Cuisine Fiend https://www.cuisinefiend.com

Chewing over

CuisineFiend's edible news.

Fasting is good, every now and then. It makes us appreciate taste and flavours.

Fri, 2 December, 2016

I’ve just finished Emma Donoghue’s novel called ‘The Wonder’. She’s the author of the bestselling and movie-converted ‘Room’: a story of abduction, abuse and a child’s perspective on the world as he knows it. ‘The Wonder’ is set in Ireland in mid-nineteenth century and tells a story of an eleven-year old girl who fasts for months but apparently thrives, sustained by ‘manna from heaven’.

Not a very fitting subject for a food blog it would seem but as all eating habits and oddities, fasting is fascinating - to me at least. Strangely, because I’m not usually that keen on various kinds of conscious deprivation. Celibacy is all wrong, it causes repressive behaviours in the least; just look at the structures on which the order of sexual abstinence is imposed. Teetotallers puzzle me as wine is gorgeous; but then I don’t drink any fizzy soft drinks, just because, so perhaps people who don’t touch alcohol do it ‘just because’? I wish. They usually turn out to be alkies, or fathered by ones.

But fasting is something else altogether: it’s not depriving yourself of one pleasure/happiness inducing element of a lifestyle for ever - because in that case the forever wouldn’t last long. It’s more like delayed gratification, be it for religious, weight loss or health reasons.

I have to be perfectly clear that my comments have nothing to do with anorexia which is a tragic condition of a sick mind in a sick body. I am talking purely about controlled fasting, carried out for one of the above reasons, with the emphasis on ‘healthy’ regarding the weight loss. I do sometimes flippantly repeat ‘never too rich or too skinny’ or that one about the a*** or the face, but I will shout very loudly at people who have lost the sense of proportion on how much fat becomes them (usually more than they think; that includes me too).

Back to (conscious, sensible, controlled) fasting: all for it. I find that quite a few religion-derived social or lifestyle commandments make an awful lot of sense and they’d undoubtedly been imposed with the view of benefitting human race, rather than punishing it. What are those benefits then?

One: you get to appreciate food more. On a small scale, admittedly, but surely the first square meal after a day of nothing-much-at-all will taste splendid. It’s the old story: plenty and often of your favourite thing soon stops it from being favourite. Absence makes the tastebuds fonder: remember when strawberries used to turn up only in early summer (no, of course you don’t - and if you do, you’ll shut up about it)? That was the unsurpassed taste, that was the inimitable flavour, so potent after the long strawberiless months.


Two: wellbeing. I am not out to mass-persuade people to fast but I for one feel good if I’m a little hungry; clear-headed (NOT dizzy) when I’ve not eaten much all day; happy about myself if I’ve fasted for a day. I think I’m not alone in feeling really down in the dumps when stuffed senseless with food; let alone trying to think. I know that to a lot of people going to bed hungry sounds like torture but have you tried? We either eat dinner shockingly late, from the nutrition not social point of view, or have it early, call it tea and look for a bite or two at 10 in the evening. I like to have my last morsel not later than seven, a piece of fruit notwithstanding, so I feel light and bright going to bed. Trust me - you sleep far better when not full and bloated.

Three: obviously, weight loss. But there is also the cleansing factor to point three. As much as I don’t believe in assorted mixtures which cost serious money and are supposed to ‘detox’ (we got liver, durr? It comes for free and does the detox on a daily basis all right with no help from odd gunks and brews), I believe in naturally, periodically cleansing the body off rich food, sugar, caffeine, spice and indulgence. It might all be in the head but it is after all the mind that drives the body.
Of course, of course - it’s hard when you spend the day in the office with the only bright spot being a pack of Maltesers. But here goes the next benefit of a moderate fast: being pre-programmed for no Maltesers on that day!

The 2:5 diet has died a natural death because its biggest flaw was in the 5: you can’t help bingeing when you’re allowed to. While if you set an occasional day, just one, as the day of fast - you’re more likely to succeed. I’m pretty certain your body and mind both will appreciate it.

 

Question? Comment?

Characters left 800
Comment*
Name*
Email address*
Web site name

* required

Recent blog posts

Fri, 5 April, 2019 You can't be a scrooge at Easter: it's spring! it's hope! it's chocolate eggs!

Tue, 5 March, 2019 Dietary myths and delusions – the human race has always loved them.

Sun, 3 February, 2019 World cuisines are diverse - or are they?

Mon, 31 December, 2018 Eat well, be well, live well.

Sat, 29 December, 2018 Cuisine Fiend's Christmas Collection

Sun, 4 November, 2018 We are so angry all the time - why not just chill? Cook something?

Thu, 4 October, 2018 Food comes from all over the world – but why so illogically sourced?

Mon, 3 September, 2018 There's no such thing as healthy foods: it's all in the balance.

Thu, 2 August, 2018 Diets – I do it my way.

Mon, 2 July, 2018 Cooking at home - why is it such a chore for so many?

Sun, 27 May, 2018 The number of obese people is terrifying - and that's just Home Counties.

Tue, 24 April, 2018 Food fads, or the impossible things to eat: our unhealthy health obsessions.

Mon, 26 March, 2018 Kitchen disasters, or how I blowtorched the turkey.

Mon, 12 March, 2018 They know a thing or two about food in Shropshire.

Wed, 17 January, 2018 Deadly avocados, flying knives and golfer's elbow: kitchen is a dangerous place.

Tue, 19 December, 2017 Diets on hold: time for twinkling lights and brandy butter.

Fri, 24 November, 2017 Eating nose-to-tail - make mine a steak.

Thu, 2 November, 2017 Eat yourself to sleep - or not, actually.

Fri, 15 September, 2017 Everything in moderation - damn hard to achieve where food is concerned.

Sun, 13 August, 2017 Food on screen: they never eat properly on TV.

Wed, 5 July, 2017 Summer gluttony: does food always taste better when we're on holidays?

Thu, 18 May, 2017 Taste, likes and dislikes - unique to first world?

Wed, 19 April, 2017 Spring is here and so is spring food.

Mon, 3 April, 2017 Signature dish? I want to cook everything well!

Fri, 3 March, 2017 British strawberries in March? I think I'll wait till May.

Fri, 17 February, 2017 Making birthday cakes is fun, unless it all goes terribly wrong.

Fri, 3 February, 2017 Munching, grazing - why do we stuff our faces while watching telly?

Fri, 27 January, 2017 Winter warmers: what's the best comfort food when the weather's cold?

Fri, 20 January, 2017 Sugar is the public enemy now. But should we go cold turkey?

Fri, 6 January, 2017 What's really good and bad for us, nutrition-wise?

Sat, 29 December, 2018 Post-Christmas, or how to lose weight on leftovers.

Thu, 15 December, 2016 Post-truth, let's put up more twinkling Christmas lights!

Fri, 9 December, 2016 A cook's block, or how induction is a toy hob.

Fri, 2 December, 2016 Fasting is good, every now and then. It makes us appreciate taste and flavours.

Thu, 24 November, 2016 Boringly tidy or artistically messy in the kitchen? It might be boring, but order helps you focus.

Fri, 11 November, 2016 Gas or electrics - I'm trying hard not to hate my new induction hob.

Fri, 4 November, 2016 New kitchen - caveat emptor, and don't expect a dream come true.

Fri, 28 October, 2016 The rise of the hipster salad.

Fri, 21 October, 2016 No kitchen for two months - what shall I cook first in the new one?

Fri, 14 October, 2016 Cooking is easier, cheaper and more varied than eating out.

Wed, 5 October, 2016 Kitchen designers - my own Great Kitchen Design Off.

Tue, 27 September, 2016 Life without kitchen. Or bathroom, most of the time.

Wed, 21 September, 2016 British cakes - let's not forget the classics.

Thu, 15 September, 2016 Going out for breakfast? Just don't order scrambled eggs.

Wed, 7 September, 2016 Great British Bake Off - now I know why I'd never watched it.

Wed, 31 August, 2016 Eating out: posh nosh or good & simple? I go for value these days.

Thu, 10 August, 2017 Eat food. Not too much. Some of it raw.

Thu, 11 August, 2016 Is a steam oven THE must-have appliance? I'll stick to my stock pot with a steamer insert.

Thu, 4 August, 2016 How to lose weight: the Food Fascist and I

Thu, 28 July, 2016 Eating whilst sprawled on the sofa? Not for me.

Thu, 21 July, 2016 How to live and what to eat on a building site.

Thu, 14 July, 2016 Weird dietary trends - the pseudo-nutritional nonsense

Fri, 8 July, 2016 What are the most useful tools in cooking and baking life?

Thu, 30 June, 2016 The aftermath of the referendum - time to cook some bacon.

Thu, 23 June, 2016 'Easy recipe' - it's an oxymoron!

Fri, 17 June, 2016 Common currency? Don't know, but I know about Common Food!

Fri, 10 June, 2016 How to NOT EAT - totally non-expert advice on weight loss

Thu, 2 June, 2016 Rain, thunder and floods, but summer berries are arriving

Thu, 26 May, 2016 Pancakes are the nation's favourite food

Tue, 17 May, 2016 Spring is here

Fri, 13 May, 2016 It's a hard life being a food blogger

fiendishly...