The Newest No-Food Diet

Usually, for your weekend reading pleasure, I try to post something interesting and edifying from around the Web, but this isn’t necessarily edifying; it’s just gross and tabloid-worthy, but I couldn’t help myself.

BECAUSE IT INVOLVES A TUBE IN YOUR NOSE!

The UK’s Daily Mail reports on a new, ‘no-food’ diet:

“The KEN, or Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet, involves eating absolutely nothing at all.

Instead, for ten days at a time, a patented liquid formula made up of protein and nutrients is dripped directly into the stomach via a plastic tube that goes up the patient’s nose and is taped on to their face.”

I was particularly struck by this remark from one KEN dieter, which speaks to the complicated meaning food has in our psyches and in our social interactions:

‘Not eating for ten days gives you a break from thinking about food — which, for me, was associated with stress and guilt. Socialising was difficult though — it’s hard to nurse a black coffee while everyone else is eating

Apparently, it’s pretty effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off; the main side effects are constipation and bad breath.
{Oh, besides the side effect of having a tube taped to your face all the time.}
I can’t speak to the desperation to lose weight that might make this endeavor seem appealing, but the whole process does seem a sort of perversion of what God intends food to be: God’s love made both delicious and hospitable.
Read the article here.
{See you Monday.}

The Newest Fad Diet VS. The Vegetable Volunteers

Well, WOW. I would not have guessed that yesterday’s post about a wacky fad diet would’ve garnered so many page views. But it did, and I can’t help but wonder why. I rather hope it is because people are looking for a reason not to follow the latest “should & ought” from the newest guru. Nearly every day, it seems, someone tells me of some new approach to eating or not-eating or exercising or not-exercising and all I can say is this:

If I were still in the grip of disordered thinking and behavior surrounding food and body, the Internet would be a living hell. HCG diet! “The Plan”! “Paleo”! The Primal Urge Diet! HELP!

And yet? And yet–there is this:

My compost pile. An occasionally smelly, sometimes-ugly, always buggy home to the biggest, juiciest worms on the North Fork. The place where the scraps from our table become the food for next year’s food. Nothing goes to waste here. It takes care of two big problems:

What to do with trash?

and

How to fertilize the garden?

in one easy move. In this pile go the eggshells, coffee grounds, burned slices of toast, and forgotten leftovers. Here’s where I put the custard that didn’t come together quite right, the bread that went stale, and the yogurt that got moldy.

Here, everything, even the most putrid, vile stuff, is reborn into something new: dark, rich soil that feeds the garden and brings forth new life. And so it goes on.

And sometimes, there are unexpected graces:

This pretty little butternut squash grew from a forgotten seed discarded in the compost pile last autumn. There that little seed rested all winter until, come spring, it grew into a plant that bore another beautiful fruit.

In this ugly, forgotten corner of the garden (where the compost pile was located previously) a number of vegetables “volunteered”–they sprang forth from scattered seeds and persevered to bring something beautiful and edible and life-giving.

Oh, these little events–“random” butternut squashes, potatoes, and tomatoes growing from compost piles–don’t get much press, I know. But to me, they point beyond themselves to a story that’s much, much greater: it’s the story of beauty from ashes, a promise that somehow, the crazy, smelly, wasted and mixed-up bits and pieces of this world can be transformed, redeemed, into something that’s at once totally different from and organically connected to what’s come before.

Yes, indeed. There are glimpses of grace within and among and emerging from the confusing bits and pieces of this life, and they are worth holding onto.