5:2 Diet: First Week

I’m reading a book about the 5:2 Diet and I am going to write about my journey. Follow along with me!

What is the 5:2 Diet?

Basically, the 5:2 diet is a method of intermittent fasting in which you have two non-consecutive fasting days where you eat 500-600 calories. The other non-fasting days, you eat normally and it isn’t necessary to count calories. Here’s a good article all about it, along with the book I’m reading.


Please note: On non-fasting days, you will see I indulged with some sweets – that’s the beauty of this diet. You don’t have to deprive yourself for long periods of time.

Why I Am Doing Intermittent Fasting

I am trying out this way of fasting because I of course would like to lose a few pounds, but it is also for the health benefits all around. I want to be around for a long time and serve my loved ones at optimum capacity, and to do that I need to have a healthy weight and healthy body that has periods of rest where it can repair itself. That is exactly what happens during a fast. My purpose of fasting this time around is unrelated to Lent, but I am however grateful for the spiritual benefits and I do incorporate prayer and I offer up my feelings of hunger for specific prayer intentions.

Day 1:

My first fast day. I spread out my meals into 5 meals, so I could trick myself into thinking I had more food than I did. I also ate slowly and tried to remember to chew each bite 30 times, to get the aroma of my food, and to take small bites. Since I was eating so much less, I notice my other senses seemed more keen. When I took a shower, it was more invigorating. The scent of flowers more stimulating. When I did eat, the food tasted so much more wonderful and I appreciated it so much more. It was hard to feel the pang of hunger, but not as hard as I thought. I thought I’d feel very run down and cranky. But honestly, I felt okay and I was as productive as any other day just hungrier. I’m hoping that I will sleep well tonight, and not wake up because I’m too hungry. Here’s some pictures of what I ate:

Day 2:

I had a rough night of sleep. The dog woke me up and needed water, and I think the caffeine I had later in the day also affected my sleep, nonetheless, hunger. Today I ate normally, and I indulged a little. I had a cinnamon roll and a piece of apple pie after dinner. I felt really hungry in the morning, but I felt much better after I ate breakfast and snacked a little. I didn’t even want lunch, and we had a roast and some broccoli salad for dinner.

Day 3:

I slept better but I felt hungrier today, but I also felt like I knew when to stop eating and not overdo it. I had a cinnamon roll for breakfast with some strawberries, a California club wrap for lunch, and ginger broccoli beef and rice for dinner. I enjoyed a chai latte in the afternoon without thinking about how many calories was in it. I get tired of tracking all of my food.

I knew when to stop eating and not overdo it.

Day 4:

Today was another fasting day. I took the kids to a local farm to see baby animals, I did more normal duties around the house, and I felt pretty good. I had the occasional pang of hunger but honestly since I spread my meals out it’s not too bad. I stayed under 600 calories today.

Some photos of my meals today:

Day 5

I slept well, even though yesterday was a fasting day! I ate a small piece of apple pie and some leftover pasta for breakfast, had some nuts and zucchini parmesan for lunch, an apple for a snack, and a salmon berry quinoa and kale bowl for dinner.

Day 6

I went to a baby shower and I enjoyed party food but I shared everything with my daughter and therefore didn’t overindulge, I didn’t feel the need, miraculously. I had various salads from Safeway for dinner and tried a bite of samosa and bite of pork bun. Variety is the spice of life, amiright?

Day 7

I ate some leftover salad for breakfast and had a bite of a cookie. For lunch I just snacked on chips and guacamole. I had steak, a potato and some asparagus for dinner. I had a small brownie and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Results

Starting weight: 158

Ending weight: 156.2

Total loss: I lost 1.8 lbs!

This may not sound like much, but look at all the little indulgences I had! And I only counted calories during my 2 fasting days! And trust me, I have a very difficult time once I get closer to my goal weight dropping half a pound nonetheless nearly 2 pounds so I am very pleased. (Also, FYI, I did exercise this week but mainly just brisk walking, and not everyday.)

Additional Benefits

In addition to losing weight, I have found:

  • Spiritual benefits – I am not victim to all the desires of my flesh.
  • Productivity – Since I am exercising my will power it is transferring to other areas of my life which has resulted in less procrastinating and more action.
  • Energy levels – My metabolism feels like it has been kicked up a notch so I have a solid amount of energy.
  • Feel lighter – It just feels easier to move around.
  • Other senses heightened – I have noticed beauty in nature more, food tastes better, and my sense of smell has improved.

So, have any of you tried intermittent fasting? Did it work for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Am I Giving Myself Grace or Making an Excuse?

With my previous post, I discussed my Lenten journey. One thing I’m focusing on is being more diligent in disciplining my children. I’ve decided to:

  • Discipline them the first time when they do something they should know better
  • Only allow them 2 hours of T.V.
  • Having them cleanup before starting a new activity
  • Having them make their bed every day

Because I am focusing on this, this means my productivity level has gone down. Is it worthwhile? Of course. Is it frustrating?

Let’s just say God is teaching me about acceptance, again.

As I’ve said before, I wish I could get the same amount done everyday. Kind of like a robot. And do my routines perfectly and consistently like all the productivity gurus tell you to. But, oh yeah! I’m not God. I’m not perfect. Indeed, I am only a child of God. I need to give myself grace.

I am only a child of God.

How hard this is for me to accept! I want to always feel that sense of accomplishment that comes with doing everything on my list. But is that Gods will? No, I don’t think so. I think He wants me to do what’s important. He wants me to say yes to His will, not my own. I need growth in this way so much! I get so impatient and frustrated when things don’t go my way. But I’m human! I run out of steam, and more often than I’d like, I go to bed with my makeup still on , and my bedtime routine undone. God’s method of growth is not linear as I wish it was and how I expect it to be. It’s a roller coaster ride. But it’s better than my methods. Better than being a slave to my routine. I’d rather be a servant to God.

So, what to do with these feelings of failure and frustration? Offer them up to the Lord. Humbly accept again, that I am but a child. I have come a long way, by the grace of God, but He’s not done with me yet. If i could operate at 100% every single day, then I wouldn’t need God. God wants what’s best for me. Maybe that’s why these kinda days happen. So I remember I need Him. That I need to turn back to Him in prayer instead of relying on my own strength. Should I wallow in anguish? Nah, I have to accept my feelings and do the next right thing. Which is to pray and try again. And again. And again.

A Daily Reflection

Sometimes you need to give yourself grace when you are not as productive as you’d like to be because things happen that are out of your control. But you also need to be honest about what you can improve on. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will direct you to the next steps:

  • How are my boundaries with others?
  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • How is my diet?
  • Am I exercising?
  • Did something unexpected happen?
  • Did I have the help I usually have?
  • Did I overestimate or underestimate how long something might take?
  • Did I allow outward distractions (youtube, social media, T.V. etc) or mental distractions (hesitation, perfectionism) zap my time?
  • Have I been following my self-care program?
  • Do I keep a schedule to the best of my ability?
  • Have I been prioritizing?

The answers to these questions will lead you to your next steps. Maybe you are doing everything right and it was just out of your control. At least now you can rest assured. But maybe you are letting distractions get the best of you, or you aren’t sleeping enough. Both of those things can have a huge effect on your productivity level.

Also, I love this print from Ruth Soukup:

Grace vs. Excuses Art Print {Digital Download}

So, what are you working on in your life? Are you giving yourself grace, or making excuses? Let me know in the comments. There’s power in bringing things into the light!


My Lenten Focus

I read something on a blog recently that struck a chord. A woman with young children was talking with a friend about her list of things to do for Lent and her friend interrupted her and said “You live Lent.” Ha! This made me realize that I can be overzealous when it comes to all the ways I want to grow spiritually and that maybe JUST MAYBE I should be a little more realistic and gracious with myself. So for Lent, I’ve decided what I need most is to live my vocation joyfully, peacefully, and diligently.

Fasting from Irritation and Anxiety, Feasting on Patience and Diligence

I really struggle with remaining patient with my kids. I also get angry when they interrupt my work. But, hello! They are more important. But with that said, this focus on my vocation as lead me to see the ways I need to take disciplining them up a notch. Having all young kids is always going to be hard, but I can do my part do make it easier and one thing is to be on top of disciplining them. Honestly I can be lazy in this realm. It is really a struggle for me. I often put up with bad behavior because it isn’t THAT BAD. Does anyone else feel me here? There’s certain behaviors I never put up with, but the little things get me because I’m busy, I don’t want to stop what I’m doing, I don’t want to get up again. But wait a second…if I love my kids, then I have to do this anyway regardless of how I feel. I just want to keep it real here so if any of you struggle in this way, you will know you are not alone and that there is hope.

What I’ve Been Doing About It

I have been practicing disciplining the first time with things my kids should already know better. If I have taught them not to leave the table without asking, then if they engage in this behavior, it’s uh-oh, corner time. Beforehand, I would have warned them if they did it again, they would get time-out. But all I was doing was teaching them that it is okay to do it once. And I have to tell you, after only a few days, it’s already bearing good fruit.

Fasting from Anxiety, Feasting on Peace

As far as anxiety goes, I am trying to be mindful of when I am having racing thoughts, and choosing thoughts that help me move forward. I tend to over-analyze which paralyzes me from taking action. For example, I do the same routine every morning, but each morning my mind wants to come up with a better way of doing it. Sounds good, right? Wrong! Because it only distracts me from what I need to do and makes me feel anxious that I will do something wrong. I am also practicing giving up my anxieties to God, to hand over the worries I have that I can’t do anything about.This is helping me have more peace.

A Great Resource

In case you were wondering, many of my discipline ideas come from this book. I highly recommend it.

On a Different Note

I am also trying to ask God each day “what would you have me do?” and I am listening to iCatholic radio in the morning to enrich my faith. I especially enjoy Dr. Ray Guarendi’s show. How about you? What are you doing for Lent?

Wildflowers, Wild Turkeys, and Barn Owls. Oh My! (A.K.A. What I’ve Been Up To Lately)

You may or may not have seen my Facebook update. We moved! We bought our first house out here in La Grange, California. I keep saying “Home, home on La Grange”. Also this theme song keeps coming to mind…

Needless to say, we’ve been super busy the last month and a half, packing, unpacking, decorating and setting up our home. I actually had a very hard time the first couple of weeks and I had to go to the doctor because my anxiety was getting out of control. Luckily my mom and dad came to stay with us for a week and that was such a blessing. For those of you who have similar struggles with anxiety, I want to share with you what my dad told me which really empowered me. I was worried that if I tried to do my normal duties I would get worse. But he told me that the fight to normal is a battle. That I couldn’t crawl into a shell. That I had to do the things I normally do. From that moment I started to feel a lot better. I found comfort in the normal.

What I’ve Been Doing in the Kitchen

I found an awesome book at the library about prepping breakfasts and lunches and I’m thinking of buying it. I hate making lunch and I never know what to make. Up until now I only plan dinner and breakfast and lunch always end up being whatever we have on hand. But this book is inspiring me to take it up a notch.

I’ve made baked oatmeal, cauliflower fried race, muffins, cajun ranch chicken salad, salmon with berries and raspberry vinaigrette, and rhubarb crisp. I have also rediscovered my Dr. Weil cookbook and I made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie. We celebrated my mother in law’s birthday , and one of our friend’s daughters birthdays so I made a bundt cake for each occasion. Note to self: don’t add too much milk to the glaze! (Otherwise it will drip everywhere including your dress. Oops!) I also made some pierogis…so delicious! Maggieothevalley inspired me.

Cauliflower fried rice.
Birthday cake with a glaze that dripped everywhere. But it still tasted good!

Mise en place for the vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Lots of veggies.
Lining the dish with zucchini.
Filling for the shepherd’s pie.
Onion and potato pierogi.

Homemaking Progress

I have been enjoying setting spaces and hanging up artwork in our home. Take a look!

Kid’s playroom.
Living room
Corner in the kitchen
Playroom decor
Dining room. This display is my favorite.
Closeup of this cute greeting cards that I decided to hang up.
Got a piece of mudroom furniture

New Adventures

We have been enjoying exploring the area near our house. We often see wild turkeys and occasionally deer done the road. There are many wildflowers in bloom now, especially by the river, where we picked some. Besides La Grange, we have been exploring Coulterville, Waterford, and Sonora. And I felt like I was initiated into this country lifestyle when an owl met it’s end on my windshield, poor thing. I also had a Mother’s Sabbath where I enjoyed coffee with Maggieothevalley and shopped in downtown Turlock.

Sonora’s amazing library. It’s like Barnes and Noble!
Story time circle at the Sonora library.
Beautiful mural in the Sonora library.
The kids got haircuts!
From Ash Wednesday!
At an awesome park in Waterford.
Beans coffee in Waterford…love how they have a few toys and puzzles for kids. A real lifesaver!
Someone found mommy’s lipstick…! Ha ha
Tire swing at the park here in La Grange.
Wildflowers found near the river.
Cute stuff found on my day off
Window shopping downtown Turlock
Love this
Beautiful lavender latte from Cafe La Mo.

So yeah I’ve been busy…

Even though it’s been especially stressful the last two months with moving, and the kids being sick twice, and just trying to adjust to living further away, there is still much beauty to be found and writing a post like this helps me to see that. Praise God!