How To Have A Foodgasm
Have you ever had a foodgasm? A foodgasm happens when you eat food that sends rolling waves of pleasure down your body, makes you weak in the knees and smile with pleasure.
And like a great orgasm, it can happen when you’ve delayed immediate gratification. It can happen when you ride on that edge of excitement and anticipation before you finally give in, and take that first delicious, toe-curling bite. And like any climax, a foodgasm can be deeply spiritual.
I would know. I had my first foodgasm during Lent.
As someone who loosely raised a Christian, I had heard about Lent, but never really knew much about it. Lent represents the time Jesus spent fasting in the desert leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection – so the 40 days before Easter is “Lenten” (which also means “spring” in old English). And traditionally, Christians are supposed to give up or ‘sacrifice’ something and many choose to fast (as Jesus did).
I’ve never practiced Lent before but I’ve always wanted to try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is seeing a popular resurgence today largely because people see it as a way to lose weight, but to me, it’s a time to develop physical discipline and become more mindful of how I eat.
Studies have shown that fasting can help you lose weight and body fat, it can delay the onset of age-related diseases…
Before I begin, I ask my friend Rupert Harvey for advice. He’s a renowned martial artist who regularly fasts. He’s also my Qigong teacher. For Rupert, fasting is both a spiritual and physical practice that has huge health benefits. “All of the great prophets and healers prescribe to fasting,” he tells me, “every one of them. And all religions have a period of fasting. It awakens the spirit. When the flesh is denied the spirit rises.”
Muslims practice Ramadan, Christians practice Lent, Jews fast during Yom Kippur. And as a spiritual person himself (both a Christian and a Rastafarian), Rupert recently fasted for six weeks – only eating between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day. So, in other words, for 22 hours he didn’t eat anything! The first couple days of intermittent fasting, he warns me, is tough, but after the first week, it becomes normal and then you feel a constant euphoria. After six weeks, “I felt so good that it was more difficult to end the fast!” he tells me. He also claims that intermittent fasting helped him heal from a chronic knee injury and has improved his health all around.
Intermittent fasting is an integral part of our ancient and religious history and now the science behind it is revealing some surprising health benefits. Studies have shown that fasting can help you lose weight and body fat, it can delay the onset of age-related diseases, such as cancer, Type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Regular practice increases mental clarity and concentration, increases energy, and can even increase your life span!
Now, I can honestly say that when I “break fast” at 1:00 p.m. every day, I’m in food heaven.
This makes sense to me. In the world of our ancestors, humans would have to fast when resources became scarce. Hungry humans with enhanced smarts and energy would be more likely to obtain food and live another day. Were it not for fasting, our species would never have survived. Maybe our prehistoric ancestors even experienced more pleasure from eating than we do – in the comfort of our modern world where we barely have time to enjoy our food because we’re so rushed and busy.
I admit I was late to start fasting during Lent. But now I’ve been fasting for over three weeks, only allowing myself to eat between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. every day. So, I fast for 17 hours every day.
Like Rupert told me, it was tough at first. I was grumpy. I missed my family breakfasts and the ritual of eating in the morning. But, now, I can honestly say that when I “break fast” at 1:00 p.m. every day, I’m in food heaven. Even a simple piece of toast with avocado fills me with happiness.
And like any form of pleasure, I have to slow my impulses down so I don’t gobble up my food like a quickie in a fast-food diner. I want to savour and appreciate every bite. I haven’t lost any weight but I feel healthier, lighter, happier and more lucid. Ultimately, I feel thankful when I eat – not because I’m hungry – but because I have a sense of gratitude for the food going into my body and the pure pleasure of eating.
And I can’t help but look forward to lots (and lots) of delicious, dark Easter Chocolate when I end my fast.