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Intermittent Fasting Day 7: Tempeh Carbonara

Posted Feb 01 2011 12:30am

I’m delighted to say that I got through an entire week of intermittent fasting and Dustin was unharmed! :lol: I thought for sure I’d be pretty moody, but I actually found the opposite to be true—for the most part! ;) Before I get into my review, let’s talk about last night’s dinner: Tempeh (spaghetti) Carbonara

Made with Tofurky brand tempeh: 130 calories, 13g protein, 300mg sodium for 7 strips

Jenn's Menu & Lifestyle Blog

Tempeh (spaghetti) Carbonara


  • 2oz dry pasta, spaghetti or linguine
  • 5-7 strips tempeh bacon
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Boil pasta
  2. While pasta is cooking, in nonstick pan fry tempeh bacon in 1 TBSP olive oil until browned and crispy; remove tempeh from pan, cut into smaller bite-size pieces, set aside
  3. In same frying pan, add in spinach and saute until wilted. When pasta is done, drain and add to spinach along with 3 TBSP grated cheese and toss together; plate pasta, spinach, and tempeh
  4. Add another teaspoon of olive oil to pan, make two eggs over easy. Sprinkled liberally with black pepper. Place over-easy eggs atop pasta; sprinkle with another Tablespoon of parmesan cheese

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I wanted to use real bacon for this, but we didn’t have any! :( I thought I had a package of it in the freezer, but I guess we used it. I was bummed… for a little while.

On the side: baby arugula and goat cheese salad tossed in extra virgin avocado oil and Maple Grove Farms strawberry balsamic—a new favorite!

And buttered garlic bread

Ooooh, yesss! Runny egg yolk! *drool* This is not traditional spaghetti carbonara, but it was definitely a delicious vegetarian variation! It was just too much all at once, so I ate the eggs, but left about a 1/3 of everything else, except the salad. That was the first thing I finished. Salad = YUM! This brand of tempeh bacon is a tad too smoky for me, so 7 strips was a bit overwhelming. I’d probably go with just 2 or 3 strips next time.

Intermittent Fasting Day 7 of 7 Menu

Intermittent Fasting: The Review

I don’t think I ever found the concept of intermittent fasting to be strange considering so many people world-wide do it on a daily or event-driven basis. Although, at one time I was of the mindset that you had to eat multiple times a day to keep your metabolism optimized, but I have since learned that this is a myth and that we burn calories the same whether they are all at once or a little at a time, providing you eat the same foods or foods that share the same macro breakdown, in the same amount at one large meal as you would in several meals. e.g., 6oz salmon in one meal or 2oz salmon 3x a day. With that said, there isn’t anything wrong with eating 3 or 6 times a day, in the end, it’s still the same calories in and calories out that matters. It’s  all a matter of preference, with science to support both arguments; there’s advantages to intermittent fasting and there are advantages to smaller meals that keep blood sugar stabilized or keep you from overeating. There is no right or wrong, there’s only right and wrong for YOU and YOUR body. You know it better than anyone on earth, get acquainted with it if you don’t! This is why I do all of these experiments, I’m trying to see what my body responds well to and what it doesn’t. Then I take the best of everything and apply it to everyday life.

Weight Loss

I lost 7 lbs doing IF this week. I’m not surprised, though. I attribute the loss to a combination of caloric deficit and lower sodium intake, the same formula used in any other weight loss diet. My exercise was limited to NEAT throughout the week. I believe that I have a pound or two lingering since eating Chinese the other night, so I believe that with some added activity and avoiding that high sodium meal, I probably would be down a few more pounds, but like I said the other day, the first week is almost always a lot of water weight. That’s ok, though, I don’t need that excess fluid retention! I’m glad that it—fat or otherwise—is gone! :)

Hours of Fasting

I fasted for 16-20 hours after my last meal, usually closer to 20 than 16. So if I ate my bedtime snack at 2:00am, I waited until at least 8:00-9:00 PM the next evening to eat dinner, nearly an entire day from last meal.


Obviously weight loss was the greatest part, but I also noticed my mood was elevated and I was generally in better spirits. Not worrying about eating every few hours was nice. There was no pressure to stop what I was doing to cook and eat; I ate when I wanted to, and I enjoyed it—for the most part! I found myself getting full very quickly when I thought for sure I’d eat everything in sight. I was pleasantly surprised by my decreased appetite and normal to elevated energy levels.


My protein intake suffered a bit, I didn’t cover it as thoroughly as I had originally planned. After 18 hours, approaching 20 hours, I’d begin to get cloudy-headed and cranky and would need to eat very soon. I’d say that was my cutoff point. Other than inevitable hunger pangs, there weren’t any other remarkable downsides. But even hunger wasn’t always that bad. It was worse at times than others, but manageable. The less water or tea I drank, the hungrier I was. So keeping hydrated helps.


I don’t believe 7 days is really a long enough amount of time to give a thorough evaluation of something’s sustainability or effectiveness, so I’ll just give my opinion  based on my limited experience and say that I’m now a fan of Intermittent Fasting! In fact, I am considering continuing it for a few weeks to see how I feel. I took today off and just ate somewhat normally, I still did a 16-hour fast from my last meal last night to my first “meal” today (a Bosc pear + 2oz pork tenderloin with a slice of whole wheat bread).

I think there are many variations of this eating style that can be benefit your health, longevity, and even your piggy bank. :) I would definitely consider incorporating an IF into my life maybe 2 or 3 days a week; a 24 hour fast once a week, or even go the route of Marilyn vos Savant and have very small snacks throughout the day and whatever I want for dinner, which appeals to me the most! There are dozens of ways to go about it, and I think it’s especially useful for when you plan to eat out or have a party to attend. You simply fast until dinner at the restaurant or eat very lightly. Millions of people do this and maintain a healthy weight, so I think that it makes perfect sense! The key is to mind your portions once you do eat. That’s the tricky part.

Tips for pacing yourself after a fast

  • Drink plenty of water and other non-caloric drinks, before and during your meal or snack
  • Eat a salad or large portion of vegetables with your meal with a healthy fat, such as olive oil (preferably before your main course)
  • Eat slowly and savor the food
  • Eat only what you like, not what you think you absolutely have to eat
  • At home, portion or plan your calorie intake ahead of time (restaurant-style) and wait 20 minutes before going for seconds. If possible, plan what you will eat at restaurants, too.
  • Don’t put yourself in temptation’s path! If you know ahead of time that you’re likely to order 3 Big Macs and a large chocolate shake instead of a reasonable sized meal, don’t hit up the drive-thru. If you have the calories in your budget and want to eat the “forbidden fruit,” don’t wait until you’re on the brink of gnawing off your arm, end the fast a little early while you still have all of your senses. I know from my experience that I got full pretty quickly when I finally did eat, but I wouldn’t count on that with fast food. Most fast food is much easier to swallow than wholesome, real food.

Feel free to ask any questions about my intermittent fasting trial! :D

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© J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) | Jenn's Menu & Lifestyle Blog , 2011.

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