Category: Weird Articles
Published on Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
Chris Schryer believes he is putting himself to a real test of spiritual discipline of extreme proportions. He is basically giving up all types of food, with the exception of what he loves most – beer. The 33-year-old web designer from Toronto has refused all solid food and his only source of sustenance is beer, this intense diet started on 5 March.
“Without being dramatic, it definitely is not fun,” said Chris. “It’s challenging. Every meal time there’s a challenge. I look pretty healthy now, but by the end of the 40 days my wife figures I’ll look like a castaway on account of my bushy beard.”
For the past few weeks, Chris has been having a bottle of strong beer for breakfast. During lunch, he consumes another beer and then he has a mid-afternoon “work beer” shortly after. Can you guess what's on the menu for his dinner? Surprise, surprise, it's beer again!
To avoid getting dehydrated, Chris constantly guzzles watered down juice and other clear liquids. His rules are simple enough to remember: “No dairy, no 'nectars', no protein shakes or smoothies.” He also takes multivitamins to meet his body's nutritional intake and his health is very closely being monitored by his family doctor. So don't try this at home without a professional's guidance, kids!
For Chris, beer is not only his ultimate passion, it is also a hobby and a side job. He runs a beer-based website called TorontoBeerBlog.com where he regularly reviews various brews. And since he started what he called the Lenten beer fast, traffic to the website has accelerated to an all-time high.
“There has been a huge upswing in traffic at my blog, and messages are coming in via Facebook, Twitter, email and comments here at a surprising rate,” he wrote. “As a big part of this journey was sharing my fast with as many people as I could, this is very good indeed.”
Majority of the beer that Chris consumes for this bizarre fast comes from a 100 liter batch of doppelbock prepared specially at Toronto's Amsterdam Brewing Co. The beer is a German lager and is ranked as one of the world's heaviest beers, containing just enough nutrients for Chris to live on. He described its flavor as “sweet and malty, with caramel, biscuits and a bit of oats”. Doppelbock is light on protein, totally devoid of fat, and gives him about 2,000 calories a day. Interestingly, Chris is a devout Anglican – he got Reverend Lucy Reid of Toronto’s Church of St. Aidan to bless the 100 liter stock of beer. So technically, he is actually drinking holy beer.
On 31 March, Chris declared on the blog that he had “reached the mid-way point” of the 40 day Lenten fast. The fast will supposedly day on the 40th day, which is 14 April. “Funny enough, it seems to have been quite long, and also feels like I just started,” he recounted.
If Chris keeps this up any longer than the intended 40 days, the all-beer fast could actually be fatal. The constant hunger pangs would soon be accompanied by extreme mental fatigue, scaly skin and a chronic colds, then eventually, death.
If you trace beer diets back, they are something of a forgotten Lent tradition. It is rumored that in the early 1600s, Bavarian monks adopted similar liquid diets, almost exclusively fueled by special batches of doppelbock. At one point of time though, the monks began to fear that the beer was too rich and extravagant for Lent, so they sent a cask of the beer to the Vatican, seeking for the Pope's approval. By the time the beer reached its long journey to Rome, the beer had gone bad, so the Pope approved it on a technicality.