Over the past few weeks, I have been reading a book about macrobiotics and how all foods cause different moods/energies based on the inherent characteristics of the food. In macrobiotics, a brown rice fast is used for several reasons, including spiritual development, meditation, healing, etc. This is a fast that allows the faster to eat as much short grain brown rice and drink as much water & twig tea as desired. Short grain brown rice is chosen because it displays "yang" characteristics, meaning it is such a contracted food that it brings an individual into a deep, thoughtful mindset - thus an ideal food for a time of spiritual development and healing.
I have never participated in a fast before and after learning about this particular one, I was eager to try it! Thankfully, one of my friends had also been wanting to do the brown rice fast. She and I prepared throughout the week to begin the fast this past Friday and go through tomorrow (Monday) morning. On Thursday evening, we went to the market and each bought a 4.5 pound bag of brown rice and a box of Kukicha Twig Tea. The rice was soaked at night (allowing for easier digestion) and cooked in the morning. I ended up eating around 15 cups of cooked rice over the past three days and drinking plenty of water and tea.
This fast was not too difficult to accomplish because I was not extremely hungry the entire time. I never "stuffed" myself with rice, but I also did not allow myself to become too hungry that I would want to eat anything in sight. This allowed me to focus on my inner thoughts vs. thinking "golly, I could eat a whole tofu loaf (haha instead of a horse...you get it...)." Over the weekend, I had many wonderful conversations with God, family, & friends. My friend and I went on a long walk yesterday and were able to discuss how the fast was making us feel and other meaningful topics as well.
You might have had the thought, "why would you start a fast when you just started culinary school?" Well, that was actually included in my reasoning for doing it at this point in time. My goals/thoughts regarding the fast included:
- To connect with my Lord on a deep prayerful level.
- To discipline myself in my food choices & in the timing in which I eat my food - to listen to my body.
- To understand and appreciate the value of variety in the diet - yes, brown rice becomes a bit boring.
- To retrain my palate to become more sensitive to flavors.
- To have a mindset to accomplish a goal and actually following through with it.
However, without the water to cook the grain, it is of little use. I identify myself with that small grain. I could have a great impact in this life, but without the Lord (the water), I am of little use. We must be willing to wait for the water (God) to cook (mold our lives) the rice (Christ-followers) to reap the wonderful benefits and nutrition (life) the rice (God) has to offer. Now plain brown rice on its own is great, but it's even tastier when you get to add salt, pepper, shallots, raisins, cranberries, peppers, almonds, etc. I see those extra toppings as "blessings." Who doesn't love a good blessing to make life even more enjoyable? But those blessings aren't necessary in order to have a relationship with God, just like the brown rice doesn't need those extra toppings to be nutritious. Blessings are hugs from heaven that God so graciously allows us to experience and for this I am very thankful!
This was my own personal brown rice fast experience. It was enjoyable. It caused me think a bit deeper than I normally do. It was a weekend that showed me to be even more appreciative of the little blessings in life, such as jazzier brown rice dishes! I would do it again. But it will be over in the morning, so hello to something new to eat!
Thanks for reading. I'll be back this week to update you on my culinary adventures...love to all.