Vegan Marionberry Ice Cream Pie & Intermittent Fasting

May 15, 2013

Hi there and how are you? I’m doing great and have so much to share.

Photo Food Journal:

Last week for “What I Ate Wednesday“, I attempted a minimalist approach to my daily photo journal (see all my previous photo entries here). I agree with your feedback that it was perhaps too sparse. So, here we go again with a little more detail.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a green smoothie made using fresh baby spinach, hemp milk (made by blending 1/4 cup of hemp seeds with 3 cups of water), fresh mango, frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple, cinnamon, amla powder, flax meal, ground chia seeds, carob powder, fresh mint, sesame seeds (for a calcium boost), carob powder (for a pseudo chocolate flavor), frozen wild blueberries, and some frozen pomegranate arils. Putting the smoothie together is always kind of a messy, multi-stepped process:

Energizing green smoothie in process.

Here was the result, with some dehydrated buckwheat groats on top for crunch:

Greens smoothie with buckwheat groats on top for crunch.

You can see my recipe here. I should note that when I make a green smoothie, I make three large servings, one for me, one for Alan, and one for the following morning.

Lunchtime was Chef AJ’s pressure-cooker Split Pea Soup (seriously, you have got to check out her recipe):

Chef AJ's pressure cooker split pea soup

I couldn’t help myself, I stirred in a bunch of fresh, chopped kale at the end:

Chopped kale.

I also used my hand-immersion blender to get a really blended texture. As much as I love kale, I’m not a huge fan of chomping on the big leaves, that is, unless it’s a kale chip, of course (see my recipe for Apple Pie Kale Chips here).

Anywho, I served my soup with some scallions, my homemade vegan soy yogurt (see how I make it here), and a side salad of arugula with almond butter dressing (recipe here), and fresh strawberries:

Healthy vegan lunch of pea soup with an arugula salad and strawberries.

Dessert was the pièce de résistance, as they say:

Homemade Vegan Marionberry Ice Cream Pie.

You see, since I’ve been on a vegan ice cream making kick (see here) combined with a vegan pie-making kick (see here), I decided, what the hey, why not combine the two?!

This is the child I created:

Side view of Vegan Marionberry Ice Cream Pie.

It’s not yet the season for these berries, so I used frozen marionberries that I defrosted overnight in the refrigerator before using:

Frozen marionberries.

Here is the recipe:

I have also made this recipe available on Vegan Delish. It is much easier to see my recipes in this digital format, plus you get all kinds of cool features like a shopping list, not to mention nearly 100 of my other favorite vegan recipes (all gluten-free and made little to no oil, salt, or added sugars). You can get Vegan Delish for your iPad, iTouch, or iPhone here! It is only $1.99 for now so I hope you will consider downloading it.

BTW, I also have a Facebook page for Vegan Delish where I make announcements for giveaways and new recipes added. You can see the page here.

This is a screenshot of the pie recipe on the iPad version of the app:

Vegan Marionberry Ice Cream Pie on Vegan Delish.

Intermittent Fasting:

Okay, so let’s stop talking about food for a minute. You’ll noticed that I didn’t post any dinner pictures. That’s because I’m experimenting with something called intermittent fasting. If this is something you have no interest in, then I suggest you stop reading here. :) But, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of fasting for awhile now, although I haven’t really done it all. The closest I came was probably when I was so stressed after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year that I completely lost my appetite (you can see all the posts related to that ordeal here), but that wasn’t really fasting, I mainly just ate smaller meals and only when I got hungry.

I’ve done my research on the topic, although I’m still learning. I highly recommend Dr. Fuhrman’s book called Fasting and Eating for Health. Also, if you’re a member of his website, you can listen to a teleconference he did in early 2012 on the topic.

I can list more of my resources on the topic in the future, but what really called to me was a program called Fast-5 that a friend introduced me to (you can see the website and get the free e-book here). The idea is that you set a five-hour eating “window” each day and then fast the remaining 19 hours of the day. It’s appealing to me because there aren’t any full days that are true fasting, yet it allows for that long catabolic stretch of time each day for the body to do its repair work, not to mention other metabolic benefits.

Today is day three of me starting with this program and I have to say that it’s pretty amazing so far. I feel great, I am getting in touch with my true hunger, and, ironically, I’m thinking less about food and what I should eat, how much I should eat, etc. than I used to. I’m starting to think this combination of vegan, nutritarian, Fast:5 is my sweet spot for health.

The creator of the program, Dr. Bert Herring, has his window of eating set much differently from mine, though. He eats between 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. which does not work for me. For now, I’m eating between 8 a.m.ish and 1 p.m.ish and exercising in between. I’ve heard on other fasting resources that exercising in a fasted state can actually burn more fat, but, so far, I don’t want to do it that way.

I should note here that I’m certainly not advising you to fast. I’m just continuing my approach of being totally honest with what’s going on in my life and the adjustments I’m making on this journey. I would strongly advise you to consult your health professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Conclusion:

Thanks for reading, I would love to hear what you have to say on fasting or anything else, just leave me a comment below. See you back here on Friday.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz May 15, 2013 at 9:06 am

I’m glad you have found something that works so well for you! It’s always great to find that “sweet spot.”

As someone who struggles with restriction, I think intermittent fasting would be a disaster for me. First it would be 19 hours and then it would be three days and then who knows. Also, I’m just not a fun person when my blood sugar drops. I’m cranky and out of it and not very nice. PLUS I just love eating. So there’s that. I figure, I’m healthy and everything is (mostly) working as it should, my current eating plan is probably okay.

I’m definitely going to have to try to make that pie!

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Carrie May 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for your honest input, Liz! I think if you are happy with your current way of eating, then by all means stick with it! My problem was that I knew I was overeating and so it is actually easier for me to have a window and then to just stop thinking about it. I’ve also been really surprised that my blood sugar and energy levels have stayed fairly constant, but I think it helps that I’m not trying to exercise when I’m fasted. I’m also one of those people who gets cranky when hungry. I had no idea that something like this would even be an option for me and so I’m super stoked that it’s working out really well so far.

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janet @ the taste space May 15, 2013 at 9:19 am

Thanks for sharing. I’ve heard of the 5:2 diet which promotes intermittent fasting but not sure I could eat so little 2 days of the week. I look forward to living through you vicariously.

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Carrie May 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Thanks, Janet! I also looked into the 5:2 plan and might try that one as well. My concern with that one is the calorie limit on those 2 days. So far, I feel like I’m eating as much as I need during the 5-hour window and not getting overly hungry during the fasting period, but I’m sure my experience will evolve over time. I’ll be sure to write about it. :)

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janet @ the taste space May 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

Excellent! I would worry about going to bed hungry… because then I wouldn’t be able to sleep. :(

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Tiffany May 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

I also do intermittent fasting, but eat anywhere from 6-8 hours per day-usually from 1 pm-7pm or something like that. It works great for me and I find it very easy. I’m working now on making sure what I’m eating during those times is mostly healthy stuff! I felt really stuck with weight loss and I feel like this is really helpful and effective.

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Carrie May 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi Tiffany! Thanks so much for the comment, it’s nice to hear about your positive experience. I agree, I feel like this is jump-starting my weight loss because I had started gaining some weight these past few months because I was simply eating too much and too often. So do you exercise in a fasted state? I’d like to be able to do that so then I would eat lunch and dinner, but I am really hungry in the mornings and feel like I need fuel before hitting the gym.

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Tiffany May 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I don’t normally exercise while fasting, but only because it doesn’t work for my schedule. That said, I did run a 5K on Sunday while fasting-no problem! I was starving when I got home! :) I hope to fit in more of it-I think it’s very effective.

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Rebecca M May 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hi Carrie,

I, too, am intrigued by the Fast 5 ever since M. had mentioned it. Did you jump straight to a 5 hour eating window, or did you gradually start whittling away at the hours?

-x-
Rebecca

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Carrie May 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi Rebecca! I jumped right in, I think my first day I had a 5.5 hour window, but yesterday and today I was at 5 hours. That being said, I’ve been overeating slightly because I’ve been a little nervous about getting too hungry, but apparently that is normal at first. So far, it is really agreeing with me.

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Ozlem May 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

I dld’ed the e book and cant wait. i too fast mostly during the week when I work as I find it easier. I have not read the book yet but I wondered if the time the 5 hour window happens is important. In other words does it matter if you eat 2-7 pm or 3-8pm or should ypu eat 10 am until 3 pm? Just curious. Thanks!

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Carrie May 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Hi Ozlem. My understanding is that you can pick the time of your 5-hour window, but ideally it would be consistent day to day.

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Lauren (@Poweredbypb) May 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Love the colour of that pie looks amazing.

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debbie@Healthy Running Mom May 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

That pie sounds fantastic!!!
Where can I get those berries? Whole Foods?
I have never put pomegranite seeds in my smoothies, I just eat them! I wonder if I could put them in my blender or if it would only work in a VitaMix, which I sadly don’t have…..

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Hi Debbie! I actually found the frozen marionberries at Costco, but I would imagine WF or any other natural foods store would have them. If not, you can substitute blackberries. You could definitely try putting pom seeds in your blender, the worst that would happen is that the little seed inside doesn’t get completely pulverized so your smoothie might be a little crunchy. :)

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kimmythevegan May 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Your smoothie looks great! I love the picture of the almost overflowing blender! I never thought of making enough servings to have leftovers – that’s an idea. Although since I don’t work… I don’t really need to cut the time. I should become a student again ;p

The “ice-cream pie” looks divine. It sounds pretty easy to throw together, I can’t wait to try it out. You always have such great recipes with ingredients that don’t scare me =)

As for the fasting, I find it very interesting. I’m curious to read more about it, so I will look into it. I’ve tried fasting for 1 day at a time, didn’t really work for me, I get cranky and lethargic. I have since learned that fasting is not really the best for people with hormonal imbalances, but this 5-hour eating window thing sure sounds interesting. I’m interested to know how it goes for you – keep us updated. How long do you plan on doing it for? Or is it a long-term thing?

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi Kimmy! I agree, I get super cranky and lethargic when I fast for too long, that’s why I’m doing it through the afternoon until breakfast time. I just can’t imagine going through the morning without eating anything, but everyone is different. So far, this new schedule for me is working out really well, but time will tell. I’m committed to doing it until I lose the few pounds I gained in the past several months or for as long as it seems to be working for me and then I’ll see what happens. :)

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Linda Curry May 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I like the idea of the intermittent fasting. I tend to eat all day long because I am so fascinated with healthy food recipes. I will try this!

Also, I was wondering why you choose to use soy milk in your recipes as opposed to another nut/seed milk (the ice cream pie). When soy is not fermented it tends to be unhealthy for us. Can you comment on this?

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Hi Linda! I haven’t heard about the issues with unfermented soy vs. fermented soy. Can you send me some info? You could definitely substitute any type of non-dairy milk in my recipes, except for the ice cream, I think that one works much better with soy milk due to the additional creaminess it provides.

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Lou May 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I actually just watched a documentary on intermittent fasting…. the health benefits can be HUGE based on the results of some studies in the UK, interesting stuff! I hope you’ll post some more of your experience with this.

I have NEVER heard of a Marionberry! BUT that pie looks incredible, yummo.

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Hi Lou! Was that the Dr. Mosley show you watched? I forgot to mention it in my post. I am waiting to get the book he wrote from my library, it’s called The Fast Diet. I agree, the show was fascinating. Marionberries must be fairly unique, a lot of people have told me that they aren’t familiar with them. They are very similar to a blackberry, they might be a hybrid with a blackberry and raspberry, but I’m not totally sure. :)

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bitt May 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

Yummy
Looking pie! I do fast maybe 14-18 hrs sometimes due to sleeping a lot. But I started to develop some hypoglycemia and fainting so I have to be sure to eat enough that it doesn’t happen. Best thing to do while fasting is sleep I think. Double repair for the body!

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Patty May 16, 2013 at 10:10 am

Hi Carrie!

Great post! I agree that I love the more detail-oriented version of your “What I Ate Wednesdays” posts, however, I did also really enjoy the sort of “Day in the Life” aspects of your minimal approach. It was fun to see and read more about your day’s structure and see your hiking, etc. Maybe you will decided to combine the two, time permitting. But, if I had to choose just one, I’d say the detail-oriented version of your meals is best for me, because it inspires me and gives me ideas and eduction. :)

So, about the fasting. I like it! Thanks for bringing this up. I too have been overeating and gaining weight, unfortunately for about the last year AND my workouts weren’t as awesome because of that hip injury. So overeating and not burning off as much energy…..I have gained a lot of weight. I was slightly depressed because of the hip stuff and I’m sure that was the large contributor to the overeating. Anywho, as you know, I’m recovering from the hip surgery now and I’m in some pretty intense physical therapy. That is all helping alot. And, soon I can go back to my reformer Pilates classes, which are really intense and advanced, but I will not be at the level I was at pre-op and certainly not at the level I was pre-injury. So, I’ll be modifying considerably for a while. But, all the physical therapy, walking (cardio), and Pilates do require me to be strong and well energized. I want to try the fasting to help with my weight. So, I downloaded Dr. Fuhrman’s book and the Fast 5 book, and I glanced through them before I got too tired last night. I think I could benefit tremendously from their fasting methods, in weight loss, detoxing (especially the surgery and post-surgery drugs), and anti-inflammatory benefits, etc. But, here are my only concerned thoughts. I need to be energized and strong for all of the rehab excercising, and Dr. F’s book mentioned no intense workouts. So, I’m a bit stuck on my thought process here. I’ve always been curious how people pull off fasting workouts. What are your thoughts Carrie? I’d sure appreciate any thoughts you have time to share. It’ll give me something to think about and look in to more deeply for myself. Thanks so much!!

The pie….fabulous!! Can’t wait to make it!

Love,
Patty
ps. sorry for the long “comment” again. is this too long? better in an email? Let me know.

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hi Patty! Thanks for the great suggestions, I actually forgot about the “day in the life” thing I did last week. I’ll make a note to do it next week, just for you. :)

In regards to your question about fasting workouts, I don’t have any advice. It doesn’t work for me, I really can’t exert much energy when I’m hungry which is why I’m fasting through the afternoon until the morning. Dr. Fuhrman’s book is really focused on water-fasting for an extended amount of time, what I am doing is intermittent fasting for no longer than 19 hours. Does this answer your questions?

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Patty May 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Thank you, Carrie! I can’t wait for next week’s day-in-the-life/what I ate post, now….that’s awesome! :)

Ah, yes, that does answer my question. Since I only scanned through Dr. Fuhrman’s book, as I was ready for bed and sleepy when I downloaded it, I didn’t realize it was an extended water focused style fasting plan. Some of what I did see, in there, makes much more sense now, like the gentle stretching, more sleeping, and avoided the cold, etc.

I think I’ll read the two books, focusing mostly on the Fast5, and then perhaps give it a go. But, I’ll have to see. I’m excited to read about your experiences and I love that you share with us.

Chat soon! :)

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Patty May 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Oh, and I meant to say also, that I agree with you. I can’t exert the kind of energy that I need to during workouts, either, if I’m hungry. That’s why I was so confused. I get it now. :)

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Amelia May 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Everything looks delicious, but I’m surprised to see a split pea soup recipe made in a pressure cooker. My pressure cooker manual says NO SPLIT PEAS.

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Uh-ohhhhhh! I guess AJ broke the rules. :) I do know that split peas absorb a ton of water, so I noticed I needed to follow her recipe exactly to get the right result. :)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy May 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

What an interesting post on the Fast5! I do something somewhat similar. I eat in an 8 hour window…10-6. On the weekends, I don’t do that, because I otherwise I wouldn’t have a social life haha but during the week it makes me feel great!

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Carrie May 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Yeah, I’m kinda wondering how this is going to work when I do anything social. Oh well, I guess I just won’t leave my house. Just kidding. I am going to Portland next week and I think I’m just going to do fruit for breakfast and then my normal lunch and dinner. Traveling always makes me sooooo hungry anyways. :)

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Heather @Gluten-Free Cat May 17, 2013 at 4:16 am

I haven’t had marionberries since visiting a friend in Portland, but it was heaven on a spoon. I think I’m going to try to make this with a blackberry raspberry mixture. Thanks for the recipe!

Heather

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Carrie May 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Cool! Let me know how it turns out, Heather! :)

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Amy Height May 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Carrie, I am simply in love with your recipes! Thank you for sharing. The buckwheat groats in a smoothie? Inspired. Thank you!

Intermittent fasting is a really effective way to regulate blood sugar; I recommend to clients often who are dealing with intense cravings and low energy. It’s been a huge help to me in terms of maximizing energy and stabilizing appetite. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Can’t wait to read more.

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Carrie May 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Cool, thanks for the input on fasting, Amy. Because I suffer from PCOS, I’m also hoping that the fasting will help with my insulin sensitivity and my PCOS symptoms. So far, it’s working out really well and I’m enjoying my food so much more. I will be writing more about how my first week with the Fast-5 program went in my blog post on Monday. :)

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Ozlem May 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hi there:

I want to make the split pea soup recipe but there are no directions at the l;ink provided. I wonder if I just put all the ingredients in my slow cooker and cook it over night, would that work? Did you use your pressure cooker? Please let me know. Thanks!

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Carrie May 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Ozlem, yes I did use the pressure cooker. Here is the link to the video with Chef AJ where she also gives the recipe: http://plantbaseddietitian.com/the-chef-and-the-dietitian-episode-51-split-pea-soup/

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Ozlem May 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

thanks Carrie. I will try this with a slowcooker. I watched the video and she basically says to set up the pressure cooker for 6 minutes and I have an old old pressure cooker that will not work with this recipe. Oh well. Thanks!

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Gabby @ the veggie nook May 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’ toyed around with intermittent fasting for a while but fell out of step with it! This has reminded me how great I felt while doing it! I tended to do a 8-9 hour feeding window usually from 11-7 and that worked really well for me :) Can’t wait to see how you get on with it!

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Carrie May 23, 2013 at 6:48 am

Ohhh, thanks for sharing, Gabby! Sometimes I feel like a weirdo doing the fasting thing, but I’m glad to hear it worked for you. I agree, it takes some discipline and planning, but so far I am really loving how it is working for me. I’m enjoying my food so much more because I’m actually getting hungry between meals and not just eating out of habit.

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Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) May 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

First, your pictures always make my hungry! YUM. Second, I love following you to see what you are trying! You are always exploring things and sharing your honest experiences with your readers. I appreciate that! :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

Can’t wait to see what you are bringing to the party this week! We have another GREAT giveaway!

Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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Carrie May 23, 2013 at 6:42 am

Thanks for the kind words, Cindy, and for doing the awesome Gluten Free Fridays party. I love it! :)

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