Slow Fast

The nutritionist leading the cleanse encourages people to try broth-fasting for some piece of the second week. Kate and I both tried it yesterday, and I’m continuing today. (Kate’s at work today; given the physical requirements of her job, it’s not realistic for her to keep fasting. My job involves sitting on my ass and whacking on my keyboard a little, so there’s no problem there.)

The last solid food I had was dinner with John on Saturday night. (Oven roasted mushrooms and onions with quinoa, which I like a lot, and a tomato/caper/grilled eggplant salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and capers. Mmmm.) Since then it’s only been water, some no-sugar-added natural pressed apple juice mixed with protein powder, and some pale green vegetable stock that John made Friday.

It’s an interesting thing, hunger. I’m sure there are those who would say that 36 hours of liquids, apple-juice-sugars, and protein powder wouldn’t bring about real hunger, and they’d probably be right. That said, it’s been pretty interesting watching when I start craving things, and when the craving goes away. Right now, I’m feeling a little low energy, but I’m not crawling the walls. Yesterday, walking through the mall with Kate, I was definitely feeling pangs walking past hot pretzels and sandwich stores, but then drinking a bunch of lemon water in the car helped stave that off. (Rereading that sentence, I realize it makes me sound like one of the Freaky Diet People, but … it’s true, it did help stave it off.)

I’m pretty amazed at how good I feel, actually, running on so little. (Makes me wonder whether there might be something to the hyper-trendy restricted-calorie-diet research that’s been going on recently.) I haven’t gotten anywhere near the point where my hunger’s distracting me from whatever I’m doing or thinking about. (I wonder, though there’s no way to ever know, whether we all experience hunger differently. It hasn’t taken that much effort for me to do this fast so far, but how much of that is just that I’m not feeling the hunger as keenly… who knows?) I’d love to retain this knowledge. Habitually, I sit down to a meal and eat until I feel overfull, suffer for 15 or 20 minutes, and then go on about my day. I’d love to actually start eating smaller portions of things (especially when eating out), but I know I’ve got a lifetime of habit lurking in the shadows, so it’s gonna take some time and will power to change.

Step 1 might be: when eating out, take whatever is served to me and divide it in half. Eat the half. Wait 20 minutes. If still hungry, eat more; if not, hey, leftovers.