The FastDiet Inventor on Dr. Oz!

Hey, y’all!

If you missed The Dr. Oz Show episode about fasting recently, he interviewed Dr. Michael Mosley, one of the authors of The FastDiet (aka, the book that changed my life). Check it out if you have some time. He talks about why he started it, how he cured his type 2 diabetes, and responds to the critics who say there isn’t enough evidence to show intermittent fasting is effective or safe.

Link to the episode is in the tweet. Let me know what you think!




Fast Days & Exercise

A lot of people on Instagram have been asking me if I work out on fast days.

Yes. I do.

“I’m fasting today” sounds like the perfect excuse to skip the gym, but I don’t fall into this trap (too often). Plenty of studies suggest working out on an empty stomach is not only safe, but can help you burn more fat than if you eat before a workout. 

I had concerns about this when I started fasting: “am I going to get dehydrated and pass out? Where will I get the energy to work out if I don’t eat during the day?” Sound familiar to any of you starting to embrace the possibility of intermittent fasting in your lives?

IMG_4869I’ve been doing hot power yoga for about 7 years now. It helps me get a good sweat on, gives me some definition in my arms, and gets me moving so I don’t settle into old age at this point of my mid-30s. It may not be cross fit or running or weight lifting, but it’s the only workout I’ve been able to consistently tolerate for more than a few years at a time. And isn’t that what everyone needs: a form of physical activity they enjoy?

In the book, The FastDiet, the authors encourage working out on fasting days, so I gave it a try. Back then, I had a different work schedule and I was able to work out in the mornings. For early workouts, I always ate afterward anyway (fast day or not), so I thought this would be the easiest approach. My body wouldn’t even realize it was fasting yet. I got my exercise in, stayed hydrated throughout the day, and all was well. Once I realized working out while fasting wouldn’t kill me, I tried an evening workout on a fast day — when I was mid-hunger. That turned out to be fine too. So as long as I feel good (hunger aside) and I’m able to hydrate, I definitely work out on fast days. After all, it’s one more thing to keep me distracted from thoughts like “I really want fries right now”.

When I started fasting, I was getting to the yoga studio between 4 and 6 days per week. I moved less than a year ago and the studio I go to now isn’t as easy for me to get to, so I only work out 3-5 days per week…but more like 3…and sometimes 1. Fasting helps me control my weight enough that I don’t see working out as “urgent” anymore. Good for peace of mind, but probably not so good for the body. Exercise is still a priority for me, but I don’t freak out if I have a busy week and can’t make it to yoga.

Workout or not, I still keep it to 500 calories or less on fasting days. Burning calories gets me no reward of eating extra calories. Sorry to disappoint if that’s what you really came here to find out.

Fast Day Ramen!

img_6538.jpgWelcome to all my new readers!! Great news: I can have noodles on fasting days now!

I was watching an episode of the Dr. Oz show about “Zero Calorie Foods”. While most of the stuff they showed was pre-packaged, chemical-laden crap that the doc and his health expert guest denounced, but they did recommend one zero-calorie food. Behold: shiratake noodles.

I never heard of them before, but I found them on Fresh Direct (and Amazon if you don’t live in a FD area). They only have 10 calories per serving!

I love ramen, but the fat content of just one bowl will put me over a normal day’s recommended calorie intake, so I can forget about visiting a ramen shop on a Monday. Here’s what happened when I tried to fashion my own bowl of low-calorie ramen for a fasting day…

img_6542.jpgIngredients: (Makes  2 servings)
Shiratake noodles, 1 package: 20 calories
Vegetable stock, 3 cups: 75 calories
Bok choy, 100 grams: 15 calories
Mushrooms (I used baby portobellos), 100 grams: 13 calories
Garlic, 1 clove: n/a
Eggs, 2: 180 calories

The noodles were easy to prepare. The directions say to rinse, then boil them for 2 minutes to get rid of the “authentic aroma”. That’s just a gentle way of saying that they smell awful, but boiling did the trick. I let them dry for a while and then started to make the broth.

img_6543.jpg img_6547.jpg

I brought the stock, 1 cup of water, and a crushed garlic clove to a boil in a pot. Then I added the chopped vegetables and let them cook while I prepared the egg. I watched a video about how to make the perfect soft boiled egg and it said to bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil, drop in the egg and cook for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The white inside wasn’t completely set, as I like it. I will let it cook for another minute next time. When time was up, I ran the egg under cool water so it would be easier to handle.

img_6550.jpgWhile the egg was cooling, I put the noodles in the broth and turned the heat off. I stirred to incorporate them and marinate a little while I peeled the egg.

Ramen…assemble! I discarded the garlic clove, poured half of the soup pot into a bowl, cut the egg in half and voila: homemade, fasting day-worthy ramen! Total for this bowl: 152 calories!

img_6558.jpgThe noodles didn’t have a discernible taste and were chewier than real pasta. They also don’t have much to offer in nutritional value, so the egg and veggies give the dish some needed protein and fiber. I saved half the soup for my next fasting day. 152 calories is light even for a fast day dinner. I could have added more veggies or even some chicken…or cooked up that second egg and ate the whole pot of soup! 304 calories is reasonable on a Monday.

The taste? Not as great as the bowl of authentic ramen I had last week, but that’s not fair. Pork makes everything taste better.

Take it Easy Tuesday

Let’s talk about Tuesdays.


**This meal was not consumed on a Tuesday.

I know I’m abnormally excited about Tuesdays. I have thus far spoken of seeing a rainbow outside my window every Tuesday morning and comparing the feeling I get to waking up on Christmas Day. They’re just normal Tuesdays to everyone else, but they’re milestones for me because I have already fought what is usually my biggest battle of the week: Monday fasting.

If Monday is the best day to fast, Tuesday is the worst day to go to a buffet.

Fasting, even for a day, does change my body — specifically the size of my stomach.

I have tried to take out my “hanger” on burgers and pasta the day after a fast and came to realize it was not smart. It only turned me from hangry into angry because eating all I wanted made me feel stuffed and sick — feelings that are totally acceptable on Thanksgiving and select other occasions, but not on an average Tuesday.

Here are some things I do on Tuesdays to check myself before i wreck myself:

*Wait until I’m hungry to start eating.
I let my stomach tell me when it’s ready for food.

*Start off by eating something light.
Fruit, oatmeal, or scrambled eggs. This is not the time for bacon, pancakes, or bagels.

*Eat slowly.
It takes me a little while to tell when I’m full. If I eat slowly then my brain gets the message that I’ve had enough before I go too far.

*Avoid the “spite” junk food.
Sometimes I really want to grab a doughnut on the way to work or buy a bag of chips or a cupcake to have with lunch because “I earned it, dammit.” That’s still the residual hanger talking. If I wake up on Wednesday and still really want those things, then I go for it.

But remember, this post isn’t just about Tuesdays. It really should be called “Take it easy [insert day after whatever day I choose to fast].” Not really catchy.

That’s not to say I haven’t had a burger or a pancake breakfast the day after a fast. I have. And I have paid the price, which is obviously not too high since I have paid it more than once. I’m just more selective and conscious of when I choose to go hog wild.

On Tuesdays, I ease back into eating and the rest of the week is so much fun.

Fast Recipe: Soup & Sandwich!

IMG_1060I LOVE SOUP!!! I could eat it every day. It’s comforting, filling, and usually very low in calories if it’s water or broth-based. Unless you add bacon and/or heavy cream, it’s hard to make it fattening — in which case it should just be called what it really is: chowder.

I came up with this soup & sandwich combo using ingredients I had at home already. The soup is very simple: frozen peas, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. It came out sweet and delicious, but if peas weren’t available they could have been switched out for another vegetable in the freezer.

The “sandwich” is really a quesadilla, but it’s a great substitute in this low-calorie meal. It’s a cheesy compliment to the soup and almost made me feel like I was cheating on my diet. Until I wanted to make a second one. Then reality set in. It has just 2 ingredients: tortilla & cheese. It could only have been easier if someone made it for me.

IMG_1061Simple pea soup

Frozen Peas, 285 grams: 148.5 calories
Vegetable Broth, 1 cup: 15 calories
Salt & pepper to taste: 0 calories
Squeeze of Lemon, About 1 tbsp: 3 calories
Total Calories: 166.5

I brought all of the soup ingredients to a boil in a pot. I then transferred them to a blender and liquified for a minute or 2. I poured the soup back in the pot and kept it under a low flame while I made the “sandwich”.

Simple Cheese Sandwich

Trader Joe’s Wheat Corn Tortilla, 1: 90 calories
Shredded Mozzarella, 1/4 cup: 80 calories
Total Calories: 170

IMG_1057     IMG_1059

I put the cheese on half of the tortilla and folded it over. I heated it in a non-stick pan for 2 minutes on each side until the cheese melted.

Total calories for this meal: 336.5

Other notes:
I used Pam to keep the tortilla from sticking to the pan. A simple spray to coat the pan has no calories. Score!

I do rely on the nutrition information on the packaged ingredients I use. They’re pretty accurate, but what’s most important is to check the calories against the serving size! In this case, only 1/4 cup of cheese had 80 calories. 1/3 of a cup might have put me over my limit.

This is something I would eat on a non-fasting day, although probably in a bigger portion. Recipes like this make fasting so much easier. I almost feel like I’m getting to eat whatever I want 7 days/week…almost.

Fast Day Menu

Finally, what you’ve been coming here for…the food.

On those days when calories are scarce and I’m afraid I’ll forget what food actually tastes like, how do I remind myself? Here’s a menu I do a lot because it has very simple ingredients that any basic person, like myself, would have in their kitchen anyway.

Breakfast: An egg on toast.
Wait…that sounds like what normal people have for breakfast. Amazing, right?
When I’m able to cook at home, this is a great way to start the day: carbs, protein, and coffee too! I even forget for a moment that I’m fasting…but then I snap out of it so I don’t have to start over again tomorrow. That would suck.


Here’s what I use:
1 Egg: 90 cal.
1 Slice Toast: 70 cal.
Non-stick cooking spray: 0 cal.
Coffee: 0 cal.
1 Tbsp. 2% Milk: 10 cal.  

Breakfast Total: 170 cal.

Occasionally, I scramble the egg, but love a runny yolk. Since I use no fat to cook the egg, over-easy is the best way to go because I just coat the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray, cover the egg, and let it steam cook. Non-stick spray is one of my ‘fast cooking’ staples. I NEVER use it on non-fast days. Extra virgin olive oil is my jam. It’s a small sacrifice I make to save a significant amount of calories and I just keep in mind: I can have my EVOO tomorrow!


IMG_0499Dinner: Shrimp Stir-Fry

This is a great 5-ingredient dish. I happened to have frozen shrimp on hand and had just bought a bag of mixed vegetables at the grocery store earlier in the week. I could have used EVOO, but I chose safflower because it’s neutral-flavored. Here’s the ingredient breakdown:

1/2 tsp. Safflower Oil: 20 cal.
1 Clove Garlic: 1 cal.
Mixed Vegetables: 60 cal. (In this case, a bag of broccoli, carrots, & snow peas)
150g Frozen Shrimp: 103 cal.
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce: 10 cal.
Dinner Total: 194


I heated the oil and sautéed the garlic for a minute. Then, I threw in the vegetables and tossed them around for 5 minutes. Next, I added the frozen shrimp and soy sauce and cooked until the shrimp were done.

IMG_0504The next time I make this, I will defrost the shrimp first. It took about 10 minutes for them to thaw out and cook in the pan. Because of that the vegetables were in the pan too long and got too soft for my liking.


At this point, I had consumed under 400 calories and with some blueberries in the fridge, I had something sweet to end the day.

150g Blueberries: 90 cal.




Total for the day: 454 cal. 


If I were a dude, I’d be allowed 100 more calories. I could have doubled up on the shrimp at dinner or had an extra egg at breakfast.

I think I’ve shown it’s not difficult to eat well while fasting with simple ingredients, a little time, and mediocre cooking skills. The hardest part of creating this menu was doing the math, but it gets easier. So does skipping lunch.