As Dr. David Simon writes in his book The Wisdom of Healing, “According to Ayurveda, our ability to metabolize food is as important as what we choose to eat.” The ability to fully metabolize food and get energy from it is the basic difference between the living and the nonliving.
If food is not completely transformed into its constituent energy and intelligence, healthy tissues cannot form and toxins accumulate. Thus, the way that we prepare food and our intentions and attention as we consume food are important aspects of its nourishing influence. Other than breathing, eating food is the most profound way in which we interact with nature.
The Five Senses of Eating
Mindful eating, with full attention and presence, can be a total body experience. Honing your five senses to help you make the best food choices can also make eating a lot more enjoyable. This method works a lot better than portion control or calorie control, which is often destined to fail.
Sight: Unfortunately, most people eat with their eyes, not their stomachs, which is what happens when your eyes tell you there is still food left on your plate and you ignore the fact that your stomach is full. The next time you sit down to dinner and you’ve eaten half your meal, try closing your eyes and see if your stomach is still asking for more food. If you no longer feel hungry, save the rest of your meal for later.
Smell: Your sense of smell is strongest when you are the hungriest; you can smell food “from a mile away” and your mouth starts watering. To counteract this reaction, let your nose help tell you when you are full: If you smell your food partway through your meal, and your mouth is no longer watering, it may be time to stop eating.
Touch: How food feels in your mouth is a good indication of a healthier choice. Pick foods that are fibrous and take a while to chew, not the ones that simply “melt in your mouth.” These foods will take longer to digest and give you a full feeling for a longer time.
Hearing: Studies have shown that people who listen to loud music while eating tend to eat longer and consume more food. Likewise, people who listen to loud music while drinking tend to finish drinks faster and order more of them. While dinner music may seem pleasant, try eating in silence or engage in casual conversation with a companion, and let your mind and body focus on the meal.
Taste: This may seem like the most obvious sense when it comes to eating, but taste may also take the most time to train (or retrain). You can train your taste buds to prefer food a certain way — with a lot of sugar or salt, for example. It may take some time, but you can train your taste buds to prefer low-sugar or low-salt foods. Start by slowly reducing the amount of salt you cook with, as well as limiting processed foods containing sodium. Over time, you will not even notice the lower sodium content, and you will become more wary of highly salted food.
Know Your Type and Relieve Stress from the Inside Out
Everyone may be unique, but people also adopt certain “typical” or habitual responses to problems and stress. That is, people can reflect types, and knowing yours will offer clues about how to relieve stress. Take an “inside-out” approach and reflect on how you view the external world.
For instance, do you tend to adopt a “victim mentality,” where you blame others rather than looking at your own role in your current situation? Or do you prefer to be in “driver mode,” which constantly wants to be dominant or in charge? Are you a type A personality — someone who’s often overachieving, time-pressured, competitive, impatient, and hostile — or a type B, someone who usually prefers playing over winning, and creating more than achieving?
Type A personality traits, especially cynical hostility, are particularly associated with cardiometabolic diseases. Sometimes, actively reframing the picture can lead to a better perspective.
Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman coined the term type A personality in the 1960s after spending a fortune reupholstering the chairs in their waiting rooms. One day, a new upholsterer came in to examine the wear and tear, took one look at the chairs, and exclaimed: “What the hell is wrong with your patients? People don’t wear out chairs this way.” The cardiologists realized that their heart patients habitually sat on the edges of their seats, fidgeting and clawing away at the armrests.
What they found was that there is a very strong correlation between type A personalities and heart disease. Certain high-pressure professions, like lawyers and doctors, show this. For instance, in one study, male physicians who had measured high on hostility scores twenty-five years before had four times higher risk of coronary artery disease and six times higher risk of mortality.
The hallmark of cynical hostility is the absence of trust in the goodness of others, and people who exhibit this tend to agree with statements like: “Most people make friends because friends are likely to be useful to them,” and “I have frequently worked under people who have things arranged so they can get credit for good work but are able to pass off mistakes onto those under them.”
Ultimately, the most effective ways to increase happiness, optimism, and resilience depend on each unique individual and each particular situation. Paths to greater wellness are varied. It’s a lot like musical tastes. Different people may prefer Beethoven, Bach, the Beach Boys, Beyoncé, or Bobby Lewis, but the joy each person feels while listening is the same. Be sure to pursue the strategies that resonate best with you.
SOME RULES TO LIVE BY
* Stress is a normal part of modern life.
* Stress management is an essential skill; use your energy wisely.
* Choosing your responses to stress makes all the difference.
* Our perception of control and predictability makes unpleasant situations more tolerable.
* Music, art, meditation, and deep connections with family and friends are possible outlets for alleviating stress.
* Optimism is a positive trait that can be developed.
* Meaning, purpose, and joy sustain us.
* Quiet times help us reconnect with our personal power; take breaks from technology.
* Reframe the picture if your current frame is not working.
* Social connections are a major factor in our ability to keep good habits.
* Forgiveness and gratitude are powerful tools.
* Be here now.
* A proven way to increase your resilience is to commit to your goals.
Copyright ©2018 by Pankaj Vij, MD.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library
Turbo Metabolism: 8 Weeks to a New You: Preventing and Reversing Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, and Other Metabolic Diseases by Treating the Causes
by Pankaj Vij, MD, FACP
As the modern Western lifestyle spreads around the globe, so too does metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of symptoms that increases the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. The good news: metabolic syndrome can be tamed by a sensible program of exercise, natural foods, stress management, and quality sleep. In this concise and lively book, Dr. Vij distills a mass of medical research into a simple, effective program for vibrant health. Avoiding fads and gimmicks, he provides practical advice, case studies of ordinary people, and brief sections that debunk common medical myths. By following Dr. Vij's evidence-based methods, you can manage diabetes, avoid related metabolic conditions, lose weight, and live a healthier, happier life with energy to spare.
About the Author
Pankaj Vij, MD, FACP, has helped thousands of patients lose weight, manage chronic health conditions, and improve their physical fitness. Board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine, Dr. Vij has been practicing medicine since 1997. Co-Founder of HealthZone Life and leader in the introduction of the HealthZone Model as a tool for health education and clinical practice, Dr. Vij has a passion for nutrition and fitness. His interests include approaches on how to slow down the aging process and optimize human performance, thereby enhancing health span, not just life span. He models a healthy lifestyle by following a low glycemic, anti-inflammatory diet, with regular physical activity, meditation and focus on sleep; (adding music and humor for good measure). For more info., visit http://healthzonelife.com/
Studio: Ballantine Books
Label: Ballantine Books
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Manufacturer: Ballantine Books
Not long ago, Christine Carter, a happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a speaker, writer, and mother, found herself exasperated by the busyness of modern life: too many conflicting obligations and not enough time, energy, or patience to get everything done. She tried all the standard techniques—prioritizing, multitasking, delegating, even napping—but none really worked. Determined to create a less stressful life for herself—without giving up her hard-won career success or happiness at home—she road-tested every research-based tactic that promised to bring more ease into her life. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the latest research related to happiness, productivity, and elite performance, she followed every strategy that promised to give her more energy—or that could make her more efficient, creative, or intelligent.
Her trials and errors are our reward. In The Sweet Spot, Carter shares the combination of practices that transformed her life from overwhelmed and exhausting to joyful, relaxed, and productive. From instituting daily micro-habits that save time to bigger picture shifts that convert stress into productive and creative energy, The Sweet Spot shows us how to
• say “no” strategically and when to say “yes” with abandon
• make decisions about routine things once to free our minds to focus on higher priorities
• stop multitasking and gain efficiency
• “take recess” in sync with the brain’s need for rest
• use technology in ways that bolster, instead of sap, energy
• increase your ratio of positive to negative emotions
Complete with practical “easiest thing” tips for instant relief as well as stories from Carter’s own experience of putting The Sweet Spot into action, this timely and inspiring book will inoculate you against “The Overwhelm,” letting you in on the possibilities for joy and freedom that come when you stop trying to do everything right—and start doing the right things.
ONE OF GREATER GOOD’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
“[For fans] of a certain kind of self-improvement book—the kind, like The Happiness Project or 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think or Getting Things Done, that offers up strategies for making certain areas of life work better without requiring that you embrace a new belief system.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times (Motherlode blog)
“A breath of fresh air . . . Based on personal experiments with living life in what she calls the ‘pressure cooker,’ Dr. Carter offers advice in easily digestible nuggets.”—Working Mother
“Carter gives actionable ways to balance your life, your health, and your career. This book is packed with smart advice and hard-earned wisdom.”—Inc.
“Learn more about escaping the ‘busyness trap’ and uncovering a happier, less stressed you.”—Shape
“A highly readable, diligently researched advice book that offers concrete tips on how to get off the treadmill of busyness.”—Greater Good
“Chock-full of concrete tips on how to sharpen your focus, improve your efficiency, and use technology to your advantage.”—The Week
“Illuminates the simple and sustainable path toward a precious and happy balance.”—Deepak Chopra
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Revised Edition)
Food. It should be one of life’s great pleasures, yet many of us have such a conflicted relationship with it that we miss out on that most basic of satisfactions. But it is possible—and not really all that difficult--to reclaim the joy of eating, according to Dr. Jan Bays, and mindfulness is the key. Her approach involves bringing one's full attention to the process of eating—to all the tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal. She shows how to:
· Tune into your body’s own wisdom about what, when, and how much to eat
· Eat less while feeling fully satisfied
· Identify your habits and patterns with food
· Develop a more compassionate attitude toward your struggles with eating
· Discover what you’re really hungry for
Whether you are overweight, suffer from an eating disorder, or just want to get more out of life, this book offers a simple tool that can transform your relationship with food into one of ease and delight.
This new edition, updated throughout, contains a new chapter on how to provide children with a foundation in mindful eating that will serve them well all the rest of their lives. It also includes a link to a 75-minute on-line audio program of mindful eating exercises led by the author.
- Lilian Cheung
End Your Struggle with Weight.
Your Path Begins Here.
With the scientific expertise of Dr. Lilian Cheung in nutrition and Thich Nhat Hanh's experience in teaching mindfulness the world over, Savor not only helps us achieve the healthy weight and well-being we seek, but also brings to the surface the rich abundance of life available to us in every moment.