The last straw: what liquid fasting can teach you about hunger


The last straw: what liquid fasting can teach you about hunger

A liquid fast had Helen Clemson in a right ol’ strop and gave valuable insight to what it really means to go without

Helen Clemson

My husband has disappeared down the driveway. Rather than standing next to the herb garden and enjoying the good view, he’s chosen to lean awkwardly against the rubbish bin. Peculiar. He’s so fussy about pungent smells. Except it seems a cheese corn chip – and a whole packet – gives off a distinctive odour. Large handfuls are now being shovelled into his awaiting, grateful mouth. I sigh; I’d bought the packet for our four-year-old as a treat to make her do my bidding. But in truth I’m just plain jealous. I haven’t eaten for days – or what has felt like days. It’s actually only been two. I’ve had water, black coffee, herbal tea, diluted green juice – but not so much as a sodding crumb of food.

My book club instigated this madness, and I, hating to be excluded lest I didn’t collectively shed and remained just a little plump, eagerly sent all the “totally psyched for this” emojis I could find to the “Liquid Fast” WhatsApp group. I’m always a joiner, even if the task ahead seems like an insurmountable one. So is my husband. I don’t know if it was his competitive nature – or in support of me – but he signed up too. And for three days, with a prep day to get our bodies primed for the shock, we decided to eat nothing in an effort to lose weight (I do feel this was the underlying goal for most of the participants) and reap the health payoffs, such as anti-inflammatory benefits, a boost to the immune system, recycling of elements of cells that have been damaged, as well as improved memory and energy.

For our prep day, Plus One and I dined on a smorgasbord (it didn’t feel like it at the time, but it was a luxury to have a crudité platter) of raw veggies and fruit...

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