Food Rules & What is “Real Food”

Here is the link to a very interesting article by Food journalist, Michael Pollan on what are the rules of eating and what is real food:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20090323/7-rules-for-eating#1

Some of the summary points are listed here:

7 Words & 7 Rules for Eating

Pollan says everything he’s learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Probably the first two words are most important. “Eat food” means to eat real food — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat — and to avoid what Pollan calls “edible food-like substances.”

Here’s how:

  1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a littlehungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

 

 

 

Rumi Says – “Find Your Passion” Get Lean

Our biological systems are very closely tied to our emotional and mental state. Bringing passion back to our life changes all the chemistry and physiology of our body.

Living with your passion, doing what you love to do and adding compassion to your day to day work tie you more closely to your true self and improve your health.

“Follow your dreams”  “Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”

Rumi, a 13th-century Persian[1][7] poetjuristtheologian, and Sufi mystic  has good guidelines on how to follow our dreams.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/beautiful-rumi-quotes-that-will-motivate-you-to-be-a-bett?utm_term=.ux39BveXw#.nnve7BLmy

I remember my childhood days when I was in high school, especially on birthdays and special festivals, I would stay up till late till the clock hit midnight and next day will restart. There was such a anticipation for tomorrow and my heart would start beating fast in excitement about tomorrow and unknown  events that may come across me next day. I would try to capture those feelings in my journal so I would not lose any of those special thoughts and moments.

As I grew older , these moment have become very scarce, I have come to a lifestyle where days are same and very predictable, full of chores, routines; groceries, laundry, movies with kids, date night with my hubby, social work at nursing home and whatever this modern lifestyle offers us(you know what I mean). The lifestyle is also geared towards comforts and getting more done in less time.

To attain a true health, As a part of my club, I promote developing or reviving old hobbies if your work is not your passion. I encourage that people do spend at least 30 minutes of thier day doing what they truly enjoy. Bringing passion and excitement back to your life normalizes your chemical and physiological functions of the body. It creates new pathways of energy and rejuvenate you emotionally and physically.

Life without bliss – Living with Diabetes

“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!!!

Road to a Nutritious plate: Eating right should not be a rocket science

These days I am enjoying looking at last 15 years of my life on digital photo frame on my kitchen counter. This frame connects to our network with all the pictures we have taken since our first digital camera.

I enjoy watching it while cooking and doing dishes. I love looking at the pictures of my girls in cute outfits in some funny poses at thier soccer, ballet, homecoming, prom, graduation, They have grown up now; are in college and in high school. It brings good memories of those days when they were growing up. It gives me happiness and makes me sad at the same time.Looking at myself in those pictures, One consistent theme stands out; I look  dazed, sleep deprived, tired and lost. These are my pictures in my early thirties; something didn’t seem right. I don’t seem to be usual self the way I am today at the age of 50; full of energy and vibrance. Today, I have sparkle in my eyes and I  am hopeful for tomorrow. I wonder what was wrong with me then?

One consistent reason pops up.The Food. The food I was eating; I was not eating right; food choices I made, genetically modified, over processed, frozen with preservative and pesticides. During the process of settling down in US, I adopted lots of quick life style, thinking that it’s part of survival and it’s part of lifestyle. I was starting my new career, my job was very hectic,kids were young, the day was full of thier day care issues, school pickups drop-offs, thier extra curricular activities and other needs.It was part of my transition to a new lifestyle!!!! I ate whatever seemed easily available in the grocery stores and could be put together in a meal with least efforts including tons of fast food. I rarely worked out. As a result, I had very poor metabolism and rarely had sound sleep.

Coming from a country that does not have refrigerators or microwaves as necessities, I always ate fresh food and I also  ate with great enthusiasm with least rush and multitasking and also ate with lots of social interaction. Things changed as I moved to a new country  and adopted its new culture with a new lifestyle.

It had been a long journey; about 10 years,  to understand myself and what’s wrong with me and my health. Food had been a culprit. Realization of what’s wrong with the food in the grocery stores, understanding the food and agriculture landscape, political and social aspect of food had been an expedition. It had been a constant quest to know what is the right food to eat, how to eat and what is the best strategy to keep my optimum weight. Becoming aware of my surroundings and my own inner self and learning  about my true nature has been really helpful in reclaiming my health and happiness.

My search has unveiled lots of social, economical and cultural issues that stands between a common man and his eating choices of a nutritious meal on his our plate.

I have a mission to accomplish to make common man aware of this. Eating right shoulds not require a college degree. A common man should be able to eat right with no effort. It’s basics of life. All these learning has influenced  and is incorporated in Mindful Living Club philosophy. I have wasted best years of my life suffering due to poor eating choices and an unhealthy lifestyle. People don’t have to go through this journey at the expense of thier family life and personal time. As true in every capitalist world, There is no-one governing and watching those grocery store aisle or restaurants for the benefit of common people. People have to realize that they have to take charge of thier own health by becoming more savvy and aware of thier surroundings and by making necessary lifestyle changes.

It would be my great pleasure to be your guide in this journey. Come, join Mindful living club and let me create pathways of health for you.

 

 

Deepak Chopra: Ageless Body-Timeless Mind

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. Deepak had not been able to capture my attention that much earlier. 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.

 

 

 

 

Getting Lean -What does it Mean?

 

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.

Michael Pollan -One of the Pillars in Food Movement

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.