Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon – St. Paddy’s Half, IA

Goal – run a sub 2 hour time for my first half-marathon.

I have been sticking with my training from Hal Higdon thus far and seems to be treating me just right. Finding time to run the distance runs has been challenging with the weather. Running for 6 plus miles on a treadmill gets a bit devastating…yes that is the only word I can find for it. Watching Netflix while running helps ease some devastation. But there is a silver lining here…

For centuries the weather changes around this time of year – or so I am told, not to sure if Mother Nature passed this info along to Iowa or not.

First Half Marathon Destination

So I gave myself about 2 and half months to train for my first half-marathon. I picked a race a little closer to home this time. Des Moines Iowa was the destination of my next goal. I wanted to tackle this with the entire family so I knew picking something a bit closer would work best.

I registered for the race in late January. I knew by registering early it would again – hold me accountable and get my ass in gear to start training. Signing up early has many perks I have noticed as well. You get a cheaper rate and usually you get more “swag”. I didn’t really care much about that stuff. The idea of running 13.1 miles without stopping was daunting enough.

Setting Yet another Lofty Goal

So the point of me doing this running is to get out of my comfort zone and more importantly get to a healthier state mind and body. Those seem like pretty attainable goals for anybody with a bit of will and principles. I wanted to set a goal that was possible yet possibly out of reach.

I started asking “the Google” things like “beginner goal for half-marathon” and “benchmarks for half-marathons”. What I found is that the sub 2 hour mark for a half-marathon is a pretty decent achievement for a novice. Since I despise running and find it only satisfying knowing there are goals, which I can set for myself – that is what I went with.

I wanted to run a sub 2 hour half-marathon. I figured no sense in “just finishing” that would be a waste of a race and if that was my goal… I probably should stick to 10k’s. I put together a regimen with running (obviously) and some agility drills. I also started to focus on belly breathing and pace setting. This type of training was much different from that I did for my 10k a few weeks prior. Getting a little more serious than “let’s try this out”.

Whole New Ball Game

When I committed to running this half it was a different feeling, a much more nerve wracking feeling and not for the reason one might think. Yes, I will be running 13.1 miles – which is double the distance I have run in any race before. Yes, I was nervous about finishing let alone going sub 2 hours and yes I was worried about injury. But that wasn’t what I was most “uncomfortable” with.

This was going to take a lot of my time. I was going to be away from my family for more than I wanted to be. I was going to have to put more time in than just a few miles on a treadmill per day. If I wanted to train for this right and continue on my “embracing the hate” I was going to have to embrace how uncomfortable it all was and completely commit to this.

Tara has been my biggest supporter aside from my two little ones of course and that makes this much easier. Once I could get over these hurdles, it was all up to the training now. The issues didn’t stop there however…

Training and Nutrition

Training commenced. I was full force into sticking with a schedule and getting my workouts in (even if they were o

n a treadmill). I was putting in the miles and felt good. Then I hit a wall…hard. I was feeling sore, feeling worn down feeling like I didn’t have what it would take to run a 10k again let alone a half-marathon.

I found out quickly that my nutrition was an enormous part to my training. When training for a 10k I thought I was eating right and getting appropriate nutrition, which I may have been but for this goal – I knew my body was telling me something.

I needed to lose a little weight, eat a little better and take control of my diet. For me it was eating around my workouts. I don’t mean not eating at all, I just mean more like treating the meals as fuel for my workouts. Going from fasting for 10 days and being a huge believer in Keto (I still am by the way) that just isn’t very sustainable for the amount of calories and type of exercise I was doing.

After cutting out bad habits (most of them) and eating right. I was back on track and felt great. It also worked out that the weather had a few nice days prior to my race and I was able to run outside…that was glorious.

Race Week

I was nervous all week for the race and knew it was a bit of a tapering week. So there was a lot of time to think and think and think. I put myself in every scenario on the course. “What if it rains”, “what if I sprain my ankle 2 miles in”, “what if the flooding changes the course” – just a bunch of “what ifs”.

All of those things were out of my control. I just had to tell myself that I had put in the work, put in the time, ate right and that I was prepared to run a sub 2 hour half-marathon…all I had to do was execute – just run.

Race Weekend

The start to a fun family weekend was all but that. There was a stomach bug that was going around the week of race and low and behold my daughter got it. Bless her heart she is as tough as they come, but when you gotta t

hrow up…well – you throw up.

So a 3-hour road trip with Tara holding a bucket for the poor girl was a great start to the trip. I am sure Tara was just pumped to ride along and do that…all to watch me – well run.

We arrived in Des Moines late that night and went straight to bed. We were all pretty exhausted and we had to get up early the next morning to trek downtown. I didn’t sleep well at all. I was up by 3 am and coul

dn’t get back to sleep. So I had an early start to the day to say the least.

Race Day

Race day was here. I was nervous. It was early. Kids were cranky – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The day started with a kids fun run, which my daughter was more than excited to participate in it…my son – not so much. She ran the 100-meter race with a huge smile on her face and when she was done she said “Daddy – I won. Now it’s your turn”.

It was about 28 degrees at the start of the race and the sun was shining. The high was 45 for the day – so in my opinion pretty perfect conditions considering. I managed to find the 2:00 pacer and snugged into the pack near her. The race was about to start.

Started out of the gate in the mass of people. I bought this water bottle that fits around your hand for the race thinking it was a “necessity”. From the first minute in, I absolutely hated the thing – I should’ve known better, Tara told me not to take it. Minor setback.

I was cruising along. Was a little a head of the pace I wanted but with adrenaline and all the other racers this is pretty normal. After the first 3 miles I settled in and settled down a little. I was keeping pace with the 1 hours and 40 minute crowd. I was feeling great.

I was listening to music, jamming to The Dirty Heads and keeping a pace that my heart rate was OK with. I started thinking about mile 7 – “maybe I can go 1:40 or 1:45?”. That thought last for about a quarter mile more. I noticed the 1:40 pacer was “speeding up”. I thought “hey man, you should keep the pace that your stick says”. Then I looked at my watch and believe it or not… I was slowing down.

I didn’t hit a wall…yet. I was just coming back to reality. I was on a bit of a high for a few miles and was really feeling it. I wasn’t upset, I knew my goal was sub 2 hours and I was still on a pace that would get me there. The pace I trained for.

Mile 9…

holy shit

mile 9

Mile 9

Mile 9 I started envisioning the finish. Seeing my family waiting for me at the line. Seeing the clock blinking 1:50 something. Mile 9 was also the mile where I started falling a part. My side started ever so slightly aching, the ache turned into a piercing and then a full-blown stab wound (that what it felt like anyway).

I was pissed more than anything because this was the end, this was the part where I can gain some ground on my goal. The part where I fly by everyone else because I was “prepared” for this. Well this couldn’t be more opposite. All the way to mile 9 I was running negative splits, spirits were high and I was pumped.

I had one choice to make. I either stop and get this ache to go away and keep on, or I fight through this however I can think. It was an easy decision… I wasn’t going to stop. I began breathing in a pattern that allowed me to run hard for a few seconds, then grimace and jog through the stabbing taking place on my side.

The last mile was brutal.

The streets were lined with people cheering you on, screaming and ringing cow bells. And all I can muster is a defeated face and terribly formed run. I had to look like a zombie. But the last few meters, I saw Tara and the kiddos. It hurt like hell but it was just the boost I needed.

1:52:05 was my official time. I went sub 2. It was a success.

I guess a Marathon is next?

Thank You, Des Moines Support Crew

I have to thank Bryan and Britt for hosting me and my family overnight. I know our kiddos can be a bit overwhelming but you guys handle it and that is all one can ask…training right? It couldn’t’t of happened without you guys. I love how

 

much you love us and our kiddos. Friends like you guys are family, we love you.

Thanks to Luke for hooking the fam bam with a sweet room for the next day. The pool was nice and relaxing. Need to see you more often man.

And always thank you, Tara. You keep me inspired, you keep me loved and you keep me dreaming.

I hope you enjoyed the read. Leave a comment if you have any questions or a story of your own.

If you want to follow the training progress for the next big race follow me on Instagram @acrossthecriknic

 

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic

nic@thefastingplace.com

My First 10K – Polar Dash, MN

Let it begin.

I completed my first task of my uncomfortable journey. I ran a 10k. I didn’t know where to start “race wise” and I have done 5k races before. I wanted to do something new, a different challenge.

I wanted to get in on an early race to start the year. In January there isn’t many foot races in the Midwest. I did find one in the Twin Cities however – the infamous Polar Dash. We have friends in family up in the North Country so Tara and I

Fasting today

decided to make it a fun weekend trip. I signed up for the race after Christmas so I was committed to the 10k –

regardless of snow. I began researching the course and previous year weather conditions.

When researching, I had seen that the last year (2018) had temps in the negatives and it was icy, windy and snowy. Soo…that was promising. My entire goal was to finish the course in under an hour, I was also nervous to just complete the course, I had never run that distance before (6.2 miles) continuously in competition. In the back of my head I was saying “just don’t stop” but in reality I knew I could get a sub hour time if I stuck with training and diet correctly.

Training

Having just a couple weeks before my first race was a bit daunting. I started like anyone should start… I ran 6.2 miles on the treadmill my first day. To my surprise I ran the 6.2 in under and hour (53 min)…on a treadmill…in the confines of my home…in a 68 degree basement. I knew that running on a course in Minnesota would be different from a treadmill but I just wanted to see where I was to start. This brings up my first part about training…in my eyes.

I have said it several times – there are Gurus for everything and in this day in age more than ever. I have found especially in the world of running there are opinions about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Pretty overwhelming actually. Having YouTube, blogs, Instagram, Facebook – it is very easy to get down on yourself in any realm. I found this with running as well.

The sport of Wrestling has helped me over this mental hurdle.

Wrestling

The ultimate sport of “one on one”. The sport where you literally get out what you put in, and everyone that watches you can see it. There is no one else to blame, no one to run to, no one that loses but you. Wrestling isn’t a glorious sport, it isn’t a mainstream sport, my wife didn’t even know what it was before I met her. She has since adopted the sport and really enjoys it…for those of you that wondered.

What I loved most about the sport of wrestling was the extra time I put in. It sounds silly and backwards, but I knew if I was working while others were sleeping, eating – anything other than working on wrestling, I was getting ahead of them. Every take down was one they weren’t getting, every drop of sweat was a drop they would have to make up to me tomorrow. Every time the Metallica CD would end I knew I have 2 hours more of work than they did. It was my peaceful place. I was outworking the competition.

Now mind you…this is coming from a person who never won a state title, but I wouldn’t have accomplished near what I did without this mentality. And thanks to my old man and his teachings, I can now apply this to another chapter of my life.

It’s a Privelege

I see running in the capacity at which I want to achieve much the same. Anyone can tell you a workout, anyone can give you great advice, and anyone can stick to a great training schedule and nutrition regimen. But it always comes down to work you put in. And not just the amount of work, the quality of work. I attribute my wrestling success to this way of thinking.

Personal Militia for Cells
It’s just running…really

What I am about to share is something that will seem like a broken record…but it is true and there is a reason it gets repeated. Training to be the best in anything has to start with your mind. If you don’t think you can compete, then why even try? In order to attain things – goals, ambitions, money etc. you will have to get uncomfortable. You will have to dedicate and abnormal amount of time to a craft. Sacrifices will have to be made. It is simple really, especially because when you break it down…all you are doing is running.

What makes this even easier for me is that I “get” to do this. I have the opportunity to train to run and fulfill a newly imagined dream. I am not laying my life on the line to save another man in combat, I am not making a crucial decision on where my next meal will come from…I am running and it’s a privilege.

OK…got a little off topic – back to Minnesota.

Roadtrip to Minnesota

We headed north to Rochester, MN to stay with family for the night before heading the rest of the way in the morning to the race. Rochester was about 4ish hours from home so it was a bit of a road trip. I found out real quick that the road trip was all a part of the experience and I enjoyed that. Getting to spend a little time away with Tara was great. We kept the kiddos with the grand parents back home for this inaugural experience.

It was hard getting to bed that evening. It brought up some same nerves that wrestling did and in a weird way – I kind of missed that feeling. Anybody who knows that feeling understands it is a very uncomfortable feeling. It is a battle within yourself. You question everything – scenarios, training, nutrition, attire, attitude. Luckily one thing I was fortunate with for this race, was the weather was supposed to be about perfect running weather.

Race Day morning

Tara and I got up about 4:30 in the morning. We had a little over an hour drive left and I had to pick up my bib packet yet (race events hate that you do this by the way). The race was a pretty early start and we had never been before so we wanted to give it plenty of time.

We arrived in plenty of time, got the bib and goodies. Then it was just hurry up to wait. The weather was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit with a little wind out of the north. It was sunny and gorgeous…cold but gorgeous. I had no excuse now to get a sub hour time.

10k
10k

The nerves were really kicking in with about 30 minutes to go. I looked around the staging area at all the runners. Started comparing shoes, attire, bib placement, posture, sun glasses, facial hair, etc. This is something I did in wrestling also that I subconsciously thought gave me an edge. Knowing the person’s habits inside and out, knowing them just as good as they know themselves somehow made me feel more confident. So I naturally did this with the running crowd, I knew I wouldn’t be double legging any fellow runners…at least I hoped not to, but it made me get in to a rhythm of things.

Before I knew it, we were shuffled out to the staging area before the race. I had never done a race longer from a 5k remember, so I didn’t really know how to line up. I noticed they had predetermined staging areas for pace, that made things easy. The last pace area they had been 10 min mile, made me a bit nervous because I would be right in front of the LAST group with a 9-min pace. I felt like I was out of my league seeing this.

Luckily there wasn’t anytime for my overly analytical process to kick in and dissect this new-found information. I have t minus 1 minute til the gun went off.

GO!

My first official race had started. I started passing the 8:30 pace group then the 8:00 pace group and felt really good. I had trained enough to know that I needed to slow down, this wasn’t a couple miles – it was 6, 6.2 to be exact. I slowed down and paced my first 3 miles very well.

The course was beautiful in St. Paul on Harriet Island, bordering the river and a wooded area I couldn’t ask for a better view.

finisher
Me and Tara

I ended with a time of 55:17. That is a pace of 8:54. I had gone sub hour and achieved my goal. It was a great feeling and Tara and my aunt and uncle were there to see me finish…o wait…no they weren’t.

The start was different from the finish. My “squad” was waiting patiently at the starting line for me to get there. I found them after I crossed the “finish” line. It’s the thought that counts.

I ended up with a negative split the entire way through the race. Which made me feel very confident, however it also makes me feel like I left some on the table. Nonetheless, I achieved goal number 1.

Thank you Minnesota Support Crew

gina
Gina

I have to thank Gina and Andre for hosting us for a night in Rochester. Although I didn’t partake in the adult drinks, the Spaghetti was spot on for the carb load! As always great hosts.

Also I want to thank Kathleen and Kevin for hosting us after the race. The drinks, food and Can-Can Wonderland was a whimsical experience that Tara and I will never forget. Thank guys!

And of course – I want to thank Tara. She is my biggest fan and believes in me when I don’t. She is my rock. Love you.

…You would’ve thought I just won the Boston Marathon (which qualifying for that is on the list by the way). But none of this is ever going to happen alone. It takes a team and a great community to get this running thing kick started.

Hope you enjoyed. I would love to hear a running experience you have had. Please leave a comment below, thanks for reading!

 

On to the next.

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

Embrace the Hate – One Mile at a Time

Embrace what you hate. This is the simple slogan I have adopted for the 2019 year. Thanks to David Goggins. If you

run, ultra
Badwater 135

don’t know him, you should follow him on Instagram @davidgoggins.

I have started down a path that involves running…and a lot of it. Beginning with a little research in December 2018 about long distance running… I stumbled upon ultra endurance runs. I have always heard about these runs and athletes but never really paid much attention – you know because I hate to run.

So I dove into researching training programs, nutrition “must do’s” and weight training focusing on endurance and joint stabilization. After watching numerous documentaries about ultra marathons and the lifestyle… I became infatuated. It is one thing to watch a documentary, research and read up on this stuff.

It is entirely different to become an ultra marathon runner.

Is This Realistic?

Before I told my wife about this newly found infatuation, I wanted to make sure it was something that I could realistically tackle. Before looking at the training schedules I had to first decide if I was fit enough to do this? Are my knees OK? Joints OK? Back OK? Ankles OK? Mentality OK? – my answer to all of these was “yes they are OK”. That was enough for me. Because I know all of those “OK’s” can easily be changed to “great” with diet and exercise. With getting my mentality back on track…of course this is realistic. It is all in my head.

Time to get real about this plan.

I brought this up nonchalantly with my wife (Tara). Like everything I bring up to her, she was immediately on board. She is always the voice of reason with my “ideas” however. She brings up great points like “you are going to have to change your diet” “change your sleep schedule” – change, change, change – she was absolutely right.

Change
Change

Without change, and without great sacrifice a person will quit more often than not.

Decisions

After having this talk with Tara I immediately started looking for races. I planned on doing my first 10k a month from when I decided to tackle this training and transformation. There really isn’t many races to choose from in January in Iowa. We found the Polar Dash in St. Paul Minnesota on January 5. I remember telling Tara “I will sign up for it next week” – she told me to sign up now. I did sign up that night, that way it held me accountable…it was real. I had no way out.

                                                                                          “it was real. I had no way out.”

Before I actually started on a training schedule I wanted to see if I could run the 6.2 miles in the shape I was in. Just to “see” where I was. To my surprise I ran the distance in under an hour. This was all done on a treadmill in the warm confines of my house, but nonetheless I impressed myself. That was the beginning of the internal war

I was elated that I had done this. I began searching some workout routines for half-marathon training. The first program I came across was from Hal Higdon. I advise anyone wanting to start down a training road for running to look up Hal Higdon. He has free training programs that are great for any level of runner. You can check out the site here

Simplicity is Bliss

Knowledge without action is simply knowledge and anybody can get that far. Doing something with that knowledge is the hard part – it is the part where you have to get a bit uncomfortable and commit to something.

I began to overthink everything, I have a problem with this. I tried to make it all complicated and plan it all out minute by minute. My training, my rest days, my nutrition, my sleeping patterns – it was silly to say the least. I reached out to a close friend of Tara and mine that is very familiar with this realm for some advice and training tips. I got the advice I was looking for. She said “don’t overthink the training, most people do. You need to get miles in”. This was exactly what I wanted to hear. A black and white answer. My ultimate goal is to run far… so start running.

The training is straight forward, the nutrition is straight forward…it is all straight forward – and simple. The simple things are what I cherish most. Although simple things are what I appreciate most in this world. They come with great sacrifice.

Getting Started

Iowa has been a frigid winter and has had me on a treadmill for the majority of my infancy stages. Sticking with a routine has been where I have started. A simple mileage throughout the week with a longer run on the weekend. Starting with simplifying this process and not overthinking it.

Run
Run

There are critics for everything in life and this community is no different. I have already run into my fair share of “haters” and people that think it is funny, that I am “trying” this. Honestly these are the people I need. Family and friends are always going to root for me – I expect that. I get that extra push from the other side. Then when I need that final bit of encouragement – enter in my family and their sacrifice for me.

 

 

This isn’t about “can I do it” it is about getting started and it will happen. That is my only option.

Sacrifice

The sacrifice I give for this venture is minimal compared to that of my family. Without them this wouldn’t even be a thought that crossed my mind. My kids want their dad to be a super hero.

Running for lengths at end may not give me “super hero” status but it is changing my life one mile at a time.

One foot in front of the other. It’s pretty simple really.

 

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic

nic@thefastingplace.com

21 Day Daniel Fast Diet – Inspiration for Chris Pratt

The world of fasting has since become uber popular within the last few years. Fasting has been used in an array of different spaces. Including specific roles for actors and actresses in movies, killing off dead cells and starting with a fresh body and mind, and for extreme weight loss. Fasting first was introduced ages ago, centuries ago…a lifetime ago.

Chris Pratt has used his celebrity status to bring the Daniel Fast to a new light. He has put religion in the headlines,claiming it will bring him closer to his religious roots. I give the man kudos for fasting and hopefully he can stick with the diet. The religion thing…eh I think you should keep that to yourself. But it is a beautiful country we live in, he can do that.

Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt and the 21 day Daniel Fast

Fasting diets date back to the biblical era and was used to become closer to the spiritual being of a God. Almost every religion has a form of fasting for religious purposes. And most regimens have strict rules about what the fasting diet entails. The 21 Day Daniel Fast Diet is no different.

What is the Daniel Fast Diet, Where did it Come From?

The Daniel fast is based on the experience from the prophet Daniel. This diet comes from the diet of the follower of Jesus and not Jesus himself, which is Daniel in this case. The fast is in the book of Daniel specifically in Daniel 1:12 and 10: 2-3. Without getting to deep into religion we can break this down pretty easily.

Daniel mourned for 3 weeks. In these 3 weeks he kept a strict diet regimen of vegetables and other healthy whole

Prophet Daniel
Prophet Daniel

foods. The diet gives the boot to animal protein of any kind. So the fast in my opinion is more of a strict diet than anything and is very much achievable to anyone wanting to try it.

The diet in this fast is a bit ancient and to me seems pretty exciting. Having something from the past be pieced back together for people to experience in this day in age is an awesome representation of history repeating. The 21 Day Daniel Fast Diet originated eons ago. The fasting is simple the diet is a bit strict. Let’s dive into some foods and recipes worthy of a Biblical Fast.

The Food in the Fast

There are many types of fasts out there and this is just another one that abides by strict rules. The difference of this fast is that you still can eat. Everything is in moderation in this diet and there isn’t much altering that can take place. It makes it very simple to abide by and easy to understand. There is a good list and a bad list of foods that go back to the biblical days.

The food you are allowed to eat consists of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes and various nuts and seeds. When you see it written down, it doesn’t seem like much of a fast at all, more like a restricted diet. This 21 day fast has some twists to it also however. There is no rich food to be eaten, such as sugars and additives. Alcohol is a no-no and must not be consumed during the 21 day Daniel fast diet.

As far as drinking and fluids are concerned…water. Water is the ancient and biblical beverage of choice on this diet. There are several variations of the Daniel fast and has since had conflicting views on what can be consumed for beverage. Home made almond milk, coconut water and homemade veggie juice has its place in the diet if you are not satisfied with just water.

Dinner for a Prophet

There are many lists of appropriate foods out there for the 21 day Daniel fast diet, and along with that comes an extensive recipe list. This will make the Daniel fast seem like a breeze and maybe suggest a lifestyle change. Not eating meat for 3 weeks would be extremely difficult for me, personally. Having all the essential nutrients and caloric needs would make this fasting diet a breeze in my opinion.

The list of veggies is pretty extensive and really is virtually any organic vegetable. The way I like to think of it is, if the vegetable existed back when Daniel did, then it is good to eat. What I mean is nothing crossed or created. Here is a little list of some veggies.

vegetables
Vegetables for the fast
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions

The list really does go on and on, these are just a few of them to give you an idea. The only parameters stated for the vegetables is they can be eaten fresh or cooked (not additives). And the vegetables consumed can’t be canned due to preservatives and additives also.

Fruits are also a part of the fasting diet. The list of fruits is also extensive. Below are a few of them.

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe

    Fruits
    Fruits for Daniel Fast

  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Watermelon

The same rules apply to the fruits, fresh and no canned fruit. And typically a fruit with a low glycemic index. The fruit is a side dish per se. The fruit is to be eaten in moderation keeping it to 1-3 servings daily, with the vegetables being the bulk of the fasting diet. You can have dried fruit to spice it up a bit, but again no additives. The whole grains will be what fills you up and will keep a person not feeling so hungry. The whole grains again are to be eaten in moderation.

The list of whole grains is pretty small, but then again there aren’t much variety of ancient whole grains.

Ancient Whole Grains
Whole Grains
  • Brown Rice
  • Oats Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat

This list is short and I am sure some of you don’t know what Millet or Buckwheat actually are… I didn’t either. But if you are going to tackle this fasting regimen I suggest you get familiar with them. These grains will be the satiation part of the diet. I typically don’t agree with grains at all for a diet, but in this case I feel it unique and historically necessary if you are going to follow the 21 day Daniel fast diet. Not only will the whole grains fill you up, there is also beans and legumes that will compliment them quite nicely.

Preferably organic beans if the appropriate choice for this diet. The list is simple and pretty straight forward. Again these beans and legumes will keep the belly full. Keep in mind that these are to be in moderation as well. With veggies being the main course.

Legumes
beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Garbonzo Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Lentils
  • Split Peas

These are just a few of my favorite beans. I am not a fan of beans and don’t believe they provide much nutritional value in my specific regimen. However, I do find them necessary to stay true to this diet. No canned beans and should be dried and cooked in water only. That will make for an interesting taste. Organic nuts and seeds are also a part of this fast diet.

Organic, raw and/or unsalted nuts and seeds are the route here. Just like Daniel in the past. No additives but can be roasted. This is pretty straight forward. Here is a list of a few.

almonds
almonds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Flax Seed
  • Mustard Seed
  • Walnuts

This is where I was delighted when I came across this part of the diet. Almonds are my go to snack. I have always been an advocate for nuts. There are some betters than others in my opinion. But the rules of the diet are to eat the nuts in an organic state, which make them all pretty reasonable.

With all of these great ingredients, we just have to dive into a few recipes that I find to be quite delicious myself.

A Couple Ancient Recipes

Banana Burritos
Banana burritos, sounds pretty good doesn’t it…or just weird. These little guys are a great source of energy, especially if you are working out during the fast or need a little boost. The combination of the food below will keep you satiated for the better part of a day.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 Bananas, diced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, choped
  • 8 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup granols

    Preparation
    Disperse 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on a tortilla. Then place bananas, strawberries and some granola on top.

Very simple and quick to make. These are delicious. I eat these on a weekly basis regardless of what regimen I may be on.

Beet, Mushroom and Avocado Salad

I have never had beets before I came across this recipe. I tried them and not too much of a fan. However mixed with this salad they become something else. I suggest giving it a go.

  • 4 medium portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 oz. baby kale
  • 8 oz. precooked beets, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced
  • 2 sheets matzo – made into small chunks

Preparation

On large rimmed baking sheet, spray portobello mushroom caps with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; roast at 400 F 20 minutes or until tender.

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; toss half with baby kale and beets. Divide among serving plates. Top with avocados, matzo, and portobellos, thinly sliced. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

The Bottom Line for the 21 Day Daniel Fast Diet

That is a pretty extensive list of food you can eat on this “fast”. I think the only thing left off was a #1 at McDonald’s. Having said that I do believe that this is hardly a fast in my opinion, and much more of dedication to diet for a religious cause. Nonetheless, I do think this would promote healthy lifestyle changes and a better understanding of self.

bible
bible

I find the 21 day Daniel fast diet intriguing because of the history. I like seeing things of the past stick around and resurface. I would suggest giving this a try, if not for 21 days, maybe a week or a few days. It goes without saying, but this fasting diet may be a bit cashy. Unless you own a nut farm, have a great garden and some orchards be prepared to dish out some dough for this diet.

If you have questions or have any fun recipes or tricks to add to the 21 Day Daniel Fasting Diet, please share below in the comments.

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic

nic@thefastingplace.com

Growth Mindset Assembly – 5 Items to new Thinking

The human brain is a crazy tool that we as a race under-utilize. Time and time again, we set limitations on ourselves. Telling ourselves something over and over, this will eventually stick and we will believe it. When you let others influence the way you think, you are failing the brain. Your mind should be its own, and no one else.

Impossible is a relative term. My impossible may be 180 degrees different from yours. A growth mindset is something that I strongly believe everyone should research and adopt.

Complacency is something that “us” (meaning humans) as a culture consider “part of life”. As a person we should never become complacent, ever. To be the best should always pass through your brain – daily, hourly, by the minute.

We will be diving into an entire series of articles dedicated to those ideas and successes by humans later on. But for now – this list of the Growth Mindset Assembly will get you in the right direction.

Book

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck has unlocked the world of a growth mindset in the holy grail of “mindset”. Dweck who has a Ph. D from the University of Stanford has compiled years – decades of research into a well-thought-out book. Dweck has opened up a realm not known to most. The Growth Mindset – people who believe that all abilities and skills are developed. As opposed to a Fixed Mindset – which is people who believe that their abilities have been in fact fixed.

Mindset shows how the best people on the planet use a Growth Mindset. Ranging from Olympic athletes, hall of fame coaches, extraordinary parents, teachers – the list goes on. The newest edition is out now where Dweck dives into applying the Growth Mindset to not just individuals but cultures as well.

YouTube Channel

Impact Theory – Tom Bilyeu

This YouTube Channel will draw you in and you will be subscribing in no time. Tom Bilyeu is the founder of Quest Nutrition and has a unique story himself. He went from rags-to-riches keeping his head on straight and a clear mission of what he wanted. In 2018 his net worth is estimated at $400 million easily ranking him among one of the top entrepreneurs of the year.

The channel is based around the idea of unlocking every persons potential. And that human brilliance is limitless. He has had an array of guests exploring potentional and what can be achieved through hard work, grit and the mind. Some guest he has had on include: David Goggins, Simon Sinek, Devon Still, Rob Drydek, Carol Dweck, Ryan Holliday, Tucker Max, Nastia Liukin – the list is endless. You can check out the site here Impact Theory

I have attached one of my favorite inspirational videos of all time below. David Goggins, you don’t know him – you should get to known him. Zero excuses.

Someone to Follow

Tim Ferris @timferris

Tim Ferris is a 5 time best-selling author on the New York Times best-sellers list. He is author of epic books such as Tools of Titans and the uber famous 4-hour work week. Tim Ferris is truly and inspiration to me and to millions of hopeful entrepreneurs around the world.

Tim is one of kind in all aspects. He has a unique writing presence and truly is an artist. He also has won a kickboxing gold medal. He didn’t win this conventionally however, he like most things in his life…out smarted everyone. He used the rules (or lack their of) to get this task done.

This wasn’t cheating at all, he took advantage of the situation. You can check out the blurb from his 4-hour work week book here.

Tim has a no nonsense approach to life, he finds the best ways to hack through BS and capitalizes on it. I strongly urge you follow this man on his platforms. His Instagram account will get you started.

Article to Read

How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence – Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is a best-selling author of books like The Ego is the Enemy and a personal favorite The Obstacle is the Way. Ryan is a believer in the growth mindset and adapts this to everyday life. He is knows as a true modern stoic with great philosophical yet binary view of marketing and entrepreneurship.

Check out the article HERE

When it comes to getting to the point of something, Ryan will get you their – whether you like it or not. He cuts through a mess of your past to get down to the point. He isn’t one to care much for you feelings he is more of a “results” type of guy. Truly an inspiration.

This article is a must read if you are looking to retain knowledge in your reading. I know I am. This article is maybe a 10-minute read and the take-a-ways are amazing. This is also hosted on the site The Medium. Another great tool to add.

Podcast to Check out

Lewis Howes with James Lawrence (The Iron Cowboy)

Lewis Howes is an inspirational voice that has changed the way I tackle the world. Howes had many setbacks growing up as a kid. He came from a divorced home, had an older brother do jail time, had a career ending injury in his outlet of sports. He hit rock bottom, and from that emerged a great man. Truly grateful for Lewis Howes and his vision.

His podcast is with legendary “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence –Become Superhuman and Achieve the Impossible. If you don’t known who the Iron Cowboy is, then read a book – in fact, read his book INSERT.

James Lawrence holds the world record for the most Iron Mans (triathlons) in a calendar year. He did 50! Not only did he do 50 in a year. He did 50 in 50 consecutive days, in 50 different states! This man truly is an inspiration, with 5 kids and a wife they toured the country and completed this “impossible” task.

Lewis dives straight into the mindset aspect and how to tackle it all with the Iron Cowboy. Great Podcast to check out. You think you area tough person – think again.

Growth Mindset Assembly – Adopt it!

Understanding what a growth mindset can do for you is vital to living a full life. This should in no way offend you, but rather should excite you.

This should empower you, encourage you. This information will open up doors that very well may have been shut your entire life. Knowing their is more, and knowing how simple it is. This site is dedicated to fasting, diet and mindset. Without mindset, you will get nowhere.

Check out these 5 items above – I promise it will change your life.

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

Sweet Sweat Premium Waist Trimmer Review

Product: Sports Research Sweet Sweat Premium Waste Trimmer
Price: 
$20.95 – $30.95
Cheapest Place to Buy:
 Amazon.com
Sizes:
5 unique sizes
Rating:
10 out of 10

I wear a Waist Trimmer Belt

I have always worked out with a waist trimming belt, at least since junior high. Maybe not for the reason most people wear one. I had experienced a severe lower back injury when I was younger and have always bought a waist trimming belt for all of my athletics since. I really used it just as security, as it had little to no support on my actual back.

As time moved on, I consistently wore a waist trimming belt. Trying out different belts all the time. Ranging from name brand to cheap ones from a retail store. As I got older, I started using the trimmer belt for what it was intended for. To lose some belly weight and sweat more. I still wear a belt for security of my back issue however.

The older I become and the less amount of time I have to workout, the more I care about quality of what products I am using. In all aspects of going to the gym. Shoes, workout clothes, headphones, drinks, pre-workout and recently the Sweet Sweat Premium Waist Trimmer. Sports Research has come out with yet again another great rendition to a classic – I will never buy a different belt again.

Quality is Insane

The Sweet Sweat waist trimmer stands out for an array of reasons. The first thing I noticed was the physical quality. This belt is durable and built to last. I really just gave this belt a try, it had great reviews and the price was right…what would I lose? Hopefully some belly fat.

Let’s dive into the construction of the Sweet Sweat Premium Waist Trimmer

Latex Free – Neoprene
Very sturdy and has a latex free neoprene inside. This induces sweating tremendously. The neoprene also has the unique ability to repel sweat. This product is different, in that it won’t get your clothes completely soaked with sweat…a plus.

Double Velcro
The belt has double Velcro for an extended life. I have had this belt for four months and use it regularly. Still, in great condition. The Velcro is a heavier duty Velcro than most trimmer belts, I can attest to that. The double Velcro makes it so there is little bunching and no “coming undone”.

Overlock Stitching
The overlock stitching provides a little more comfort than trimmers in the past, in my opinion. And personally the overlock system looks cool, has a great aesthetic presence that most belts don’t have. This makes it more “fashionable to wear it over the clothes if you don’t like the contact to the skin.

Sturdy
I was extremely impressed how much this actually supported my lower back. I didn’t buy this belt with any intention of support, more for the sweating. I was surprised to note this doubles as some support. It isn’t like a weight belt by any means, but it works for what I need. Very impressed.

5 Different Sizes

The waist trimmer comes in 5 different sizes. This is unique to the waist trimmer game. Ranging from small to XXL this belt is for everyone looking to shed some poundage.

  • Small – 8″ x 35″
  • Medium – 8″ x 41″
  • Large – 9″ x 46″
  • XL – 10″ x 51″
  • XXL – 10″ x 60″

Five different sizes for every shape and size. This is a great step up in the waist trimmer world. I will note to you that you should order a belt smaller than what you think. I did a little research before ordering mine, and I figured on a large. After reading reviews I went with a medium. I am glad I did, because honestly I could of even done a “snug small”.

So with all products, especially new ones – their are some downsides. There really isn’t many to name, but they are worth noting.

What’s Not to Like

I really don’t have much bad to say about the Sweet Sweat Premium waist trimmer. There are a couple things that I wish they could figure out however in the waist trimmer world. And this one is no different.

Not Machine Washable
The biggest problem I have with any waist trimmer is that they aren’t machine washable. Most of this is due to the composition of the product. The easy fix is to just spray it off in the shower.

They Run Big
The reviews aren’t kidding when they say “buy a smaller size”. I went smaller than what I originally thought and I was still close to getting the wrong size. Just get a smaller size than you think, simple fix.

Allergies
I haven’t the issue of being allergic to neoprene. But if you are in fact allergic to neoprene or have sensitive skin, I suggest you put this product outside of your clothes ONLY.

The Gel
They send you a free “gel” (they did with mine anyway) and it really does induce sweat. The problem is that it really isn’t much, maybe enough for one or two workouts. But hey, it’s a free sample.

Before you head off to check this belt out, I will leave you with a few more highlights of the Sweet Sweat premium waist trimmer.

Sleek and Easily Hidden

The design that they have come up with over at Sports Research is truly one for fashion. Let’s face it a waist trimmer can be bulky and add unwanted bulk to your look. I know going to the gym isn’t always about what you look like…

or is it? <===Again, let’s be honest.

This is very slim and is hardly noticeable under clothing. The great thing about the Sweet Sweat Premium Waste Trimmer is that it can easily go over your clothes as well. The neoprene will stick to the clothing as well as skin. This product actually looks like it “belongs” if you decide on the outside of the clothes.

The waist trimmer has two different color options, yellow and pink. There is a nice looking logo on the trimmer as well. The comfort ability of the belt makes it easy to forget about, honestly. Usually with all of my other previous escapades I would always end up taking the belt off toward the end of my workout for one reason or another. Not with this one.

What to Expect with the Waist Trimmer

This belt came with a sample of their sweet sweat gel, which was great because I got to try out their product. This product does induce sweating, but really isn’t necessary at all. It also comes with a handy bag to store your waist trimmer belt in. I actually use the bag for my headphones and stuff – either way you get a free bag with it. They really stand by the product, love seeing that.

Why the Sweet Sweat Trimmer?

This belt is above most in this space. Especially for the price, you just can’t go wrong. I have gone through probably easily 100 waist trimming belts since I began wearing them 15 years ago and up to this point they have all been…meh. This belt really is a nice sleek and practical design that serves as a great intro to getting that belly slim. More importantly this gets sweating going quickly.

There are plenty of reasons to give the Sweet Sweat premium waist trimmer a try. I am an experienced waist trimmer belt wearer (if that isn’t a tough guy “kind of thing” to claim to be!). I have been down the road of throwing away belt after belt for various reasons.

Overall I give this belt at 10 out of 10

Until they come out with the “next best thing” in the waist trimmer world. The Sweet Sweat Premium Waste Trimmer by Sports Research has my vote, hands down.

I like to get down to the black and white of everything. The bottom line is that this is a quality product. For this product flirting in the 20$ range, it’s a no brainer. You can’t even buy a pair of workout shorts for that kind of money.

Give it a shot, if nothing else – it will make you sweat!

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

 

 

 

Fasting Tips and Tricks – 5 Mind Hacks

Doing anything special deserves special treatment. Whether you want to run a marathon or going to get your PHD there are sacrifices to make along the way. If you have decided to do an extended fast or even an intermittent fast, you will need some help.

Encouragement from a loved one or from The Fasting Place may not be enough for you to battle the elements of fasting. Fasting will test your mind more than anything involved. It all starts in the mind. Before you even start you have told yourself “OK we are going to do a fast” immediately that will constantly go through your mind.

Knowing you are not going to eat for whatever period you have chosen will be a constant reminder. A constant reminder to “try again later” or “one more meal, then we will start” or “after the holidays”. Whatever it may be, your mind wants food, you have to make the decision to say “I am the boss and I want to do this”.

Fasting Tips and Tricks
Fasting Tips and Tricks

The mind is a funny thing, you can double and triple think yourself into anything. When you have to go to battle with your mind and body – the mind will win EVERY SINGLE TIME – BAR NONE. We have come up with a list of fasting tips and tricks – 5 mind hacks. You will have enough to deal with by starting down a fasting road. These mind hacks will alleviate some of them.

Stick around to the end and we have two huge secret weapons to add to your arsenal when it comes to a long term fast.

Overview of Fasting Tips and Tricks

Before we get to far into the 5 mind tricks. Understand that fasting isn’t easy, and if everyone could do it, they would. It is very easy to give up and that is what a few of these Jedi mind tricks are for. To stop making excuses. A few of these are just plain common sense and a few are seriously about tricking your mind into things. It truly is a secret weapon in the fasting world that few can grasp.

So with 5 fasting tips and tricks to cover lets get hacking. I will put a list right below this block for quick reference, so you know what to expect.

  1. Research – Do a Little Reading Before Jumping In
  2. Schedule – Set up a Schedule Before you Start
  3. Log – Keep track of Metrics During your Fast
  4. Set a Weight Loss Goal – Put a Number to it
  5. Drink Water!

Research – Do a Little Reading Before Jumping In

Before doing anything it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with said item. For example – if you were going to go fishing in northern Canada for pike and walleye you would need to do some research, at least for it to be successful anyway. This brings up another good point. Some people may be able to fly off the cuff and succeed, these are few and far between. Most things worth having in life are hard…very hard.

Research, scrabble, fasting tips and tricks
Research fasting tips and tricks

The easy stuff is saturated and everybody loves the easy stuff, it also puts you in the 99%. I suggest reading some mindset books before starting down the fasting route. Sure doing some research about fasting as well, but it really is simple if you are going to do water fast…don’t eat.

It all starts in the mind, as stated before. Researching the mind a bit will solidify to yourself that you can in fact do this.

If research isn’t your thing, here is the bones of what you really need to know before starting a fast

  • Law of Attraction
  • This is going to be harder than you think
  • You will feel like you are getting sick
  • Watch a few videos of success stories, so you know you can do it also
  • You will benefit from this

My favorite reason is that not everyone can do this. You will have plenty of people tell you ignorant things along the way. You will have to ignore them. You have to keep telling yourself, well I am doing something that damn near 95% of the human race can’t do.

Research is an important component before starting a fast. Depending on your goals it will change what you research, we will get into that in a bit. Setting a schedule is number two, just has to happen.

Schedule – Set up a Schedule Before you Start

Scheduling goes hand in hand with accountability. Holding yourself to a standard that is written down will force your mind to argue. It is much easier to tell yourself “ah, maybe next time” if you don’t write it down. I personally wrote down these words when I did a 10-day fast.

“You know at some point, you will talk yourself into giving up – because you are effing smart and can work around your own thoughts. This note is here to remind you to not give up – if you do – time has been wasted”

Schedule, fasting tips and trick
Schedule Fasting

Writing down these little statements makes it almost humorous when you get to the point of giving up. It really did help me, and upset off all at the same time.

Schedules don’t have to have a blueprint or there isn’t a specific way to schedule a fast. For me it was – I am not going to eat for 10 days – the rest will be figured out. For some it might be down to the hour. Really you just need some evidence that you committed to yourself.

Log – Keep track of Metrics During your Fast

We have said it before here at The Fasting Place – Log EVERYTHING. Leading up to your fast journey start a log. This can be either written down or if you want to keep it on your computer, it doesn’t matter as long as you are tracking. There are plenty of apps out there as well that can do this for you.

If you remember Matt from our article The Beginners Guide to Fasting he is using an app to log all of his progress. And it is working great for him. The app is called Zero Fasting Tracker and it is free! This app helps you set up your window time for re-feed and fasting. It is a real nice tool to have.

I myself like the old school way. I have a journal that I bought from Barnes and Noble and keep notes on everything. I may go overboard on what metrics I use, but you have to see results to keep you moving in the right direction…right? Below I have listed the metrics I use, feel free to pick and chose which ones you like. Also, it is totally up to the person fasting. What is important for “you” to see change.

  • Physical Dimensions (weekly)
    • Waist dimension
    • Bicep dimension
    • Neck dimension
    • Thigh dimension

      measuring, fasting tips and tricks
      Measuring dimensions for fasting

    • Wrist dimension
  • Weight loss (daily)
  • Water intake – ounces daily
  • Sparkling Water intake – ounces daily
  • Calorie intake (only if intermittent fasting of course)
  • Coffee intake ounces daily (usually 8 ounces, no more than 12 ounces)
  • Sleep
    • Duration of uninterrupted sleep
    • Bed time (i.e. 8:00 pm)
    • Awake time (i.e. 5:00 am)
  • Exercise
    • Type of exercise
    • Duration
    • Weight before and after workout
  • Summary
    • I always write a brief summary of how the day went. How I was feeling, hungry, upset, tired, full of energy etc. What I did that day also as far exercises. I always end with what I did with my kiddos and wife. Did we go for a walk with the dog, jump on the trampoline, yard work. I like to keep it a journal of personal experience as well. This will be something to look back on in the years to come. Enjoy the ride

Set a Weight-Loss Goal – Set a Bunch of Goals!

Personal experience here is always set a weight loss goal…ALWAYS. Even if your reason to fast has nothing to do with weight loss make this a goal…here’s why.

Whether you are 10 pounds heavy or 10 pounds underweight, there is an emotional attachment to that magic number. It is a number that defines a part of you. Whether you tell yourself it is important or not…it is. It is one of the few things in a person’s life they always know. Maybe not exactly but they always know roughly how much they weigh.

There are psychological advantages to tracking your weight. This is very useful when fasting of course. Because you are going to lose weight, there is no way around that if you stick to your guns…so track it. This shows progress.

Set more Goals
Set as many goals as you want. I set daily and weekly goals when I go on an intense fast. These goals can be simple, very simple. I set them sometimes just so I can achieve them. Confidence is something your mind will need if you are on day 5 of a 10-day fast. Believe that.

Here are few examples of “mini goals”

Mini Goal Setting

  • Read 1 chapter of a book or simply start reading a good book
  • Do 50 push-ups today – anyway, anytime no matter what
  • Take the kids for a half mile jog in the stroller
  • Drink 1 gallon of water
  • Give 5 people during the day a “big thank you” show gratitude
read, fasting, fasting tips and tricks
Reading for mini goals

These are silly goals, and I am sure you get the idea. Keep yourself busy by setting goals. This will consume your time and push you toward checking each on off.

We have gone over a few of the more psychological hacks, which are very important. But fasting is very much so a physical chore. Your body is going to hate you for a little bit, and that is fine. Exit the comfort zone and get pleasantly uncomfortable.

Drink Water!

This may sound simple, that is because it is. There is a recurring theme with fasting and weight loss – SIMPLICITY. That is what I love about it. It is binary and simple. The hard part is training the body and mind. Drink, drink and drink. Water.

Some people stray away from drinking too much water, afraid they will get what is known as water intoxication. This is a real thing. Fun fact about it –

Andy Warhol’s family accused the hospital of water intoxication as what constituted his death.

soup, can, warhol
Can of soup painted by Andy Warhol

Nonetheless death by water intoxication is extremely rare and usual cases are from “water drinking contests” – yea that is a thing. Drinking a gallon of water for 10 days straight with no electrolytes is fine for most. If you are worried about it, consult a physician before and you can find way to measure your balance of electrolytes if you get too worried about it.

If you are intermittent fasting, water intake will not be a big deal at all. You will (or should) be balancing your electrolyte level daily. If you are going on an extended fast, you are more than likely aware of risks and dangers of water intoxication, and everything else that goes along with side effects of a long term fast.

If you have questions about this issue, email me and we can dive in further to it. We are happy to help, always!

OK, I said we had some secret weapons to share with you if you stayed to the end of the article. Or if you just by passed all the goodies above and got here. Either way – 2 hacks that will trick the mind into thinking your body consumed calories. These 2 hacks really work and will help you through the toughest of times.

Carbonated (Sparkling) Water

We recently dove into Carbonated Water Good or Bad. You can read in the link <=== back there, or just take my word for it…it is fine and actually good for you.

Sparkling water has a carbonation when opened (obviously) and this simple element tricks your mind in to “fullness”. Drinking 32 ounces or so of sparkling water (16 each time) will help to replace unwanted hunger pains in the beginning of a fast.

Furthermore the flavor will add some color to your palate, this is essential when fasting. Just plain water can get pretty boring. So mix it up with some sparkling water.

Salt

Yep…just salt.

Keeping little packets of salt on hand when fasting is great satiator…(is that a word?) whatever. If will do the same as sparkling water. Throwing a pinch or two of salt underneath your tongue will retain some water in your system.

More importantly than that, the salt dissolving under your tongue will again make your mind think you ate a meal. Your hunger pang and pains to a minimum.

Fasting Tips and Tricks Summary

This has been a great introduction to how I have started a fast. I still use all of these methods today. There are always hacks to add in and take away as time goes on. These are the most important hacks I have come up worth for weight loss. These hacks will get you through the tough times.

By doing the research, logging your experience, drinking the water etc. – will hold you accountable and will make it hard to not follow through. Otherwise, that would be a big waste of time. When it comes to committing to a diet or weight loss plan, wasted time is the culprit of resentment.

Fasting is binary, black and white. It is you vs. you. You are the one to say “nope” and you are the one to say “let’s do this”. It isn’t that easy, but with a few fasting tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to satisfying all of your goals.

Please post below in the comments if you enjoyed this read. We want to here your experiences, post ’em!

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

 

 

 

Carbonated Water Good or Bad? – Fizzy Facts

One of my favorite beverages is carbonated water, it is refreshing, zero calories and it is a great alternative to soda. Soda used to be my vice and it really put a damper on things, switching to carbonated water has been a game changer. I used carbonated water for almost all the fasting techniques I use, and I have maintained a pretty decent weight.

Is sparkling water good or bad
Is sparkling water good or bad

There has been some noise circling the carbonated (sparkling) water world in relation to dieting, fitness and fasting. Carbonated water or better known as sparkling water has been around for quite some time. There are several types of sparkling water, quite a bit more with the new era.

There may be some misconceptions of what is good for you and bad for you…as far as fasting or dieting is concerned. In this article we are going to either debunk or confirm some of these topics…a good ole’ pro and con if you will. Let’s dive in – is carbonated water good or bad?

What is Carbonated (sparkling) Water

So what is it, all I knew before starting down a health road was it was cheap, tasted like stale water and had zero nutritional value. Well…most of that is still true believe it or not. But what actually is the stuff?

Carbonated water is water that has been mixed with carbon dioxide under pressure. This is why when you open a can or twist open a top you get the fuzzy sensation of a soda, just love it when it tickles the lips (OK a little weird, but true). There are several types of sparkling water on the market. With that will come different ingredients.

carbonated water
carbonated water

Before we get deep into if carbonated water is good or bad. I want to let you all in on why it is my beverage of choice. Just to give you a little background of my relationship with the bubbly masterpiece. I know that seems extreme, but it has helped me reduce my sugar intake, cut out certain elements of my diet completely and all around made me lose weight. For that I owe fizzy water some gratitude.

Sparkling Water and Fasting

I came across sparkling water as a food suppressant when I was researching fasting. I really never did like the taste much of any sparkling water before this. I started with some intermittent fasting and a pretty “loose diet” plan. I soon introduced sparkling water into my diet, and it helped me 10 fold.

I started drinking sparkling water on a regular basis and haven’t looked back. I know enjoy the taste. Maybe it is acquired, maybe it’s because of the zero everything in it or maybe it is just the satiation.

Satiation
If you aren’t familiar with the term satiate, it means to satisfy. In the essence of fasting it helps replace meals. It tricks the body into thinking you ate something. It is truly unbelievable how well this tackles the hunger pains. Sparkling water is great on long flight or any type of long travel.

Great for on the go
Great for on the go

Being hungry is terrible in any situation. If you are someone that is always on the go sparkling water is easy to throw in a bag and go. Some will use coffee to satiate and that is fine, I also use it for that reason. Sparkling water has a refreshing quality that coffee just doesn’t have for me.

When I started fasting, sparkling water was my counterpart and has stuck with me.

I really didn’t want to dive into anything scientific with the ingredients but I would be doing the sparkling water community a disservice if I just had my biased opinion. I am not going to bore you with too many details, but I feel if you have read this far, might as well stay tuned for some fizzy facts.

Fizzy Facts

Sparkling water does have a small list of ingredients. This is where the controversy comes in, this is the panties getting bunched up stage of the game.

Like anything amazing – controversy is everywhere. The Fasting Place is here to go to battle for the carbonated crusader.

Like stated previously there are many types of sparkling water. There are generic brands almost in any grocery store along with name brands like La Croix, Perrier and San Pellegrino to name a few. If you have any questions about what sparkling water may be here is a short list to clear it up:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Club Soda
  • Soda Water
  • Seltzer

Tonic water is a sparkling water however it doesn’t make the cut in my opinion. The ingredients in tonic water include some sugar and a corn syrup mix.

If you have ever sipped on a Los Pellegrino or Perrier sparkling water you may note the bland and almost over bearing mineral taste (which I enjoy from time to time, actually). This is because it is spring fed water and has an array of minerals and sulfur that are toned down a bit in the production phase.

Some simple facts of sparkling water is that it is carbonated water which is under pressure from mixing it with carbon dioxide gas and there are a few ingredients. If you are on the fence of the carbonated water, I am sure you are just dying to know what these ingredients are? Well there is nothing to hide here, lets reveal this nasty concoction.

The Carbonated Cocktail

There aren’t many ingredients when it comes to carbonated water. There are actually a few variances depending on brand and type of sparkling water. Below I have listed the common ingredients:

  • Citric Acid
  • Natural Flavors
  • Potassium Benzoate
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K)
Ingredients
Ingredients

That is the basic ingredients among all carbonated drinks in one form or another. These ingredients act in conjunction with each other to make this beverage a tasty and satiating one.

Citric Acid
This is a soluble organic compound. This is added to sparkling water for flavor. I know the “acid” word seems scary and in fact this may be my biggest con about sparkling water. There have been studies that show over time the acid can eat away at the enamel of your teeth.

On the flip side of this, let’s note that soda – any soda is minimum 100x worse for your teeth. So you can be the judge on that.

Natural Flavors
These two words may very well be the most controversial words in the health market right now, and there could be an entire thesis written on. In short what “natural flavors” constitutes is that the flavor was derived from a plant or animal, extremely vague.

This is a big problem for some people and if it is for you there are plenty of carbonate water without natural flavors. But here is the thing about it. The FDA doesn’t require any company to include ingredients if they can in fact use the “natural flavor” label.

This doesn’t bother me at all, being a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself. I have bigger fish to fry in this realm.

Potassium Benzoate
This is just a salt preservative. There are plenty of forms of preservatives out there. Manufacturers use these to keep perishable goods from “going bad”. That was a simple one.

Potassium Citrate
This is a remedy in most foods or drinks that are acidic. This makes your urine less acidic. See – you get the greatness of an acidic diet and don’t have to feel the pain.

Sucralose
Sucralose is a strongly debated word, it has been debated since it became popular in 1988. You might know this term better if I were to say “Splenda”. That is what this is, an artificial sweetener. Sucralose is strongly debated in the medical world. Because in some studies is has shown insulin and blood sugar levels to go up.

Not all sparkling water has sucralose. And there is such a small level of it in sparkling water a normal human that is used to a little sugar will not notice a difference. I am sure you know some people who have had some sugar or Splenda before?

splenda
splenda

There will always be a con to a pro when you want to get the medical world involved. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.

grassfed
grassfed

I would really like to eat “grass fed” steaks all the time, but sometimes the grass has been tainted with the family dog “fertilizing” the pasture, in which he was eating processed dog food. The grass growing isn’t so organic anymore is it? Yes this was a bit of a stretch, but I am sure you see my point…maybe?

My opinion on sucralose is that a little doesn’t matter. I am big fan of almost anything in moderation isn’t going to kill ya’. Sucralose has been approved by the FDA since 1988 and has never been taken off the shelves.

Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K)
Better knows as Ace K Acesulfame Potassium is similar to that of Sucralose. Ace K like Splenda is a calorie free sugar substitute. Ace K is 200x sweeter than sugar which means you don’t need much of it to notice a difference in taste.

Again this is something that isn’t required if you want sparkling water. I enjoy the artificial sweetness. I was a big diet soda drinker and this was my substitute, it has work out quite nicely.

The Fasting Place Favorite Sparkling Water Selection

We have compiled what is in our opinion the best sparkling water out there. We aren’t biased they are all pretty good. We have a good range of price also. The Smartwater is new, and pretty good if you ask me. Enjoy

Summary on the Carbonated Compadre’s Ingredients

I have laid out the ingredients to show you that it really isn’t that bad. These ingredients may have a little controversy, like anything. Besides water there isn’t much that can compare to carbonated water.

There are two sides to every tale and carbonated or sparkling water is not different. So…is carbonated water good or bad?

Like stated before I think anything in moderation is just fine. However I think it is just fine to blow this one out of the water. Drinking sparkling water all day I feel would have no adverse effects on the human body. I know some may disagree with this but I just don’t.

I know plenty of humans that rely on soda all day every day and are somehow just fine. This is the human body at work, always adapting. If a human body can adapt to thousands of grams of sugar, and carbs daily. I do believe the human body can adapt to a few ingredients that don’t even show up on a nutrition label.

I wanted to be detailed with what these ingredients do and how they can effect you and your system. The truth is, that after doing a little research – I feel even better about my choice to stick with sparkling water. If we were to dive in to a diet soda the same we just did with sparkling water….o boy. I might get in trouble for trying to murder someone via blog post.

I want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have an experience with a certain drink that you just love or have diet benefits from. All questions welcome.

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

 

 

 

Beginners Guide to Fasting – Where to Start?

The fasting community is a popular and growing community with many experts in the field. Due to the increase of popularity there have been an influx in intermittent and long term fasting studies done. Studies range from weight loss to the not so obvious of things like “autophagy” and “mitochondrial biogenesis”. There is also a dark side of the fasting community. A side in which studies are stating that it isn’t good for you.

Like any trend, idea, new business – you name it. There will be someone playing devil’s advocate. This is a large world with many diet ideas out there. Some work for others and some don’t. When I was a kid is vastly different from what you hear nowadays. And 30 years from now will be something yet again very different.

fasting for beginner
virtruvian man

The way I see this “my diet is better than yours” is very simple. The rate at which humans are living is exponentially increasing as time moves on. The food we eat is a direct reflection of our existence, of our longevity. Of course there are other factors that go into place. But diet and exercise rank up there in my opinion. Fasting is a great way to explore your potential mentally and physically. The fasting place has put together a little article about the beginners guide to fasting…enjoy.

The Right Reasons

Not one idea or “fad” is going to work for everyone. Some people really enjoy food; like really…to the point of deleting you as a fiend on Facebook. And that is fine, completely fine – that is a joy of being a human. Some people are looking for a change and will try anything to tackle that goal. And for me it was believing in the binary principles of it. Knowing I will benefit from fasting, intermittently and long term fasts.

Whatever diet and plan a person has decided on should be an important decision. I don’t believe in a “fad” idea because like fads, they all seem to die out. Creating a lifestyle change is more of the way I like to see it. I admit that it is a struggle to commit 100% to something like a fasted regimen (I am proof that is a work in progress).

But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. I have ultimately found benefits in fasting and certain diets with high fat in them – that is me – my personal experience. I have found it much more beneficial than not.

I am going to focus on the reasons started me down a fasting road. The couple that stood out to me were obviously

Mindset
Mindset

weight loss, at a rapid rate and mental clarity. Although I wasn’t too sure about the mental clarity I knew I wanted to lose some weight and do it fast. The mental clarity was a bonus. Along with those two benefits came an array of others

that I found beneficial. That is why we have the beginners guide to fasting.

But when starting out it is hard to focus on what is important to remember. With an enormous amount of information out there on fasting, I found out the hard way by not having a clear mission or plan. I ended up benefiting from the trial runs, but I have outlined what I wish I knew about fasting before I started.

The Fasting Place has come up with a simple and easy way to understand what you need to know before fasting. The creation of the Fasting Beginners Guide is about to begin.

Fasting – When Starting Out

When I first heard of fasting for health benefits, it intrigued me. I was wanting to know more and that is what I did. I researched and watched videos, understood the lingo, the dangers and most importantly I was empowering myself with a new way of dieting and losing weight. The key take-aways through all of the research were the simple ones.

You aren’t Starving – You’re Hungry

Starving is to suffer severely or starve from food. Take the first part of this definition “suffer severely”. You could be 65 pounds overweight, that is suffering severely in my mind. Suffering severely can be taken to any context that any person sees fit. If you are doing something for a reason…a good reason, there may be some suffering involved.

Hunger
Hungry not starving

There will be “signs” that will tell you to quite your fast whether it be intermittent or a 72 hours fast. Signs is in quotes because this is just your body telling your mind “hey we aren’t used to this, please shove some food down the throat”. There will be a bit of a “flu feeling”. See some examples of some signs –

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Hunger

Seems pretty obvious right? Knowing this going in will help in a few different ways. You will prepare you mind knowing this will occur and won’t bail at the first sign of weakness. You body will adapt knowing that you have in fact prepared for this. Don’t take my word for it…it’s science. The above really does go hand in hand for both intermittent and a longer term fast. But in case you were wanting to decipher a few key components between the two – let’s get down to it.

Intermittent

To get started – What is intermittent fasting.

Well it is where you have predetermined window of fasting (non eating) and eating. There are various diet plans and regimens associated with intermittent fasting. This is more of an umbrella term for different variations.

Fasting plate
Fasting intermittent 5:2

The Fasting Place Definition of Intermittent Fasting: Not eating any calories until 2:00 pm. We suggest 8-12 oz of black coffee in the morning.

So if you are gong to start intermittent fasting (which is what we suggest, before jumping into something longer fast), there a couple different things to keep in mind that vary from a longer fast. These are The Fasting Place grade “A” opinions, you can change them up any way you please. These have just been our proven model.

You will be eating on a set schedule and will likely be hungry for your feeding window. For obvious reasons it is important to set a schedule and stick with it! Whatever schedule you set for yourself – stay with it, no matter what. We have some examples of our top choice for starting an intermittent fasting routine.Check it out here.

Along with a schedule you should place a calorie deficit on yourself. This doesn’t need to be extreme by any means. But if you want results you will need to tackle this like any other diet. If you are doing this for other reasons other than weight loss, by all means keep your calorie intake right where it is. You will still lose weight.

Last but not least the last recommendation for you to get rolling…have a diet in mind to start with. This can be any diet you have in mind. We like the keto diet going high in fats and low in carbs, check out our take on the Keto diet and fasting.

Water Fasting or Long-Term Fasting

When water fasting the same applies for most of the principles from above. There are differences in intermittent and water fasting. Water fasting gets the name because you really only drink water…that’s it – WATER ONLY. However we have a spin on water fasting…with good reason.

If you truly want to “water fast” then yes…you can drink only water for a set time. In experience and through research, I find it much more beneficial to have again 8-12 ounces of coffee in the morning, then water and sparkling water. The coffee boosts the autophagy cycle which is one of the reasons I use long term fasting in the first place.

When doing a long term fast you need to be committed and versed in your research. Knowing what your body is capable of and not “over doing” certain aspects. I have several 2 day fasts, several 5 days fasts and recently a 10 day fast. Every fast has challenged my mind and my urge to break the fast. A couple hacks to get you through your initial beginning can be seen here.

It really is a Simple Idea – Summary of Beginners Guide to Fasting

Fasting really is simple. It is “not eating” for a set period of time. The hard part is training your mind to understand that “everything is going to be OK”.

Have a Plan and Schedule

You should have a plan in place. Whether it be a well thought out plan with “by the minute” eating schedules or if you

ponder
ponder

have a looser schedule. Either way have a start and end date. Make sure to set some parameters such as:

  • Length of fast
  • Type of diet you will be on when done
  • Journal your experience
  • Commit to yourself

Having a plan will make it all much easier.

These are just a few simple keys to remember before starting a fast whether it be an intermittent fast or a 5 day water fast. Intermittent fasting is really a great way to lose some unwanted pounds but also start a new unique diet that will help you shed pounds faster. Water fast’s can be great for resetting your entire immune system – helping regenerate some dead cells, and improve your gut health.

These keys seem to be simple – they are. Understanding the above mentioned is paramount. It truly is hard to understand if you have never done this before. Once you have started, you will notice within a few hours your mental state has changed from “I am not that hungry” to “Holy efff, I am not going to get to eat for 3 days!” – or however long or if you are intermittently fasting. You have to learn to conquer you mind, not an easy thing to do.

Conquering your own mind is the first key to success with fasting. I find it best to do this through research on the topic. We have jammed this article full of what is necessary to get rolling. If you have any questions or something to add, please leave a comment below or shoot an email over!

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com

 

 

 

Daily Intermittent Fasting Schedule – Weight loss for a Cause

Everybody has a reason to get in shape and shed some unwanted weight, whether it be to fit back into those sexy jeans or to just have more energy. I have said it before everyone has their “why”.

Fitness is a simple choice – you’re either in or your out – It’s you vs. yourself, and their is no blaming anyone when you look at it that way. My good friend Matt reached out to me the other day.

Matt wanted some help with a routine, a diet and plan to get some unwanted weight off…and as fast as possible. When I hear this type of excitement to lose weight… my mind immediately goes to fasting and the benefits of quick results while changing a lifestyle all for the better.

He has been following The Fasting Place a bit and I was super excited to hear that, because then we can cut through the BS of explaining the importance of fasting (a little biased? eh, sure). The entire reason I started writing about fasting and dieting is for this exact moment. To help people achieve an end goal through fitness and fasting.

A Little about Matt

  • He is an enlisted Combat Military Police (MP)
  • MP Team Leader
  • 6 years in the Army National Guard
  • 2014 deployment to Afghanistan attached to Special Ops
  • Previously worked for the Tennessee Counter-Drug Task force as a member of the National Guard
  • Loving father and has a beautiful family (maybe the most important)
Fasting for a Cause
Army, running, PT, intermittent fasting

Matt has grown up with the military. His father is a Colonel in the Army and has since followed the tradition of serving our nation. I want to say a quick thanks to Matt and his family for the great service they have provided with the countless years of service, truly a blessing to know you and your family. Thanks, Matt.

Ask and you Shall Receive

If you want something or need a hand you have to ask. Nobody is a mind reader – or at least no one I know. The worst thing that will happen is you get told “no”, then you move on – or you ask again, resilience. It is a brilliant thing.

So Matt reached out and stressed his goals and vision he wanted. After a binary discussion, we came up with a solution. Below is a sample questionnaire of what we used to get the black and white answers.Fasting Schedule

How much weight are you wanting (going to) lose?

How much time do you have to achieve your goal?

Are you willing to go on a calorie restricted diet?

Are you willing to intermittently fast?

What is your “Why”?

These are extremely simple questions, the answers to these five questions dictate everything to come. I didn’t need to ask him about dedication or will, simply because I know the man. But if I didn’t know him, these questions would be vastly more important than the above five.

After some discussion of the goals he in search of, we decided on a calorie restricted intermittent fasting schedule. We are going to go over some key components to the fasting regimen and diet we have come up with for Matt and his quest to drop some weight.

Grateful to Help – That is The Fasting Place “Why”

As I write on The Fasting Place we are beginning to see a trend with some readers, they are wanting to dive in with a workout and diet plan! This is exciting and I love the influx of requests to learn more and put it all into action.

Gratitude, intermittent fasting, fasting for a cause
Gratitude horizon

I started this website to help people. To get people excited about a new way of living. To get the fasting message across and get people to understand the unique benefits to a good diet and exercise. Truly I am grateful to help anyone that has the desire to get better.

Matt has 6 months or fewer to lose his unwanted weight. He is the first “experiment” here at The Fasting Place and I know he will be a good one, because he won’t give up. We set him up with a phase 1 plan that involves a daily intermittent fasting schedule.

Daily Schedule

When deciding on what route to take for a diet plan involving intermittent fasting, their really isn’t much information available that is in actual “plan” form. This was fun and exciting to put together. We started by taking the calorie intake and simply reducing it to set amount for the specific results desired.

Fast hacks, journaling
journaling

This really is something simple to do, write down all of your calories you take in on a daily basis for at least three days. I say three days because if you just do one day, this maybe inaccurate because you will be thinking about it and may falsely represent your actual intake.

Then you will simply take that down a notch and mix it with a catered diet plan.

Diet Plan(s)

When deciding on what diet works best for you, their is a lot to consider.

  • Body Type
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Time you have
  • Budget
  • Work schedule
  • Physique you want or if you just want to shed some poundage

This list could go on for days. Considering the diet of your choice you really need to visit every hour of every day you have. Once you have done that dissect what will work best for you and your situation.

For example:

If you work 12 hour shifts 5 days a week and have to get your kiddos from daycare and then take your daughter to dance before t-ball starts for the other kiddo, then you have some decisions to make.

This can all be managed, if you don’t plan for a crazy schedule excuses will be very easy to come by. And slowly your diet and intermittent fasting will all go to s-h-i-t. This seems common sense but it truly gets overlooked way to easy. It gives you a reason to give up when all you have to do is get a little tough. Having a clear “why” and vision makes this much easier. Holding yourself accountable is rule number one. If you don’t, no one is going to.

Track it – and Report

We gave Matt a pretty basis routine to start with. Basic is the easiest way to start. And it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy. His diet plan is catered specifically for him and his situation. And we wish him the best and know he will do great.

We are going to follow his 6 month trek and see where it goes. After a month we will re asses and figure out if this is working for him. And then we will change it up a little and go from their. This is an exciting

That’s Why We’re Here

This is the reason the Fasting Place was created. To get people to understand they can achieve anything, and it is easier when you are in shape. If you start down a dieting and fasting road without and research or background then you are more than likely going to fail, or it will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Fasting today

How would you feel if you set up a ladder to climb the mountain and do all the work to get to the top, only to realize you were climbing the wrong damn mountain the entire time.

We are here to help, if you would like any insights or help with a diet plan or fasting regimen, please email me below. We can give you a free 1-month plan catered to you.

Please leave some comments or questions below if you have ’em!

Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day

 

Cheers

Nic Chiri

Nic
nic@thefastingplace.com