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.