Hello, chickens! My apologies for the disappearing act — there’s lots going on here, workwise, and not nearly as much fun as I’d like…

I’ve now been doing my 5:2 Modified Alternate Day Fasting Regime for two weeks, and I’m astonished at how much easier every fast day has been since the first. I have decided that Mondays and Thursdays will be my fast days, and so far, I’ve stuck to the same basic menu, since it’s easier for me. I’ll get fancy eventually, I’m sure.

More details on how it works — you do not fast on consecutive days, by the way. On fast days, I have about 250 calories for breakfast (an omelet with a tiny bit of grated cheese, a piece of Wasa crisp, and a cup of tea w/ 1 tsp of milk) and another 250 for dinner (grilled fish, cream of vegie soup, and mixed salad or steamed vegies, with a tangerine for dessert). In the 12 hours between breakfast and dinner, I drink a LOT of water, herb tea, and low-salt vegetable bouillon. Since I’ve got fairly low blood pressure, the salt from the bouillon keeps me from getting too woozy.

In fact, I find that I feel quite sharp on fast days. I fade a little in the late afternoon, but that’s easily remedied with a green tea. I’m able to work, run errands, go to meetings — and nobody could be more surprised than me! Another surprising side effect is that my achy joints (a side effect of years of ulcerative colitis) are much better. It’s as if I’d turned the clock back ten years. I’m also sleeping better.

On “feed” days, I find that my cravings are pretty much gone, and my “full button” seems to be set lower. I don’t pay much attention to calories, but I’m eating less overall, because I just don’t have room!

The non-weight-loss effects of 5:2 MADF are probably more interesting to me than the weight-loss. (You know I’m perfectly happy to be the size/shape I am, as long as I’m healthy and active.) One of them is the above-mentioned reduction in joint inflammation; others are improved memory, and lower risks for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. These last three are due to reductions in insulin-like growth factor, which in turn reduces cell-proliferation rates. While there aren’t a lot of human studies out there, the ones that have been published are very promising. I’m looking forward to seeing what my blood work looks like when I go for my annual checkup in May.

I’ll update you on my progress in a month or so. Let me know if you’ve got any more questions in the comments.