I'm going on 72 hours since I broke the 108 day master fast and am now transitioning back to solid food. Technically speaking today is day 110.
The other day, while still on the fast I bought 2 cases of young thai coconuts from the Boston produce terminal, thinking I would love the flavor. In my head what I wanted were coconuts.
Fuck was I wrong.
The taste is highly unappealing. I've drank about 5, saved the meat to make coconut yogurt, but man o man so uninspiring and unexciting.
Honestly, I can't help but to question what I'm doing with coconuts from southeast Asia in the middle of Wickford, Rhode Island? As I transition out of this fast, local has never meant more to me, at a visceral level, than it does right now.
Young thai coconuts, processed, treated, fumigated, dipped in formaldehyde but "raw" from Thailand or local oysters, garden grown tomatoes and wild blueberries eaten for 100's of years by the first people's of this area?
Which is food?
I went to Trader Joes this afternoon to get the ingredients to make some green juice - carrots, broccoli, apples, peas, leafy greens, etc...After 30 minutes of pacing around the store like a lunatic, I emptied my cart out — except for the english cucumbers and mint. It took a bit, but I came to realize that I was totally turned off by every item in my cart — and I wasn't going to buy these ingredients simply because green juice is how others have transitioned off the fast.
Besides, what is green juice...? Sure it tastes good, if mixed right, but what is it, really?
Once I gave myself some space to tune in to the desires of my body, rather than the thoughts of my mind, my body was clearly communicating NO — and so I said yes to that no.
I left the store with those two items, honeydew juice and some more grape juice to hold me over as I traverse this transition.
Next I went to whole foods and walked around the produce section for about 30 minutes, then the prepared food section and then the rest of the store for another 20 minutes or so.
I walked around, tuning in to what appealed to me, what made my mouth water. I noticed what I was repelled from and attracted towards. I simply flowed around the store, like a butterfly and was pretty much left to conclude there was little to no food in the grocery.
I picked up green bell peppers and asked myself, "what is this thing?" ...picked up a papaya from Mexico, "what is this?" and I laughed out loud, literally, as I picked up some ripe organic bananas — all highly domesticated, hybridized, foreign, whether genetic or not, modified organisms, cultivated and thoughtfully engineered for decades to maximize appeal.
Of all places, I could not shake the feeling that I was standing in the midst of the most deceptively disguised food desert on the planet.
My body had never been more clear in telling me what was food and what wasn't and sadly what used to be food, was no more.
A very strange experience to say the least. I sat in my car afterwards processing my confusion and uneasiness, which you can watch above.
I sat for a while with the big questions.
So, what do I want to eat? What does my body want?
If not this, then what?
If this isn't food, then what is?
If I can't get anything to eat at the grocery store, then where do I go?
It's like that moment when you realize that your home isn't your home anymore. That moment when you realize that the place that used to be so special and dear to you, no longer holds that place in your heart. That what was, is now just a memory and that a part of you has died, something has been lost..and all you can do is sit and grieve the loss, for the loss is real.
Many layers were shed during the fast, but never in a million years could I have imagined shedding my perception of 'food' as food. The food of yesteryear, now frankenfood.
I've come to experience, at the core of my being, the fault lines of our commercialized food production system...and it's disturbing.
The produce at whole foods or trader joes, or any grocery for that matter, the kind that used to get me excited, for now, is nothing more than food like substances (FLS), the same FLS as the foods that I used to judge within the context of the Standard American Diet.
Though not ideal, for the moment I'm drinking juice (a variety of juices) as I make this slow and gradual transition into a new way of relating to what enters my body via my mouth.
Tomorrow I'm going to forage for some wild blueberries and huckleberries at a farm I located here in RI. I also tracked down a farm with some proper tomatoes and okra. I only want local produce, grown from famers who I can speak to. I've never had a greater appreciation for real farmers, than I do in this moment.
Rhode Island, known as the ocean state has a pretty serious seafood scene as well. When I'm psychologically ready, I'll try that hat on for size and see how my body responds to some oysters and such.
I'll eat what the native's ate, since I'm on their land and trust in my heart they were connected with the land in a way that at this moment is but a dream to me.
No more rules and regulations, restrictions and regiment....my body is now calling the shots and I surrender to the intelligence pulling me forward.
I'm still finding it a bit difficult to identify what exactly I actually want or rather what to eat if what I used to eat no longer appeals...so, taking a bit of the medicine I often dish out to clients, here's the question I'm now asking myself.
"Well, Ken...tell me what you don't want?"
For contained within what I don't want is the pearl of what I want.
I'm not going to lie though, in this moment, this sounds great to me. Just saying.
And so it begins...