Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Yoga of Eating
It's pretty safe to assume that most people have heard of yoga. Yoga is not just a form of exercise but a philosophy and lifestyle. Part of the philosophy is the practice of non-violence, or do no harm, not in word, action, thought etc. Think vegetarianism. I'm not saying you should give up meat if you enjoy it but less is better, both for you and the planet. I would like to suggest that you research on the internet the facts about modern or "factory" meat farming. A plant based diet is probably the healthiest if it can be done correctly. I don't feel I know enough yet to do it correctly but am working towards that.
One practice you're going to see me push is to buy organic whenever it's available. I'm fortunate in that where I live there is a vast range of organic products available at reasonable prices. I understand that this may not be the case for some people. In the long run I have not found it to be any more expensive - when you pay more you waste less, and that's a good thing. It costs more to produce organic because it is not mass produced with the help of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and God knows what else, like a lot of the produce we get shipped here by the transport truck load from warmer climes. Have you ever considered how much of that produce is wasted before it even hits the grocery shelves and then by consumers who in turn buy too much and throw half away because it's so cheap and plentiful? There are people starving in Mexico and we are shipping food out of their country and wasting it like it's nothing. There is nothing yoga about that. Organic is much better for your health and the earth.
When you're eating your food take time to think about what you are eating, appreciating the flavor and texture and how it nourishes you. Be thankful. Chew it slowly and thoroughly. When our mothers cautioned us to chew our food 26 times they probably didn't know the science of it. Your saliva has a purpose beside lubricating your food and it is to help digest that food. When your food is broken down you absorb more of the nutrients and it's easier to digest. Besides this, you burn more energy and it slows you down so you eat less!
Do you live to eat or eat to live? I admit that when it comes to the once-a-year new years eve all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet I am living to eat! Most other times though, I am eating to live and I hope you all will too!