Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food Touches Physics and Spirituality

I'm more convinced that eating mindfully is a constant practice, not unlike yoga.

That's because depending on what the landscape of the mind is at any given time, cookies and chips can easily win out over broccoli. To move out of psychology and into physics ~ simply put, it has to do with energy frequency.

When we're stressed or depressed, and our energy levels are low, we'll crave foods with a low energy frequency. Anything salty, sweet, carb-heavy or fat-laden would be a perfect match!

But if we're mindful and make the choice to introduce high-frequency foods ~ like fruits or vegetables, we draw energy from them and get a "leg up" in our efforts to gain balance. And balance implies that meter is always moving ~ so if we depleted our energy reserves with our choices one day ~ the next day we can choose to regain some ground.

Of course, so many of us stay stuck within a comfort zone that mimics a see-saw, because to go beyond means leaving part of our "old selves" behind. The ego doesn't buy that!

It makes so much sense to me now why the Christian Lenten period ~ which prescribes some fasting ~ is six weeks long. If you follow a practice that you stick with when it becomes uncomfortable ~ some of that life-restricting ego gets left behind along the way.

As we approach Easter Sunday, I wish I had done a better job of observing it. Fortunately, the same choices will be there for me tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Is Wal Mart Becoming Part of the Solution?

Never did I think I'd be singing the praises of Wal Mart, but I'm suggesting it now.

I read today in an article by Corby Kummer in The Atlantic that the huge conglomerate is marshalling its resources to compete with Whole Foods as a supplier of quality produce at affordable costs ~ and from local growers, no less!

From apples to zucchinis ~ Wal Mart is now offering these underpinnings of good health ~ in many cases, the organic version ~ and, according to the article, is holding its own in a taste test comparision with Whole Foods produce.

Through its new program, Heritage Agriculture, they are encouraging farms within a day's drive of a Wal Mart warehouse to grow crops that are otherwise imported cross-country.

This, at a time when many families are struggling financially as a result of job losses and high unemployment to put food on the table.

Factor now the ever-present issue of affordable health care.

Try this scenario ~

Dad's at home checking the unemployment ads, while Mom's at work and the kids are in school.

With this newest option, for not much money, he can buy a few carrots, potatoes, celery and onions and get a vegetable soup going in the crockpot before eveyone gets home. He skips the aisles displaying chips, cookies and pop. He picks up some bananas and raisins to top oatmeal or cereal in the morning ~ or to give to the kids as snacks after school.

They go to the park for some playtime before supper. They sit at the table to eat, and the TV stays off until they're done.

He's setting a course which, if repeated, means "money in the bank" because he's nurturuing his family with good food to promote their physical health. And he's spending time with them ~ quality time ~ to strengthen their emotional health.

Meanwhile, that all important community player, the farmer, gets economic support by offering a stronger, local market. (This is not to mention the huge, energy-saving benefit of eliminating transportation costs when food comes from miles away.)

As ironic as it seems, Wal Mart just might end up making a significant contribution in our communities.

It's going to be interesting to watch.

Monday, March 1, 2010

There's Opportunity Amidst Crisis

Universally, this is a very challenging period of time to be eating mindfully ~ or probably to correct any unhealthy habit!

The unsettling parade of tragic stories running across our TV screens and computer monitors are not just reporting isolated events, but a rippling that now resonates everywhere. And heightened anxiety welcomes anything flavored with salt, fat or sugar ~ in food offerings that are abundantly available.

Eating is the one thing ~ besides breathing ~ that we do every single day that we can control, and as a result, improve our health, our emotions, and our thinking.

(It IS true ~We create our reality with our thoughts!)

Clearly, we can't control the chaos in Washington, or in Haiti ~ or now Chile. But we can take stock where we are, and begin an upward climb ~ starting in our own kitchens.

Interestingly, the selection of foods that calm our nervous systems and put our bodies on a healthy track is much wider than the packaged, processed stuff that populates the middle aisles of the grocery store. And as we stress over the future of affordable health care in the country, there's a veritable pharmacy in the fresh produce section!

Rutabagas, parsnips and collard greens are just waiting to show you what they can do!

But before you meet them ~ start simply with the fruits and vegetables you're most familiar with. Toss the potato chips from the cupboard and snack on almonds, carrots and raisins ~ and enjoy them on a walk around the block instead of in your recliner!

No matter how bad the media says it is out there ~ you have more power than you think!