My Intermittent Fasting Diary: Week One
This is my journal entry from the first week I decided to embark on the ‘intermittent fasting’ trend. If you’ve ever tried a new eating trend or fancy diet, hopefully you can relate to the ups and downs of my first week.
Monday, Day 1: Intermittent Fasting
5:30 am: Today is the day. I am up bright and early this morning for work. I successfully set the coffee pot to auto-brew at 5:45 am. I diligently chug the glass of water I left beside my bed, as soon as I wake up. After my shower and while getting ready for work, I continue the water drinking.
6:15 am: I make my version of Keto-coffee with just Ghee and MCT oil. According to the plans I am following, this ‘fat bomb’ won’t cause an insulin spike or break my fast. I blend it in the blender and the ‘smoothie’ speed setting causes it to spray all over the counter. I drink what’s left of it on my morning commute.
9:15 am: I make it to my first morning break. Not hungry yet, so it’s not time to ‘break the fast’. I opt another cup of black coffee. I pour the coffee it into the remainder of the keto coffee I didn’t finish from the morning. I nonchalantly sequester myself in the far corner of the break room so I can use my frother to mix everything again. I am not ready for my co-workers to ask questions about this yet.
11:30 am: Definitely starting to feel hungry but no lunch break in sight. (For those of you who are new to Wellness in Healthcare, I work in the Operating Room and we often take breaks or lunches between surgeries or when we get relieved, which ends up being highly variable through out the day, so we grab breaks when we can).
12:30 pm: Lunch break. I decide it’s time to ‘break the fast’ and start the eating window! I start with an apple cider vinegar pre-meal drink followed by a ‘no-oats morning oatmeal’ that I made last night.
2:30 pm: I am hungry again. This time I eat a kidney bean and veggie medley I prepared in advance. A couple of co-workers ask about my ‘healthy lunch’. It’s a bit bland and I will definitely need to add spices next time, but I feel full after finishing it.
4 pm: I am starving when I get home. I eat several tablespoons of peanut butter (spoon in the jar style) and drink a regular coffee with creamer. (Yes, I tend to drink coffee all day, and once the eating window is open, it’s open season on creamer in my coffee).
5 pm: I finally do my planned workout and physical therapy moves for the day. Drinking more water as I go.
6:30 pm. It’s time for dinner when Ari gets home. I (again) am starving. On the menu is grilled chicken and asparagus for dinner with kombucha.
I drink my the rest of the kombucha until the eating window closes at 8:30 pm. My stomach is upset and bloated/angry all evening. I want to blame the beans or maybe the kombucha. Ari thinks it’s the peanut butter.
Tuesday, Day 2: Intermittent Fasting
5: 30 am: Alarm wakeup. My morning routine commences with water chugging and checking on coffee preparations. The coffee is brewing successfully. This time, no blender disasters or extra messes to clean up as I make my keto coffee and head out the door! Yay!
I make it though the morning cases and my first work break without incident. I am diligently sipping water and trying hard to adjust to drinking black coffee.
11:30 am: It’s another break at work, and I am already super hungry. I decide to start my eating window immediately. I drink the Apple Cider Vinegar pre-meal drink and then eat the ‘no-oats oatmeal’. It needed a little flavor, so I added some raspberries and cacao nibs to the mix.
2 pm: Hungry again. I break into the beans and veggie medley as if I haven’t eaten in days.
4:30 pm: Hungry yet again. I find a banana I had forgotten about, tucked away in my bag. At this point, it’s probably better used for banana bread, but I am hungry and its’ brown spots do not deter me. This lasts me until I get home at 6 pm.
6 pm: I am so excited for dinner and more eating! I have been hungry pretty much all day. I eat some peanut butter while waiting for the chicken and veggies to bake. 40 minutes seems like ages when you are waiting for food.
7:30 pm: The eating window closes. My stomach is upset again. I maintain my position that it’s from the beans. My significant other is sure its from all the peanut butter.
Wednesday, Day 3: Intermittent Fasting
5:30 am alarm. I hop out of bed. Not exhausted, but also not bounding with energy. When does that kick in I wonder?
My morning hydration and coffee routine continues to be on point! I am running low on reuseable to-go coffee cups and opt for a Halloween mug. Yes, it’s April and I am no longer seasonally appropriate. I make a mental note to wash more coffee cups tonight!
I make it through my morning break with more water and a green tea. I tried hard to drink black coffee, but it just wouldn’t go down.
I don’t get another break until 1:15 pm.
1:15 pm: It’s definitely time to start the eating window. I am famished!! This time I decide to try the bean and veggie medley first, as it’s a larger portion size than the oats. It seems to ‘hold me over’ much longer.
4 pm: I am hungry and this time go for the no-oats oatmeal (with raspberries and cacao nibs) and a cup of coffee with cream. Yay cream!
6 pm: I get home from work and my physical therapy appointment. I am starving again! More spoonfuls of peanut butter. (Can you see a trend?)
Unfortunately this upsets my stomach almost immediately. I can no longer deny the connection between my peanut butter or almond butter consumption and my immediate upset stomach (TMI: complete with bloating and gas.) Sad face!!
7 pm: I made us chickpea pasta with stir fry vegetables lightly seasoned with sesame oil for dinner.
My eating window comes to a close, and I am not hungry at all. I think I am starting to get the hang of this.
Thursday, Day 4: Intermittent Fasting
5:30 am: Alarm blares. Morning routine: check! I realize I have been forgetting to add a pinch of sea salt to my morning glass of water and quickly add that. Oops! Keto coffee is going strong with newly washed coffee mugs.
9:15 am: Morning break with a cup of green tea and I am good to go!
1 pm: Lunch break: It’s time to start the eating window. I opt for the beans and veggies again as my first meal as it seems to satiate me more than the oats.
3:30 pm: Time for the oats.
5:45 pm: I was supposed to be eating dinner now, but we had neighbors over for a quick meeting.
7:30 pm: Getting super antsy because I only have 30 minutes until my eating window closes. I also now realize that we have no food in the house because we are going away for a long weekend so we didn’t grocery shop this week.
7:48 pm: I have opened every cabinet in the house (twice) and can’t find anything to eat. I finally decide to make a bag of kettle corn popcorn for dinner. To make myself feel a tad healthier, I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast. It’s the best I can do.
7:59 pm: In a fantastic display of just how quickly I can inhale an entire bag of popcorn, I finish the bag just in time for the eating window close. Whew. That was close!
8 pm. Lots of water drinking and I finally start packing for our trip on Friday.
Friday, Day 5: Intermittent Fasting
3:30 am: My alarm goes off. We have a super early flight and have to be at the airport for a 6 am takeoff. Who booked these tickets? Ugh.
3:45 am: Morning water drinking is going well. I remember the sea salt, but skip the keto coffee because I don’t want to drink what I lovingly refer to as a ‘fat bomb’ this early in the morning or before a long flight.
6 am: Flight takes off. It’s an airline that only offers sugary wafer like ‘wafels’, and I politely pass. In my haste to get to the airport, I didn’t pack any snacks or buy any at the airport. Mistake!
8 am: I am starving. No keto coffee to hold me over. My stomach rumbles. Finally, I cave and have a bite of the sugary wafel my boyfriend hadn’t eaten yet. Mistake again!
*This obviously breaks my fast, throws open the eating window, and kicks me into hunger mode.
When our plane lands at 10:30 am in Denver, I have a raging headache and am starving. We have a tight connection between planes, so we pick a couple of ‘grab and go’ sandwiches. I’d like to say I grabbed a water to drink, but I grabbed a Diet Dr. Pepper. I was hoping the caffeine would help with the headache.
11:30 am: We land in Aspen. Finally, we are here! Exhausted and in need of a nap, some Advil, and water. Thankfully we are able to check into the hotel early and promptly take a 3 hour nap.
2:45 pm: We are up and out the door. We want to get a couple of runs in on the mountain ‘just to say we did’. We end the afternoon on the mountain with a beer and spicy tempura cauliflower bites.
7 pm: Dinner reservations. I have no idea when my eating window started with that wafel, but obviously this is way outside the 8 hour eating window. My fast has been anything but intermittent. I chalk this one up as a loss and enjoy dinner and drinks!
Saturday, Day 6: Intermittent Fasting
7 am: Rise and shine! I neglected to bring Keto coffee supplies (Ghee or MCT oil) with me. So no ‘fat bomb’ coffee this weekend. I realize that since I won’t be able to truly fast in the ideal way, that I will make as many healthy choices as possible, while still enjoying myself. I promise that I won’t ‘stress’ about it.
8 am: I head down to breakfast and decide on yogurt, granola, and a banana with regular coffee and creamer.
10 am: We head to the mountain for skiing. It’s oddly quiet. Like super quiet on a mountain for it’s celebratory closing weekend. We ski for a good protion of the day and even hike the highlands bowl.
3 pm: It’s time to head to the base for ‘re-fueling’. I opt for a beer and a kale salad. The kale makes me feel like I am still kinda nailing this ‘healthy thing’.
7 pm: Dinner reservations. Here I opt for the healthiest option I think will still taste good. Oysters, followed by scallops and we decide to skip dessert!
9 pm: Lots of water drinking. I realize I have no sea salt for electrolytes so we snag some coconut water for replenishment before bed.
Sunday, Day 7: Intermittent Fasting
7 am: Rise and shine! By now I have realized the error of my ways by not packing supplies for making hotel room keto coffee. A mistake I vow not make on my next trip.
8 am: Breakfast as usual. The granola and yogurt combo with a grapefruit half and regular coffee.
10 am: We get to the mountain for skiing and closing day shenanigans.
2 pm: After skiing for the morning, we stop by Cloud 9 for some Champagne and to reward ourselves for a great weekend of skiing!
3 pm: We ski to the base to continue the party at the Ale House. I decide that the “Bottle of Prosecco” deal is too good to pass up. Bubbles are my drink of choice and anytime it’s socially acceptable to drink straight from the bottle, I don’t have the willpower to pass that up! So classy, I know.
5:30 pm: In continuing my good decision making, we decide to head back to the hotel. They have just put out freshly baked cookies and hot cocoa in the lobby. After too much Champagne, this seems like a great idea. Much to my boyfriends horror, I put down four cookies like a champion.
6 pm: Passed out in bed. Shocker, I know!
10:30 pm: I wake up when Ari comes back from dinner (without me). He’s bearing gifts for the soon to be hungover: a chicken sandwich and fries. I devour it immediately.
11 pm: My belly is full, but with it comes the realization that all traces of my first week of intermittent fasting have disappeared. What started as a week of embracing Intermittent Fasting and being so excited about trying something new, ended in a spectacular flaming dietary crash.
BUT, all is not lost!
Here are my take-aways from the first week of intermittent fasting:
Hydration as soon as I wake up is important! It’s easy to drink my entire water goal for the day if I start early. (And remember to add the salt!)
Eating a larger meal as soon as my window opens is crucial. It will help me stay satiated longer. I found that by changing the order of my meals as well as the size, I wasn’t so quick to feel hungry again.
I need to avoid peanut butter, almond butter, or any other type of nut butter. This was directly related to some pretty significant GI upset I experienced after consuming it. As much as I love nut butter, this was a sad finding and I need to minimize my intake!
On the plus side, if I stick to my usual 8 hour eating window, I don’t wake up the next morning with that overly full feeling. No ‘rock in my stomach’ feeling which I was happy to part with.
Next time I go on vacation, I will plan to bring single serving packets of Ghee and MCT oil, as well as my frother so that I can make keto coffee in my hotel room. I really believe that the early morning Keto coffee helps set the tone for a day of IF and when I missed it, it clearly threw my mental game and eating habits off.
My other big takeaway was how closely my alcohol intake was correlated to poor dietary decisions. Shocker, I know! So I plan on adjusting that accordingly moving forward. I honestly don’t usually drink very often, but we were celebrating the end of particularly trying chapter in our lives, while enjoying some late season skiing.
So there you have it! The good, the bad, and the ugly from my first week of trying Intermittent Fasting. Next week, I will try again!
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