Friday, February 3, 2012

i, too, am a ghrelin junkie

Sitting here, reading my morning blog-fix, i've been luxuriating in an atmosphere of contentment, punctuated by the occasion growl of my empty belly.  :-)

When i started reenacting, over 15 years ago, it came to my attention that i had been missing out on some creature comforts for most of my adult life.  There is NOTHING more viscerally satisfactory than warming oneself beside a roaring fire when it's cold enough to snow.  Nothing.  If there's something that comes close, though, it's eating something exceptionally nutritious when you're very, very hungry.

Most people in the western world don't allow themselves to become very hungry.  Either they've been brainwashed to think that eating frequent small meals is the optimal way to fuel oneself, or their high-carb WOE piques their appetites shockingly often.  Maybe, even, social pressures encourage them to eat when they're not that hungry, so they never get an opportunity to REALLY work up an appetite.  They don't know what they're missing.

I won't try to recap the benefits of allowing oneself to get significantly hungry -- J Stanton has done that already, and he's immensely readable.  I'll just dangle this carrot in front of your salivating mouth....  I'll describe how good it feels when Meg and i have spent the day demonstrating to busloads of school-kids, what life was like for a Civil War laundress; the kids have gone and it's cooler and quieter; the stew we put to cook hours ago is full of tender chunks of beef and vegetables a-point (after hours of just grabbing a nibble -- think foraging...).  We serve it up so hot you can't eat it at once, but you can't resist tasting, and burn your tongue, and slice some (nut-based) bread to go along with it, with gobs of lovely butter, and a glass of red wine.  This is intentionally-delayed gratification at its best!

So, yes -- i'm ENJOYING being hungry, because the trade-off is so good.  Good for the diet, too (check out this one, as well...)!

post-scriptum:  Re-reading another Stanton gem found me this:  “The synthesis rate of brain serotonin was about 30% lower in rats fed for two hours than in rats fasted for 24 hours.”  ...Which, in context, implies that i get a bigger ADDITIONAL "high" out of eating when i delay it.  We've all heard that "hunger is the best sauce" -- and now we see that it's been supported in the laboratory.

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