Having Good Wholesome Fun with Apple Carrot Muffins

Having Good Wholesome Fun with Apple Carrot Muffins | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup

Article and Photo by Cindy Gay, RDN, LD

There’s no denying my senior friends love to have fun, and after a noon water aerobics class, they’re ready to eat. A baggie of these mini muffins might do the trick and bring a smile. They are 100-percent whole-wheat, have half as much sugar as the original recipe, with extra-virgin olive oil as the fat. Here’s how I made them:

Apple Carrot Mini Muffins

Makes 72 mini muffins


  • 2½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (3 medium carrots)
  • 4 cups shredded apples (4 medium apples)
  • 1 cup olive oil


  1. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Set aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs until starting to froth. Add sugar and honey and beat slightly.
  3. Add carrots, apples and oil to mixing bowl and beat slightly.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixer, mixing only until combined.
  5. Drop by 1 tablespoon scoops into mini muffin pan sprayed with olive oil. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.




5 Foods You Didn’t Know You Should Store in the Fridge

By Andrea Beck

Everyone stores their groceries differently, and sometimes that sparks debate over where specific ingredients should be kept. Should butter go in the fridge or on the counter? What about ketchup? And do you store your nuts in a container in the cupboard or the fridge? Sometimes, the best place to store some of your grocery items can come as a surprise, so we gathered up a few items that could go either way. In most cases, these groceries won’t go bad right away if you happen to leave them on the counter or in your pantry, but they’ll last longer in the fridge (which might mean you can save a little on your grocery bill, too!).


mixed nuts

1. Nuts (and Natural Nut Butters)

We know you’re probably used to leaving your nuts out on the counter or tucked in the pantry, but if you want them to last, it’s better to keep them in the fridge. The oils in nuts can go rancid over time, but storing them in the fridge will help prevent that. You can still store nuts on your countertop for a couple of months, but if you have any that you want to save longer, just pop them in the fridge. If you feel like they’re getting a stale flavor from the fridge, toast them for a few minutes and they’ll be snack-worthy again. The same is true for natural nut butters too, like organic peanut butter. The oils in natural nut butters can also go rancid, so you should keep them in the fridge after opening a jar.

Whole wheat flour

2. Whole Grain and Whole Wheat Flours

Flour is undeniably a pantry staple, but if you stock your shelves with whole grain or whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, you should make some space for it in the fridge. As the name suggests, whole grain flour is made from whole grains of wheat—that includes the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran and the germ are high in vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats, which can go rancid over time (and they can also attract unwanted pests to munch on your flour). To help preserve them and keep away pantry pests, store any whole grain flour you have in your fridge. In contrast, all-purpose flour is usually made with just the endosperm, which doesn’t have as much oil, so it’s fine to keep in your cupboard.

home-style ketchup.jpg

3. Condiments (Like Ketchup and Soy Sauce)

Restaurants may leave their ketchup bottles out on the table, but that doesn’t mean you should. Heinz has stated before that their ketchup is shelf-stable due to its natural acidity, but they also added a caveat: Consumers should still refrigerate their ketchup after opening it. Once your ketchup is open, it’s easier for the product to deteriorate over time, especially after a month at room temperature (you should also refrigerate homemade ketchup). Soy sauce is a similar case—it’s unlikely to spoil if you store it in your cupboard because of its high sodium content, but it can still lose its flavor over time if it’s not stored in the fridge.

corn on the cob

4. Sweet Corn

For the best flavor, you should cook and eat sweet corn right after it’s been picked. But if you wind up with a lot of extra ears on your hands, don’t leave them out on your countertop like you would with most fruits and veggies. Unless you preserve your corn, sweet corn starts to lose its flavor after harvesting. Storing it in the fridge with the husks on will help it to last longer, and keep more of its sweet flavor.

Flour Tortillas

5. Flour Tortillas

It’s true that you probably just grab a bag of tortillas off the shelf at the grocery store, but once you get them home and open them, you should keep leftovers in the fridge. This isn’t a case where your extra tortillas will go bad right away if you leave them on the counter, but they will dry out sooner than if you store them in the fridge. Keeping your flour tortillas in the fridge will extend their shelf-life by as much as a few weeks, so it’s worth saving those extras in the fridge for the next taco night.

These tips may leave you with less space in your fridge, but trust us, they’ll pay off in the long run. While there are plenty of foods that are better left out of the fridge, in these instances, giving up some fridge space will help your groceries last longer and taste fresher when you use them. Plus, you can finally settle the debate in your house about whether ketchup belongs in the fridge or on the counter!

Some good tips from Better Homes and Gardens



7 Foods You MUST Eat If You Want A Flat Belly

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

It’s hard to lose weight in this generation of ‘Healthy Eating’, countless different types of diets have been thrust in our faces.

For example, we have the paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and so on.

It can be difficult trying to follow along and keep up.

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat?

It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

To calm the confusion a little, here are some staples that should always be included in your diet everyday.

By eating these healthy foods that contain the macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients that your body desires, you will improve how you feel and how you look on a daily basis.

These are the healthy foods you should be eating everyday for weight loss.

1. Eggs

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

Simple, I know. But eggs are a food that should be a staple in your everyday diet, and here’s why.

Firstly, in one large-sized egg, you will find around 7 grams of protein, with 6 grams of fat and minimal carbohydrates.

Not only does an egg contain a lot of protein, it also contains high-quality protein.

This is measured by the different types of amino-acid chains found in the protein source.

In eggs, these chains are found in the correct ratios to make it the most effective source of protein.

This is great for your body’s recovery, muscle repair and skin repair.

For those of you looking to lose some weight, eggs can be phenomenally effective as well, containing a good protein and healthy fat content, this keeps people feeling fuller for longer, supporting your dieting efforts.

Furthermore, the micro-nutrients that are found in the yolk of the egg are great for supporting your body functions.

In one large-sized egg, you will find small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral recommended in your recommended daily amount.

The vitamins found in the highest quantities include; Vitamin B12, Vitamin A and Selenium to name a few. All this from just one egg.

And the best part of eggs; are the many different ways you can make them!

Depending how you feel, you could have them scrambled, over easy, sunny side up etc.

This makes them the ideal healthy food you should eat everyday.

2. Sweet Potato

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

If you’re looking for a healthy carbohydrate source, look no further than the sweet potato.

These orange spuds are filled with micro-nutrients to improve your health.

In just one potato, it contains 400% of your daily recommended vitamin A, making it very nutrient dense whilst containing less calories than a regular, white potato.

This complex carbohydrate takes longer to break down and digest than its simple carbohydrate counterpart, leaving you fuller for longer and reducing the chances of snacking during the rest of the day.

It has a high fiber content and has heavy links with reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, important for those who suffer with diabetes.

Sweet potato is often overlooked as a healthy food but provides great health benefits and is easy to make as it can be done in a microwave if you’re in a rush.

With lots of different recipes available, you can include it in your everyday life without it becoming repetitive or boring.

For those looking to lose weight or simply to include more nutrients in your diet, the sweet potato is the perfect carb for you.

3. Spinach/Kale

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

Yes, these leafy greens should be a staple of your healthy diet.

I know it is not something that many look forward to eating or would like to eat everyday.

But the health benefits are amazing!

So, if you can find a way to fit them in, you definitely should.

Here’s why: These two leafy greens are dark green meaning they contain more chlorophyll and packed more densely with nutrients.

These nutrients include Vitamin K, which supports bone growth and is also good for the heart and lungs. Vitamin A, which helps to maintain skin function, giving you better looking skin and also supports the production of red blood cells.

And these dark green vegetables also contain copper, which is healthy for the metabolism, crucial for those looking to lose weight but also for those who want to maintain a healthy weight.

You can blend this into a smoothie or have a salad, but whatever way you want to fit these greens into your diet, they are a healthy food that you cannot afford to miss out of your healthy diet.

4. Chia Seeds

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

Packed with fiber, these healthy little seeds should become part of your everyday diet.

Their fiber content will make sure your digestive tract will run smoothly and will also increase your satiety when you consume them.

However, despite containing all this fiber, it’s the antioxidant qualities of chia seeds that is what makes this healthy food popular and recommended by experts.

These antioxidants fight molecules that damage your cells and increase your risk of cancer as well as also helping with anti-aging.

These tiny little seeds also contain a good amount of high-quality protein which has been proven to reduce craving and leave you feeling fuller for longer.

Making it a food that can also support weight loss in addition to a healthy source of nutrients.

This healthy food has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease which a massive 610,000 people die from in the USA every year. Including these seeds in your diet everyday could reduce this shocking statistic and will prevent you from suffering the same fate.

There are several simple ways you can get these into your diet; you can add them to a drink or a yogurt and you wont even notice they are there.

But you will notice the health benefits they provide.

5. Almonds

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

Many are aware they should eat nuts for a healthy, balanced diet.

However, they are unsure which ones they should eat, and the quantities in which they should eat them.

By far the best nut to consume for a healthy diet are almonds.

Not the salted kind though, they contain way too much sodium!

Plain almonds are the way to go, rich in nutrients, fiber and protein; they are a healthy food that you should be eating everyday.

If you are looking to lose weight, then look no further than almonds.

These nuts are high in healthy fats and protein, meaning they stave of the hunger attacks and lead to a reduced appetite.

A number of studies support this statement with one showing that participants who ate a handful of almonds a day lost more weight and reduced their weight circumference significantly more than those on a nut free diet.

As well as weight loss benefits, these nuts also contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant which builds up in cell membranes and prevents oxidative damage to these cells.

Studies have supported the claim that having a high vitamin E content in your diet can lead to reduced risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

The health benefits of almonds are incredible, providing a lowered cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and supporting blood sugar control.

These nuts really are a superfood!

6. Berries

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

Berries are very good for you, and not only because they’re one of your five a day.

They are high in antioxidants and help to fight chronic diseases.

Not to mention the fact that, unlike some of the above healthy foods, these are very tasty and appealing to the palate.

So why not add some of these delicious super-fruits into your diet?

For example, in one cup of blackberries there is a huge 7 grams of fiber, supporting digestion and increasing satiety and these berries have also been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Not only that, but they are also packed with vitamins, such as vitamin A and C; and minerals, such as calcium and iron, to improve your body’s functions and overall health.

Berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruits you could eat, providing health benefits such as cell protection from free radicals as well as reducing your risk of heart disease.

Like all the healthy foods listed above, berries are also high in fiber. Meaning these tasty little treats actually reduce hunger and support your digestive system, getting rid of waste substances from your body.

The nutrient content in this healthy food is one reason alone why you should eat them everyday, with a high content of Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper and Vitamin K to name a few. And all for a very low number of calories as well.

So, if your looking for a delicious, nutrient dense, healthy food to include in your everyday diet, look no further than a cup of berries.

7. Oats

What counts as a healthy food? What should you be eating? What shouldn’t you be eating? How much of this should you eat? It can all be overwhelming, even for the experts!

This basic breakfast has become a staple in the diets of fitness fanatics.

Plain and simple, yet packed with health benefits.

This carbohydrate source is possibly the healthiest grain on the planet.

It is also considered to be the best carbohydrate source for those looking to lose weight as it is one of the most filling forms of the macro-nutrient.

Often why it is recommended to eat at breakfast, in the form of oatmeal or porridge, to get you through the day.

Oats, like many others on this list, have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels as well as help to regular blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Making it a must have for those with type 2 diabetes and those who struggle with their blood sugar levels.

Having half a cup of oats everyday can drastically improve your health with the fiber, the nutrients and the antioxidants that it contains, so what are you waiting for.

The number of oat recipes are endless, all you have to do is find one you enjoy.

Add These Healthy Foods To Your Diet Today

Now, you may be wondering, ‘How on earth am I going to fit all of these in my diet on a daily basis?’

But it’s quite simple: You could fit many of these into one, big healthy breakfast.

For example, you could have half a cup of oats as a porridge in the morning.

You could mix your chia seeds in with that.

Along with having a side of eggs – scrambled, over easy or whatever style suits you.

You could have a smoothie with a mix of berries and a cup of kale, this could be with breakfast or as a snack.

That is 5 of these super-foods packed into a nutritiously dense breakfast to kick start your day.

You could then have a handful of almonds as a snack at any point throughout the day and make sure that you have a portion of sweet potato with one of your meals.

And voila! You have all these healthy foods incorporated in your daily diet.

You do not have to follow this method to get these foods in your diet however all that matters is that you make sure that you eat these healthy foods on a daily basis.

If you eat all these nutrient packed foods, you will look and feel better in no time.

This is why these are all healthy foods that you should be eating everyday!

A Simple Weight Loss Plan

If you’re still unsure about how to eat, what to eat or what to avoid, don’t worry you’re not alone. There is a little-known diet plan called the Flat Belly Fix which will teach you these things. Getting that in check will increase your metabolism and allow you to shed weight and shed it fast.

Women who have followed the Flat Belly Fix reported losing up to 21 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 3 weeks—the methods in the Flat Belly Fix are all backed by science.

The Flat Belly Fix is the only 21-day rapid weight loss system that allows women to lose an average of 1 lb a day for 21 days—without feeling hungry or deprived!


Are Smoothies Healthy? 5 Ways Your Smoothie Is Making You Gain Weight

By Mandy Ferreira and Tiffany Ayuda

Just because your smoothie is packed with fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean it’s low in calories or good for you. Even green smoothies can cause weight gain if you aren’t careful about what you put in it. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, your favorite blended beverage might be disguising unwanted calories, sugar, and fat.

Is it healthy to have a smoothie for breakfast?

Yes, smoothies can make a healthy breakfast, as long as they’re filled with a good balance of nutrients, including protein, carbs, and healthy fats, according to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. Unlike juices, smoothies don’t strip the fiber from vegetables and fruits so they’re more filling.

“Smoothies can make a healthy breakfast, but they’ve evolved into having a health halo even if you put a lot of fruit juice and syrups into them,” Taub-Dix says. “It can make you feel invigorated for a little bit because of the sugar high, but then you’re left feeling hungry shortly afterward.”

To make your smoothie more filling and reduce the sugar content, dietitians recommend getting between 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal. Protein powders are an excellent way to pack in this essential macronutrient, but be sure to choose varieties that have little to no sugar and have zero artificial sweeteners.

You also want to be wary about the kind of liquid base you choose. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and lack protein and fat. Instead, go for low-fat milk or an unsweetened, non-dairy milk alternative of your choice, like almond, coconut, or cashew. They won’t have as much protein as cow’s milk, but they’ll have some healthy fats that’ll help curb hunger.

“I like using Almond Breeze’s unsweetened almond milk,” says Taub-Dix. “It’s only 30 calories per serving and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamins D and E. It’s also a good source of vitamin A and is lactose-, gluten-, and dairy-free so the whole family can enjoy it.”

Healthy fats can also come from unsweetened nut butter, and hemp, chia, or ground flax seeds; they add bit of crunch, too, for digestion. “Adding some 2% Greek yogurt also incorporates healthy fats and protein without loading too many calories. It also adds creaminess and volume, so it promotes satiety,” Taub-Dix says.

Moreover, adding low-sugar fruits to your smoothie is a good way to add infuse some natural sweetness without sugar—just remember to stick to only one or two servings. Overloading your smoothies with fruit can cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket and crash quickly. Using frozen fruits instead of fresh ones also helps thicken your smoothie and makes them creamier.

To further promote satiety and aid digestion, Taub-Dix suggests eating your smoothie in a bowl with a spoon, rather than slurping it down with a straw.”It’s actually better to chew and swallow food rather than drinking food for fullness,” says Leah Groppo, a clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care. For the record, there’s no evidence that blending your food increases how well you absorb the nutrients. Blended food just moves through you faster, which means you may end up actually absorbing less than if you were to chew the food.

Are smoothies as good as eating fruit?

Yes and no. If you load up on too much fruit and use fruit juice as your base, then you run the risk of consuming too much sugar and calories, Taub-Dix says. However, if you limit your fruit intake to no more than two servings in your smoothie, then you’re getting a healthy amount of fruit while reaping their antioxidants.

Are green smoothies healthy?

If you have trouble eating enough vegetables, smoothies are a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet with the flavors you love. Tossing in dark, leafy greens ensures you’re getting a hefty dose of vitamins A and K, as well as fiber, but frozen cauliflower, sweet potato, and zucchini are also great options. For an additional nutrition boost, consider popping in some turmeric, matcha powder, or adaptogens, and warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom for flavor.

“Some people who are vegetable averse will find it easier to sip on a green smoothie if it tastes like strawberry banana. And then, there are some people who like to load up on greens and blend it with fresh herbs instead of fruit. It all depends on your taste preference,” Taub-Dix says.

But you also want to be mindful of portions: Groppo recommends keeping snack smoothies under 150 calories and any that you drink as a meal under 350 calories, if you’re trying to lose weight. People who are trying to maintain their weight can go up to 500 to 600 calories for a filling meal replacement shake.

Now that you know how to turn a smoothie into a healthy meal, here are some other ways your smoothie can be sabotaging your weight loss—and how to fix it.

Your smoothie glass is too big

Chia pudding healthy and sugarfree food
hocus-focusGetty Images

The mistake: You may feel virtuous gulping down a hefty smoothie, but you’re easily eating more than you realize. Smoothies can contain a pound or more of produce—significantly more than you would ever eat raw. All of that adds up to extra calories, carbohydrates, and sugar. A smoothie should be no more than eight to 10 ounces, according to Groppo. Most pre-made or made-to-order smoothies are nearly twice that at 16 or 24 ounces. Some smoothies are also overloaded with other foods, like granola and more fresh fruit. But in reality, you don’t need these add-ins.

How to fix it: Measure out 8 ounces and freeze the extra for later. When you order out, order the kid’s size—it’s usually closer to 10 ounces. Or, ask for two cups and divide it up so you aren’t tempted to drink the whole thing in one go. You can always freeze or share your uneaten portion.

Your smoothie has too many ingredients

Top view of rainbow colored fruits and vegetables on a white table.
Anna ShkuratovaGetty Images

The mistake: Even low-calorie foods—like fruits and vegetables—add up. And many smoothies include ingredients like yogurt, whipped cream, sweeteners, sorbet, or even ice cream that increase the calories. Bottled and made-to-order smoothies can easily pack in 300 to 600 calories in 16 ounces. “Don’t assume that one package or one bottle is one serving,” says Groppo. “Look at the nutrition label to see how many servings are in it.”

How to fix it: Keep an eye out for smoothies with added nut or seed butter, coconut oil, or avocado, as these all add significant amounts of calories. If you grab a smoothie for a snack, don’t forget to include it in your total calories for the day.

Your smoothie is loaded with sweeteners

pouring honey into jar of honey
nitrubGetty Images

The mistake: Your taste buds don’t lie: If your smoothie tastes sweet, it’s likely full of sugar—many store-bought options have almost as much sugar as a soda. Jamba Juice’s banana berry smoothie, for instance, has a whopping 59 grams in 16 ounces. The problem is, many store-bought smoothies have added sugars, often in the form of white sugar, syrup, honey, or maple syrup. Excessive sugar can leave you tired and cranky a couple of hours later and wreak havoc on your blood sugar.

How to fix it: Make sure your smoothie has more vegetables than fruits, and opt for low-sugar vegetables like kale, spinach, cucumber, and zucchini. Stick to no more than two servings of fruit in your smoothie.

You’re not eating your smoothie with a spoon

Spoon with delicious acai smoothie for healthy breakfast, close up
belchonockGetty Images

The mistake: The rush of sugar from a smoothie spikes your blood sugar and leaves you feeling tired and hungry just hours later. A lack of protein and healthy fats also means you get hunger pangs sooner.

How to fix it: Slow down. Eat a smoothie with a spoon instead of slurping it up with a straw. Plus, when you actually sit down and chew your food, your body secretes hormones that help increase satiety (or how full you feel), says Groppo. Adding fats and protein will help make you feel full longer. Half of an avocado is around 117 calories, and half a cup of Greek yogurt is around 100 calories. An extra boost of fiber and protein from hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax meal can also help keep you full.

You’re drinking a smoothie at the wrong time

Female runner tying shoe lace in the park.
LifemomentGetty Images

The mistake: Your body is better able to handle sugar at different times of the day. The more active you are, the better your body can process and absorb sugar. Better absorption means that your blood sugar won’t spike as much and you won’t be left tired and hungry hours later. Some people like to drink a smoothie first thing in the morning or as a meal replacement.

How to fix it: Enjoying a smoothie post-workout is best, but otherwise stick to lunch or another part of the day when you’re the most physically active. Taub-Dix says that liquids are more readily digested than solids, which makes it great as an after-workout beverage, when you need the quick carbs, protein, and sugar.

Celebrity chef who has cooked for Oprah loses 26lb in a matter of weeks WITHOUT exercising

She ditches three food groups.

By  Matilda Rudd For Daily Mail Australia

Bridget Davis smiling for the camera: The well known chef and mother-of-three was the heaviest she had ever been at 90 kilos and was terrified of appearing before a crowd to toast her latest recipes

Being told she would have to appear on Australian morning show to promote her first cookbook was all the encouragement Bridget Davis needed to lose excess weight.

The celebrity chef and mother of three was the heaviest she had ever been at 200 lbs. and was terrified of appearing before a crowd in 2018.

“I thought I was going to look like an elephant up there,: the 44-year-old told the Daily Mail, particularly as she’d already been told “the camera adds 10 pounds.”

She had a little over a month before she was due to appear on the popular “Studio 10” show and set to work researching ways she could safely drop the weight.

a person standing next to a body of water: 'I thought I was going to look like an elephant up there,' the 44-year-old told FEMAIL, particularly as she'd already been told 'the camera adds 10 kilos'© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited ‘I thought I was going to look like an elephant up there,’ the 44-year-old told FEMAIL, particularly as she’d already been told ‘the camera adds 10 kilos’

What three things did Bridget Davis cut from her diet?

* Sugar

* Gluten

* Dairy

She started to reintroduce sugar and high quality dairy after nine months of “dieting” but has a gluten intolerance.

“I thought about going to the gym and exercising like a crazy person but I don’t really like those kinds of workouts,” the Sydney-based chef said.

“So I started looking into gut health and realized this could be the way to do it. I eliminated gluten, sugar and dairy and instantly felt lighter and less bloated. In just over three weeks I lost 26 lbs. so I knew it was working.”

She limited her fruit intake to just one apple a day and stopped eating honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners.

Davis began to notice that she picked up the natural sweetness in foods you otherwise wouldn’t think could be sweet, like cabbage.

“I make a seaweed-based soup and leave the shredded cabbage to soak on top… and I can really taste the sweetness!” she said.

For breakfast she would start the day with chicken breast, turkey meatballs or prawns because the protein would sustain her until mid-morning.

In total she lost 66 lbs. eating this way and has maintained her goal weight for at least eight months, slowly reintroducing small amounts of sugar and dairy.

But one of the best things to come out of her journey was her Facebook page Bridget’s Kitchen, which Davis used to share recipes she was eating on her lifestyle.

Now, with 60,000 followers, the chef has reintroduced good quality dairy like certain butters and cheese, but steers clear of cow’s milk.

“I also cook with avocado oil and coconut oil now,'” she said. “But I stay away with gluten because it still doesn’t agree with me.”

What does Bridget eat in a day?

Breakfast: Chicken breast or prawns, turkey meatballs. Protein for breakfast helps you stay fuller for longer.

Lunch: The heartiest meal of the day for me. I have a cottage pie – use a very lean beef mince, lots of spices, almost like a gravy, top it with roasted garlic cauliflower mash.

Dinner: Stir fry, something quick. I don’t have much time. 10-15 minutes maximum. I like doing things with fish, throwing things in the air fryer. Cook without any oil and fat.

Davis knows how important diet is when it comes to weight loss because her journey was 100 percent based on the food she put in her mouth.

But as Australia edges closer to the cold depth of winter – and hunger increases – she said there is a way to have your cake and eat it too.

“If you’re wanting something comforting try oven-roasted meatballs. You can even put some mozzarella cheese in there to make it even tastier,” she said.

Despite having once cooked for Oprah, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and King and Queen of Tonga, Davis said she feels nervous cooking for anyone.

“While you definitely feel there is additional pressure I get just as nervous serving for six people coming to my house for dinner,” she said. “It’s always about the meal you’re creating and not just about who for.”

Earlier this year the chef won a world Gourmand cookbook with her second cookbook “Breakfast Around The World.”

That same book was also named by UNESCO as one of the most influential cookbooks of the past three years, and is currently on display at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.


The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting Pt 3

Can I Eat Or Drink During My Fasting Window

During your fasting window, you need to refrain from consuming any food or beverages that contain calories. So….. no food. But you have several beverage options, and these are important, because it is critical to keep yourself hydrated while fasting. Plus, there are certain drinks which can even help enhance the benefits of your intermittent fasting plan. Sweet!

1. Water

Water is always a great choice, all day long, every day. It can be still or sparkling, whatever you enjoy. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water, or infuse a pitcher of water with cucumber or orange slices. But make sure you stay away from any artificially-sweetened water enhancers (like Crystal Light). The artificial sweetener will wreak havoc on your insulin levels, which defeats the entire purpose of fasting!

2.  Coffee

Technically, black coffee is a calorie-free beverage, and many people drink it during fasting with no adverse effects. There are some people who experience a racing heart or upset stomach if they use coffee during a fast, so monitor your own experience. You can can drink caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, but any sweetener or milk is prohibited. Spices like cinnamon are totally fine!

Bonus:  black coffee might actually enhance some of the benefits of intermittent fasting. This study demonstrated that taking in caffeine can increase ketone production, which means you’re more likely to slide into fat-burning mode even faster.  Coffee has also been shown to improve your insulin sensitivity over the long term, which means more stable blood sugar.

3.  Broths

A bone or vegetable broth is recommended for anytime you decide to fast for 24 hours. Beware of canned broths or bouillon cubes, as these have tons of artificial flavors and preservatives that will counteract the effects of your fast. A good homemade broth, or one made by a trusted source, is the way to go.

4.  Tea

Tea just might be the secret weapon that not only makes your fasting plan easier, but also more successful. All types of tea are great to drink during a fast, including green, black, oolong and herbal. But green tea in particular has been proven to help suppress appetite and enhance weight loss. (21) And tea in general boosts the effectiveness of intermittent fasting by promoting gut health, probiotic balance and cellular detoxification.

5.  Apple Cider Vinegar

Drinking apple cider vinegar has numerous health benefits, and you can definitely continue drinking it while intermittent fasting. And since apple cider vinegar helps to regulate your blood sugar and improve your digestion, it make actually enhance the effects of your intermittent fasting plan.

6.  Drinks to Avoid

There are a few beverages that you might not realize are capable of breaking your fast. That just means that if you consume these, you will knock your body out of the fat-burning mode that intermittent fasting put you in: diet soda, coconut water, almond milk, and alcohol!

Even though diet soda technically doesn’t have any calories, the artificial sweetener it contains will spike your insulin levels and wreak havoc with your blood sugar. Same goes for alcohol. And coconut water and almond milk both tend to be very high in sugar. Sugar equals carbs, so as soon as you consume these, you are no longer considered to be fasting.

Tea and Intermittent Fasting:  The Perfect Match

If you’re trying to stick to a new intermittent fasting plan, you’re going to want to see what we’ve learned about tea. Not only can tea make your fasting experience more enjoyable and manageable, but it will actually make your intermittent fasting more effective.

Considered to be a health elixir in many ancient cultures, this simple drink is a powerhouse enhancer for your intermittent fasting lifestyle. You know all those incredible proven benefits you can get from intermittent fasting? Well, drinking the right kind kind of tea will actually increase the health benefits you experience.

Read on to discover the documented benefits that drinking tea can unlock for you, which teas you should be drinking, and also how much.  Cheers!

How Tea Enhances the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

1. Dramatically reduces hunger pangs

Especially in the first couple of weeks of intermittent fasting, it can be very normal to experience hunger pangs. Please know, this is NOT because intermittent fasting causes any kind of starvation.

Those hunger pangs are simply a function of the fact that your system is spoiled and used to being fed every few hours. But remember, your body doesn’t actually move from the “fed” state to the “fasted” state until approximately 4 hours after you’ve had your last meal. You don’t want to give up on one of the most potentially beneficial eating plans around just because of a growling tummy, right?
Pique Tea and Intermittent Fasting

Tea to the rescue! It’s not just something to fill your belly. Green tea catechins have been proven to lower your ghrelin levels.(22) What’s ghrelin, you ask?  Ghrelin is a hormone known as the “hunger hormone,” and it is the primary culprit of those annoying hunger pangs. For many of us, lifestyle, environmental and biological stressors can lead to a hormone imbalance which will actually set off hunger pangs that have nothing to do with a true need to eat.

Normalizing your ghrelin levels will alleviate this problem and help you adapt to intermittent fasting with minimal discomfort. Now that’s a fast fix!

2.  Aids in weight loss

Green tea in particular has been proven time and time again to be a successful aid in reducing body fat and LDL cholesterol.(23)(24) This goes above and beyond mere weight loss — these are true long-term health benefits!

The catechins in green tea seem to be particularly effective in burning visceral abdominal fat, which is the most unhealthy (and potentially dangerous!) fat that your body stores. In fact, studies have shown that green tea can aid in reducing waist size without changing body weight. (25)

The other way tea can aid weight loss is because caffeine has actually been proven to increase your body’s production of ketones.(26) This means you’ll slide into a fat-burning mode even sooner.

3.  Improves Autophagy (Promotes Anti-Aging)

Auto what?  Your body relies on a process called “autophagy” to clear out old and damaged tissues and cells. You can think of it as housecleaning for your body on a cellular level. Autophagy is necessary to maintain muscle mass, reduce the progression of age-related diseases, and maintain mental health and function.

When you fast and give your body a break from the constant effort of digesting food, it is able to focus more energy on the repair functions of autophagy. (27) Even better, drinking tea has been found to enhance the rate of autophagy in your body. This enhanced autophagy is the scientific reason behind why both tea and intermittent fasting have been linked to anti-aging.

4.  Boosts detoxification

What makes tea such a unique substance is the polyphenols contained in tea leaves. Polyphenols are antioxidants that battle free radicals found in your body and have powerful detoxification properties. Ingesting polyphenols can help you experience improved gut health and digestion, healthier skin, sustained energy, improved mental clarity, a stronger immune system and reduced stress.

Tea is hands-down the richest source of polyphenols found in nature, but you do need to make sure you are getting them in sufficient quantity to experience these detoxification benefits.

Teas That Enhance Intermittent Fasting

The word “tea” often gets thrown around in a general sense when talking about healthy drinks. But have you ever found yourself staring down the tea selection at your local coffee shop or grocery store aisle and feeling overwhelmed? Us too! Especially if you’re new to tea-drinking, it can be daunting to figure out which type of tea you should choose! We want to help you break it down by highlighting the four types of tea which can be most beneficial to use as intermittent fasting tea.

Green Tea

Did you know that green tea is considered to be the healthiest drink in the world, right after water? It’s true!

As mentioned above, the catechins in green tea are proven to aid in reduction of body fat and LDL cholesterol.  And since green tea contains not only these amazing catechins, but also caffeine, these two elements work together to boost your metabolic rate and ability to burn fat.

In fact, one study showed that your daily calorie expenditure could increase by up to 4% by drinking green tea. (28) When that increase is happening on a daily basis, it makes more of a difference than you’d think!

The green tea catechins are also potent antioxidants, which are thought to protect the body from cellular damage and inflammation. And don’t forget what we mentioned above about green tea affecting your ghrelin levels, so you’ll definitely want to grab a cup anytime you’re struggling with hunger pangs or cravings.

Black Tea

Fun fact: black tea and green tea are derived from the exact same plant! The only difference is in how the tea leaves are processed. Black tea leaves are fermented, while green tea leaves are not.

While green tea has continually claimed all the attention of the health world, black tea is finally starting to get the recognition it is due, particularly because of its fermented properties. Most people don’t realize that black tea is a very potent prebiotic, excellent for promoting balanced gut health!

The fermentation process means that black tea provides slightly less antioxidants than green tea, but it also means that black tea provides more caffeine.

This might make black tea a great choice for you, because caffeine can not only help give you energy if fasting is causing you to lag, but it also has been shown to enhance your ability to switch to fat-burning (ketosis) and increase the rate of autophagy in your body.

The compounds found in black tea have been linked to increased heart health, plus improved digestion and detoxification, and even reduced stress levels. Black tea contains something called methyl xanthine, which boosts your serotonin levels.  Increased serotonin leads to improved mood and relaxation.

So if you happen to find yourself stressed about your new intermittent fasting regimen, or maybe a bit grumpy during the hours you can’t eat (it’s okay, we won’t tell!), black tea might be your new best friend.

Ginger Tea

A tea with added ginger is an excellent option while fasting. Ginger is well known for its ability to soothe an upset stomach, but drinking it can actually reduce hunger pangs and cravings. Ginger also has the added benefits of improving your digestion and boosting your immune system. So you can be less hungry and stay healthier too!

Rooibos Tea

Known to be a potent detoxification elixir, rooibos tea is an excellent herbal option, for when you don’t want the caffeine boost that green and black teas will give you. Legend has it that Cleopatra drank rooibos tea regularly for clear and glowing skin. She was on to something, because rooibos does indeed help the body fight off toxins and improve circulation.

Even better, rooibos also supports your liver in processing fats and clearing them from the body. One study showed that rooibos caused existing fat to be metabolized faster and prevented new fat cells from forming.(29) No wonder rooibos tea is considered to be a powerful addition to an intermittent fasting plan!

Drinks and Other Tips to Help Your FastFasting and Autophagy

Autophagy is how your body detoxifies and repairs itself. And considering it plays a major role in anti-aging, we wanted to share a little more about this fascinating cellular process, including what health benefits you can expect and also how to turn it on!

Benefits of Autophagy
Autophagy is sort of like cell recycling. We all know that recycling is good for the planet, but what can this cellular recycling do for our bodies? For starters:
Might help you live longer
Protects your brain
Reduces inflammation
Helps fight disease
Full disclosure, the function of autophagy was only discovered in the past few decades, so we’re still learning about all of its implications. Many more long-term studies on humans are required before we know more, but for now, scientists who have been studying autophagy are referring to it as having a “key role in preventing diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune diseases and infections.” (34) Here’s more about what we know:

1. Might help you live longer

It’s virtually impossible to prove that any one thing can help every person live a longer life. All we can do is look at the science and decide what might work for us. So consider these facts: One of the primary reasons our bodies age is because of the accumulation of damaged parts of our cells. The more damaged cells we have, the faster we age.

Now, autophagy clears out these damaged cellular components, which means that increasing autophagy can help slow down the aging process.(35) And this is more than just a theory — scientific studies show that increasing autophagy can extend the lifespan of several species of animals.(36)

Is this a fountain of youth for humans? The evidence isn’t quite so black and white, but we do know that increased autophagy can reduce your risk of contracting disease, and that’s definitely a great way to live longer!

2.  Protects your brain

The health of your brain cells can be very dependent on autophagy. Scientists have learned that many neurodegenerative disorders are caused by deformed proteins accumulating around the neurons of the brain.(37) This causes death of brain cells which leads to a gradual loss of mental functioning. Yikes!

But if autophagy is running at a normal or increased rate, these problematic proteins are more likely to get cleared out so that they can’t accumulate and wreak havoc on your neurons.(38)

3.  Reduces inflammation

We typically associate inflammation with something unhealthy, right? Like putting too much strain on our muscles can make them inflamed, or eating a poor diet can cause our digestive tract to flare up. The truth is that even a superhumanly healthy person will eventually experience inflammation as part of aging.

Here’s the unfair reality: no matter how healthy your lifestyle, the world exposes you to toxins that eventually cause a buildup of free radicals in your body. These free radicals cause cell damage, and this happens at an increased rate as we get older. The cell damage is what causes inflammation in our bodies, and that inflammation can put you at greater risk for contracting disease.

The scary part is you might not even realize you’re suffering from inflammation! It’s not always as obvious as being sick. Do you battle regular headaches or just feel tired all the time? Maybe it’s remarkably difficult for you to lose weight? Inflammation could be the culprit.

Since cell damage is what leads to inflammation, getting rid of damaged cells is the key. And that is precisely what autophagy does. Autophagy is essentially the general housekeeping of your cells, sweeping away any of their damaged organelles. (39)

4.  Helps Fight Disease

Autophagy helps keep you illness-free on two fronts: 1) by battling pathogens in your body and 2) by boosting your immune system so you don’t catch as many illnesses to begin with.

When you have an infection, there is a certain amount of toxins that build up within your cells. Autophagy is responsible for clearing these out. (40) This is why it’s so important that autophagy is working properly — the faster these toxins get out, the faster your recovery!

Autophagy is also particularly important to battling infectious disease. There are nasty little microbes that find their way into your cells when you contract an infectious disease. Studies have shown that autophagy can clear these microbes right out, including those associated with tuberculosis, streptococcus and HIV. (41)(42)(43)

How to Boost Autophagy

If you’d like to avail yourself of any of those benefits above, you might be wondering just how you can increase your body’s own rate of autophagy.  That’s what we wanted to know, and we’ve learned that there are three main ways to boost autophagy: 1) fasting 2) exercising and 3) sleeping.

1. Intermittent Fasting

One of the reasons that intermittent fasting has become so popular is because it has been linked to anti-aging benefits. And, you guessed it, the reason intermittent fasting diets can claim to slow aging is because of autophagy.

Studies have demonstrated that the restricted eating schedules of intermittent fasting do indeed activate autophagy in your body. (44) That’s because it creates a condition of stress on your cells.

Here’s how it works: while you’re in the fasting period of your eating schedule, your cells no longer have a ready supply of nutrients coming to them. In order to make sure your cells can keep functioning without this nutrient supply, your body turns to autophagy to increase the recycling of the useful parts of your cells. (45)

2.  Exercise

Another very productive way to harness the benefits of autophagy is through exercise. You see, when you stress your lungs, muscles and cells through exercise, your body automatically fires up the autophagy process to help your cells recover from that stress. (46)

Do you remember learning that strength training actually creates little tears in your muscles, and that’s how you get stronger? Well, in order to heal those little tears in your muscle fibers, your body relies on autophagy.  So essentially, exercise helps your cells detox.

3.  Sleep

Okay, so technically sleeping is not putting stress on the body. However, studies have shown that getting proper sleep is absolutely critical to autophagy. You know how the circadian rhythm affects your sleep cycle? Well it also affects your autophagy cycle. If you’re skimping on sleep, your body will not cycle through autophagy as fully as it is meant to do. (47)

Frequently Asked Fasting Questions

If you’re still not sure this intermittent fasting thing is for you, we want to take a minute and answer the most common concerns.

How can an eating schedule have so many benefits?

Turns out, the time we spend eating can be just as important to our health as the foods we are eating. Here’s why: at any point in time, your body is either “fed” or “fasted.” While you might assume that your “fed” time only includes the time spent eating, it actually refers to the approximately 4-hour period of time in which your body is digesting and absorbing the food you’ve eaten.

So let’s say you finish eating dinner at 6pm.  Your body actually remains in a fed state until approximately 10pm. Only then does your body enter the fasted state. Assuming, of course, you haven’t had any nighttime snacks after dinner!

intermittent fasting

Why should you care about whether or not you’re in a fasted state? Because that is where all the good stuff happens. Not only does your body shift to burning stored fat once it enters the fasted state, but a number of other metabolic changes happen here that are responsible for the wide array of health benefits described above.(53)

Getting into the fasted state is actually pretty rare for most of us. That’s why the sole purpose of intermittent fasting is to allow your body to get into a fasted state and stay there for a couple hours.

So when should I eat?

Hands down the most popular intermittent fasting plan is called the 16:8. It means you fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours of your day.

The best part is that you can start your 8-hour window anytime you want. For example, you can try skipping breakfast and only eating lunch and dinner. Need your breakfast? No problem, just skip your dinner instead. Experiment with different windows until you figure out what works well for your lifestyle and personality, and what makes you feel physically at your best.

What should I eat?

Because intermittent fasting plans are purely concerned with WHEN you eat, it’s easy to get confused about WHAT you should be eating during your eating window. Technically, intermittent fasting has no rules about this. You’ll find many intermittent fasting guides that tell you to eat whatever you want.

That being said, it’s common sense that the benefits you reap from fasting will be limited by your food choices while eating.

If you happen to be following a Ketogenic (“Keto”) diet or have been considering one, it actually complements intermittent fasting very well.  You can read more about combining the two above.

What should I drink?

During your fasting window, you need to refrain from consuming any food or beverages that contain calories.  So….. no food. But you have several beverage options, and these are important, because it is critical to keep yourself hydrated while fasting.

Further above, we’ve got a quick-start guide to the drinks that can help your fasting journey.

Won’t I be tired while fasting?

This super common concern about fasting has actually been disproven time and time again. Because intermittent fasting provides your body with more breaks from the digestive process, it will actually give you more energy and boost your productivity.

And if you’re worried that you won’t be able to keep up your regular fitness routine while fasting, not to fear. Studies show that exercising while following an intermittent fasting plan can actually be even more beneficial than just exercise alone.(54)

Isn’t fasting bad for my metabolism?

Quite the opposite! Long-term starvation diets can certainly harm your metabolism, but an intermittent fasting schedule has actually been proven to boost the metabolism (55). And while many weight loss programs result in loss of lean muscle mass, intermittent fasting only targets your stored fat, so you get to preserve all your muscle tissue, which is so critical in keeping your metabolism humming along (56).

I’m terrible at diets, how do I stick through them?

You’re not alone. But people who try intermittent fasting overwhelmingly discover that it is surprisingly easy to implement. The main reason diets fail is because behavior change is hard. But with this, there’s only one rule to follow, and there’s zero advance planning.

In other words, it’s simple enough that you’ll actually be able to keep it up! There’s even scientific research indicating that “subjects quickly adapt” to an intermittent fasting plan, making it a highly effective technique (57).

When can I expect to see results?

As with any diet, results certainly vary. However, in most cases you might have a one to two-week adjustment period where you experience lethargy or hunger cravings. We highly recommend drinking tea to help you out, as it will quell your cravings, boost your energy, and assist in detoxification.

And despite this adjustment period, most people will lose one or two pounds in their first week and will subsequently start to see their energy levels and mental alertness rise while their cravings and excess fat disappear.

Is intermittent fasting really for everyone?

If you are a woman, it’s possible that intermittent fasting may affect you differently. In general, it seems that women tend to respond better to using a schedule that has a wider eating window. For example, some women have noticed increased health benefits by using a 10-hour eating window with a 14-hour fast, instead of the 16:8 plan popularized by male bodybuilders. You can read more in-depth information about intermittent fasting for women above.

As with any diet or exercise plan, we recommend trying different options and listening to your body to see what works best for YOU.  There’s a fantastic all-female intermittent fasting Facebook group here for you to check out if you’d like to connect with other women about their experiences.

Also, if you are diabetic, hypoglycemic, have any issues with blood sugar regulation, are pregnant or breast-feeding, or have a history of disordered eating, intermittent fasting may not be for you.  You should talk to your doctor before making changes to your eating schedule.










The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting Pt 2

Fasting For Weight Loss

Do you get suspicious anytime you hear people raving about a new diet plan that makes losing weight easy?  We don’t blame you.

In a world full of gimmicks and fads, there is one plan quickly rising to the forefront because it has the weight of scientific research behind it.  Intermittent fasting is increasingly being praised as a plan that causes steady weight loss while also being easy to stick to.

Many people swear it’s the most powerful tool they’ve found for losing weight, and they’re not imagining things.  Intermittent fasting’s secret lies in the fact that it shifts your body from burning carbs and sugar for fuel to burning fat instead.  A 2014 study demonstrated that this plan could help reduce your body weight by 3-8% in 3-24 weeks! (9)

We’ve identified a few key reasons as to why intermittent fasting for weight loss works so well.

1. Secret Weapon For Battling Cravings

Considering that the mere word “fasting” can make us feel hungry, it’s a pleasant surprise for many intermittent fasting followers to discover that, after about 1-2 weeks, they no longer experience any hunger pangs during their fasting windows. And no, it’s not just a trick of the mind or extreme willpower. There’s a scientific reason why this happens.

You see, one of the most important effects that intermittent fasting has on your body is that your insulin levels become regulated. (10) Instead of rising and falling all day long (which is what happens when you eat all day long), your blood sugar levels stay stable. This automatically translates to less sugar cravings. (11)

The other cool thing that happens when you start intermittent fasting is that the levels of a hormone called “ghrelin” become far more normalized. Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone. When it’s out of whack, that’s when you feel hungry all the time. After a couple weeks of intermittent fasting, your ghrelin levels become far more regulated, and that’s when your hunger pangs start to disappear.

2.  Natural Calorie Restriction, But Better

At the root of nearly every diet known to man is the concept of calorie restriction.  We’ve all seen the formula:

Calories eaten < calories burned = weight loss

Calorie restriction is also the main reason why most diets fail over the long-term.  It goes against human nature and thus is incredibly difficult to sustain.

Intermittent fasting has earned high praise on account of the fact that it naturally leads to calorie restriction, without feeling like that’s what you’re doing. We like to call it “sneaky” calorie restriction. Here’s why: a typical intermittent fasting schedule (eating only between noon and 8:00pm) usually equates to skipping breakfast. Because it’s difficult to eat more than a certain number of calories per meal, cutting your day from 3 meals down to 2 can have a noticeable effect over time.

Studies have been done comparing a group of people who were asked to restrict their calories all day, and another group that was asked to follow an intermittent fasting schedule.(12) Both groups derived similar health benefits, except the intermittent fasting group experienced better insulin regulation.(13)

Most importantly, the intermittent fasting group found their diet much more manageable.(14) For most of us, it’s psychologically and biologically easier to restrict our eating to a certain time frame, as opposed to restricting our overall daily caloric intake.

3.  Retain Lean Muscle Mass

Perhaps the biggest downside of many restricted calorie diets is that they have been proven to lead to loss of lean muscle mass, which actually slows down your metabolism.(15) This is really bad news for your ability to maintain any weight loss.

The good news? Research has shown that intermittent fasting actually helps you retain lean muscle mass while still losing weight. (16) Phew!

4.  Better Eating Habits

When you intermittent fast, you’ll be sticking to a smaller eating window than you’re probably used to. This will naturally cut down on late night snacking, which is often a hidden culprit of excess calories and sneaky weight gain. When you know that giving in to the munchies is just going to kick yourself out of fat-burning mode, it’s much easier to resist that late-night fridge raid!

5.  It’s Sustainable

Perhaps one of the most striking things about the intermittent fasting “craze” is that people are treating it less like a diet and more like a lifestyle.  So many followers find themselves not only losing weight, but feeling better and actually wanting to stick with this eating schedule. So intermittent fasting can quickly become a lifestyle change, as opposed to a crash diet.

Intermittent Fasting and the Keto Diet:  Can You Combine Them?

Possibly the two hottest diet plans around right now are the keto diet and intermittent fasting. Both claim to provide a wide array of health benefits well beyond weight loss. But can you follow both plans at the same time?

Yes!  Not only are these two diets compatible, but they might even enhance one another.  Have you hit a plateau with your keto diet? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to make intermittent fasting more manageable and effective?  Well you might want to consider taking advantage of this powerful duo.

First, let’s get a quick refresher on what exactly the Keto diet is.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic (or “keto”) diet is essentially a low-carb and high-fat eating plan.  Specifically, it prescribes eating 70-80% of your calories from fat sources, 15-25% of your calories from protein, and limiting your carbohydrate calories to 5% of your diet. The average Keto dieter tries to eat less than 40 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Eating in accordance with a keto diet is intended to shift your body to burning ketones for energy, instead of glucose (sugar and other carbs).

Here’s how it works:  when you dramatically limit your carbohydrates, your body eventually goes into “ketosis,” which means it’s using ketones for energy.  Translation: your body is using fat stores for energy.

Using fat as a fuel source is actually believed to be less stressful for your body and to give you more energy.  Also, giving your body a break from having to work to regulate your blood sugar levels leads to lots of health benefits.

Interestingly, a keto diet actually mimics the effects of fasting, without the fasting.  In other words, eating very little carbs can have the same effect on your body as eating nothing at all.

What to Eat on a Keto Diet:

Fats (70-80%) Protein (15-25%) Fruit/Veggies (5%) Eliminate
Avocado Fish Asparagus Rice
Butter Seafood Arugula Wheat
Ghee Chicken Broccoli Quinoa
Coconut oil Pork Caulifower Pasta
EVOO Beef Celery Bread
Avocado Oil Lamb Chard Pizza
MCT oil Bone Broth Cucumber Diet Soda
Almonds Eggs Zucchini Cookies
Pecans Tomatoes Crackers
Walnuts Pickles Ice Cream
Cheese Berries Sugar
Cream Cheese Lemons Margarine
Sour Cream Limes Milk
Peppers Alcohol
Onions Artificial Sweeteners

How Intermittent Fasting Boosts the Benefits of the Keto Diet

Ok, so we’ve got the basics of each of these diets down.  How exactly do they benefit one another?

1. Shift into ketosis sooner

Pique Fasting: Keto and Intermittent FastingOne of the primary goals of a keto diet is to get into ketosis as quickly as possible, and to stay there for as long as you can. When you practice intermittent fasting, your fasted state has already starved your body of carbs, which means your glucose levels are lower than those of someone who doesn’t fast.

This means that when you’ve been fasting, your body will shift to burning fat reserves and ketones even sooner. And that translates to getting you into ketosis much more quickly than if you weren’t fasting.

The flip-side of this is also true.  Being in ketosis mimics fasting, because your body is burning fat for fuel.  So if you’ve been trying an intermittent fasting plan but haven’t really noticed any results, following a keto diet during your eating windows might just give you the jumpstart you’ve been looking for.

2.  Lose weight faster

The common core that intermittent fasting and the keto diet share is that they are designed to switch your body from burning glucose to burning fat instead. And when you put both diets together, your fat burning is actually maximized.

Here’s why:  if your keto diet has successfully put you into ketosis, then your body has adapted itself to using fat as fuel. When you add intermittent fasting into the mix, your body has a head start on the fat-burning track and will actually be even more efficient at continuing to burn fat.

Compare this to someone who doesn’t follow a keto diet. When they adopt intermittent fasting, their body will be much slower to enter the fasted state, which is where all the fat-burning magic happens.

3.  Boost your brain health and mental focus

Did you know that your brain is one of the body’s biggest consumers of energy? It’s true. And it just so happens that fat, not glucose, is the most energy-efficient fuel that your body can run on. Since both intermittent fasting and the keto diet train your body to burn fat for energy, your brain reaps huge benefits from both these plans.

After all, we always have fat stores available to burn. So as long as your body knows how to tap into those fat stores for fuel, your brain has a constant energy source on which to run. This is why people following both intermittent fasting and the keto diet experience more mental clarity, focus, and other neurological benefits.  (17)

There’s even more good news for your brain. Studies have shown that fasting boosts production of a protein (BDNF) that feeds your brain stem cells and promotes neural health. (18)

4.  Make both diets easier

Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons some of us are skeptical about trying intermittent fasting is that fasting leaves you feeling hungry. A keto diet, however, is known to help decrease cravings and hunger, due to the high fat content of the keto eating plan (19).

So if you’re already following a keto diet, you may find the fasting windows of an intermittent fasting plan much easier to manage. Both eating plans are designed to keep your insulin levels steady, which means less cravings and hunger pangs over the long term.

5.  Enhance your exercise

Can you even exercise while you’re fasting? This is a common concern, but the answer is a resounding “yes!” Not only is it okay, but a growing number of studies show that following intermittent fasting and a keto diet can in fact enhance the long-term health benefits of your exercise program.

Both intermittent fasting and the keto diet train your body to burn stored fat for energy. This triggers a variety of metabolic adaptations that will actually increase your workout performance while you’re fasting.(20)

Worried about losing muscle? Don’t be! This study revealed that you can actually maximize your muscle gains when you train while fasting. And this study indicates that when you do strength training in a fasted state, the nutrients you consume afterwards will be better utilized by your body than if you hadn’t been fasting during your workout. Pretty cool!

And for those of you concerned about whether your actual workout performance will suffer as a result of fasting, not to worry. Studies have been done on Muslim athletes who fast for Ramadan, and no negative effect on performance was found. If you do decide to workout while fasting, we recommend you do it right before you start your eating window for the day.

Tips for Starting and Sticking With It

1. Listen to your body

As with any new diet plan or exercise regimen, only you yourself can be the ultimate expert. We are all unique and will respond differently to the same plans.

If you’ve decided to follow a 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule but find yourself really struggling, tired and hungry, don’t hesitate to modify your schedule. Try shifting your eating window to later in the day, or check to make sure you’re getting enough high-quality keto food calories.

If it’s still not working for you, maybe try expanding your eating window to 10 hours, or only practice an intermittent fast every other day.

2.  Don’t start both at the same time

So you’re really motivated to take advantage of the potent fat-burning effects that these two diets offer. We get it! But if you’re brand new to both intermittent fasting and the keto diet, it’s not recommended that you try to adopt both at the same time. Trying to master the new eating habits of a keto diet while also sticking to the new schedule of intermittent fasting can be overwhelming, to say the least, which means you’ll be more likely to give up.

We recommend starting with an intermittent fasting schedule for approximately two weeks, so that your body has time to adjust to the new pattern. At this point, your body will also be more adept at shifting into a fat-burning zone, so that when you start eating a keto diet, you’ll likely find it easier to drop into ketosis.

How the Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting Can Boost Sports Performance

One of the more surprising aspects of both the Keto diet and intermittent fasting is that some seriously tough athletes claim these eating plans help to increase their athletic performance.

They just might be onto something. If you’re looking to boost your sports performance, here’s what you should know: one of the primary reasons these eating plans work is because training your body to burn fat can help you recover from exercise more quickly. And if you eat a keto diet and follow an intermittent fasting schedule, then your body becomes increasingly more efficient at switching over to fat-burning mode. The easier it is for your body to burn fat, the better your athletic performance and recovery time.

There’s a growing number of endurance and elite athletes who have incorporated fasted training into their programs. Fasting creates a combination of high adrenaline and low insulin levels that further stimulates burning fat for energy. And if you’re looking to add lean muscle mass, regular fasting has been shown to increase growth hormone levels, which helps with muscular development.

Do Coffee and Tea Break Your Fast?

Despite what it might sound like, intermittent fasting is NOT about starving yourself. So what exactly can you consume while following an intermittent fasting plan? And are there drinks that can make it easier or more effective? We wanted to get to the bottom of that question, and here’s what we discovered.

Intermittent fasting breaks your day into two parts:

  1. Eating (feeding), and
  2. Not eating (fasting)

There are entirely different guidelines for what you can eat and drink, depending on whether you’re in your eating window or fasting window.