A few years ago, I did a five day water fast. I weaned myself from coffee beforehand, and then just did it. I drank distilled water for five days. I did a little write up of it here but what I remember most vividly was how my sense of smell and taste became so intense that when I did break the fast with a banana, it was the best taste I had ever experienced.
If you are already following a healthy whole food plant-based diet, one rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and starches, preferably without oil, added salt or sugar, you are doing great. However, if you’re like me, where I fall into a routine of roughly the same breakfast (variations of oats and berries), lunch (large raw salad, some whole grains and legumes, a few dates), and dinner (similar to lunch most of the time), you will inevitably experience some palate boredom. Which can be ok if you are busy and are eating nourishing foods. Not everything has to be a party in your mouth. But, in the gastronomical wasteland that most of us live in, processed quasi-healthy foods, not to mention simply unhealthy foods, that are calorie dense are easily available. And, biologically, we are drawn to them. Which could explain my love for Nana Joe’s granola. Sister Pizza’s vegan pizza, or Good Earth’s burritos. If you are unfortunately eating an unhealthy hyper-processed, high fat, animal laden and calorie dense diet with loads of salt, sugar, and oils, where an apple tastes like a ball of water, a reset could really help open your awareness. So, if you are increasingly drawn to indulge or indulge with every single meal, consider a palate reset with a short fast. It does not take long.
It’s simple. Have your breakfast and tea and then drink water for the rest of the day. Go at least 24 hours with nothing but water. You might have a crappy night but biologically, it will be ok. Evolutionarily, we are not meant to be in a constantly fed state. And, our bodies do expend a lot of energy digesting (though a lot less energy if you are not consuming toxic foods like meat and dairy and oils). Why not give your body a rest, reset your palate so that your usual healthy food remains delicious, and detox from the processed food so that it encroaches less on your healthy lifestyle?
Treats are great but if you think you should have a treat every single day, you are likely sabotaging yourself in terms of long-term health gains.
For more resources on extended fasting and benefits, Dr. Furhman’s Eating and Fasting for Health, Dr. Herbert Shelton’s Fasting Can Save Your Life, Doug Lisle and Dr. Alan Goldhammer’s The Pleasure Trap, and online resources from True North Health Center are a place to start.