Feasting and Fasting

Thanksgiving… probably the most revered and iconic American holiday. It is also a time for a guilt-free feeding frenzy. So, whether your fixings are made from scratch, or come from a box, bottle or a can, it seems that food is so cheap and plentiful in this country, and shelf-lives are so long, that everyone can participate in a Thanksgiving dinner in some form or another.

It is normal for humans to feast, we shouldn’t feel deprived during this holiday. As hunter-gathers, we didn’t have refrigeration, so a large kill had to be a feast. But then, for a few days (or longer), afterwards, we would graze on foraging plant matter and eat much lighter while we rest up for the next big hunt.

So, in this time of too much food, and even more food waste, more and more Americans are finding themselves feeling the discomfort of being overstuffed, rather than the pangs of hunger.

So, before and after the feasting, try a little fasting.

Fasting is natural for our bodies, and it is quite healthy. It doesn’t have to be extensive or strict. Some common, modern day practices that can bring huge benefits, include: intermittent fasting of just 12-16 hours; eating a few meals made up of only raw fruits and veggies; eat only one meal a day.

Regardless how you fast, use it as a time for reflection.

Feel the discomfort. Embrace the feelings of hunger. Feed your soul with sunshine, fresh air and movement. Journal. Ponder. Dream. Rest. Volunteer. Donate. Give back. Be kind.

Try to find ways to reduce food waste.

Think about those less fortunate in the world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or lives in a food desert without easy access to fresh, whole foods. Or those who have to walk 6 miles a day to get water. You can even take the money you save from missed meals and donate it to those in need.

You can also try other fasts as a time for reflection… a media fast, an electronics fast, a shopping/spending fast.

You can even try a worry fast. For one whole day, don’t let yourself worry about anything. Live in the moment. And don’t worry… your worries will still be there tomorrow.

[Note: If you have a health issue that has dietary implications, such as insulin issues, you may need to consult a doctor before you try  any kind of fasting. Additionally, fasting is not meant to be a ‘diet’ strategy, but rather a balanced lifestyle strategy.]

What are your thoughts? Have you tried fasting in one form or another?

 

6 thoughts on “Feasting and Fasting

  1. I have definitely fasted before and the benefits are truly amazing. I definitely had a clearer mind and felt rejuvenated afterwards. I haven’t done it in awhile but it’s definitely something that I need to get back into. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  2. I am hopeless. If I don’t eat regularly I feel sick and faint. Most likely because my body is addicted to sugar.
    I watched an interesting TV show on the benefits of fasting. Eating minimal calories for two days each week.
    I could definitely benefit from a media fast, good idea.

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    • There is actually a medical condition that causes sickness and fainting due to lack of sugar intake, it’s called hypoglycemia. Your body needs sugar, just in moderation like everything else. Ironically the over consumption of sugar can lead to too low sugar in the blood stream as well. I skipped the fasting personally, though more power to you for that, but I did eat dinner in moderation,

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      • Yes, I agree. As I mentioned in the post, it is important for anyone with insulin (blood sugar) issues to be cautious. Whether it is hypo- or hyper-glycemia, it can be an issue with fasting. Like you said, moderation is key to avoiding swings also. Thanks for the comment!

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