Posts Tagged ‘food’

How to Thrive Eating Differently Than the People Around You and in the Fast Food Culture We Live In (Part One)

July 22, 2009
You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!
I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan.
Choice
We often forget this:what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.
I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.
Defense
You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”
Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!
Judgment
If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.
Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!

I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan, which is how I eat presently.

Choice

We often forget this: what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.

I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.

Defense

You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!

Judgment

If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, feel the feeling,  ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.

Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

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How to Stop Cravings in 30 seconds

October 10, 2008

I read a great blog by Roger Haeske which is actually “How To Stop Cooked Food Cravings in 30 Seconds”, but as he mentions in the blog, this can be applied to any habitual thought pattern you want to change. I invite you to read this article and more from Roger. Roger Haeske’s Blog Here

Food and Emotions

August 1, 2008

Did you ever wonder why it has been difficult to change your diet? (If it hasn’t been difficult for you, consider yourself blessed!) No matter what we know to be the ideal way for us to eat, we still gravitate towards “comfort” foods and cravings.

It may seem the body is calling for these foods, especially with cravings, but our bodies are too out of balance to trust that cravings are right for us. Most of the time, it is the unconscious mind and unconscious body calling out for theses foods.

Most of us are emotional eaters and don’t realize it. We start to associate food with love at the first suckle as a baby. From there on out, especially in old parenting paradigms, with love comes food.

 

Food has been used for comfort and to pacify in many ways. For example, when the baby cries, we wonder first, is s/he hungry? What if we considered that the baby might just have something to say, with a very limited vocabulary? “I’m angry, I’m scared! Hold me!” Instead of letting them be and holding them we try to ….make…it…..stop!!!, as our own uncomfortable emotions are triggered.

 

The foods we call “comfort foods” and have cravings for relate back to early years when love = food. So what are your comfort foods and cravings? Trace them back…

 

Another aspect of food that creates warm fuzzy feelings is community. Of course we celebrate everything with food and drink! And celebration is a pretty common reason/excuse to “live it up!” and forget all attempts at conscious eating. So when you try to make changes, there is a lot to wrangle with. How can you create new comfort foods and new cravings?

My 12 year old daughter has not been a big fruit lover in her recent years, but loves the effect eating raw has had on me. So she says to me, “Mom, you eat raw and I’ll eat a little bit later, when I’m older.”

Now since there is a lot of fruit laying around and I’ve been weeding out other choices in my kitchen, she’s getting more of an appetite for fruit. The other day she asked me to make her a fruit plate, so I decided to appeal to her aesthetic eye. I made her a mandala of fruit, with chopsticks! She was so amazed at the beauty of the colors and design she happily ate it and asked for more.

So now I’m spending some time getting real creative to inspire her. She knows she’s got me because I’m so happy that she’s eating fruit. Even the fruit she doesn’t like, she appreciates for art’s sake (and saves them for me). Inside, I’m more than happy, I’m ecstatic because I know I’m creating some warm fuzzy fruit associations. Love and fruit!

I have a few fruit rituals, like cutting up 3-4 raw mangoes and eating them with pure delight and joy, eating a pile of bananas one after the other, eating stinky durian with my friend Nadja, eating a monster mixing bowl of salad with my daughter (the only way she wants it), and smuggling grapes into the movie theatre.

 

So while you’re shifting your ideas and beliefs about food that you can live without, create new rituals with the food that you consciously want on your plate. Before long you will have unconsciously replaced the old comfort foods and cravings with new ones, and eating what’s natural for your body will come naturally.

 

Excuse me while I lounge and have grapes fed to me, one…by…one…

 

(I’d love to hear about your fruity rituals!)


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