The Perks of Not Eating

6 unexpected benefits from a vision fast in the desert

A place setting with no food
An empty plate can be medicine. Photo by Alla Hetman on Unsplash
  1. New taste buds. Every bite since breaking my fast has been a revelation of flavor. (Perhaps the detox had a role?) The “wow” of each bite is so great that one or two is often enough to really satisfy me. I’m not sure this benefit will last, but it’s been worth fasting a few days by itself.
  2. Media blackout. The thought of even 24 hours away from a phone may be horrifying. Hint: This is a sign of addiction, with all the attendant harm. Being utterly unplugged from society for two weeks not only quenched my news outrage, “like” lust, and need to constantly connect, it dropped my desire for a political or a social media hit back to more reasonable levels.
  3. Mindful gratitude. Going without—whether food or a real bed—was tonic for my appreciation bone.
  4. More relaxed patience. Having spent days in the desert doing little but talking to lizards and watching the clouds, my tolerance for waiting and ability to simply “be” leaped. Even in the airport on the way home.
  5. Two-thirds of new habits. They say 21 days helps establish a habit. I’m on Day 15 of far more thoughtful eating, which was far easier to kick-start away from home. Now that I’m back, feeling better physically in multiple ways should help me resist caffeine and sugar going forward.

Exploring intuition, imagination, creativity, and other paths to the Divine. Writer, adventurer, creativity advocate. www.jonisensel.com

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