Monitoring food for health or weight control, one can feel they’re either fasting or feasting. Kansans are constantly fed food advice and warnings – what to eat, what not to eat, even what food combos affect weight loss. But we seem to have a love/hate relationship with food and the inability to control intake. So it is refreshing to consider Anna Bowness-Park’s suggestion of a different type of “recipe for health” with a more spiritual perspective. Check out the excerpt below, then please click the link to read the entire April 27th Vancouver Sun article.
Fasting has long been considered a religious practice that focuses on abstaining from food and drink for periods. The purpose is to free oneself from materialism through cultivating a closer connection to the divine.
However, as religious life fades and food becomes increasingly abundant and accessible in Western culture, fasting as a religious practice is on the decline in our more secular society. At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the so-called “lifestyle” diseases – diabetes, some cancers and heart disease – which studies indicate have their origin largely in the quantity and type of food we eat.
Despite numerous theories, weight loss programs, surgical procedures and even drugs, Canadians are heavier than ever. 68% of us are overweight and facing a host of these so-called lifestyle diseases.
Now, the latest trend gaining momentum is fasting as a means to drop weight and get healthier.
For example, in his 2012 documentary movie, Eat, Fast and Live Longer, British journalist Michael Mosely set out to investigate the health benefit claims of fasting. Mosely’s personal experience together with current clinical studies indicate that fasting can be a viable approach to managing and, in some cases, preventing disease. A study published last year for instance, claims that fasting triggers repairs of stem cell damage and can reboot immune systems.
But fasting purely for health benefits still keeps us fixated on the food – when to eat and how much to take in. It does not go to the root of the problem – our love/hate relationship with food and the inability to control intake. Despite all the education and urgings from experts, it would appear that, for many of us, mere human will is proving inadequate to master food cravings and bingeing.