Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A New Day a New Source

Today as I was leaving work I looked in my box and found a pleasant surprise, a new magazine called CLEAN EATING.

Now usually I don't promote so called "health" focused magazines do to their promotion of certain diets, quick (and often unhealthy) fixes, and ridiculous integration of unhealthy advertisements... but I have to say that this new issue has been surprisingly satiating. Not only does it have a plethora of lip smacking recipes that promise to nourish and please the body, it also makes life a little easier with Pull out shopping lists, complete menus and totally valid, interesting, and intellectually stimulating articles. I would highly recommend getting your own copy if you are interested in life's little pleasures....

While I could spend all day writing up my excitement over the vivid displays of "shrimp jambalaya,""sweet potato fries," "cherry tomato meatballs," "baked apples & figs," and "papaya salsa" I have time constraints to follow...and on this blog are Cindy's forte. Instead, I want to give a breif and hopefully helpful synopsis of an amazing article I read in this issue called "The Yoga of Eating" by Peggy Hall...

Hall uses her much deserved published space to refocus our mental processes towards food and the neccesary function of eating towards a more healing, nourishing, and calming path...much like that of yoga. Her description of how they relate is as follows:

First, Hall points out that "yoga teaches us that everything in infused force energy. When you eat a certain food, you absorb its [life force energy] and it becomes a part of your very being" (Hall 58). Eating well, therefore is essential to our body's functioning both physically and mentally. A fast food chain burger and fries, devoid of nutritional value, provides us with very little pure energy, where as fresh, wholesome, organic foods re-energize us on multiple levels.

Second, Hall discusses how "yoga teaches us awareness through breathing" by teaching us a consistency that breeds mindfulness" (Hall 59). This relates to food because as we learn to enjoy our food, we MUST eat mindfully by discerning specific flavors, textures, and more. When we do this eating small amounts in a mindful state is more satisfying than "shoveling it in."

Hall's third and maybe most powerful point focuses on the similarity between yoga and eating on the path to self acceptance, trust, and compassion. Yoga is meant to teach these things by promoting a harmony in the body between mind, body, and spirit. We can apply this to our food when we stop seeing food "as the enemy and instead listen to the messages encoded in cravings, appetites and tastes, as we develop trust in these messages" (Hall 59).

The message doesn't end with that but that is what really struck me. I would definitely recommend seeking out this magazine.

Here are some more helpful hints for mindful eating that she gives as a footnote:
  1. eat sitting down
  2. enjoy your meals in a pleasant setting
  3. engage all five senses while eating
  4. allow yourself time (you deserve it!)
  5. avoid eating or preparing food when you're stressed
Let me just end by saying this folks...As mentioned in a previous post, I myself have dealt with food issues for much of my life. It has only been in the past 2 years that I have really begun to refocus my energy and lifestyle patterns. Some of the suggestions Hall gives have been some that I have had to learn over time in order to go from barely surviving to thriving...Nonetheless, seeing these all together in such an amazing format is can never have too many reminders to slow down and enjoy life.

Works Cited:

Hall, Peggy. "The Yoga of Eating." Clean Eating. Winter 2008: pp 58-60.
Yoga. 30 Jan. 2008. 30 Feb. 2008.


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