Intermittent Fasting

My 7 “Must-Haves” To Make Intermittent Fasting Easy

In May 2021 I was four months away from turning 40 years old and found myself feeling completely hopeless on ever finding a long-term way to lose the extra pounds that had pushed me into the “over weight category,” according to the CDC.

Recently I shared, One Year Of Intermittent Fasting. Does It Work For Weight Loss? (you can read it here), and some of the mainstream methods that I tried to lose the weight . The results were minimal and not a realistic, sustainable solution for me.

And then, in late May of 2021, I discovered intermittent fasting and my life literally has not been the same since! I’ve now spent more than a year practicing intermittent fasting, and learning everything that I can about it. The more I learn, the more I love and I’m convinced that it’s a healthy lifestyle for almost everyone.

Why Intermittent Fasting is Awesome!

Losing 25 pounds in the first year of adopting an intermittent fasting lifestyle was a major victory for me, however, it’s the health benefits that make me an “IFer” for life.

As a nation we are in the middle of a health crisis, with up to 88% of our population metabolically unhealthy, meaning a high likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, or suffer a stroke. One of the first tell-tale signs of being metabolically unhealthy is insulin-resistance.

Three out of my four grandparents had dementia or Alzheimer’s in their final years of life, two suffered from strokes, and two had heart disease, so this statistic really hits home for me.

Eighty-eight percent is an alarming percentage, but there is hope! Intermittent fasting can play a powerful role in reversing insulin-resistance. In fact, there is not a more effective way to reduce high insulin levels than by fasting.

How To Intermittent Fast

I love intermittent fasting because it is so simple! Perhaps not easy, at first, but it gets easier. I promise!

There are multiple ways to intermittent fast, but the way I recommend beginning is to divide your day into “the time for eating” and “the time for fasting”. I recently shared five easy ways to begin intermittent fasting. You can read more about that here.

During your fasting time, you can drink plain water, unflavored seltzer water, plain green or black tea, or black coffee. Woo hoo! By always having a beverage and by simply practicing fasting for over a year, most days are quite easy for me to fast and they can be for you as well.

The beauty of intermittent fasting is that there is no cost. It’s free! You simply refrain from eating during certain times, so typically it even SAVES money because you’ll be eating less food! There are, however, seven things that I use almost every day as an intermittent faster, and they do make it easer.

My 7 Intermittent Fasting “Must-Haves”

Fasting App

I have found that setting a goal for the minimum number of hours that I’m going to fast to be very effective. When I first started fasting, my daily goal was 16 hours fasted. Currently, my goal is 18 hours.

Tracking how long I fast with an app is both effortless and motivational. I’ve tried a few different apps in the past 14 months, but there is one that I’ve gone back to. The Zero app.

Zero makes a free app that basically is just a timer that you start when you begin your fast. You can set goals and receive notifications when you reach them. You also can see your weekly and monthly metrics, such as average fasting time and your longest fast.

Why I love it:

I currently have 335 fasts saved on my Zero app and its been fun to look back and see the progress that I’ve made. The free version works great for me so I love this as an intermittent fasting tool and recommend it if you’re looking for a fasting app!

Zero app

Quality Organic Coffee

My husband, Tyler, and I both LOVE coffee. That may be part of the reason that we have such chemistry 😉

We have found that if we buy quality coffee beans for home, we actually save a lot of money because we don’t feel the pull to go to coffee shops. In fact we really only go to coffee shops if we are meeting someone there or if we are traveling. Our coffee at home tastes better than anything else we can buy!

Several years ago we became monthly subscribers to Camano Island Coffee Roasters. I’m so glad that we already had great coffee beans at home when I became an intermittent faster, as I now drink black coffee each morning when I ‘m fasting. (I used to put oak milk in every cup of coffee but I adjusted to black coffee during my fast and I promise you can too)!

Why I love it:

Camano Island Coffee is a local, Washington state roaster that supports only ethical coffee that’s certified organic, shade-grown, and fairly traded. By supporting ethical coffee that’s fairly traded, you know coffee farmers receive a fair wage. As well, Camano Island Coffee Roasters actively support non-profits.

Conventional coffee, that is not organic, is heavily treated with pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Non-organic decaf coffee is soaked in chemical solvents, usually ethyl acetate or methylene chloride to remove the caffeine. Gross! Many of those treatments have been shown to cause cancer and neurological issues in scientific studies.

To me, it is worth it to invest in high quality, organic coffee beans, and by making coffee at home I save money.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters has a “Coffee Lovers Club” where you can choose from their 20 varieties of coffee, choose how frequently you’d like to receive it, and they ship it right to your home!

When we first subscribed we had them ship us the “Coffee of the Month” for the first year so that we could figure out what roast we liked best. We ended up choosing the Papua New Guinea medium roast as our “regular” but we enjoyed trying out all of the roasts.

 Camano Island Coffee Roasters is offering $20 off your first order! (And I get $20 credited to my account, if you sign up through the link below).

Seltzer Water

Before becoming an intermittent faster, I drank several cans of fancy, flavored seltzer water each day. Now I drink only unflavored seltzer water during my fast AND I love it just as much as the flavors that I used to drink. To save money and reduce waste, we make almost all of our seltzer water at home with our Soda Stream.

Why I love it:

Something about having the bubbles in my water makes it feel more significant. I especially enjoy drinking seltzer water after dinner in the evenings, when I’ve closed my eating window, but still have a few hours before I head to bed.

I love having a Soda Stream because I never have to worry about running out of seltzer water. We have two CO2 cylinders for our Soda Stream, and whenever we use one up, we simply exchange it for a full one. I do this while grocery shopping at Fred Meyer (Kroger) but there are several other stores that exchange cylinders if you buy your groceries elsewhere. Linked here is a store locator for exchanging CO2 cylinders.

Soda Stream

Insulated Coffee Cup

Naturally, since I drink coffee for most of the morning, I have a few insulated, travel cups. My most favorite was a gift from my sister-in-law, Jessica, and has a handle, but does not fit in my car cup holder, so I have a favorite tumbler as well that does fit.

Why I love them:

Insulated, stainless steel cups keep your coffee hot, or cold for hours. I’ve owned different brands in the past but I’ve gotten rid of all the others because the Yeti brand cups are dishwasher safe! The lids still fit nice and tight, and do not leak, even after going through the dishwasher for years.

14 ounce Yeti
20 ounce Yeti

Insulated Water Cup

Water is almost as important as coffee (just kidding!). Drinking enough water is very important and I carry my insulated water cups with me from morning until night. My personal goal is to drink around 65 ounces of water each day.

Why I love them:

I rotate between two cups, one Yeti and one Stanley. Both are stainless steel and both are insulated to keep my water cold. Both fit in my car cup holders, and both are dishwasher safe! (Can you tell that I don’t enjoy having to hand-wash my cups 😉 ) ?

30 ounce Yeti
40 ounce Stanley

Instant Decaf Coffee

As a self-described coffee lover you might be surprised that I have instant or decaf coffee listed in my favorite things but hear me out. I am now at an age that I need to stop drinking caffeine around noon in order to get good sleep at night.

Why I love it:

If I break my fast after noon, I will often make an oat milk, decaf coffee, with collagen powder as a treat. I don’t need a whole pot of coffee, so I have found Mount Hagen Organic Fairtrade instant decaf coffee is an easy option that actually tastes good. It is easy to mix as a hot drink or a cold one during these summer months.

Organic, decaf, instant coffee is not easy to find, but I have found this both in Whole Foods and on Amazon.

Organic decaf instant coffee

Fast. Feast. Repeat.

If you have ever read anything else that I’ve written on fasting, you most certainly have seen an image of the book, Fast. Feast. Repeat. by Gin Stephens.

Why I love it:

I share this book every time because it is the source that caused the light bulb to turn on for me, in regards to fasting. Gin does a great job of breaking down science and explaining what fasting is and why it works.

I consider Fast. Feast. Repeat. to be my fasting handbook and have referred back to and re-read several chapters over the past year.

If you have not yet read this book, do yourself a favor and pick it up at your library, listen to the audiobook, or order a copy on Amazon. It really can change your life.

Fast. Feast. Repeat. by Gin Stephens


Intermittent fasting can be an amazing, healthy lifestyle and the best part of it is that it’s free! In fact, you’ll likely save money by becoming an intermittent faster by eating less often.

Having tools that set you up for success is a great way to make your fasting times more enjoyable.

I’ve shared my 7 must-haves. Now, I’d love to hear from you. What must-have’s are on your list?