Picking up on a few previous posts, I mentioned last week that I would try to eat vegan and gluten-free from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch. It was inspired by my brother, a friend from Israel, and the Netflix documentary, Game Changers, which was what turned both of them onto trying a plant-based diet in the first place. I should note that I think it is pretty easy to make people believe almost anything through a well-produced documentary with enough “experts” and/or star power. Nonetheless, I figured it would not do any harm to give this disciplined diet a try. At the very least, it would serve as a practice run for No Meat Week (March 1 – 7). After going gluten-free vegan last week, I felt good enough about it that I am trying it again this week (…more observations to come).
In addition to the restrictions on the diet itself, I also added 16 hour intermittent fasting to the mix. Intermittent fasting is far more familiar to me than the diet as I have tried it for several months out of the past couple of years. A 16 hour fast basically means no eating after dinner until an early lunch the next day. My eating window has generally been from about 11:30am to 7:30pm during the week. If you are a believer in Peter Drucker’s philosophy that “what gets measured gets managed”, you may find good use in the Zero app, an extremely simple tracking app that has really helped me hold myself accountable and fast more effectively, despite my not being much of an app guy.
Lastly, one thing that really helps me both with this diet and with breaking the fast strong is the green smoothie. I often have it for breakfast as a part of my morning routine but when I am fasting it serves as more of a fast breaker / pre-lunch. I got the recipe from my mother who is probably the healthiest person I know. Here it is below.
The Green Smoothie
- 2 handfuls of spinach/kale
- 12 oz almond/coconut milk
- 1 serving of plant protein
- 1 pre-ripe banana
- 1 serving of frozen mixed berries
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- A few shakes of cinnamon
- 1 serving of Fermented turmeric