Vermont Studio Center: Appetite

November 12, 2010

I’ve noticed something peculiar related to food and appetite: I am starving at every meal time, even as I’m eating full, healthy meals, and closer together than I would in NY. Many others here have commented on the same phenomenon.

We eat heartily at every meal (at least I do–tearing through entrees like penne puttanesca and broccoli rabe, seitan and mushroom stew, soups, salads, breads, lovely desserts) and the cycle begins again: ravenous hunger in just a couple of hours.

Theories abound:

It’s the fresh air.
We’re working harder here.
It’s Pavlovian, because we’re on a regular schedule.
Meals are lighter here, with smaller portions.
There’s less opportunity to snack between meals.
There’s nothing else to do (HA!) (no cellphone reception, family, etc).
Someone said that she’s hungrier because she doesn’t have to cook.

We’re relaxed and happy and engaged, and so our bodies are functioning like they’re supposed to. I think it’s this.

I’ve only felt this one other time that I can recall, and that was when I went to Italy for the first time with my friend Kristy. We marveled at how much we were eating, and yet how hungry we were. Always. You know Italian eating–large portions piled high, and just when you think, with relief, that you’ve managed to polish that off, here comes the next course, mangia!–and yet we were starving again in no time. We traveled all around Italy, taking in sights, asking questions, in awe of everything we saw.

Here, I feel the same sense of engagement on every level: heightened senses, a sense of purpose, a curiosity, a sense of accomplishment every day. I think our bodies have not only been liberated from the many stresses we’ve grown accustomed to in our “real” lives, but also been awakened by the opportunity to engage so fully with our environment and our ideas. Our bodies and minds are working together to accomplish something that feels important, and because of that, I think our minds have given our bodies permission to loosen up. They’re able to behave more naturally, process everything more smoothly: ideas, stimuli, food.

Three of my favorite things.

Comments (2) | Tags: , , | More: Blog

2 Responses to “Vermont Studio Center: Appetite”

  1. Mia Grottola says:

    This post made me hungry….it would be nice if you could explain the image a little. Interested to know more.

    • Maura McGurk says:

      I wish I could expound on the deep connection between this image and my writing, but…I have to admit that this diagram of digestive hormones looked mildly interesting, I had no appropriate images myself, and I went with it… :)

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