|Yoga Dining Tai Chi Closing
At the end of this 12 week, 12 dinner series—with a great variety of eating experience taken in—one might well ask how usefully this experience can be carried into the rest of one’s life. Do practicalities abound? I believe they do, and am putting them in the form of these suggestions as the course ends.
As much as you can for regular or ordinary meals, avoid eating out. When you have to, try to organize those occasions more as snacks than as meals. With the exception of a very few restaurants what you will get through your own grocery and preparation process will be better, especially if you follow two very broad principles. One, buy as much variety as you see—in fruits, vegetables, starches, grains, proteins both animal and vegetable, fats and oils. For example, there are well over 60 vegetables; exploit those possibilities. Just as in life, enjoy the bounty in food. You may have noticed the attempt was made during these 12 dinners to do just that. Two, buy “scratch” foods or whole foods (in grains, called whole grains). You cannot imagine—unless you were a tiny microscopic spy inside your body—how true the saying is, “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead” (actually, in all things refined besides bread flour including pasta, rice, sugar and virtually all the processed foods and prepared meals). This is very big, not just as a factor in weight management but also in heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other major calamities.
One other importance deserving its own paragraph is to develop a manner of reading labels so you can intelligently avoid partially hydrogenated oils and other problems like excesses of sodium and fat. Even excess protein is deadly over the years.
If you eat in quietude, contentment (can we go so far as to say happiness?) and gratitude for what you receive, studies have shown you will absorb up to 85% more nutrients than otherwise. Considering a time of eating as, suggestibly, a time also of psychological and spiritual nourishment— will make it far easier to avoid rushing and cutting meals. And it is true!
Should you ask me, I’d be glad to tell you why I strongly feel three squares a day are far better than what is called grazing throughout one’s waking time. Here in the space we have, as much as you practically can follow the saying of eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
Breakfast: The right amount, for you, of eggs/egg whites is the best protein you can eat. Good daily. Both, or at least either, a whole grain cereal, whole grain bread. Fruit. Sometime in the day, it can be good on the cereal, have a serving of plain yogurt. Sometime in the day, it can also be good on the cereal/toast, a little honey. Some oil or butter—a little fat’s absolutely necessary, even to manage weight!
Lunch, dinner (just more at lunch): Five main things in these main meals: 1 a substantial protein, 2 generous vegetables, 3 a (whole, of course) starch that is sometimes a vegetable like corn, peas, potatoes, yams, parsnips and sometimes a grain like rice, wheat (pasta), oats, barley, 4 fruit (I hope you’re thinking fresh, just like with vegetables—there’s no comparison in taste, in style or esthetics, and in nutrition), 5 a fat as in a butter or oil use, or it could be in a food, too, like olives, avocados, nuts—all of which are wonderfully nourishing in other ways.
Celebrate beans, especially black beans and, too, red and soybeans. If you can have some beans once a day, that is tremendous because: they’re a good protein (when combined with a starch), unlike most proteins they are very low in fat, they have generally more fiber (pure gold to the body) than any other food, they are rich in minerals we’re usually in need of, and they bind up toxic or heavy metals we pick up from the environment and discharge them as waste—they’re like brooms keeping the body clean and happy!
Whenever in doubt, eat less. Of course I could say more on that, but I feel those five words carry the rest.
Most of all enjoy your dining life. It is more than physical, and can be one of our abiding delights.
1 April 2004