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Health & Nutrition Self-care

My 6 AM Morning Routine For Energy & Productivity

I am not someone who naturally wakes up in a good mood. Quite the opposite. A lot of mornings I actually wake up with a lot of anxiety, and sometimes depression. I swear I could sleep most days until noon if I let myself. To combat this, I’ve developed a morning routine for optimal energy and productivity.

A quick disclaimer

Let me make something clear: My morning routine is not rigid. My morning routine may change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns. It usually changes based on the season as well.

I am certainly not trying to tell you how to live or what you should do for your morning routine. Everybody is different, and this is just what works for me right now.

6 AM wake-up call

As someone who loves to sleep, waking up is always the hardest part of my day. However, there are a few tricks I’ve come up with to make sure I get out of bed on time.

It starts with the night before when I put my phone on airplane mode and set my alarm clock. When the alarm goes off at 5:45 AM, I hit snooze and give myself until 6 AM to sleep. Those extra 15 minutes give me the satisfaction of the snooze button, but to ensure that I actually wake up, I have a little trick that I want to share with you.

My early bird life hack

To make sure I actually get out of bed at 6 AM, I came up with a strategy that guarantees I wake up on time: I pay for an early workout class that I put on my calendar, which forces me to make that commitment and get myself up. This holds me accountable, because if I’ve already paid for a workout then I know I’ll be eating money if I don’t show up.

My 6:30 AM HIIT workout at DMN8 in Santa Monica

HIIT or hot yoga comes first

Moving my body first thing in the morning is essential for me. I switch every other day between hot yoga and HIIT training. This is the perfect balance between strength & cardio and mobility & recovery.

On this particular day, I am going to a HIIT workout. After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I head out the door by 6:15 AM and drive to Santa Monica Beach to make my 6:30 AM DMN8 workout. No matter how hard I try, I usually end up being just one or two minutes late. There’s always a water bottle to fill or that one red light that slows me down. If I didn’t love hitting that snooze button so much, I think I would definitely make it on time!

Exercising for my mental health

Kick-starting my day with a challenge and a good sweat is always worth it. As someone who sometimes wakes up not feeling my best, choosing to start my day with a workout or hot yoga, helps me shift my mood immediately.

It may be a challenge, but there’s something about getting out of the mind and into the body that builds my confidence. I always leave my workout feeling like I can take on anything!

morning routine workout
I alternate every other day between hot yoga and HIIT training. This helps me have a balance between strength & cardio and mobility & recovery.

The ice bath

When I get home from my workout at 8 AM, I gear up for one of the most extreme parts of my morning routine: the ice bath.

I usually start with some movement exercises to get myself ready, which may include some very weird shaking movements, but I swear it helps get that adrenaline pumping to take on the ice. 

morning routine ice bath
Before getting in the 40-degree (Fahrenheit) ice bath, I do some shaking and movement exercises.

I choose to incorporate cold therapy in my daily routine for many reasons. First of all, doing ice baths has done absolute wonders for my mental health. The ice bath teaches me how to find contentment and presence, even in a challenging and uncomfortable situation, which is such incredible training for life! 

Learn more about why I still do ice baths and the Wim Hof Method!

In addition, the ice bath is fantastic for strengthening the immune system. Research has shown that cold therapy increases white blood cells, which help fight disease, and significantly reduces inflammation in the body.

morning routine ice bath
I spend 2-3 minutes in the ice bath while staying focused on my breath and gratitude

Time to slow down

From 8:15 – 8:30 AM, I treat myself to a warm shower. Shifting from the ice bath to one of the more relaxing parts of my morning routine always feels like stepping into a new reality.

morning routine bed making
I cannot start my workday without making my bed and cleaning my room.

I also love using this calming time after my shower to clean my room and make my bed. Honestly, I cannot start my workday until my bed is made and my space is clutter-free.

Red light therapy, journlaing, and meditation

By 8:40 AM, I dive into some infrared light therapy. This incredible practice has so many benefits including regulating circadian rhythms, promoting anti-aging, improving our skin and cellular health.

morning routine red light therapy
Journaling and meditation in infrared light therapy

I use this time bathing in the red light to get clear on my intentions and to do some journaling. I use a lot of journaling techniques I learned from my mindset coach.

Then, I call in the energy I want to attract for the day and do my Dr. Joe Dispenza meditations until around 9 AM.

I love Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meditations in the morning!

Morning nutrients

At 9:15 AM, I head on over to my juice bar to make some cucumber juice. This has been my go-to summertime drink because it’s super cooling and refreshing. 

morning routine cucumber juice
Cucumber juice has been my go-to summertime drink! after drinking this, I wait at least 15 minutes before having anything else.

Then, at 9:20 AM, I slow down with a warm drink I invented. I call it “The Blue Zone Drink” because I make it from this special Maya nut powder I found in Nicoya, Costa Rica, which is a “blue zone.” The Blue Zones are areas of the world where residents live the longest, healthiest lives.

The Maya nut has been shown to improve longevity and includes tons of nutrients and minerals including fiber, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein, iron, and copper. 

morning routine Blue Zone drink
The Blue Zone drink is made with Maya nut powder!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need if you’d like to blend your own Blue Zone Drink at home:

Although the Blue Zone drink can be a little chalky, it’s still pretty tasty and knowing that it’s packed with nutrition, makes it a little easier to drink. Since I quit caffeine, this has been a great coffee alternative.

Wrapping up my morning routine

morning routine work schedule
I usually start working by 9:30 or 10.

From 9:30 – 10:00 AM, I head into my home office and get to work. I usually give myself a good two hours of productivity before treating myself to the final part of my morning routine…

Breakfast!

Is it really a morning routine until you’ve had your avocado toast? I know this is basic AF, but there’s a reason why we all love avocado toast so much! 

morning routine breakfast
I do fine with gluten, as long as I get high-quality sourdough bread, which I pick up on Sundays from the local farmer’s market.
My morning routine is not rigid

I want to make it clear that I am not in any way “rigid” or “strict” about this routine. This happens to be working well for me right now, but my morning routine often shifts and changes based on the season. My morning routine may also change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns.

Especially during my luteal and menstruation phase, I am a lot more gentle with myself. During this time I usually do a lot more yoga than HIIT workouts and I give myself plenty of rest and sleep. This is really important to consider being a woman with a shifting hormonal system called the infradian rhythm.

I also want to mention that this is my typical morning routine during weekdays. On weekends I definitely give myself more time to sleep and move slower. I have found it super helpful to take plenty of time to rest and slow down during the weekends so that I have plenty of energy to tackle the workweek.

Reflecting on my morning routine

Although my morning routine may shift and flow based on the time of the month or the season, I have found it highly beneficial to commit to some type of morning routine on most days. From getting myself to a 6:30 AM workout, to diving into that ice bath and taking time to set intentions and meditate, my morning routine sets me up for how I want to feel for the rest of the day.

My morning routine has massively improved my energy, productivity, and how I feel.

Watch the full YouTube video here!
Categories
Health & Nutrition

I Tried A 5 Day Water Fast. Here’s what happened…

At the beginning of this year, I completed a 5-day water fast. That means, I stopped eating for five days and consumed only water! Why would I ever put myself through this kind of torture? Let me explain.

First of all, I did not stop eating in order to drop a bunch of weight and get “quick results.” I did not do this as some extreme New Year’s “cleanse.” The truth is that I have been wanting to try what’s called a “prolonged water fast” for a long time. It may seem crazy, but fasting actually has several physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, that I will elaborate on throughout this post.

For the past two years, I’ve had the goal to complete a 5-day water fast. Finally, I decided it was time to take on the challenge.

The science & benefits of fasting

Fasting has been a spiritual practice for millennia but has become a popular “biohack” in the past few years, due to a growing body of research that supports the health benefits of fasting. It makes sense, given that our ancestors had to survive without food for long periods, and overeating is a contributing factor to many lifestyle-related diseases.

I’ve already tried intermittent fasting, but I wanted to take it up a notch this time.

To learn more about the science and research of water fasting, I spoke with anti-aging and longevity expert, Dr. Betsy Yurth (MD), to learn more about water-fasting and get advice on how to do this the right way.

“Fasting is hugely beneficial,” Dr. Yurth said. “When you start going into a fast that’s more than two days, and your body starts relying on ketones for energy, we start to see a change in the brain.”

What happens to your cells during a fast

Dr. Yurth explained what happens on a cellular level in the body during fasting, and why a prolonged fast can be so beneficial. It all comes down to a process discovered in 2016, known as autophagy. Autophagy is what happens when your cells are not relying on glucose for energy anymore and your body goes into a state of ketosis. What happens on a cellular level are that old, damaged cells start recycling into new, healthy cells.

“And that’s a really good thing,” Dr. Yurth said. “We’ve gotten rid of all the bad proteins and now you can start with new, healthy cells and a clean slate.”

Preparing for my 5-day water fast

Dr. Yurth told me that although the first two days of fasting might be really hard, I could hopefully expect an increase of energy and mental clarity around day three. She advised me to avoid intense physical activity during my fast and give my body plenty of rest. 

Because I was already in Costa Rica for New Year’s with my friend Kiley, we decided to take on this 5-day water fast together.

my PIC for the water fast
My partner-in-crime for this 5-day water fast, Kiley Mac!

We spent the week leading up to our fast at a permaculture community called Punta Mona, eating super nutritious meals, preparing our bodies for the 5-day water fast.

a typical meal leading up to the water fast
A typical meal at Punta Mona, where we spent the week before our fast.
My dream fasting destination

We knew the location for this fast would be important. We definitely wanted to be fully immersed in nature and ensure that we had access to high-quality, mineral-rich drinking water.

After careful consideration, we found the perfect place to do this fast: Rio Perdido Hotel & Thermal River. Rio Perdido is a wellness resort in the middle of nature, running along nourishing thermal hot springs. It has pure, mineral-rich water that would keep us hydrated during our fast. This would be the perfect place to rest & rejuvenate for the week.

the perfect location for our water fast
Rio Perdido was the perfect location for our water fast.
My 5-day water fast 

On the road to Rio Perdido, Kiley and I enjoyed our final meal at a little fruit stand that was the only thing open at night. We had a boatload of bananas, mango, papayas, coconut, avocado, and almonds.

our last meal before our water fast
Our last meal before the fast!

After arriving late at night to Rio Perdido, Kiley and I passed out, gearing up for the 5-day water fast.

Day 1 

I was surprised to naturally wake up at 4:30 AM the next morning with a ton of energy. I spent the morning meditating, journaling, and swimming in the thermal river. For the rest of the day, Kiley and I spent plenty of time drinking in the healing environment at Rio Perdido. 

At sunset, we spent time meditating and journaling along the river and got clear on our intentions for the week.

My intention for this fast was clarity within mind, body, and Spirit. My intention for 2021 is bravery and I knew I would need bravery to complete this challenge.

Day 2

I definitely started noticing the severe hunger kick-in on day two, especially when I saw food for the first time! This was not fun…

Pancakes spotted during my fast was torture
Having to see and smell these fluffy pancakes was torture.

Sleeping a lot and spending time in nature, without the ability to see food, definitely helped make things easier. Both Kiley and I were sure to drink plenty of water, about double the amount we would normally drink, which equaled about each of our weight in ounces each day. 

Day 3
This 5-day water fast was emotionally draining.
I went through a major life event during this fast that I didn’t expect. It made the entire challenge that much harder.

Something happened during this water fast that I am still processing, and I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to share this at all. However, because it was such a significant life event, I feel like I cannot share my experience of this fast without being honest about what happened.

In the middle of my fast, I lost my Grampy, someone who is so important to me. The pain of this loss was horrible. I felt devastated that I was not with him and so far away from my family. I almost quit the fast and booked a plane ticket home to go and be with my family.

But I decided to stick it out… It really came down to knowing what my Grampy himself would be telling me, “Skylah, you gotta do what you gotta do,” he would say. “You gotta stick to it and see it through.” So that’s what I did.

I don’t want to get into all of the details surrounding the grieving process I was going through, but somehow dealing with this loss of my Grampy while fasting seemed to open up my Spirit in a way I didn’t anticipate.

Day 4

Despite being emotionally exhausted, I somehow gained a surge of energy on day four. Kiley and I spent the day in nature again, which was really healing for me.

I need to recognize how grateful and lucky I am to have had Kiley with me during this experience. She helped me so much and was such a fantastic friend during this difficult time. I don’t think that I could have done this without her.

Kiley was my PIC for this water fast
I could not have done this without Kiley by my side!
Day 5

On Day 5, I woke up with severe anxiety. I started questioning myself so much. What if I was actually damaging my body by doing this fast? What if I was ruining my metabolism or self sabotaging all the hard work I had put into my body? My mind started going crazy.

What I really had to practice was complete surrender and trust. Knowing that my body is so strong and healthy and it knows exactly what to do. I really had to work on trusting my body and this process. 

Breaking the 5-day fast 

In order to come off my fast properly, I consulted with Dr. Yurth about the refeeding process. Although refeeding syndrome is rare, especially for young, healthy people, it’s definitely something to be aware of.

“Obviously when you come off your fast, you don’t want to go and eat a whole cheesecake,” Dr. Yurth said. “But we know there are many benefits when coming off a fast.”

Dr. Yurth explained that when we fast, we lower growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor, or IGF. But when we begin to re-feed and come off of a fast, we then get a big surge in IGF. Which means that post fast is a great time to increase muscle, burn fat, and take advantage of this surge in IGF.

“Coming off your fast, you’ll want to consume higher protein and healthy fats and avoid sugar and carbohydrates,” Dr. Yurth said.

That’s to avoid spiking insulin levels too quickly after fasting and to keep the body in a state of ketosis while reintroducing food. I broke my fast with a homemade bone broth from the organic kitchen at Rio Perdido.

I had bone broth to break my 5-day water fast
 I broke my fast with organic bone broth. I’ve never been so happy to eat broth!

The following day, I had green juice with cucumber, celery, lemon, spinach, and then another bone broth. Later in the evening, I introduced solid food again with fish, avocado, and steamed broccoli to start getting more protein and healthy fats for dinner.

green juice to break my water fast
my first solid meal after my water fast
My first solid meal after my fast: local fish, steamed broccoli, and avocado.
finally eating after 5 days of fasting
I was so happy to finally eat again! The gratitude I feel for food has significantly increased after this fast.
My advice for fasting

I learned so much about water fasting and about my body during this experience. Here are my honest thoughts and advice if you are considering doing a fast:

  1. The first thing I want to reiterate is that I would not necessarily recommend this to anyone. Yes, there are benefits, and yes, this was a powerful experience, but it is extreme. Not eating for five days is no joke. I would think deeply about if this is something that would be right for you and consult with a medical professional before embarking on a fast.
  1. If you have a female body, I would highly suggest planning your fast in a way that aligns with your cycle. The best time to do a fast is any other time than the end of your cycle, which is called the luteal phase, about 10-14 days before your period. I didn’t time this well, and I fasted at the end of my cycle. I expected to get my period about two days into the fast, but I did not because I was not eating. Literally, as soon as I had the bone broth, I got my period almost instantly. If I were to do this again, I would absolutely time this differently with my moon cycle. 
  1. If you struggle with your relationship with food, I would not necessarily recommend this, mainly because it’s more likely that you could end up struggling with overeating, relapsing, and binges after the fast. I have done so much work around my relationship with food over the past few years, and have still noticed some of these unhealthy tendencies around food come back into my psyche. You have to be super intentional and careful about what you’re eating after a fast, and having those kinds of restrictions is not suitable for me.
My honest reflection

With all of this being said, I am so happy I did this and super proud of myself for finishing it. I’ve had this goal for a long time, and more than anything, I feel a lot of strength from overcoming this major challenge.

On a spiritual level, the week was super challenging for me, having lost someone I love dearly, but I feel such a deep connection with my Grampy’s spirit, and I can feel him with me, cheering me on into this new year. There’s a lot I want to accomplish this year, and I have started the year overcoming such a big challenge. I feel a ton of strength to go full speed ahead into 2021 and am ecstatic to execute all of these visions and dreams for the upcoming year. 

How to get the benefits of fasting without actually fasting

Say what…. You mean to tell me I didn’t have to go through five days of torture to get the benefits of fasting?! You mean there is a way to actually get the health benefits of fasting without actually having to go through it?! Well… sort of. Let me explain, because if fasting feels too intimidating for you, then this is a pretty darn good alternative.

Dr. Yurth let me in on a little secret. It’s a supplement with a hilarious name that I almost completely discredited at first until Dr. Yurth filled me in on how incredible this supplement truly is. It’s called SpermidineLIFE. So how does it work?

“Spermidine actually helps your body get into autophagy, naturally,” Dr. Yurth said. “We know that the places that have high levels of spermidine in their diets actually live longer.”

Not only does spermidine help induce autophagy in the body, but research shows that it can also improve brian function, increase hair growth, and slow down aging. 

To learn more, be sure to check out this interview on Bulletproof Radio, where Dr. Yurth discusses the magic of spermidine with Dave Asprey.

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Health & Nutrition Popular

5 Health Trends That Actually Work

With so many new health and wellness trends popping up everyday, it’s hard to know what actually works and what is complete BS! Luckily, I’ve made it my job (literally) to try all of these trends and report back to you what I learn along the way.

I’ve been at this now for more than two years! So don’t worry, I got you covered.

In this post, I am going to share my top five health trends I’ve tried, that I believe are actually worth it! 

But before I reveal my top five wellness picks, I need to make something clear:

If we truly want to be healthy, it is super important to be prioritizing the fundamentals and basics of wellbeing first and foremost. It’s the simple stuff we hear all the time: eating real, whole foods, exercising, stretching, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, meditating, and spending time with the people you love. Basic stuff, but super important for overall health. 

Now on the flip side, sometimes it can be really overwhelming to feel like you need to get all of these things right all the time. It’s nearly impossible! So in no way am I suggesting that we all need to be perfect in every single part of our health. But, if we can try to make better choices every day in all of these different areas, we are on the right track.

A lot of people hate on health “trends” or “fads,” and I would agree there is a danger in just hopping on the bandwagon of the latest diet or health trend and always searching for a “magic pill.” Because it does not exist. We even know through plenty of research now, that most diets fail and are not sustainable. However, from my experience trying out a lot of these different “trends,” some are actually quite useful and are a trend for a reason.

If something is “trending,” usually that means it’s working for a lot of people and gaining hype because of it. So if something is working for so many people, then maybe it could be of use to us. If anything, getting people to think more about their wellbeing and get excited about it, is a major win for the world! 

So here ya go! These are my top five favorite wellness trends I’ve tried so far: 

  1. Intermittent Fasting

When I first tried this out, I had a hard time adjusting to it, but I noticed so many benefits from doing it consistently and it’s become way easier over time.

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where you fast for a prolonged period of time each day and shorten the window of time you are actually eating. Intermittent fasting is a great way to manage blood sugar levels, increase energy, and overall it’s a huge benefit for your body to take a break from digesting food so your cells can focus on clearing out toxic waste and rebuild themselves.

I generally fast every day for about 12-14 hours, and as an active female with a delicate hormonal system, this is perfect for me. I am not strict or rigid about it and the times that I start and stop eating generally fluctuate, but now it’s sort of just part of my lifestyle and works really well for me. It’s actually allowed me to feel a lot of freedom with food, which is something I struggled with for a while. 

All of our bodies are so different and respond differently to various ways of eating, but I truly think intermittent fasting is universally beneficial for most humans, and it’s not that hard to implement. 

  1. Celery Juice

People have all sorts of opinions about this trend, but from my experience I absolutely love it! I noticed a lot of benefits from drinking it consistently, especially for my skin and digestion. Celery juice also seems to be helping people with all sorts of issues, everything from eczema to gut problems, and autoimmune disorders.

I don’t drink celery juice every single day anymore because it’s a bit expensive to do that and it’s a little tedious juicing it, but I have it about 3-4 times per week. One really cool thing it does is help me curb cravings. I notice when I drink it that I tend to reduce my cravings for sugar.

  1.  The Wim Hof Method

Ever since I trained with Wim Hof this past winter, people ask me all the time if I still practice the Wim Hof Method… and the answer is overwhelming YES! This method has truly changed my life in so many ways and completely changed my relationship with both the cold and my own inner power and mental strength. Before this experience, I honestly hated the cold so much.

But after overcoming it, I actually sort of crave it now. I still take cold showers every day and get in an ice bath whenever I can. Luckily I have some friends in LA who have ice bath setups in their backyard and we will have little breathwork and ice bath parties with friends and this is one of my favorite things to do. Both the breathing and the ice baths allow me to release a lot of stress and anxiety and it brings me right back to my own strength and inner power. It’s a total endorphin rush and I love it. 

  1. Digital Detoxes 

I’ve made a lot of videos about digital wellness and how we can develop a healthier relationship with our phones and social media. One way that I do this, is by taking a digital detox at least every 3-6 months. During this time, I turn my phone off, put it away, and usually I go without any technology at all, not even my camera.

I’ll go somewhere in nature and spend anywhere from 24 to 72 hours or more disconnecting with the digital world to reconnect with my inner world. The amount of presence that I feel when doing this is so beautiful and taking these digital detoxes has become a game-changer for my mental and spiritual well being. 

  1.  Cacao

In its purest form, ceremonial grade cacao is one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet. Cacao is extremely high in hundreds of nutrients including iron, magnesium, and calcium. It’s been amazing for my gut health and has helped me eliminate pretty much all stomach issues and sensitivities I was having. It’s also fantastic for the brain, so it allows me to feel calm but energized while I’m working. 

Preparing and drinking cacao involves a very meditative, mindful practice that comes from thousands of years of Mayan tradition, so implementing this ritual in my life every morning changes my entire day. Cacao is also considered a “heart-opening” plant medicine, which sounds a bit spiritual, but actually it contains a chemical called anandamide, which is the “bliss molecule,” named after the Sanskrit word “Ananda”, which means “bliss.” This molecule binds to the same receptors in the brain as THC and creates a blissful, joyful feeling. 

The one thing to be aware of when it comes to cacao is making sure you are getting a really high quality one. Many on the market are non pure-grade or ceremonial. My absolute favorite is Legacy Cacao, which comes from an indigienocus tribe in Guatemala who use an ancient Mayan recipe. The cacao is sustainably farmed, stone ground, and blessed by the priestess of the tribe. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s so worth it! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak7MtYVFHKQ&t=80s

So there you have it! Those are my five favorite wellness trends so far. Again, always remember to prioritize the basics of wellbeing before going overboard with all the trendy stuff, but if you feel called to try any of these trends, I urge you to go for it! You never know what might have a huge impact on your life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QjJ6ZfFEY&t=135s

Categories
Health & Nutrition

30 Days of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health trends over the past few years. Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence suggests that fasting has major benefits for the body and mind. 

I’ve been curious about intermittent fasting for a while, and after reading several articles and watching a plethora of videos about its benefits, I wanted to put it to the test to see if it could work for me.

Before my experiment, I decided to interview a medical doctor and fasting expert named Dr. Jason Fung, to learn more about the science and research on intermittent fasting.

Dr. Fung is the medical director of The Fasting Method, and uses fasting and intermittent fasting protocols to help his patients reverse Type 2 Diabetes, lose weight, and overcome other health issues. 

First, Dr. Fung cleared up some of the misconceptions about fasting.

“When you’re fasting, you are not actually shutting down your body,” he clarified. “Your body is actually pumping you full of energy.”

Dr. Fung explained that intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. Intermittent fasting does not restrict the types of foods you can eat or the amount of calories you can consume, it simply restricts the times of day that you eat.

Generally, an intermittent fasting period is anywhere from 12-16 hours, but can also be practiced for longer periods of time. Fasts that are 24 hours or more have also been shown to have massive benefits, because of a process called autophagy, where old damaged cells die and new, healthier cells reform. 

Dr. Fung explained that when we fast, our insulin levels decrease and we get a surge of counter-regulatory hormones including growth hormone.

“Everyone thinks that if you fast you are going to lose muscle,” he said. “That’s actually not true because growth hormone increases during fasting. When you start to eat again, your body will start to build proteins at a higher and more efficient rate.”

My 30-day experiment

I had already tried intermittent fasting for one week previously with my friend Eduardo for another video, so this time I wanted to try intermittent fasting for a longer period of time to really measure how it would affect my mind and my body. 

I want to make it clear that intermittent fasting is not about starving yourself. It’s a scientifically proven method that has helped many people with various health issues. Although intermittent fasting can definitely help with weight loss, it has also been shown to have several other benefits, including more cognitive clarity and focus. For me, I wasn’t necessarily looking to lose weight, but I was curious to see if intermittent fasting could help me increase productivity and overall energy. 

Week 1 

Going into this experiment, I was definitely a little nervous about how my body would react. I tend to get really hungry, especially on days when I workout, so I had to gear myself up mentally to take on this challenge.

I decided to stick to a 14-hour fasting period, which means I would have a 10-hour window where I could eat during the day. It’s very common for people to skip breakfast when they intermittent fast, but that doesn’t always work for me. Sometimes, I don’t feel hungry for breakfast, but since I like to workout in the morning, I needed to make sure I was eating afterwards to replenish and refuel.

I decided the best strategy for me would be to stop eating earlier in the evening around 5 or 6 pm, so I could hit an early workout and then eat breakfast afterwards around 8 am. Although it was a little tough not eating at night, I felt like this really improved my sleep and I woke up feeling way more refreshed and energized.

Week 2

One challenge with intermittent fasting is the additional time and effort it takes to schedule meals around the fasting period. My day-to-day schedule is never the same, so I had to be extra deliberate about when I was eating and what kind of food I was consuming to make sure I was satiated enough.

Although I was starting to get used to my new eating schedule after the first two weeks, the thought of keeping it up for another two weeks was a bit daunting. 

Week 3

During this week I definitely ran into some challenges. One day I went to hot yoga in the morning but had to wait another two hours afterwards to eat and found myself feeling really hungry and depleted. 

Socially, I also found this challenge a bit difficult,  because if I wanted to go out to eat with friends in the evening, I would have to wait even longer to eat the next day.

Week 4

By the end of this challenge, I was definitely getting the hang of this. Once I had my schedule down, intermittent fasting became way easier. 

What was the most surprising to me is how much this challenge actually helped me find more freedom with food. I found that I had increased energy and mental capacity because my body and mind were not as focused on eating and digesting food.

This challenge also made me super grateful to have access to good quality food! I am very lucky and realize that a large percentage of the population has to be concerned about  where their next meal is coming from. This experience definitely made me think more about the magnitude of what others might go through in regards to food scarcity. It felt a bit silly for me to complain about my hunger, when so many people around the world are dealing with actual hunger every single day.

My results after 30 days

At the end of my 30 day experiment, I did notice a change in my body. I felt great, and also saw physical changes as well from my before and after pictures.

Intermittent fasting pleasantly surprised me. It allowed me to appreciate food even more than I already did, and develop a healthier relationship with food. This is definitely something that I plan to continue and implement in my life regularly. 

All of our bodies are completely different, and are going to react differently to different things. If you want to try intermittent fasting, I encourage you to do so, but make sure you go into it with clear intentions, and be open-minded to what you might learn through the process!