“Happiness” is a state of bliss; State of “just being”. A state of being without any remorse, sadness or any other negative feeling. But these days, I find it very hard to find this bliss; I feel very helpless. I have tried all the principles of mindfulness but a strange feeling of helplessness always linger around and prevent me to attain the state of bliss and the reason is a disease that is slowly destroying an icon and knocking at my door also. Yes, I am talking about Diabetes and the iconic figure is my father. He is a living legend of his time, creator of a new thought process, he sowed the seed of new thinking to unite a divided country, full of hatred, prejudice, unfairness, He established a new era of sufism that preached divine love with oneself , others and with GOD. And now he is lost in his own thoughts.
I have no connection with my dad.He is alive but he lives in a different world of his own. He is suffering with Dementia, which is progressing. It hurts me every moment to see him receding into unknown, not recognizing us or where he is. We have already lost him in a way. Now this disease is also knocking at my door.
Dementia is one of the advanced stages caused by Diabetes. My dad had been on Insulin since he was 50 and now looking back, I know for sure, his lifestyle was far from healthy. He never exercised and was always over indulging into sweets. I wish I knew then what I know now.
My last ten years had been about learning a lifestyle that is holistic and based on healthy eating, exercise and mentally and emotionally stimulating. So far I have been fortunate to keep this disease out of the door. But the quest is still on and I want to spread my learning to others. I want to invite you to join this quest and fight his deadly disease. Let Start this journey to a true state of bliss -A disease free state.
Join My club and fight Diabetes!!!
My association with Deepak Chopra goes way back to my college days. I knew him as a doctor who is trying to do some stuff with yoga and self healing with Ayurveda; an ancient science of healing and medicine. I had always been skeptical of doctors due to various reasons; (not that important at the moment, may be share them later) and Deepak had not been able to capture my attention that much. The only connection I felt was his origin.It was 2010 and I had taken a project which required me to drive several hours each day, It was a big change for me. I took the shelter of audio books. I visited my neighborhood library several times and was little puzzled at the limited selection of these books. This is when I got introduced to Deepak’s book on holistic healing.One of the first book I listened was “Ageless body Timeless mind ‘. I started listening to them with some hesitation but as I listened, my road trip to work became interesting voyages into a mysterious world of quantum physics, ayurveda, human anatomy and basic philosophy of “just being” and discovery of meaning of true happiness. After that point, I have listened or read almost all his books and am a great follower of his work. He has influenced my lifestyle and life philosophy immensely. His philosophy brings Religion, Science, Nature and Human together and pave the path to true happiness and success for the common man.
I am a person of science and logic and his books made it so scientific to understand the ancient principles of Ayurveda, It made so much sense why body should be able to heal itself. It made so much sense to treat body as whole when treating ailments instead of treating each organ as a separate entity as today’s medicine system is heading towards. Deepak’s work is not just about healing but also about finding success and true happiness just by incorporating basic simple principles in your life. His book “Seven Spiritual law of Success” has inspired my program and I have incorporated several principles from it in my program. These principles take away the constant stress common people experience in their daily life due to their egoistic nature.
Staying Healthy is tied very closely to eating healthy but it’s not just physical aspect of food that makes us healthy, its peripheral emotions around eating food that makes us lean and keep us lean, how we eat, where we eat, with whom we eat, how we feel about food, our attitude towards the food makes all the difference. ” The Concept of getting Lean” focuses on creating a holistic approach to our eating, starting from grocery shopping to preparing to eating.It’s a journey that we have to take to get things in our plate. How we do it, makes the difference. The choices help us getting us to a ” Leaner” version of us. Getting lean is not just physical, it’s our emotional and spiritual connection to our food that make us “Lean”.
I remember the time from my childhood days, walking home from school with friends;getting some spicy gram beans from the roadside and munching on them. Getting fresh cucumbers and kakdi and biting through that crispiness…..And then coming home to eat some fresh rice pulav or some lentils. Food tasted different and it meant something else. As we grow older, our relationship with food changes. Eating at times become a chore and we hurriedly try to get this task out of the way. We don’t pay much attention to the texture, taste and smell of food and how it feels in mouth before and afterwards.Just by becoming aware of the food we eating can address issues related to food and nutrition.
My new program ” Stay Lean” philosophy towards the eating will change your lifestyle and will make you a Healthier and Leaner person again.
Any time there will be a mention of food movement, people will remember Michael Pollan as a key influencer. Michael is food journalist and he is professor at UC Berkeley . I found him during my desperate search for answers to my basic questions in relation to what and how should I eat. He turned out to be the Messiah. His books,lectures and movies gave me inspiration to take this initiative . From him, I learnt about food movement, I learnt about US Food and agriculture industry related fact sand how in mid 60s a local farm that was feeding 50 houses in a most healthy fashion wiped out and got replaced by mega industrial farms.These farms changed the landscape of how food reached our plates. It was very shocking and eye opening discovery and av ery unfortunately truth. If you would like to learn more about these events, you may check out Edible 101 course by UC Berkeley recording…..Edible 101
Michael also has interesting perspective on cooking and its history in US and how fast food industry took over America’s kitchen. In his Netflix series Netflix “Cooked” “Cooked” he highlights how cooking food at home as opposed to factory processing makes it more nutritious. Cooking food and using traditional techniques of fermenting, stone grounding, sprouting, etc add a colony of microbes to the food that are essential for good digestion and providing the nutrition to the body. Modern food industry practices are processing food such a way that it is depriving food of nutrients and adding unnecessary calories.
The tradition of cooking almost disappeared from America’s kitchen in mid nineteenth century with the onset of women liberation. The women decided to go to work to fulfill their aspirations, dreams and to prove themselves. Unfortunately, least they realized that they were leaving behind a very decent important job of cooking fresh and healthy meals for the family (I know it may sound very anti feminist) but in fact the job was not paid and least appreciated and people didn’t think it requires any talent. And it was by no mean a wrong decision but it had impact on what we put in our plates for dinner and how it gets there.
When women went to work, a conflict arose between men and women on the issue of cooking. Smart, educated and working women refused to take single handed ownership of cooking at home. This increasing conflict open the door for the fast food industry that came with the promise to share the burden of cooking for the household and also to resolve this fight between men and women. And as a result 60 years after this change, we see the epidemic of chronic illness and obesity on a rise here.
Cooked series invite America’s public to go back to their kitchens and re engage into small and basic cooking practices that adds nutrition and flavor to their food. He also specifies that we all need to rise above gender or age clashes when it comes to cooking. A family should come together and cook as a fun activity and not as chores without any gender bias. Practice of cooking is an art and it is satisfying. What the home cooked food offers to the body is far more satisfying and healthy.
Mindful Living club’s philosophy is greatly impacted by Michael Pollan’s ideas and have guidelines on how to identify what is a real food, where to find it and how to eat it. Eating food is not just a physical activity. People need to get connected with the food they put in their month more at spiritual and mental level. This approach nourishes the body completely.
To me, world seems to have turned into a very rough & unfair place to live. There is so much self centeredness, narcissism and greed. it’s “the whole world centered around me” mindset. Is it ever going to change? I believe change is law of nature and it’s inevitable but in the past changes don’t take place overnight and change doesn’t take place because of political systems. Changes take place because people become aware and they start realizing and becoming aware of unfairness and the issues in the system and start raising their concerns in some form or the other.
Food movement is real and it’s here. Berkeley Food Institute is working on educating people about it through various classroom courses and initiatives. These type of initiative will not only educate people about the food industry issues but will expose all the unfair and unhealthy practices of Food and Agriculture industry. Common people need to be aware on how food travels to their plates. What is the foot prints it is leaving behind? How many gas mileage, how many people, animals are unfairly treated. How many people’s rights were being compromised.
Once People will learn the story of Food; its journey; they will loose its flavor. The food does cause lot of issue in our body because of the way its is processed and most of poeple are not aware of it. Once they become aware, their conscious will rise and they will make better decisions for them while purchasing food.
Mindful living Club will educate you on these decision and live with a clean conscious and will allow you to enjoy foods with no chemicals and preservatives.
This was around the time my daughter was searching for colleges; tired and exhausted from all the road trips, I took refuge in audio books and youtube lectures etc during the car rides on my favorite topic; “Food” , What to eat and what’s wrong with my lifestyle. How do I change my routine so I could sleep better, how to pick my recipes so I don’t wake up tired and exhausted next morning with no energy to start a day that I know will have monumental challenges. My search for never ending probes on basic questions was keeping me more awake than the actual food that I ate at night .
And here it was, answer to all my questions; Thanks to the modern times we live in ( Information is so easily accessible!) , I turned to Youtube and I don’t recall what the search words were but here it was, a recording of a course being offered at UC Berkeley (Edible 101:Edible 101 )to address the Food movement and US issues related to Food and Agriculture. I had read Michael Pollan’s ” Food Rules” before and hearing him again on this forum made it impossible for me to turn away from this course. “Food Rules” was a fun read with fun pictures and some interesting guidelines on what is real food, how to eat it and when to eat it. It was like a user’s manual on eating. I totally agreed with the rules. Hearing him again made me think. This time his tone was more serious and the topic was more based on actual underlying issues that US Food and agriculture industry has created for a common person in terms of eating healthy. I learn about Food Movement. I learnt Food Movement is real and it’s here. It took me about 24 hours of listening to get a hang of this issue.
I felt connected to the Food Movement and realized that I have a responsibility to my community to take this message and educate people on this issue. I had to do something!!!
And here it is; the foundation of my “Mindful Living Club”; a step towards making a difference in the life of common people who wakes up with their dream and to face a challenging day. They don’t have time to go through 20 different sources; youtube lectures series etc to verify that what is in their plate is real food and is healthy. They trust the grocery stores, farmer, distributer and above all our regulation agencies that they are watching out for them ensuring what they are eating is a wholesome nutritious meal. I felt strongly that People have a right to know the truth. They have a right to know how the capitalist society greed is standing between them and their nutrition which is essential for them to meet their day with courage and energy.
My program has adopted major key agendas from this course “Edible 101” and provides guidelines and make suggestions on what is the best way to eat food and stay healthy.
If you wish to go over the lecture; here is the edible 101 youtube. They are about 16-20 lectures; each 2 hours long. They are thought provoking, candid and hit the root cause of what is wrong with the food we put in our mouth. It’s not just the increase in the distance between the farm to plate, but also the greed of food and agriculture industry in this capitalist society that has made eating healthy almost impossible for a common person who has no time or energy to do their own little research.
If you are tied up, I can be of help and summarize this for you in my next blog. So on enjoy your day; just one tip; Stick to foods that are local and pick the real food to eat from the grocery stores (Food with basic 2/3 natural ingredient; anything after that is just chemical) ”
My program is greatly inspired and constitute major components from Haylie Pomroy’s Fast Metabolism Diet program. Her book Fast Metabolism Diet”Haylie “FMD” is a great source of happiness to me. I have read her book several times and also done her program repeatedly and It has changed my life. Her book and philosophy needs no introduction. Her book speaks volumes about her knowledge and mastery of good diet and metabolism fix. While reading her book, it feels like reading a drama series and you dont want to keep it down in anticipation to know what comes next. This is the time when I wish I was a professional writer/poetess so I could do justice to describe her dedication to her cause and her book. I have done several other detox and diet programs over last 10 years and her program stands out as a very simple and non starving solution to boost metabolism and lose weight.
Mindful living Club has adopted Haylie’s philosophy of food group rotation and have used her phase specific food list to create its menus and eating guidelines in addition to several food related rules from Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” and from 7000 sutras from ancient Ayurvedic philosophy from Saint Vaghbhad. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to spread her name and advocate her book to people seeking help in managing their daily diet related issues.