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What's Happening at the Garage
The seventh and final behaviour in our Eat Better Strategy is Go 12 Hours Without Eating.  

Fasting has become a hot topic in recent years, and we have written about this several times in the past year.  This post is more straight-forward, simply giving your body a break from food for half of your 24 hour day.  The physiological rationale behind this is sound, but common sense tells us that much of the benefit might be simpler - cutting out the empty calories from nighttime snacking.

The Eat Better Strategy simplifies nutrition providing you with an actionable and simple 7 step program to eat better.  In the New Year, we will combine this guide with some efficient hands-on recommendations in an 8-week virtual workshop...stay tuned.

January groups are filling up fast!

Our next, six-week, free 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy Group program starts on January 12th - if you are interested, learn more and register here.

The next S3 Weight Management group is scheduled to start on January 13th.  This is a 6 week, free group medical visit program to help people manage their weight through healthy lifestyle behaviours - if you are interested, learn more and register here.
From the Blog

Go 12 Hours Without Eating


“Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at noon, and a peasant at dinner.”

Maimonides (1135–1204), a medieval Jewish philosopher/doctor 


The seventh and final behaviour in our Eat Better Strategy is straightforward: Go 12 hours without eating.

Eliminating the extra calories from nighttime snacking may be the most significant impact for many, but embracing 12 hour daily fasts aligns with two principles derived from human evolution - circadian rhythms and fasting physiology.

The earth’s predictable, 24 hour, light/dark (diurnal) cycle has led evolution to develop circadian rhythms.

The light part of the cycle activates many genes while turning off others, preparing our body for what the day holds:

  • activity
  • exertion
  • movement
  • stress
  • eating
  • digestion

At night, the process reverses with the active daytime genes shutting down and others activating, setting our system up for the expected nighttime activities:

  • sleep
  • rest
  • recovery
  • memory formation and consolidation

Up to 40% of our genes are affected by the diurnal rhythm.  Light is the dominant trigger,  but the presence or absence of food also plays a key role.

Bottom Line:  our bodies expect food in the daytime and fasting in the evening - evolution has designed us this way.

Above and beyond the timing of eating, going without eating can trigger biological processes of repair and restoration collectively known as fasting physiology.

From an evolutionary perspective, the ability to survive periods of starvation makes sense.  Cells reprogram themselves during periods of fasting; recycling damaged intracellular proteins and organelles such as mitochondria. This process, called autophagy, provides energy and building blocks for cellular maintenance.  Suppression of autophagy is associated with oxidative stress, inflammation, ageing and cancer.
 

Research has demonstrated that intermittent fasting (IF) provides many benefits:

  • improve cardiovascular function - decrease blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, increase parasympathetic tone
  • decreased oxidative stress
  • improve insulin sensitivity - lower blood sugars
  • reduce oxidative stress
  • reduce inflammation
  • reduce visceral fat
  • reduce body fat (while preserving lean muscle mass)
  • improve lipid profiles
  • improve cognition - increased neurotrophic factor production, improved synaptic plasticity, improve neuroendocrine response

Consistently going 12 hours without food will likely provide many of these benefits and provide you with the foundation for IF.

Before trying IF, we recommend that you follow the Eat Better Strategy principles for 4-6 weeks.

If you are taking medications - please check with your doctor and develop a plan before initiating intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating.


  ...read more on the Better Blog  
Interesting Links
New 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy Digital Course.

If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance and could not participate in our 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy Group program or don't like groups - we have a digital course for you!  All the content from our group sessions was recorded and presented along with the supporting materials—all of the 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy in one place.  

As a special launch offer to our Weekly Well members - get $100 off the $149 price - use the coupon code 'WGfriend.'  The coupon will work until January 1st.  Click here to register and preview.

New 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy eBook

For those of you who prefer written content - we have taken the 4+2 Diabetes Reversal Strategy and created a free 18-page guide to teach you the principles behind the strategy.
Exercise of the Week 

New Year’s Resolution?

A message from Tyler Brown, our exercise physiologist:

If your New Year’s Resolution is to start exercising, I'm supportive and excited for you.

You probably realize that exercise has some excellent health and performance benefits, and you would like to reap these benefits again.

Before you dive into your 'new program' - here are some questions to help you come up with a sustainable plan:

  • Why do you think you waited until the New Year to implement such a vital component of a healthy lifestyle? 
  • Do you have time in your schedule blocked for exercise?
  • Are you planning something you enjoy?
  • Are you adequately prepared to start?
  • What can you do to make it easier to get started?
  • What factors helped you be consistent in the past?

I am keen for everyone to have an exercise plan; my experience tells me that the most important thing you can do is to start with small changes that you can easily stick to without becoming overwhelmed.

Easing in also helps avoid injury!


Be sure to set SMART goals:

https://www.wellnessgarage.ca/better-blog/goal-setting-for-success

Your first milestone should be to get at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day (or 150 minutes per week).

At this level of exercise, done consistently,  you get most of the health benefits.

If you need help, I would be happy to help you with a TARGET Fitness Plan

Recipe of the Week 

Low Carb Veggie Fajita Bowl with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

 

Eat the rainbow with this veggie-packed fajita bowls recipe, perfect for either Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday!  Vegetarian fajita bowls are also a great meal prep option.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 of a medium jalapeño, diced (omit if sensitive to spice)
  • 3 multicoloured bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about one clove)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

 

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