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FOOD & Intermittent fasting

Knowledge of what food to eat is 50% of the solution

All about FOOD and Intermittent fasting


Assume your car needs oil grade 93, and you put oil grade 87. What will happen? Your car will run for sure but at lower efficiency and could have starting problems and possibly permanent damage to your engine.

Imagine your car needs oil grade 93, and you put in diesel. This will result in the engine seizing in a very short while.

For your body engine to run properly, you need to input body-friendly foods that would help increase your energy and digestion and keep your bowls clean.

13.1 For a moment, think about what we are putting in our bodies:

  1. Next time you are in a food store, look at what is on the shelf. Most food comes in cans, tins, and plastic wraps, pre-processed and heavily loaded with chemicals and preservatives to keep its shelf life for months, if not years. Imagine what several month-old foods can do to your system.

  2. Look at the vegetables in the groceries section – they are huge and mostly grown with chemicals and fertilizers to enhance their quantity.   Some even come with wax quoted to create shine to make them look attractive.

  3. We all go to restaurants and order food – yes, the food tastes yummy, but do you know how it was cooked, what ingredients they used, what kind of oil it was cooked in, and how long they had stored pre-cooked food in the freezer? Plus, how hygienic the kitchen is, as we never get to see restaurant kitchens.

Today’s food marketplace, grocery, restaurants, or any eating place is geared to generate profits, and it is being sold to us as the best option because we are too busy to pay attention to what we are putting in our mouths. We are not eating food in the form we are supposed to eat. We mainly consume dead food loaded with chemicals and preservatives, which could eventually damage our body engine.



Even before I start on any food, I will ask myself one basic question: AM I HUNGRY – if the answer is ‘NO,' I would skip food or go with a small quantity. Or I would do some physical activity/exercise which will make me hungry.



What am I looking for in food:

  1. I am looking for fresh vegetables and fruits—farm fresh – anything that comes from the ground, not tinned, not pre-packed, or pre-processed.

  2. Foods high in proteins, fiber, whole grains, etc., do not turn to sugar immediately.

  3. Food that would digest faster so my gut health is well maintained and my bowels are clean. I prefer fresh vegetables, greens, pulses, legumes, nuts, etc.; why? They are easy on my stomach and take just a couple of hours to digest, as against lean meat and fish which could take up to 2 days to digest.

  4. Freshly cooked food. Cook what you need to consume immediately. Avoid storing cooked food in the fridge for later consumption.

So how do we people with diabetes handle our food situation, and how do we make this process simple? So I follow what I call the 'elimination rule.'

Elimination rule

When I look at the available food on the table, and before I pick up any, I ask myself a few basic questions:

  1. Does the food contain natural sugar, sugar substitute, or naturally high in sugar? If the answer is yes, it is a big NO, such as sweets, pastries, sugary cereals, sugar in coffee, etc.

  2. Food with unhealthy carbs, such as white bread, French fries, and potato chips, to name a few – NO, NO

  3. All foods that are pre-processed/cooked come in cans, wrapped, or boxed – NO, NO.

  4. Most restaurant foods – drive-through or sit-in – are high in carbs and low in nutrition.

I want to avoid these foods unless there are no other options at that time, like when traveling with only this available eating place.

Available options

Once the above questions are answered, with the available option, I would look for:

  1. Greens and leafy vegetables to start the meal. They are highly nutritious and low in calories. Eating raw and water-packed vegetables first will help lubricate your digestive path, making handling heavy foods

  2.  easier.

  3. Foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in sugar.

  4. Avoid foods that immediately turn into sugar, like white bread, processed rice, noodles, and sugary cereals.

  5. Focus on food that takes longer to convert to glucose(sugar) in the blood, like vegetables, eggs, protein legumes, nuts (soaked), and similar foods. If you have to eat non-vegetarian, go for lean meat and fish.

I will give the list of food and fruits that you can be comfortable with in later pages.


Did I Overeat?

Hara hachi bu is a Japanese term meaning "Eat until you're 80% full." It originated in the city of Okinawa, where people use this advice to control their eating habits. Interestingly, they have one of the lowest illnesses from heart disease, cancer, stroke and a reasonably long life expectancy. If you eat quickly and stop at what you think is 80% full, you may be 100% full and not know it since your body hasn't caught up yet with your mind.  

While eating, I keep in mind not to OVEREAT – when I feel my stomach is 50% full, I will start slowing down on food and stop when I think I am 75% full.

Generally, I always want to keep 25% of my stomach empty. Rest, I fill with water.

Vegetarian diet:


For those who argue that vegetarian food does not offer enough proteins and other nutritional values, many studies support that vegetarian food can provide enough protein if you eat an adequate number of calories from a variety of whole foodsSome examples of vegetarian protein sources include beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts, and seeds.[i]

Many top athletes and sports persons are vegetarians, including Olympian Carl Lewis, Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier, and tennis champions Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams.  

Whole food CEO Jason Buechel, who should have good knowledge of food, consumes mostly plant-based to boost his energy.[ii]

Restaurant Food


Due to my profession – software consulting – I have been traveling from Monday to Thursday for most of my life. When traveling, your only choice is to eat out in restaurants. You cannot avoid eating junk food and unhealthy food. But you can also choose salad centers like subway or chipotle whenever you can, which serve better, healthier food than most fast food restaurants. 





Kind of food to choose- your key to select

I will not list all the foods here. Instead, I will provide you with the key. Look online for foods high in protein and fiber, low in sugar, and low in GI (Glycemic index).

14.2 Glycemic index (GI):

Another important terminology we people with diabetes should be aware of is Glycemic Index. The glycemic index (GI) ranks food on a scale from 0 to 100. The low end of the scale has foods that have little effect on blood sugar levels. A low glycemic index (GI) refers to a GI value of 55 or less. Low-GI foods include most fruits and vegetables, whole or minimally processed grains, beans, low-fat dairy products, and nuts. We should learn to identify food with low GI.


Only suggested drink during the program: Warm water. I would not recommend fruit juices as it would be better to eat fruits with skin which is a good source of fiber, instead of juicing the fruit.


The following fruits are high in fiber and protein and low in sugar. Please consume small quantities and only when hungry. Moderation is key. Choose fruits that are not fully ripened, as they are high in sugar. If you can get organic, that would be the best option. Eat fruit 2 hours before or after lunch and avoid it at night.


Apples – with skin

Pears – with skin

Berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, high on fiber and low on sugar.





Soak nuts overnight. Soaking nuts (of any kind) helps remove phytic acid, allowing our bodies to get more nutrients from the nuts and making them easier to digest.

Suggested nuts: Soaked almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews.


The key is to focus on low calories and low GI.

Multi-grain bread, quinoa, Millet, Farro, Spelt, Amarnath.

Whole rye bread is low in calories and low GI of 41-46. Similarly, whole-grain corn is also a good source of fiber, along with other healthy vitamins and minerals. Corn has a GI of 52, but certain corn products may have different GI levels. For instance, corn tortillas have a GI of 46, while cornflakes have a GI of 81.[iii]

I consume mainly millet and low-GI rice.


Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, asparagus, mustard greens, green beans, lentils, pulses, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tofu, tempeh, and legumes.


We want food to digest as fast as possible, so it helps our gut and bowel health to maintain better energy. I would suggest avoiding non-vegetarian food during 28 days program as it takes longer to digest non-vegetarian food than vegetarian food. Vegetarian food takes a couple of hours to digest, while non-vegetarian could take up to two days. If you have no choice, try lean-cut meat and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Avoid deep-fried or breaded meats and opt for grilling, baking, and broiling instead of frying.

Vegetarian diets are typically high in fiber, promoting healthy bowel function and reducing the risk of digestive problems such as constipation and diverticulitis. Plant-based foods are also generally lower in fat and higher in antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, which may positively impact digestive health.

On the other hand, non-vegetarian diets can be high in fat, incredibly saturated and trans fats, which can contribute to digestive problems such as acid reflux, bloating, and constipation. High amounts of red meat and processed meats have also been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.

Healthy Salad diet:

On my software project, I observed most ladies working were diet conscious. And imagine what they would eat for lunch – of course, mostly salad. But what goes along with salad – a large packet or two of dressing which probably is filled with sugar and high carb. So, we are not doing that.

Start with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli. These vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Add a source of protein, such as beans, tofu, or nuts.

Add healthy fat sources like avocado, olive oil, or nuts.



All cooking oils available in the market are very heavily processed.

According to the study, Small-scale pressing using expeller presses (cold press) results in more oil being left in the meal than from chemical processing. Typically, the oil in the meal from small-scale pressing ranges from 8–15%. Commercial processing leaves less than 1% oil in the meal. Buying organic cold press oil is suggested compared to commercially proceed oil.[iv]

It is even worth investing in a small cold press oil machine. I bought one for less than $500 from amazon. I get organic oil, and I get to make oil from different nuts and seeds. Search for ‘cold press oil machine’ on amazon.

Intermittent fasting

We are following Intermittent fasting 16:8 for the 21-day program.

16:8 intermittent fasting is a form of time-restricted fasting. It involves consuming foods during an 8-hour window and avoiding food, or fasting, for the remaining 16 hours each day. Most people on a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan consume their daily calories during the middle part of the day. For example, if you have dinner, say at 7.00 pm, you are not eating (water allowed) for the next 16 hours, which would be 11.00 am the next day. So the window to eat is between 11.00 am to 7.00 pm.

Intermittent fasting may help with weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes complications. The goal of intermittent fasting for those with diabetes is to fuel the body's energy by burning fat stores and to, lose extra weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower blood sugar levels.

The other result of intermittent fasting is called metabolic switching. Metabolic switching is a process that takes place in our cells when we don't eat. When we fast, either "intermittently" daily or for 4-21 days, our cells use our fat stores as energy sources. Humans can live (while drinking water daily) for up to 45 days without eating. The human body recognizes the fat stored in our fat cells as "food." (What is the Cellular "Metabolic Switch" and Why Is It So Important to Losing Weight? | Sand Cosmetic).

Research shows intermittent fasting is safe and can continue indefinitely for people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. (Intermittent Fasting and Diabetes: Is It Safe? | U.S. News (

For the last 1000 days, I have been on 16:8 intermittent fasting. Please consult your doctor if you anticipate health issues with 16:8 intermittent fasting. I would strongly suggest everyone unless other medical problems are involved.


Bala’s Rules on Food:


1. Follow 16:8 intermittent fasting.

2.Do not eat unless you are hungry.

3. Do not overeat – stop eating when you feel 75% full.

  1. Start food with greens and consume vegetables, pulses, grams, and legumes for protein.

  2. Avoid any food with sugar, sugar substitute, or naturally high sugar (fully ripe fruit).

  3. Eat food that can easily digest in a few hours to keep your gut healthy and clean bowels.

  4. Consume food high in protein and fiber, whole grains.

  5. Avoid all processed food – tinned, boxed, or wrapped.

  6. Eat farm fresh food, vegetables, and fruits as much as possible.

  7.  Eat freshly cooked or made food. Avoid storing cooked food for later consumption.

  8. Avoid eating in restaurants during the 21-day program. If I had no choice, I would look for salad centers like subway, chipotle, etc.


[i] (



[ii] (


[iii] (Best Whole Grains for Type 2 Diabetes – CuraLife)


[iv] (Processing Edible Oils (





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