Holistic Healing

Fasting and Disordered Eating – When the Lines Blur

I want to talk to you about the demon that is disordered eating. If you are prone to this kind of behaviour and are considering an extended fast… you in the right place!

I have experience with an eating disorder. I have gone through many relentless cycles of restricting my food and then bingeing. It is a horrible place to be in, both physically and mentally.

I truly do believe that fasting can be a wondrous healing tool. However, if you have danced with the eating disorder devil, you should proceed with caution and care.

The goal of this article is tell you what to look out for when you are fasting. This should help you to navigate yourself back to a place of love if you are ever to spiral into eating disorder town.

Disordered Eating

Disordered eating usually involves some form of restriction in order to achieve a certain weight goal.

It entails behaviours that range from mild to wild. From calorie restriction to purging food and it wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. When someone suffers from an eating disorder, there is usually a lack of self love. The individual is not content in their own skin. There is a lot of ego involved and often an unrealistic self (and societal) imposed expectation of how one should look.

Fasting 

fasting and disordered eating
Fruit Fasting CAN be heaven on earth!

Fasting when done from a place of love, is usually aimed towards healing.

Sometimes it is done for weight loss purposes, which can be a healthy strategy when navigated consciously and maturely. Fasting, when done by someone who embodies self love. This person stands a much better chance at not being triggered, as opposed to someone who is unsettled in themselves.

Fasting from Love VS Fasting from Restriction

Regardless of the motive behind fasting, weight loss often results and usually this is a pleasant side effect.

For someone who has been unable to resolve the trauma of disordered eating, rapid weight loss can be a trigger for dysfunction. For this person, fasting can become an addictive means of losing weight quickly. Or as a way to ‘get back on track’ after periods of indulgence. 

The problem with using fasting in this way, as a means of restricting calories, lies in the word ‘restriction’ itself. Fast from a place of love, the mind doesn’t necessarily see the process as a form of restriction.

If the original motive is one of healing and self love, there is less chance of you running into problems with bingeing and / or bulimia (to name just a few horrid forms of ED). Both of which are acts self loathing.

When a fast transforms into an act of cruel self deprivation, in order to lose weight, the experience becomes negative in nature.

If the mind feels as though it is being restricted, you can almost guarantee periods of bingeing are around the corner...

… Followed by another period of fasting to ‘undo’ the ‘damage’. Followed up another binge and so on. 

This repetitive, relentless cycle can get stuck on repeat and it confuses the hell out of your physical body. It is actually a counterproductive means of weight loss. Your body will cling to fat in order to protect you. What’s more is that your hormones (which are ESSENTIAL to health) can end up in the gutter. 

The mental and emotional levels of your being can also become very unbalanced. As is the nature of restriction, you become obsessed with those foods you ‘can’t have’. You go to bed thinking of food and it is the first thing that creeps into your consciousness upon waking. You will avoid social situations in order to keep temptation at bay. If you do over indulge, you will make up for it by not eating at all the next day.

There is a very real risk here of losing all sense of balance and becoming mentally consumed by what you can and cannot eat. 

How to Fast Consciously 

The word consciously says it all. You must always fast with awareness. Be conscious of your original motives and make sure your fast doesn’t transform into a game of self deprivation.

Notice the nature of your thoughts.

Is the mind running stories of self love, nourishment and healing, or ones of restriction, guilt and shame? If you can be aware of this, you can pull back when necessary. If you do see there is a need to pull back, focus more on a balanced diet. Eat an abundance of healthy foods as opposed to trying to navigate a full blown fast. You can still achieve amazing results by eating a more transitional diet of fruits and plants. 

Break the Cycle

If you do find yourself stuck in a restriction mindset, hit the restriction hard. Give yourself a week where you eat as much as you want of whatever you want.

That might seem daunting if you have the calorie fear. However trust and notice that the mind stops obsessing when you allow it to have what it wants. Maybe the first day you WILL eat 20 cookies, but the next day, maybe it will be 10. Then it will be 5 and so on. Maybe there will be a day where you don’t have any.

Trust this process!

I have used it many times before and mentally saying ‘YES’ invites a calmness into the mind. It is when we say ‘no’ repeatedly, that when we do indulge, the mind says ‘better eat enough for 45 men now. Here’s a one time deal’… but it’s never a one time deal is it..

If the mind knows, its ok, I can have some more later. Or tomorrow, or the next time, it is less likely going to panic and let gluttony run the show. 

Take Home Message

Fasting from a place of love can provide the body and the mind with a well needed rest. Stay conscious and aware of your motives and the kind of stories that are coming up in the mind. Know when it is time to pull back and end a fast. In these times choose love by nourishing yourself with an abundance of healthy foods.

Try to see food more often as fuel as opposed to guilty indulgence.

YES, it is great to indulge from time to time. However the more you use food to energise your being the more mentally balanced you will come in regards to your meals. Find other ways to feel pleasure, stimulation and connection.

Restricting yourself and then feeling guilt and shame when you do eat, these are all self imposed layers of suffering and can be mentally crippling. Love yourself enough to only fast with pure intent. 

Holistic Healing

How to Get Rid of Bloating🤰4 Home Remedies

How to get rid of bloating. This is a question I have I typed into Google and Youtube search engines countless times as a result of my own IBS struggles, so I KNOW you are looking for instant relief. 

Sadly there is no deflate button that I can point you towards, but I am going to share with you four strategies you can try right now.

They have provided me with relief in times of distress and each work in their own way. See which one helps you out and check out the video content for a breath work demo you can do anywhere at anytime!

how to get rid of bloating
Pregnant or Bloated?

When is comes to bloating, there really is no magic pill.

I know that is not what you want to hear, but take my word for it. I have spent years scouring the online realms for one. Even though there is no magic deflate button, there are some practices you can incorporate to help relieve your suffering and that work to prevent bloating in the long term.

The protocols that have helped me are; activated charcoal, yoga, breath work and fasting.

Let’s break them down now. 

Activated Charcoal

You can take a couple of tablets or mix a teaspoon in some water and this is going to work to absorb any excess gas that has built up in the gut. Do this after you’ve had a meal that isn’t sitting right.

It will help with feelings of being overly full and reduce any gas that is making you uncomfortable. 

Yoga 

how to get rid of bloating
Pavana Muktasana – The Wind Relieving Pose

This is actually my number one, my go, to when I am uncomfortably nine months pregnant bloated.

The idea is to move through postures that stretch, twist and compress the abdomen. The key is to move slowly. To move with your breath. This isn’t something you can rush through and expect instant results.

Spend a minimum of five deep, conscious breaths in each pose. Feel the lungs and belly expand as you inhale, and notice how they fall back with each exhale. Move into postures that encourage any stagnant energies down and out of the body. I have video content with yoga flows that specifically work with bloating, so check those out!

Breath Work 

You can utilise the power of the breath while practicing yoga, or you can focus on just the breath with some Pranayama.

Specifically, Kapalabhati breathing is good technique to invite warmth into the body as it strengthens the abdominal muscles which can help with any bloating. 

Kapalabhati Instructions

Sit kneeling if possible with the arms straight, palms resting on the thighs. If you are unable to kneel, take any comfortable seat that allows you to keep the spine straight. 

Allow the belly to be soft and take a deep inhale into the nose and exhale all of your air out to prepare.

Inhale again and then forcefully and audibly exhale the air out of the nose. With each vigorous exhale, suck the stomach back towards the spine. The inhales will come automatically, so give all your attention to the exhales and the contraction of the stomach.

It might help to bring your hand to the belly for the first few breaths to feel it contracting back. 

Do this for as long as is comfortable and repeat three times. 

This can help to reduce minor bloating and get things moving. It has the added benefit of strengthening the abdominal muscles to help minimise bloating overall. Stronger muscles are going to help to keep the belly tight. 

Fast 

When nothing is working, when you are uncomfortable beyond belief, my advice to you is to fast.

Even if it just for 24 hours.

Even if it is just an extended intermittent fast. Push out your breakfast until 12, 1, 2pm and allow the digestive system to settle. Allow any irritation or inflammation to calm down. When my bloating is really horrendous, taking a break from eating is really the only thing that works.

It is not going to heal the gut, but it will provide symptom reduction while you figure out your next move.

I am not recommending that you jump into any kind of extended fasting, unless you are well informed. My advice here is to fast just long enough to provide relief and let the worst of it pass.  

I have been in IBS struggle town for years. I know that desperation that bubbles up as you look to every corner of the online realms for something that will deflate your stomach immediately.

I wish I knew of a magic pill, but it just isn’t out there. For me the most effective thing to do is to practice yoga, but remember that this isn’t something to be rushed. Spend at least 20-30 minutes stretching and twisting the belly and sending each breath down into the problem area. 

I hope one of these provides some relief for you my friend and stay tuned as I get closer to cracking that heal all. It’s close. I feel it.

Recipes

Vegan Salad Dressing 🥗 Oil Free, Flavour FULL

I am unsure why you would make a salad and cover it in oil. It seems very counter productive to the salad game and it is absolutely unnecessary. I’ll admit though, I am not a fan of oils in general, so if they are your jam, then you do you.

However, if you want a fresh dressing that is a little lighter, then you have come to the right place.

This salad dressing might be oil free, but it is flavour full.

Nuts have their own natural oils that are released in the blending process and for this recipe I have used sunflower seeds. They are just what I happened to have on hand. You can use whichever nut or seed takes your fancy, or whatever you have staring at you from the cupboard, as I did.

salad dressing oil free
Toast the Nuts for a Smokey Flavour

Ingredients

Sunflower seeds (option to toast) – 1/2 Cup

Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Tbs

Garlic – 3 cloves

Water – 1/2 Cup

Tamari – 1 Tbs

Chilli – to taste.

Instructions

There is the option to toast your seeds first, if they are of the toasting variety. Sunflower seeds are especially delicious after a few minutes stirred in a fry pan, over medium heat. Make sure to keep an eye on them, as they will look like they are not doing much at first and then BAM, burnt.

Next, you simply add to the blender.

It really is as simple. As. That.

When your sauce and dressing game is strong, your salad game levels up and you WILL want to make friends with salad. Every damn day.

Sunflower based dressings are good but are still runner up in my book. My numero uno will always be a tahini dressing so if that is your jam, I highly recommend checking my favourite recipe!

Enjoy!

Recipes

Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheese 🧀 Optional Spicy Kick
healthy vegan mac and cheese
ALL plants, 100% Goodness

This creamy vegan mac and cheese is suspiciously too good to be healthy, but with most of the ingredients being from plants, it truly is.

There is the option of adding jalapeños to the sauce to give it a spicy kick which I am all about, but it is still a glorious time in the mouth without.

Before we get into it. Let us talk about vegan cheese and we can be honest and open here.

Vegan cheese is never going to taste like dairy cheese. You have to see it for what it is – which is DELICIOUS and minus the side of cruelty that comes from dairy. 

What vegan cheese DOES deliver on is all the comfort and satiation that comes with regular old mac and cheese. Whilst still being entirely made from plants.

Depending on your pasta of choice, this meal can still be healthy, meaning that you can and should eat enough for ten men. 

I do not eat so many grains, but when I do, one of my preferred is spelt. I find it to be a little easier on digestion but you can sub in your preferred pasta. 

Ingredients

2 cups potatoes

1 carrot

1 onion

¼ c jalapeños – optional and start by add half this amount. You then add the rest if so inclined.

½ c nutritional yeast

1/2 a lemon juiced

Tsp salt

Tsp garlic powder

Spring onion

Instructions

Boil the potato, carrot and onion until cooked and soft.

Meanwhile cook pasta of choice – Pulse pastas are good if you want a GF option.

Add everything to blender with all other ingredients.

Drain pasta and stir though sauce.

Garnish with spring onion and spices to taste.

It is 2020 people, you can now have your mac n’ cheese, not only vegan, but made entirely from plants. Literally, no bad bits! The spiciness isn’t for everyone, so I recommend a taste test before you go to town.

Enjoy my friend.