I'm reading a book by Jen Hatmaker called 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess. I expect to write about this book several more times, so you may as well go out and buy it for yourself. It's a pretty amazing book.
The premise is, Ms. Jen decided to do some radical fasting in seven different areas of her life for a month each. The first was food. For one month, she ate only seven foods:
- whole wheat bread
- sweet potatoes
She did a bit of research ahead of time to be sure that these foods would give her a good balance of the nutrition she needed. She allowed herself salt and pepper for seasoning and a little bit of olive oil for cooking in when necessary. But nothing else. Only water to drink.
Like I said, radical.
This was difficult for her because she's something of a foodie. I think it would be difficult for me because I'm not at all a foodie. I'm a rather picky eater. I can eat all of these foods, but only when served just right. I like my sweet potatoes fried. I like my avocado with salsa and chips. I like my spinach doused in dressing -- or if it's cooked, layered between lasagna noodles and tomato sauce. Each of these foods are fine, but to eat only these foods would be awful.
So, why did she do it? Well, as I said, it was a fast. And she got all the benefits out of it that one gets from a fast, particularly a recognition of how much excess there is in her life (note again the sub-title) and the freedom of surrender and submission and giving up idols. She also commented on the extra energy she had . . . that her allergies were gone . . . that her skin was so much cleaner and brighter.
It reminded me of when I changed my diet a few years ago. I was seeing a holistic kind of doctor for help with my sleep issues, and he got me changing a lot of things about how I ate. I blogged about it at the time (here). About how I was trying to eat more variety of foods, more natural foods, etc. (I also immediately blogged about crashing and burning on it all one day. Hubris.) I lost a good amount of weight during that time. Felt a lot better. Looked a lot better. (Didn't sleep a lot better, but I guess you can't win 'em all.)
I've been aggravated at myself for what my eating habits have become again. And something about Ms. Jen's 7-food fast appealed to me . . . but then I know if I actually tried to do that, I would want to shoot myself within a couple days. That was for a month -- I need to make changes that I can sustain for the long-term. Changes like I made before.
Sigh. Why can't the lessons I learn stay learnt?