Today Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, starts at about 7pm depending on where in the UK you are. Very different times across the world. I was going to try and keep it not because I’m a religious Jew or because I’m going back to my faith. But because fasting is good on a diet.
That’s the wrong reason to fast on a day as solemn as Yom Kippur. The one day in the year when many non-observant Jews decide to observe their faith and remember they were born Jewish.
Feeling at one with others
I’ve “done” Yom Kippur before and the best thing about it, if there can be anything good about a 25-hour fast that doesn’t allow any fluid as well as no food, is that you know millions of others are doing it around the world at the same time. That’s a very powerful feeling of connecting with others you’ll never see nor know but know they’re doing the same thing as you at the same time.
But to be completely honest, I get the same thrill on Christmas Day when I serve Christmas dinner. Joining others all going through the same ritual. We are creatures of habit and of routine. And we’re social animals as well as solitary ones.
Exempt from fasting
In the Jewish faith if you are ill, infirm, young, old or Diabetic you are exempt from fasting. In fact, it’s forbidden to fast if you could make yourself ill, or iller. I’ve been a bit under the weather this week. Bit of a cold stirring, sneezy and sore throat. Each morning when I wake up I’ve felt achy as if, right, here it goes. This the cold I’ve been waiting for. In a word, I just don’t feel up to fasting.
And I think it’s wrong to use the religion I was born into as an excuse to give my diet a bit of a kick. Keep Yom Kippur by all means for religious and/or cultural reasons. But feels sacrilegious to me to keep it for my diet. It’s fine being a non-observant Jew. Not so fine to play at it when it means a very great deal to those it means a very great deal to.
You can live without carbs
Been continuing to reread my copy of Eat Fat and Grow Slim. I have the early version and the later one and it’s fun to compare them. I’m enjoying the earlier one as that feels like the more real one, the diet plan boiled down to its very essence and its essence is this: you don’t need carbs at all in your diet. In fact, if you never ate another carb again you’d be fine. If you JUST ate carb and had no fat, you’d die!
Yes, that seems extraordinary doesn’t it. I had no idea. I’m still a bit perplexed by this. But the author points out in some parts of the world, meat and fat is all people had to live on. And they were fine. No carbs and they survived, often in extreme conditions.
Survival needs fat
To survive when food supplies are low and weather is very cold, or hot, you need to find animal flesh. Blubber and meat. That’s all you need. You get all the vitamins and nutrients a human needs from the meat. So much for five fruit and veg a day eh! I am having a job getting my head round this I’ll admit. But that’s what years of indoctrination and propaganda pushing us towards bread, rice, potatoes, corn and pasta does to you.
One thing I will say on Paleo is this: you can eat as much as you like and you never feel bloated or blown up. You feel pleasantly full on low or no carbs. It’s a nicer way to eat. Yes, I miss carbs. Be lying if I said I didn’t. I do have the occasional square or two of very dark chocolate. But then I hardly ever drink alcohol. I have chocolate instead. That aside, no sweets, cakes, biscuits, crisps or pastries pass my lips. The inches are gradually inching away. The weight loss has slowed, I think, but the main thing is I feel good and I feel happy. How many typically deprivation-based diets can offer you that?
Have a good weekend and see you next week.