoyed each others' company as we ate a most delicious meal together. Who says getting well can't be fun.
In the days ahead we will give you more information about the weekend and teaching series elements that will be available by video connection in the near future. Meantime, enjoy this summer salad from Kim's repertoire, just in time for the coming of warmer weather. Quinoa is not a grain and is an anti-inflammatory food as well as non gluten food. It's a great substitute for all your rice recipes. Cilantro is also an excellent detoxifying food and such a great flavor to add to the mix.
Quinoa Mango & Black Bean Salad
Ingredients: 2 C cooked quinoa (chilled or room temperature)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 mango, peeled and diced
4 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 small lime)
1/2 tsp kosher or Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
* In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, mango, red pepper, onion, black beans & cilantro
* In small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and stir together. Pour on top of salad, Stir to combine. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Enjoy!!! Love to hear what you think.
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.