What insights can we gain from fasting?

Fasting mail #5.

It was easier than I thought it would be.

Maybe because I have done it before and because this time I was more intentional with what I wanted to achieve with it.
The freezing weather here in The Netherlands made me a bit weary to have a too challenging experience but in the end it really was not that hard. I took care of heating my body well externally which worked very well. Using heating pillows and hot water bottles like an addict on crack 🙂

As I was approaching the final stretch of the fasting time I went to the shop and bought lots of things that seemed appealing to me.


This is something that I find interesting about food. 
Almost everybody has lots of filters when it comes to food: 

either about the taste or the quality of a product. – what is poor quality and what is good quality and is that really true?

About the price- what do you find expensive and does that stop you from purchasing it?

About nutritional value- Should I leave carbs out of my shopping basket? Should I buy more vegetables?

About environmental value- Why do I buy organic potatoes but no organic mushrooms?

About animal welfare- Should I eat vegan and what do I then have to choose to make sure my body gets what it needs?

About desire – Do I choose the tea with the cute packaging or just the regular one that tastes good too?

About your menu build-up- You don’t just choose randomly. You choose things that make a dish together.

About identity- What kind of product fit mentally with how you see yourself.

And a lot of other subconscious factors play a roll in filtering what you choose.

From product placement to what your parents eat.

From food memories to what’s advertised and what has a price reduction.

Anyway, strolling through the supermarket I felt as if I was Alice in wonderland.

Refraining myself from food created a huge gap between the cornucopia of the supermarket and myself. 
To allow myself to choose my food unfiltered was interesting. I am aware that I filter what I choose on many levels but that it really felt as if I was skipping school just to take anything I wanted was a surprise.In the end I choose mostly for proteins as apparently my body was craving for them.

Still, I wasn’t hungry on the last day at all. Even when the food was in front in me I could have easily not eaten it. 

It’s quite remarkable to see how not eating creates almost no waste, no dishes, no time used for shopping, for cooking for cleaning up. There is a certain freedom to be experienced also on the practical side.

The moment the first bite is taken, there is NO WAY back!

Marije Vogelzang

My first bite was a mistake.

For some reason I thought that I would really like to eat filled pasta with ricotta and spinach. In my mind there was a faint memory of a good experience in Italy with the sun in my face and a nice wine and good company.
I made it with samphire.

I took THE bite and enjoyed food in my mouth but immediately realised that this was not wat I really wanted to eat. It was pleasant but disappointing at the same time.

Next to the pasta was a large dish of crispy organic bacon. THAT was what I wanted!
The bacon was unbelievably amazing.

Just. right.

Eventually I ended up eating samphire and bacon mostly.
Instantly my body responded: I got cold and shivering and very tired. The body had been activated to change course again.

The moment the first bites are taken you can’t go back. The body wants more and I ate lots after.
Enjoying it, appreciating it SO MUCH!

Today I am at Design Academy Eindhoven for the start of the new semester.

Some of the topics we will be working on will be hunger and unethical design. 

We are starting the introduction with an experience made by one of our students from last semester. 
She has been exploring captivity and food and in her midterms she was presenting a cake used in American prisons as punishment.

The cake contains all nutrients a body needs but it’s taste is horrible. When an inmate is punished for a food related violation of the jail rules, it can happen that the next days he or she will only get this cake served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The experience she is creating for our new students is very simple. We see instructions on a large screen in front of us and are instructed to take a bite of bread. We are instructed to chew on the bread but keep it in our mouth for a couple of minutes.

Which seems simple but is really a challenge (try it) We’re not allowed to swallow the bread.

Over time a horrible blob is taking shape in your mouth. You either want to swallow or spit. This process repeats itself a couple of times and while you go through the experience you look at the small cup of tea that you were given at the beginning of the experience.

It smells like mint tea.

You are longing for the tea and when the time comes you are finally allowed to swallow and take a sip of tea the tea reveals itself as being salted. T

ogether with the poetic wording she used for the instructions the whole experience is incredibly powerful and extremely simple.

All in just one bite

Best, Marije

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