In this yet another sneak peek draft is an unassigned Chapter on how one would preferably, subject obviously to individual nuance(s) consume their feature meal relative to three proposed criterias – 1). Timing 2). nutrient priority and; 3). Environment. Just like any other sneak peek(s) drafts ~ these are simply a preview or a work-in-progress chapter previews, as part of my extensive parent manuscript rewrite, and consequently, its entire rebrand progress. This will effectively serve as public “pilot” series of feature article/s to accompany both the completion of re-brand and entire re-writing of this entire concept initiative
How should I eat my meals?
To address the question “how” ~ revolves around considering the following factors:
- The nutrient value priority -what or how is the most important nutrient be selected – by their meaningful density, not just “calorie” content.
- The timing – when is the feature meal being consumed.
- The setting – environmental cues, and sociology
Nutrient Priority – Choosing the most nutrient dense food, in a smallest mass presentation possible.
Ideally we would be consuming foods bearing the following traits: macronutrient & micronutrient density(s) altogether encompassed in a smallest solid mass possible. In other words, such a food must exert their effects, in the path of least resistance.
Assuming that we have chosen a typical low carbohydrate meal example comprising of:
- A small cup of broth or a stock,
- An Egg,
- 150-200g (initial raw weight), serve of meat protein, assuming 80/20 fat to protein ratio.
- A serving of salad eg. leafy greens.
- A condiment.
Which one of the above four (4) then, that would be considered the most ideal? eggs appeals to all the above criterias, simultaneously. From here onwards, then we may begin consuming the rest of the food pallette, in any order that appeals to readers own internal response.
Small and humble, eggs remain in actuality the most referred-to benchmark as the most digestible and most efficient source of protein in terms of digestion and utilization. Beyond the non-negotiable essentials like the B Vitamins, and all essential amino acids (EAAs), the yolks represents an enviable source of phosphadytlcholine ~ a precursor to the more “active” form as neurotransmitter – acetylated choline (Gibb, JA. 2017). This has been well-studied to play a essential role to stomach acidity during digestion (Câmara R & Griessenauer CJ 2015).
One review article (Derbyshire E. 2019) addresses a concern amongst today’s / pedestrian diet, represented by inadequate choline intake. This review proclaim its essentiality the same as that of omega-3 fatty acids, and the epidemological citation(s) (within the review) also suggest, that it is (as emphasized) ~ “extremely difficult” to maintain adequate intake; without eggs in one’s daily nutrition.
Further, eggs are relatively low in histamine, which may appeal to those who are sensitive to histamine rich foods which may be applicable if one may wish to find ways on how to comfortably break their fast with solid meals.
What about vegetables?
Depending on which “camp” a reader may already have taken side(s), vegetables remain an ambivalent and broad topic. If we are assessing vegetables by their weight in fibre content alone – then that by itself is “indigestible” as suggested in all dictionaries. Therefore, it is reasonable for anyone not to expect them to be the first and foremost ideal food to chew, especially after prolonged fasting. Even if one is really hungry, the very thought of chewing through rough and tough celullose ~ are hardly appetising. In life or death situation, even pure fat or pure sugar at this point ~ either way sounds a much more palatable option given their much needed and immediate caloric value.
However This Author (AW) is not entirely against plant(s), as they contain phenols, flavonoids and minerals one would consider a necessity on a low carbohydrate regiment. In order to obtain enough micronutrients from it, however it must be served in a high enough quantity.
But even before that – an obstacle to overcome here is the digestibility factor. That is where cooking becomes a non-negotiable necessity. As one can readily attest ~ that cooked vegetables digest far more easily than that of raw or uncooked, salads.
Irrespective, in terms of priority of consumption in any feature meal, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to “ideally” consuming vegetables in terms of timing and/or priority.
Timing of feature meal / feeding window.
The discussion on timing of nutrient intake, be it macro or micro may remain a nuanced discussion that is reserved amongst intermittent fasting-exclusive forums. This writeup never aims to be prescriptive “for all”. But were This Author (AW) be asked for a general bullet point takeaway(s), he would lightly suggest the following, though once again subject to numerous nuance(s):
- All food intake windows should be savoured as both personal and private schedule. The timing (and consequently “Setting” which is described next) MUST be personalized and thus respected as such; it is a personal moment to savour, and not to permit any distraction(s), from any environmental or psychosocial stimuli that deters eating.
- Some individuals, including This Author (AW) find it more comfortable to not eat or break the fast, prior to fitness training event(s) 99% often taking place after work (6PM+) hours. Hence, delaying any food intake, at least after acute stress exercise response, is arguably necessary to respect hormonal dynamic(s) respectively and accordingly to gut setting, comfort and fitness training duration, scheduling and intensity.
- Some key fat soluble nutrients including also water based ones – may synergize more favourable when taken during daylight, particularly Vitamin D. Whilst research and studies on this are skim or at least difficult to find – it seems plausible and in theory that avoiding large fat soluble nutrients particularly Vitamin D may interact negatively with sleep patterns; possibly due to melatonin hormone interaction. This however, may yet remain speculative at this stage as there are wide individual responses.
- Some individuals prefer much bigger meals both caloric dense and solidity mass wise during the day, and less during night time. This can be due to a cultural consideration.
- Some individuals may need more or less fibre heavy food earlier during the day, to curb hunger responses. These may be a plausible strategy for those anew to low carbohydrate eating, as much higher fibre intake early on may suggestively, although subject to individual response ~ ensuring a hunger satiation signal.
However, generally speaking ~ readers who are normally conformant to the natural circadian rhythms (sun-rise to sun-down cycle(s)] ~ the timing of meal intakes may not matter as much so long as it adheres and respects their awakening and retiring/resting cycle(s). If there is one general rule This Author (AW) anecdotally suggests is that regardless of how hungry one is very closely to the sleeping window, there should be at least one (1) or more hour allocated to allow no food intake, except water if thirsty – before the actual sleep commences. This is to ensure that all food consumed during the TRF / time restricted feeding digests comfortably throughout both the simultaneous fasting and sleeping windows, without encumbrance.
For those who do differ eg, those whose living schedules work against the above day & night circadian rhythms especially amidst night time or night shift workers ~ may need further tinkering on their feeding window such that they must be controlled or monitored that their timing of meal intakes should not only be adequately nourishing; but also scheduled in such a way that it does not disrupt one’s sleeping window(s) ~ which that may likely be taking place during daylight.
Feeding window ~the setting.
Sadly, it remains under-discussed on our sociological, and/or environment impacts on nutrient digestion. Certainly there bounds to be cultural debates each amounting one’s own “opinion” to what constitute sound or ideal setting for a meal time. Whilst neither This Book nor This Author (AW) may ever override suggestively one’s cultural upbringing(s), it remains generalist in its view that privacy, and solidarity ~ are both quintessential precursors to ensure comfort and nourishment.
This Author (AW) only speaks based on general preference, such that :
- Eating should be reserved exclusively 100%, attentively invested towards just that – a consumption event. Especially feature meals, should be situated far and away from even the most minute obligatory task other than eating itself. Anything that detracts, is recipe enough to halt digestion by switching the nervous system from the “rest and digest” into “fight and flight” parasympathetic systems (Tindle J. & Tadi P 2022). Eg. should the reader is subjected to circumstance that demands or compel them to behave or respond ~ in some work-like composure or anything out of anticipated bodily response that obligates a response away from eating, or chewing any food ~ then it seems intuitive that such potentially disrupts entire chain of digestion altogether.
- Eating should be ideally taken place in a dimly lit room, in a place free off precarious distractions and/or accidents. This Author (AW) is not immune, much like everyone else – from prolonged situational cues that obligates hyper-surveillance, and sensitivity to such a surround. Such cues are what we refer to as either bright blue lights, (very busy) commercial dining settings, proximity to loud noise(s) or (precarious) environmental distractions and/or accidents, to name a few. Of course, these are only a few off much further nuanced listings that others are more sensitive to. Hence for all generalities sake ~ courtesy remains a golden rule.
- When conversations are expected in social setting, keep them brief. But reserve long dialogues for which only after the feature meal/s are over.
This Author (AW) certainly have more to discuss on this matter. However for reasons out of decency, privacy and social humility amidst multiple culture(s), he decides it be haphazard for this write-up to be elaborated to a degree that is not without risk for unnecessary or unexpected scrutiny(s). This Author (AW) suggests all the above as various mean(s) and ideas on how to opportunely and comfortably break a fast, alongside the most ideal very first food(s) to bite or digest, before then considering the scenarios and/or setting that faciliates the much needed privacy and deserved consolation ~ especially amidst prolonged practice(s) of Intermittent Fasting.
Thus concludes yet another draft Sneak Peek draft mini (unallocated at present) chapter as part of my manuscript major rewriting. Comment your thoughts and/or feedbacks down below.