“I’m A Vegan Intermittent Faster — Here’s How I Eat”
There’s Banting, vegans, wheat-free women… but what about all the others in between? This story forms part of a new series called The Food Diaries: following the eating habits of different women in South Africa. We’re taking a microscope to the sub-groups of people eating for health. You may even find yourself a new dietary home.
First, we chatted to blogger Candice Bodington about her hormone-balancing diet. Now we’re talking to Tammy Fry, marketing director or Fry’s and self-defence coach, who is also an intermittent faster.
WTF Is Intermittent Fasting?
We’ve covered intermittent fasting before on the site, but in a nutshell, it’s the practice of fasting for health. “I saw a speech by Tyler Tolman,” says Tammy. “He has a philosophy of doing ketosis, but not food-induced ketosis. So Banting is a food-induced ketosis, you eat fat and protein to create an environment for ketosis. So they believe you should create a water-induced ketosis, so you’re only drinking water and herbal tea.” Essentially, ketosis is the state your body is in when it’s run out of glucose stores and starts using fat stores for energy. (Read this if you want to know more.)
“Your body starts to burn fat for energy and when that happens your body starts to release stem cells, it heals your body, so it creates a lot of healing, and that’s what stem cells do,” says Tammy. While she’s a big believer in three-day fasts, she hasn’t been able to sustain it for that long. “My blood sugar crashes and I get headaches,” she says. “I think if you can and you’re not having those side effects, then you should do it. It’s a really good way to cleanse your body and to detox your system.”
“I don’t think that people need to eat five meals,” says Tammy. “I think that’s quite heavy on your body to be consistently using energy to digest food.”
What Does The Diet Look Like?
Tammy only fasts for one day at a time, and in-between, her diet is high in healthy fats and protein. “My intermittent fasting is about 18 hours. So two days a week I do an 18 hour fast,” she says. After the 18 hours, she breaks the fast with something light, whole and raw.
Tammy’s favourite smoothie contains a base of protein, like unflavoured rice protein or Kasha, Fry’s vegan cereal. She also adds in banana, nut butter and a few superfoods. “I use chia seeds and L.A.S., which is linseeds, almonds and sunflower seeds in a mix,” she says. For the rest of the day, her meals are based on a big pot she cooked on Sunday. “We use a lot of beans,” she says. “I do chickpea curries, lentil dahl, I do a lot of that kind of food. And it also keeps for a long time, so you can just keep eating off the one bowl.” Also on the menu of Tammy’s household, which includes kids, is a vegan bolognese made from Fry’s mince. “We use that on toast, pasta, sweet potato. Just everything. I think that’s the key: making big bowls of food on a Sunday and just eating off that food,” she says.