900(0) times a day.

A friend told me that on average, people think about food 300 times a day. When you add up all the advertisements encountered, personal meal preparation/consumption, and taking a moment to engage with that wafting aroma of deliciousness, this would make sense. Now, apparently, when a person is following a regiment/diet/fast, this number triples. Considering I have spent the bulk of my day looking up recipes, talking to people about beloved food memories, and fighting the urge to lick my TV when a fast food commercial comes on, I fully agree. Only I’d multiply it by 30.

Oh, we shall meet again, good sir.

I am coming upon the home stretch of a 10 day rice cleanse. Yes, all I eat is rice. The first few days were fine, I felt a little hunger after my prescribed Stop Eating time (5 pm), and would sneak in some more rice- which did not have any serious ramifications besides slowing down my cleansing process (straight up yo- I’m not adding a day to compensate). After day 4, things were fine and I was sailing, having the saving graces of distractions from being outside and doing things non-food related. I even sat with a friend as he ate fragrant tacos and I happily feasted on my rice in my ziploc container from home. The past 2 days, days 8 & 9, have been an interesting glimpse into the effects of an all-rice cleanse. Observances as follows:

1) In-it-to-win-it mentality overtakes the strong desire to quit and eat mustard from the fridge. I’m proud that I’ve persevered through this, removing any doubts that I couldn’t do this from the outset (think you’re a champ and you are one)

2) My appetite has shrunk significantly, I have eaten only a small bowl of rice for the past 2 days. This likely is a function of A) the amount of food that it takes to satisfy me 2. Recognizing that I’m actually more thirsty than hungry and D) I really find rice to be gross at this point (I know I will eat it again one day, but in this moment, it grosses me out more than the cast of Jersey Shore).

3) My sense of smell is massively underused in my food experience. In the “over consumption-feeling satisfied” continuum, I’ve usually found it hard to stop myself from eating what’s in front of me (I pinpoint it to my 5-year old self having to sit at the table until I finished my mushroom soup because the children in Ethiopia were starving). I have been smelling foods- oranges, the above mentioned tacos and, in a weaker moment, a vanilla scented candle and felt rather sated with the mere smell of the food. Perhaps a tool to further understand when faced with a large plate of deliciousness and a stomach that really feels great with only half of what’s in front of me.

4) Chewing till it’s liquid. Yes, this is a great one- helps me digest, and you can make a game of it. Which I did. (52 chews for a mouthful of rice before I swallowed down the hatch. HOO YAA!)

5) I would kick ASS as a contestant on Survivor.

So, on the eve of my last day of this rice cleanse, I sit and think about the effect, and look forward to learning from my naturopath all the internal cleansing that was achieved and knowing my body a lot better than I did before I did this. Now, to plan the welcome back meal…

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