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10 Components To Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

While most of us would argue that we eat to live, the reality is that most of us live to eat.

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We spend a quarter of our life thinking about, shopping for, feeling, cooking, baking, roasting, burning, biting, chewing, tasting, gulping, ingesting and digesting food .
Clearly making food is not just another mundane path to everyday survival, like consuming oxygen. It takes up a lot of mental energy, and having healthy thoughts about food is important for our minds, bodies and higher consciousness.
My journey with food has been very special. There are a lot of good habits, practices and rituals that I have learned, imbibed and embraced over the past few years. This might have a lot to do with my job as a TV producer, where for the past three years I only made food-related programs – a fabulous opportunity to live, breathe, and eat food!
I have had my own eureka moments, moments of silent awakening and also of celebration with the everyday business of eating.
Today I see my grub in a new light. This has helped me increase my productivity, improved my quality of life and of my relationships, and increased my appetite for all of life’s experiences. These lessons are simple, which is why perhaps we overlook them so often. I want to share my happiness with you with these top ten components of developing a healthy relationship with food:

1. Be Grateful For Every Morsel

Do not take a single bite for granted. Every time you sit down to eat or grab a burger to go, or order a scrumptious meal from your favourite restaurant, take a moment to thank the Universe, the creator, the life force, or whoever/whatever you believe in. If you don’t believe in anything or anybody, thank yourself. Each bite is precious. You are blessed to get food at a time when you are hungry, to feed the fire in your belly. This is your life source, your sustenance. Please do not take it for granted; put aside a moment at each meal for this thought. You’ll be amazed at how much gratitude enhances your eating experience!

2. Switch To Vegan / Vegetarian

Try this for a few weeks and see how your system responds. I was a happy meat eater until I took the big plunge and I haven’t looked back since! You feel more agile, light, loving and happy. You will be able to wake up earlier, your mind will be less noisy, and your new food palette will offer a world of colour and wellness. Top sources for protein, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and water are found in vegetables and fruits.
I am not going to talk about reducing global footprint, less pollution, or other health problems such as cholesterol, obesity, and acne – though of course these are reasons enough to stop eating meat. And while eating a strictly raw diet might be too much of a jump for many people, particularly those new to this way of eating, vegetarianism is a gift to yourself. If you are very concerned about your food seeming bland by comparison, buy some vegetarian/satvik cooking books. You will discover a whole new natural world filled with incredibly complex flavours, textures, and colours.

3. Cooking With Consciousness

This is by far the most important.  Food nourishes you. If a plant does not get enough water or sunlight, it might still survive, but what’s going to happen? There is a difference between surviving and thriving. Similarly for humans, while all of us will perish one day, it’s the quality of the life that we live which matters. Simply put, you are made of energy and so is food. The kind of food you eat will have an effect on your body and mind,  so practice cooking with consciousness.
This has a few simple principles – Treat your kitchen like a sacred place. Keep it clean, ventilated, and loved. When you cook, think beautiful thoughts. Think of how the food is going to nourish you. If this is too difficult, simply put on relaxing music or chants. In ancient India, people used to chant ‘shlokas’ or hymns while cooking. Furthermore, cooks would enter the kitchen after a bath to clear their bodies and minds. Food was first offered to ‘God’ and then eaten as sanctified ‘prasadam’. This practice energizes your food. If you have seen Dr. Emoto’s experiments with water you definitely know what I am talking about! Sending good energy to your food while cooking will help your food not just fill your belly but nourish you. Try this one day and see how you feel.

4. Eating As A Ritual

Eating isn’t just another chore. Make this a ritual and enjoy it every day. See it as ‘time to yourself’ where you will not think about anything, switch off your phone or put it aside, put away all other distractions, and then savour the food. Make your own little customs – designate a special place for this ritual, sprinkle some water around the plate (this was a popular cleansing ritual practiced in ancient India), eat in a plantain / leaf, drink a little holy basil soaked water, sit straight, play some soothing music, or do whatever it is that makes you feel good about your food. Put this time aside for celebrating yourself by nourishing your body with good food, love, and happy thoughts.

5. Chew. Chew. Chew

I haven’t made this a part of the previous point for a reason. This is way too important to be grouped with anything else. There is an ancient wisdom which I’d like to share – we have 32 teeth to chew every morsel 32 times before we eat it. Why make your intestines do the work of your teeth? Chewing is also therapeutic only if it is combined with relaxing thoughts. If done otherwise, eating can become very stressful, because you are putting negative energy into the process. So every time you chew choose to thank the universe or consciously tell your mind that the food is going to help you relax, make you more productive, or improve your cognition.

6. Hydrate Your Body

Your body is 70 percent liquid. We have all heard this fact. But many of us are unaware of the fact that lack of water actually wreaks havoc on the body, or don’t know why this is the case. The number 1 reason for headaches is lack of water. Not having enough water can hamper your ability to think clearly, cause feelings of anger, helplessness, and anxiety, as well as contribute to sleeplessness and general unhappiness. It is also a major culprit behind poor digestion and feeling hungry.
Drinking enough water is such a simple to solution to so many bodily woes, yet many of us are completely unaware. This is because many big pharmaceutical companies are happier selling their pills than offering a simple, natural tip – drink water! Hydrating ourselves is pretty easy: drink at least 3 litres a day, making sure this isn’t immediately before or after your meals. Many of us just forget to drink enough water, myself included! I have a water alarm that rings every half an hour, and I highly recommend you download this wonderful app. Otherwise you can just keep a bottle of water in every room, your desk, garden, car, gym bag, or wherever you spend your time.

7. Go Organic

This is a completely bastardized term – many products claim to be organic, but often they are not. Organic products are 3 times more expensive than their poison-infused counterparts. But here’s the deal – too many people are busy counting calories and too few are counting chemicals. We don’t blink twice before buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks or spending 20$ for a meal at a regular restaurant, but organic food feels too expensive. Add this apathy to the fact that there are numerous ads for pricey eateries and coffee houses, but practically no advertising or social propaganda to ban non-organic food, and the results are devastating.
It’s time to make that plunge. Switch to a complete organic lifestyle. If it’s too expensive, grow veggies at home. Tomatoes, chilli, mint, gourds, lime, holy basil, carrot, radish, and beetroot are growing at my home right now, and it occupies less than 8 x 5 feet. It’s actually a lot simpler than you ever thought. If you don’t have the time or energy, please find a vendor who can home deliver your organic food and dairy. There are quite a few good ones in the market who offer free deliveries. It is only about making the first big move. I can promise you a lifetime of rewards.

8. Wabi-sabi Your Life

Wabi-sabi is the most beautiful lesson you’ll learn after spending some time with raw food. It is a Japanese concept that encourages us to see beauty in imperfections. Suddenly the odd potato, the teeny pea, the oblong gourd, the not-so-round tomato, the pink apple all look so inviting. As long as they are fresh, natural, and gifted by nature, they are worth appreciating. Once you apply the principle of wabi-sabi to your food, you will be able appreciate beauty in odd ways, at odd places, and in almost everything you encounter. No moment is perfect, but every moment is special. This was my learning. Go find your own wabi-sabi moment, starting with your food.

9. People Who Love Food Are Happy People

See this for yourself. A full belly will give a beautiful feeling of satiation. You will feel at peace for a while after eating your favourite meal. The idea here is to make every meal ‘your favourite’, rather than saving them for special occasions. Find joy in the most simple things, like food. You will feel more peaceful, less stressful, happier, and content. Cultivate this love for your food and spend more time and energy in this ritual.

10. Listen To Your Body

I don’t believe in counting calories, following fads, going on diets, or following random diet plans. Listen to the wisdom of your body. It tells you everything. You just need to attune yourself to it and everything will be achievable. You can lose weight, gain health, tone your flab, get rid of diseases, and achieve a balanced body and mind just by following these principles – watching what, when, and how you eat. If you closely listen to your body, you will receive all your answers. Modern medicine is less than a hundred years old. All ancient methods relied completely on natural healing – with energy, plants, or herbs. Find your answers within nature and within the temple of your body. Listen to your body for guidance – I promise it won’t lead you astray!
I wish you rediscover your food and yourself in the process.
Chow chow!
Happy eating.

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Alternative News

Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.

  • Reflect On:

    Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.

Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.

This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.

Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

According to Forks Over Knives,

While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.

In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement.  I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.

There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.

This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.

One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.

On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.

Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.

There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.

The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.

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Awareness

Caloric Restriction vs. Fasting: Why One Can Result In Weight Gain While The Other Helps Burn Fat

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Dr. Jason Fung explains the difference between caloric restriction and sending the body into "starvation" mode compared to fasting.

  • Reflect On:

    Fasting has been used as a health intervention for thousands of years, and is being used today by doctors who are educated on the topic. Why is it completely ignored by mainstream medicine? Is it because "big pharma" can't make any money off of it?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Some would say that the best solution to weight gain is eating right and exercising. I couldn’t agree more. Obesity is one of the deadliest problems humanity faces today, and just as important as diet and exercise is for addressing this issue, even more important are the emotional and personal reasons as to why so many people damage themselves and make themselves more prone to serious disease.

Apart from diet and exercise, initiating a proper fasting regimen can have tremendous health outcomes, especially for overweight people. It wasn’t but a decade ago when fasting to lose weight was considered unhealthy and dangerous. Today, we have a tremendous amount of science that’s been published clearly showing that fasting can be an effective health intervention for people of all body types, especially for people who are overweight and suffer from certain diseases. It’s an excellent way to help your body burn fat. Fasting has been used and is currently being used as an intervention for type two diabetes, cancer and more. Fasting has been shown to trigger stem cell regeneration, autophagy, which in turn can help clear out toxins and damaged cells, repair DNA, improve metabolism, lower blood sugar, boost brain function, reduce the risk of age related disease, lessen inflammation which improves a wide range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and more. It’s no wonder why so many ancient cultures from different parts of the world used fasting as medicine and as a health intervention.

As shown in the science, fasting is generally safe for everybody. This many not be true if you already have underlying health conditions or are taking certain medications. This is why it’s important to consult a health professional about it, but the issue is, the majority of health professionals are not well educated in fasting interventions. Those who have educated themselves have been treating their patients with fasting and are drawn to it due to its ability to provide so many benefits.

One of these doctors is Dr. Jason Fung, who on his blog and his YouTube channel, as well as the books he’s written provides a wealth of information and science regarding fasting. I often refer people to the work of Fung, or others like Dr. Valter Longo if they want to begin their own research about fasting. Again, there is a wealth of science and “scholarly” articles available on the subject for anybody who wants to search for it as well. It’s not heard to find.

In the video below, Fung explains why fasting is much different from caloric restriction or having your body go into “starvation mode.”  You can also check out his article, “The difference between calorie restriction and fasting” for some great information as well.

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Health

Study Suggests Risk of Death From Loneliness May Be Greater Than Obesity

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to a study at Brigham Young University, heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

  • Reflect On:

    At the deeper levels, is "loneliness" the problem or is it our mindstate? Is it our perception of loneliness that's a problem? Some thrive with a lack of social interaction, that being said, most of us are indeed social beings who desire connection.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”

Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:

Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”

Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?

From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.

The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.

The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.

The Rise of Social Media

I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.

If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.

On Being Alone  

One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.

Our Next Step

Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.

Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.

We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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