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Are you an intermittent faster?

Tue, 2 April, 2024

After Easter, once all the chocolate eggs have gone (don’t tell me yours are still lingering in the cupboard?), especially if the sun peeks out momentarily, it’s time to take a good look at ourselves.

I’m the last person to promote ‘beach bodies’ and nonsense like that but neither am I in the body positivity lobby: a body is not positive unless it’s healthy, and excess fat, however gained, is not healthy. So when the big coats go into the cupboards and sleeves shorten, it’s time to shift winter pounds. Are you going (with the rest of the first world) to intermittently fast?

For those unbelievably not in the know, it means eating only within a daily window of a few hours out of 24. It may be 16:8 or 18:6, but if you are seriously disciplined, you could occasionally try OMAD – one meal a day.

I dabbled in it critically a while back, but I have subsequently tried it again and as it turns out, it suits me very well. I eat just one meal, usually dinner but early-ish, at 5 pm. I don’t make any special cooking efforts but prepare whatever I normally would if I’d eaten throughout the day. So it’s either fish or meat, a stir fry with plenty of vegetables added in, a rice dish, a grain dish or a pulse dish, in order to get enough protein and plants. Sometimes I have a biscuit for dessert, or a piece of dark chocolate but otherwise I amaze myself with my restraint.

Of course a diet like this is not appropriate for everyone and might require medical consultation. In may case, I must say I have plenty of energy and no brain fog. I exercise regularly, drink coffee and water during the fasting hours, and at the weekend eat whatever I want, within reason. I didn’t expect it to work so well for me but it surely does.

Anyway: whether food passes our lips once a day or three times a day, let’s make it lean and healthy. Lean doesn’t mean no fat of course, but rather no sugar and sensible amounts of good starches.

If you own a wok, (and even better, if you own The Wok by Kenji Lopez-Alt) you’re laughing because stir fries are really among the healthiest and quickest dishes to prepare (once you’ve done the chopping). They are nutritionally wholesome, and filling if you add a side of wholegrain rice, rice noodles or bulgur wheat which is a surprisingly excellent match to a wok dish. The recipes are hugely adaptable: beef with asparagus can easily be beef with broccoli, beans or mushrooms. Gochujang chicken recipe will serve a pork fillet just as well. And stir fried ginger vegetables sided with rice will make any vegetarian happy and sated.

If you are not a wok person, grab a saucepan. Bulgur wheat is wonderful for weight loss and my bulgur pilaf with red peppers is delicious.

It’s finally ok to eat salads, after the winter spell of comfort food cravings. Chicken and halloumi with peach salsa, cabbage and prawns, Thai beef or smoked fish salad – all those recipes are very rounded, nutritionally complete and satisfactory taste wise.

Wrap your salmon fillet in lettuce leaves, pepper the turkey steak and bake lentils with mushrooms. And if you’re peckish when your 8, 6 or 1 hour window is opening but food isn’t on the table yet, grab a handful of raw, whole almonds. Fibre, protein, satisfaction.

More healthy ideas in my content pages – have a happy healthy week!

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About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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