Before we go into the technique for this recipe, I’d like to touch on something I’m doing this year: Intermittent Fasting (IF). Currently, I fast for 16 hours with a 6-hour window to eat. You would think your body would be game for a free-for-all binge on some unsavory food-stuffs as you come off your fast, but something interesting happens when you give your body time, in my case 16 hours, to digest and go about the work of regeneration without the added complexity of having to digest food every four hours.
Intermittent Fasting Science
In a recent study on the impact of IF on weight loss, the study pointed out numerous other ways the practice of IF positively affects the body (Stockman, Thomas, Burke, and Apovian, 2018). I’m not going to report on all of the benefits listed in this study but will touch on how the practice has impacted me. In addition to weight loss, Stockman et al., (2018) also counted among IF’s possible benefits on the body are reduction of inflammation and improved cognition as well as positively contributing to a healthy gut.
I want to stress before moving on in this article that these are my opinions and my experiences: as with any decision impacting your body or mind, I strongly suggest if you choose to try IF, please consult your doctor first. This word of caution is especially with those in high-risk populations.
While more science-based studies are needed to examine how IF impacts weight and maintaining weight, for me – IF is compelling as a way to take back control of what I am eating; when fasting, you become focused on how and what you are eating. It minimizes the amount of time one spends “mindlessly” eating while maximizing the anticipation of breaking the fast.
The Personal Impact of IF
When one is utilizing IF, I have found I am aware and present during food prep and then while consuming; essentially, I am enjoying the process of thinking of the dishes I will create next, coupled with the tactile act of creating amazing food then literally savoring and salivating over the taste, smells, and textures. My meal planning, creation, and consumption have become much more purposeful. So, as a tool to create awareness and mindfulness, IF could help reacquaint oneself with food, disrupt maladaptive eating habits to reinforce new, healthy eating practices contributing to the choices.
Now, I’ve been IF for 53 days to date and have experienced less bloat, significantly decreased inflammation (just ask my masseuse!), and better concentration and focus. The only negative is hunger discomfort: there are days when that last hour of the fast is difficult (think hangry) but really has been worth the benefits.
Have I lost weight? Inches, I’d say I’ve lost inches. To this end, my clothes are fitting better and I experience less bloating. I also do not go through periods of “expansion and contraction”; for those you suffer from bloating, you know what I’m talking about. With food sensitivity down, I’m not triggering the immune response that creates the cycles of bloat or the added stress that inflammation places on my aging joints: with decreased inflammation, I am experiencing more flexibility and less joint and nerve discomfort.
A Mexican Baked Eggs Recipe to Support IF Behaviors
What better way to greet the end of my fast than with a bowl of Mexican style baked eggs! Typically, I make this with leftover nachos from the night before. I make all types of nachos, but this day I made refried bean nachos.
Pinto beans are very healthy for digestive health because beans or pulses help feed the good bacteria in your gut. Incidentally, I am reinforcing the practice of IF with supportive eating behaviors: WIN! Additionally, one cup supplies men with 40% of their daily requirement of fiber while contributing to a whopping 60% of a woman’s daily fiber intake; beans also pack a mineral and protein boost.
Let’s make this recipe!
|Prep Time||15-30 minutes|
|Cook Time||14-18 minutes|
- 1 cup Dried Pinto Beans
- 1/2 wedge Medium White or Yellow Onion
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 leaf Bay dry or fresh
- 1 chile Guajillo or Pasilla dry
- 1 inch Water enough to cover indicated amount
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tbsps Butter (a pat)
- 1-28 oz Canned Refried Beans (time saving cheat - no shame here)
- 1 cup Shredded Cheese choose your family’s favorite(s)
- 1/2 cup Chopped onion
- 1/2 cup Chopped poblano chile
- 1/2 cup Chopped Kale or other favorite green
- 2-3 tbsps Cultured sour cream or Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsps Favorite salsa
- 1 tbsps Favorite hot sauce
- 1/2 cup Tortilla chips or tortillas
- 1-2 pat Butter to grease the baking vessel(s)
- 4 large Eggs
Refried, by any other name, beans:
For the Nachos:
- To make the refried beans from scratch, you could use a pressure cooker or instant pot: these tools do offer a great deal of time savings. Just follow your multi-tasker’s directions. If you choose to cook the dried beans on the stove, just know you will need to simmer for 3 hours or until the beans have softened.
- After I cook the beans, I drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid (there is flavor in that water!), then set the beans and seasonings aside. I do separate the beans from the onion, garlic, and chile (discard the bay leaf) and put them back into the reserved cooking liquid, which I then pulse in a blender until the chunks of veg and cooking water is blended.
- Meanwhile, in the bottom of a pan melt butter. Add the beans back and lightly mash; add as much cooking liquid as needed to create the desired texture for your “refried” beans.
- If you choose to use canned refried beans – season them to taste. I will doctor-up canned beans with taco seasoning, dried or fresh herbs, fresh ground cumin, and the juice of a fresh lime. As with any recipe, salt (as needed) and (fresh cracked) pepper, to your taste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and thoroughly butter your baking vessel(s).
- Layer, starting with one layer of chips or tortillas: then proceed with a layer of cheese, then onion, pepper, and kale: add a dollop of sauce and another layer cheese.
- Repeat layers: with the final layer, place a last drizzle of the sauce to nestle a cracked egg on top of the final layer.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes until the whites are almost set as when you bring the dish out of the over, anticipate carry-over cooking as the dish cools for 5 minutes otherwise you may overcook the egg yolks.
To Soak or Not to Soak…
Is a valid question. I don’t usually soak dried beans overnight now that I have an instant pot. Some experts say that soaking reduces the amount of flatulence one may experience with eating dried beans. I don’t really have a problem with eating beans. However, if you do struggle with digestion, this may be a good time to point out another benefit to include beans in your diet is promoting gut health. Bean consumption coupled with IF reinforcing a heathy gut biome. I digress.
If you choose to soak, Serious Eats completed a compelling test that discusses salting or not salting your beans. Salting the beans during soaking then rinsing after soaking are recommended for consistent bean cookery. Additionally, adding an additional pinch of salt during cooking contributed to more uniform creaminess with significantly less bean bursting during cooking. If you choose to soak, soak your dried beans overnight, adding 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Check it out yourself (Serious Eats, 2019).
Note on egg placement: If you put the egg on the edges of your dish, the end result will be a yoke that is firm. If you nestle the egg in the middle (center) of your dish, the result will be a runny yoke.
Note on Serving Size: The preparation here was designed for single servings. I used a 8 oz crock or ramekin or oven-proof bowl. If you like you could use a big baking dish and cook 6-8 eggs at one time.
My Mexican Baked Eggs are delish and a nutrient-rich way to break any fast. Now that you have the technique, you could expand on it in so many ways. Try, for instance, replacing the tortilla chips with hash browns, home-fries, or pierogis (mmm...pierogis). Whether or not you choose to try IF, do try this recipe!