Whenever I hear the word hunger, I always remember the late Dr Francis Chigunta, not because he invented the word or anything like that but because of how exceptionally well and passionately he used to deliver his Development Studies (DS) lectures at UNZA. I was a fresher and DS lectures were always held in LT1, the biggest lecture theatre at the time but it couldn’t fit all of us so some people would either be sitting in the staircase, standing in the back or in the doorway. This particular day, I was standing right at the back but I could hear him clearly – he was able to project his voice so that everyone could hear him unlike others who could whisper to themselves while taking us through some complex courses. “When people are hungry, they are angry!” Dr Chigunta exclaimed as he made a point on one of the SDGs. I know he never coined this phrase but it was the way he said it. The way he emphasised the word angry and used his body to stress this point which etched his voice in my brain and got me thinking, “yep! I sure am not very nice when I am hungry”.

Now, the brings me to a funny moment during the previous sitting of the Mukula smuggling court case. I hope I will not be cited for contempt over this, Lol! So the Judge was so serious about getting the matter concluded that the session stretched into lunch time and the Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Bonaventure Mutale State Counsel was not having it. Take a look at that part of the verbatim:

Mutale SC: My Lady, at this juncture, we seek the Court’s guidance on the position, whether we are not breaking for lunch. I noticed that time is 13:12 hours. I don’t know about my colleagues, maybe they can miss their lunch but I certainly cannot.

Judge Yangailo: Can we just go for an hour and break off at 15:00 hours and resume tomorrow? Seeing that we have gone up to almost 14:00 hours? Are you able to do that Counsel?

Mutale SC: My Lady, in that case, may I be excused. I’ve never pushed myself to that sort of extent and I will not do that now. In that case, My Lady, I seek leave of this Court to be excused.

Judge Yangailo: The other counsel, are you also not able to proceed?

Nchito SC: We are very able to proceed. Although while we are on this same topic before he leaves, the question of tomorrow, we were discussing earlier that we have lost a very senior member of the bar. I don’t know how we’ll deal with that.

Mutale SC: Yes, Your Honour, we did discuss that and we were going to suggest, Your Lordship, noting that this matter is scheduled for today, tomorrow and the day after but maybe tomorrow we could adjourn. This is a colleague who was very close to us and we would want to attend the church service and burial and that almost takes the whole morning. I don’t know if after that we would be in a position to come in the afternoon.

Judge Yangailo: I do understand. But we’ve lost so much time prosecuting this matter. This is why I was thinking that we could sacrifice today so that then we can talk about tomorrow but it seems that you want to break off for lunch. When we come back, we won’t have much time and we won’t be able to sit tomorrow because Mundashi was a very senior member of the bar.

Nchito SC: My Lady, I thought that we had reached a compromise that learned State Counsel will leave us and he is happy to handover to his team. Those of us who are able to and since we are now in cross examination, I don’t know if the position is correct?

Mutale SC: That was the position, My Lady, considering if I have leave of this Court.

Judge Yangailo: In that case State Counsel, you are excused as long as you are happy to handover to your colleagues.

(Mutale SC leaves the courtroom)

This was quite hilarious for me because this time last year, I would have shared his views about how unimaginable and unacceptable skipping or delaying a meal is. But this year, things are different for me – and I am not saying this applies to the learned State Counsel – because I have learnt how to manage my hormones. You see, that hunger you feel is a result of some hormonal processes in your body and certain foods make you feel hungry quicker and more severely than others. For example, when you eat four slices of bread with some jam or margarine and have some tea or coffee with sugar for breakfast, you’ll definitely be feeling hungry again about two to three hours later and you’ll more than likely get some other sugary snack before lunch time rolls around. Do you know why this is so? Foods like bread and other refined carbohydrates like fritters, corn flakes, waffles etc, cause a sudden spike your glucose levels and after the hormone insulin comes into play to control this, you experience a sudden drop in glucose which then leaves you feeling hungry and out of energy so you end up eating again. But when you switch out your high-carb breakfast with some protein and healthy fats; eggs and butter, meat, etc, which don’t cause an insulin spike, your body actually gets satiated so you don’t feel hungry as quickly. If you want, you can even skip breakfast altogether and make lunch your first meal, you’ll be shocked at how over time, you will redefine what real hunger is.

Since I adopted fasting as a lifestyle last year, I’ve really noticed a shift in terms of how I deal with hunger. I will give you a very embarrassing example. I was one of those people who would be such a pain to waiters and waitresses at restaurants if they delayed my order because I used to get so ravenous, I’d feel like I am dying. I used to get so angry and unpleasant until I had something to eat. But things are different now. The longest I have gone without food so far is 39 hours and I felt amazing. I keep trying to push my boundaries in terms of how long I can go without food and as I write this, a good friend of mine is on day 11 without food; at this point, she has gotten some stem cells and gotten rid of old faulty cells! I have seen other people going 21 days or longer and the health benefits are so amazing; reversal of conditions like type two diabetes, hypertension, some people have even managed to get rid of cancer! It is truly amazing and I wish more people could looking into the power of fasting. Of course, some of your doctors will scare you and tell you it’s starvation because after all, they were trained to treat sick people, not to keep people healthy but some of the leading doctors in the world are now exposing such truths about the medical profession, that’s a whole topic for another day.

Think about it, our ancestors were hunters and gatherers who definitely were not able to kill an animal or find food every two to three hours. They were always fasting for varied periods of time and above all, eating real food. Today, majority of the food we’ve become addicted to is highly processed and full of sugar. Most people are constantly chewing without much thought into it – we’re literally eating our way to so many chronic conditions and the pharmaceutical companies keep producing “medicines” which only manage the symptoms. If you are obese, you are at risk of so many of these conditions and the best place to start in order to save yourself is to learn how to control your hunger by fasting and eating whole, unprocessed food at least 90 per cent of the time. No one can fix you but yourself.

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