So, the supper club this week was all about intermittent fasting. In preparation I listened to a great interview with Dr Wong, an expert on fasting, and I think he made a brilliant point. That the key is really in the name intermittent. By fasting intermittently, he believes that people are much more compliant. Life is intermittent. There are times when we like to really celebrate life and all its occasions. And during those times eating and enjoying food with friends can be a really important element. But what is key is to then balance this out with periods of fasting to help the body to repair itself. When we fast, a process called autophagy occurs, which essentially means ‘self-eat’: diseased, old worn out cells are broken down and gobbled up. This is followed by the generation of new healthy cells. It is really quite simple when you think about it. You are just allowing the body to clean itself out, and repair. What is also brilliant is that we can achieve this quite simply. If we consume all our calories within a 12-hour window, we will also be fasting for 12 hours every day. The process of repair is triggered by fasting and is more effective as time goes on & stops when you eat. If you can eat within a shorter window then even better, but a 12-hour window is certainly achievable for most people which is just great! By simply being more mindful of when we eat, we can have a huge impact on our health, and the benefits go way beyond maintaining a healthy weight. Intermittent fasting can improve our immune system, our digestion, our sleep, helps to increase our energy levels and may reduce our risk of degenerative diseases including cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
I also think this intermittent concept can also be applied in other areas of our lives. We all have busy, stressful periods from time to time. A busy work and social life can be great. It can make life interesting, make us feel ‘alive’ and give us joy and a sense of achievement among other things. However, ‘too much of a good thing’ can also leave us at times overwhelmed and exhausted.
The key again is to allow yourself time to relax and recover. This has been a theme of the latest podcasts from Dr Chatterjee. Many of the experts concur that we will never achieve optimum health unless we allow ourselves time to relax, recover and sleep.
Matt Haig, a brilliant writer who increases awareness on mental health issues, says that one very undervalued area is sleep. He maintains that it is vital to his mental health to get enough sleep.
Sleep is vital for restoring physical and mental health. We are all familiar with the symptoms of lack of sleep occasionally, such as fatigue, poor concentration and memory, and mood disturbances.
I am delighted, therefore. that sleep will therefore be the subject of our next Supper club. Our guest speaker is wellbeing expert Jon Burgess. It will be a very interactive session and Jon will help you create your own personal sleep action plan. It promises to be a great evening!
In the podcast Matt Haig also talks how our physical health and our mental health are interlinked. He finds running incredibly helpful to give him space away from everything. He also finds yoga very beneficial as it helps to slow everything down starting with slowing down the breathing.
It is actually Mental Health Awareness week this week, and the brilliant mental health campaigner Karen Parkinson is inviting people to join a virtual challenge to mark it! Karen set up the local mental health together group and is a mental health champion for England athletics. We ran an event together last year and hope to do another one very soon. In the meantime, I will be joining her virtual challenge, so why not join us! If you’d like more information please click on the link Virtual Challenge
The challenge is to keep active during the week, that can be anything from a walk, a run, a bike ride, a swim, anything active counts.
Listen to your body and remember to relax and restore any time you need to! It doesn’t need to be an intense gym session. Perhaps this is the week to try that yoga class you’ve been meaning to for ages or to take time out for that relaxing walk in nature! Remember it’s all about balance! If you’d like more information please click on the link Virtual Challenge and if you’d like to read more about Karen’s fantastic work, please take a look at their brand new website! Mental Health Together
Thank you for reading.
Please come along and join us at a future Supper Club. We’d be delighted to see you.
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We really hope you can join us soon!