About FastingPosted: July 21, 2012
Mr. Paleolithic-Man is moving camp with a few friends, either for lack of food or water, climate change or because they have become the hunted. He gathers his tools and animal skins, a few nuts or sun-dried meat from camp in a satchel and they set off on a journey which could be miles or days away. As he and his friends travel to their next destination, they hunt when and what they can, as needed. Some days are better than others. They hope the few morsels they carry tide will them over till their next big find. Their strong, defined bodies continue on until they reach their destination. They set up camp and Mr. Paleolithic-Man sets off on a hunt while friends gather local plants to refuel themselves after hours/days of hard work.
You and your family decide to spend the day at the local amusement park, pool, carnival, block party or boardwalk. You drive your car to the destination then walk and play and enjoy yourselves until hungry or tired. You eat whatever you find tantalizing in the moment, enticed by colorful signs and bright lights, gooey concoctions and fried foods. Packaged snacks are so easy to pass out, so you do. You eat until your stomachs are heavy then you move onto the car for the drive home. You enter your house where all bodies flop onto the couch and recover. It’s not the long day you’re recovering from, mind you, it’s your body trying to salvage enough energy out of the grains and sugar you chose to fuel it with to get up and prepare dinner, tidy the house or get the kids ready for bed.
If you’re on a path of health the standard fast food options are the last thing you choose to eat. You point out the funky neon signs and the funny characters of the vendors at the park to your friends and family as you pass but you wait to eat until you find a reasonable option, or you go into your satchel (ie: purse, baby bag, backpack, etc) and pull out a banana or homemade jerky, perhaps you were better prepared with an insulated bag and share fruit and chicken and vegetables with your mates. OR *gasp* you just wait. It could be less than an hour till you’re at home where you have a refrigerator that has fresh, nutritious food waiting inside. Perhaps it will be 4 hours or 12 hours until you have access to reasonable, fresh, clean food. I promise, you will not die.
When people hear the word “Fast” they often think of religious sacrifice or fad-dieting. Fasting is a word I’m using for a less intense experiences and is something our bodies were designed to endure. I’m also not referring to Intermittent fasting, although an amazing option for building muscle and strength, which I’ve had my own positive experience with. Whether it’s 20 minutes after your stomach growling or a day, you can wait to eat. If you’ve been fueling your body with real food, it will find energy within. You will lean out over time and change eating patterns. Your insulin levels will steady out, your health will refresh and you won’t feel like you’re going to rip someone’s arm off their body and devour it after a little practice and patience.
Now, your child, on the other hand, may act as if they have completely lost their minds when they become hungry. This is our fault, not theirs. We have programmed them (and ourselves) to eat 3 times a day and pop a snack whenever they feel like it, half the time we’re only eating because we’re bored. Always grab an apple or a banana when you leave the house to help little ones through times of fasting until they are no longer ‘scheduled’ to eat. As adults, we have logic on our side. We also have decades of routine, so it is a hard choice to opt for fresh food until you’ve had a lot of practice. I’m working with 18 months of experience in clean (and mostly paleo) eating, it gets better, but you have to change your thinking. Your body and your health will thank you for it.
Setting yourself up for success is the best option. Eat before you head out, fueling your body with a hearty portion of protein befor a long day. Know where you’re going and plan ahead with snacks or a mental map of the day so your brain knows your body will be fed at some point. It’s more of a mental game then anything else. Drink water and stay hydrated, it’ll keep those pesky headaches away, too. Most importantly, however, enjoy yourself! Life is for living. Eating clean is easy, stop over-thinking, stop over-complicating and relax in the simple decision of plants & protein.
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