Saturday, August 10, 2013

"Let be be finale of seem"

Today it seems more difficult.

For the past two days I have taken a new approach to eating, to see what how my body and mind react. I've fasted from ten in the evening until six the next day. Twenty hours. Then, I have dinner and snack, pretty much anything I want. The first night, I started with a big salad and then made a bean burrito. Last night I had chicken, quinoa, salad, tortilla chips and homemade salsa. Today, it seems more difficult. I kind of want something to eat. At least I think I do.

Odd as it may seem, I'm not sure what hunger feels like. Part of my eating problem is that I eat just because I'm eating. I've never known real hunger. As I'm typing, I wonder is this hunger or habit I'm feeling. Whatever it is, I'll wait to see how it shakes out. Even if this is hunger, I won't die in the next ten minutes or two hours.

Is this healthy?

I don't know. I'm not super qualified to make medical pronouncements. So far, I feel good. I'm energetic and upbeat. That could change. Eventually, it stands to reason, I'll need to do something different.

However, I don't want to go back to my old habits, so I'll likely switch to a six- or eight-hour window of eating. I could also go with Mark Bittman's brilliant Vegan Before Six (VB6) method.

But why fast?

I can explain that with one example. My wife and I walked to Westcott Street and got lunch from Mello Velo Cafe. She got the Randonneur sandwich and chips, I got a decaf espresso. We sat outside the Petit Branch Library and she ate while I drank my espresso. At one point I held the box in which sat her chips. If I hadn't been fasting, if the plan wasn't so clear cut, I would have taken a chip. And another. Then I probably would have wanted all of them. As it was, I didn't consider eating any because it wasn't time yet to eat.

Having a clear rule didn't box me in, it freed me from those chips.

I know that I will eat soon. I'm thinking about what I want to have. First thing: a big old salad with some buffalo-chicken-marinated seitan. The fast has me dreaming less of chips and more about food that I prepare.

I started this essay thinking about how things have seemed more difficult today. Now, having taken forty minutes to compose and revise this essay I can say that things seemed difficult but really aren't. That's why, for the title, I borrowed Wallace Stevens' gorgeous line from "The Emperor of Ice Cream".

I'll let you know if this fasting thing is still on tomorrow when I write on.