Posts Tagged ‘low fat raw vegan’

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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Changing your way of eating…

January 24, 2009

The words I hear all the time when I suggest a change of diet are “It’s so hard!” When you think it is hard, it really is hard! I will come back to how we work with changing mind with PC. But even shifting perspectives or changing frames can help before the PC work begins.

I started with the title, “Changing your way of eating…” because I don’t really like to refer to it as a diet. When a diet is mentioned, it’s generally considered for weight loss. What I am talking about and encouraging is Optimal Health, so it’s more of a lifestyle change than a diet. But even a lifestyle change can be daunting to think of because it seems like your life could change in ways you’re not willing to change. For example, changing the way you eat can be quite tricky when eating out. I’m going to talk about a low fat raw vegan diet though it can apply for any change in diet. There are only two raw food restaurants currently open in the Seattle area, so as a raw foodist, if you want to eat out, you have to get creative! (The fact that low fat raw is harder to find on a raw food restaurant menu is another subject. I suggest the produce section!)

I learned from my favorite raw foodist experts, Roger Haeske, Dr. Douglas Graham and Frederic Patenaude, how to do this eloquently, so I’ll pass it on to you here. First, consider that eating out is more for the pleasure of company than the food. It is divine to be served and catered to when eating out. But really we eat out to enjoy the experience of eating out. It is the reason why so much effort and art are put into décor, ambience and presentation. So there are a couple things you can do to prepare for a dinner out.

Remember that it is your choice and you are the one that is making the decision to eat in a new way. The reasons can vary, even when life threatening in cases of cancer and disease, and even if recommended by your doctor, but it is ultimately your choice. So when people ask you if you “can” eat this or that, kindly let them know that you can eat whatever you want!  You are choosing to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. 

Let them know that you can talk to them about the reasons you are changing your diet after the meal. It’s much more enjoyable to visit than talking about your diet for the __th time! Plus it can be received as a criticism of their own choices, especially if they are not happy with them.

Before you go out, prepare a favorite salad dressing and bring it in a small container that you can fit in your pocket or purse. You can let the server know that you are on a special diet and even ask them to put the dressing on the salad for you.

Eat a large amount of fruit before you get there. This can be as decadent as eating a fancy meal at a restaurant. When you satisfy your appetite before going out, your resistance against foods you no longer want to eat will be stronger.

Or bring your own fruit when eating out. Once again, let the server know that you are on a special diet and ask them to put the fruit on a plate for you. You can always call in advance and find out if it’s OK, in order to allay any fears or concerns that might come up. I have not been denied my requests yet. 

Prepare your own meal at home and invite guests to try your new fare.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve surprised and educated family and friends by eating the way I want to and inviting them to join me.

Another more expensive option is to order from a chef that delivers, although they also tend to be fatty (high in nuts, seeds, oils and avocado). There are all kinds of delivery services available, even raw meals.

These are just a few examples. I’m sure you can come up with more ideas! 

As far as the mind goes, you can either fight it or ask it to help.  There are a couple exercises in PC that we use to shift mind into helping gear: 

 

Judgment release helps a lot, as always. Is it really hard to change your diet? Try one thing at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once.

 

Asking the question, do you really, really really want what it is you are craving or feeling like you’re missing out on? Get to the Core Desire of what you want once you have that thing you think you want so much, before you eat it.

Talk to your Body! Direct Dialogue with Body is an excellent exercise. 


You have all the answers to your health questions. You might need a little practice to distinguish mind from body at first, but your body is talking to you all the time. Start listening. Eat one food at a time and see how your body responds. Remember that our bodies are generally severely out of balance. I am not talking about running after food cravings we know are not healthful! I’m talking about the stomachache after eating a meal!

 

Be patient. Body changes don’t happen overnight. Your current body form is the response and reflection of what you have been eating and how you have been exercising and loving your body. Be consistent with your new way of eating for at least 30 days, and even better, for 90 days to see your body remade.  

Be kind to yourself. When you slip up from eating in new ways, remember how long you’ve been eating in old ways!  Old patterns are only broken when they are finally broken!  You are the only one who can break your own old patterns, and they will pull you in until you do. Resist!  Every time you strengthen yourself in the direction of how you want to eat, you will find yourself even stronger to make other changes, and your Body will thank you. When the thought, “It’s too hard,” comes to mind, change your mind.


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