A Day on The FFF Plan – Part 4 : Caffeinate and Get to Work
If you haven’t read them then please read Parts 1, 2 & 3 first (links below)
So you’ve got some natural light, filled your body with oxygen and got your heart pumping.
You’ve also rehydrated and replaced essential minerals and electrolytes lost overnight.
And you’ve managed to get outside (come rain or shine!) and got your legs moving, arms swinging and mentally prepared yourself for the challenges of the day ahead.
For a lot of people they forgo the previous three steps and this is where they start their day…big mistake! If you hadn’t noticed we’re now on Step 4 of our day on the FFF Plan. And only now is it time to…get the kettle on!
Goodie gumdrops. Get us a cup of tea, will you, Errol?
– Brick Top, Snatch (2000)
Black tea, green tea, coffee. They all contain caffeine and they’re all not only extremely tasty but are super healthy ways to get this very useful, energy boosting stimulant and appetite suppressant into your body. I regularly switch between all three of them for my favourite morning pick-me-up.
Here is where we could list the plethora of miraculous health benefits and antioxidant properties of tea and coffee but a simple Google search will get you those, so instead I’ll give you three morning, Intermittent Fasting Friendly recipes to get you kick started for the day ahead.
But first, some tips…
Can I add sugar?
Now, you know the answer to this but you’d be amazed at the amount of times I get asked this same question!
Right, as we’re on the FFF Plan which as you know or should know stands for Fasting For Fitness, we’re going to have to definitely forgo the sugar (or honey) here. Feel free to add stevia, monk fruit sweetener or your zero carb, natural sweetener of choice but you should really try to train your taste buds and brain to not need that sweetness in the morning. It will just set you up for a day of sugar cravings. Plus, I find when I consume these zero carb sweeteners, it’s like my body knows it’s being tricked – all the taste but none of the calories – they seem to make me hungry sooner. If you really cannot stomach tea or coffee without adding something sweet then try a sprinkle or stick of cinnamon in the cup instead – cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and is jam packed with it’s own antioxidants so you’re getting a double bubble morning boost of the good stuff
Can I add milk?
This one is a bit more up for debate. Officially the answer is no. Whole milk contains pretty much equal amounts of Fat, Carbohydrate and Protein (well, equal amounts of fat and protein and slightly more carbs) so there’s no doubt that it will trigger an insulin response once consumed…and when you’re fasting this is exactly what you do not want.
- if this makes the difference between you fasting or not fasting then a splash of full fat milk in your tea or coffee is better than not fasting at all
- it depends on the amounts – if you’re adding say, 20ml of full fat milk to your cup of tea, that equates to about 1g of carbohydrate. In the grand scheme of things this isn’t going to break the Intermittent Fasting bank. Especially if you’re following all the other FFF Plan steps, then a gram or two of carbohydrate isn’t going to impact your results or goals too much
- if you do need a small amount of something creamy in your morning cup of joe then there are better options on the FFF Plan – Raw Milk, Coconut Butter, Cacao Butter, Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk (watch out for emulsifiers in these two), heavy whipping or double cream, grass-fed butter – all these are much higher in (very healthy) fats and much, much lower in carbs/sugars so are far better options than standard organic milk
- If you’re not doing a strictly water (and black tea and coffee) fast but instead doing a fat (and say, bone-broth) type of fast then knock yourself out with the Keto/Bulletproof tea or coffee in the morning. Personally I cycle through periods of strict water fasting and then periods of fat fasting. I generally do three or four months on each before swapping back again
But as with the sugar and sweeteners above…
Abstinence is the best policy when it comes to Intermittent Fasting
Zero sweeteners or creamers will definitely give you the best results and in the shortest time but if you, like me, are in this for the long-haul then use whatever tips, tricks or even cheats will keep you on track week after week, month after month, year after year
> FFF Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
Cold Brew Coffee is f.ing awesome! And not just in the summer, it’s great all year round. All the goodness of coffee without the bitterness. Perfect for fasting and keto – especially if you are struggling not adding sweeteners to your coffee (see above)
For the perfect cup of FFF Cold Brew you will need
A good quality organic coffee. 1x 600ml / 20oz Cafetiere / French Press. 600ml / 20oz of Spring Water. A spoon. 1x 600ml / 20oz glass or plastic bottle (I use a 600ml Blender bottle which is perfect)
- Put 3-4 heaped tablespoons of coffee grounds into the Cafetiere
- Slowly pour in the spring water whilst stirring the coffee at the same time
- Put the plunger part into the jug but DO NOT press it down!
- Leave coffee to brew on worktop at room temperature for 15-24hrs
- CAREFULLY push down plunger all the way to the bottom of the jug
- Pour coffee into bottle
- Drink (heated up or over ice or as it is)
- Keeps perfectly in fridge for at least a week
> FFF Turmeric Chai Latte
This was my favourite morning pick-me-up through the winter months. Winter mornings in The Alps are cold and usually involve fasted snowboarding or fasted icy trail runs. So I was Fat Fasting (as apposed to Water Fasting) most of January and February. Saying that, this awesome FFF Turmeric Chai Latte recipe would be equally good on warm summer mornings too
For the perfect cup of FFF Turmeric Chai Latte you will need
A tea strainer, some good quality organic loose-leaf black tea (I usually use Chinese Pu-erh), Turmeric powder, black and green cardamon pods, a cinnamon stick, pepper corns, cloves, coconut milk (one with no additives or emulsifiers – the one I use is 75% coconut extract and 25% water) or Coconut Cream
- Put a heaped teaspoon of tea leaves, 2 crushed black cardamon pods, 3 crushed green cardamon pods, a stick of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of pepper corns and 2 cloves into the tea strainer
- Place the tea strainer in a mug or glass
- Pour over not quite boiling water (boil kettle and leave for 5mins)
- Steep for 3-5mins
- Pour tea infusion into a shaker bottle (don’t empty tea strainer yet!)
- Add one teaspoon of Turmeric Powder and one tablespoon of Coconut Milk or Cream to shaker
- Shake, Pour and Drink
- Make another brew with the same tea strainer contents by repeating above from Step 2. It will be weaker but still is loaded with goodness and flavour!
Now you will be seriously ready for a few productive hours doing whatever you do to pay your bills. Turn your phone onto silent. Kill all but work related notifications on your laptop. Put your headphones on and get in the work zone!
Next up we get serious with the exercise and/or training. So don’t forget to check back for the next instalment of A Day on The FFF Plan