My dear sisters:
I feel so blessed to be back with you after being away for several months. I hope you are as ready and psyched as I am about making 2019 and the years beyond more vibrant, healing, and fulfilling for all of us.
One of the best ways to embrace and realize these goals is to make personal, healthy changes in our lives. In my last blog, “I Have a Confession to Make,” I told you we would be exploring ways to meet our health challenges, and I invited you to join me on this journey. Welcome! I hope you are ready to begin as we learn and grow and heal together.
As you may know, I often talk about chronic inflammation, how damaging it can be to our health, and the many common health problems associated with it.
Arthritis, diabetes, obesity, cancer, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, back pain—the list seems endless and also all too familiar for so many of us. The fabulously good news is that there is a natural, effective way to manage inflammation and many of the symptoms that it causes, as well as offer other health benefits: intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Don’t let the word “fasting” scare you: intermittent fasting does not involve starving yourself in any way. In fact, you can continue to eat pretty much the same foods you are eating already, but the timing of your meals will change somewhat. Here’s how it works.
Intermittent fasting involves abstaining from food and beverages (except water or plain liquids such as teas or coffee without any additives) for a period of about 12 to 16 hours and then consuming nutritious foods during the remaining 8 to 12 hours. One way to do intermittent fasting would be to complete your last meal of the day by 7 PM and then not eating again until 7 AM, 9 AM, or 11 AM the following day. You could practice this on two nonconsecutive days a week (say, Mondays and Thursdays) and add a third day at some point (say, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays) once you are comfortable with this plan.
Why would you want to do this? Think of intermittent fasting as a time out for your digestive system. Just like your entire body needs sleep to support memory and learning, keep hormone levels in balance, reduce insulin resistance, eliminate waste from the brain, and repair the heart and blood vessels, intermittent fasting has many health benefits as well, including the following:
Reduces inflammation in the body—this is a huge benefit!
Initiates cell repair throughout the body—also huge!
Lowers insulin levels, which promotes fat burning and reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes—especially great for those at risk
May promote production of new nerve cells—super for brain health
Helps with weight loss and fat loss—a real plus!
May expand your lifespan—a great benefit!
Promotes heart health by lowering blood pressure and levels of cholesterol and triglycerides—loving your heart!
May help prevent certain cancers—another great benefit
Trying intermittent fasting
Are you ready to try intermittent fasting? My advice is to take it slow. Start with just one day a week for one to two weeks, and then increase to two nonconsecutive days. Some of you may experience some mood changes, intense hunger, or even changes in your menstrual cycle if you jump in too aggressively. However, once you get into the rhythm of it and give it some time, you will truly appreciate the benefits.
On the days you engage in intermittent fasting, you may want to try practicing yoga or some light cardio exercise such as walking. On the days you are not fasting, you can eat normally and engage in more vigorous exercise.
Women often report they have more energy, more stamina, and an improvement in memory and mental awareness when they practice this form of fasting.
I would love for you to share your experiences with intermittent fasting with me and our sisters! How long is your fasting period? What changes have you noticed? How many days a week are you practicing intermittent fasting? Do you have any tips you would like to share?
In the next few blog articles, I will continue to share with you information about how you can better face and manage the more common symptoms and health challenges we face as women. Each of these articles will be designed to help you restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit and fully embrace the Divine Feminine within. As always, I would love to hear your comments, questions, and ideas.
Blessings to all of you!