For the past two days I’ve been following a simple diet of mung beans and basmati rice. It’s an Ayurvedic way of fasting that’s much easier than a typical juice fast. I’ve also been drinking a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon in it at night and in the morning. It’s believed that lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys (I first read about its benefits in this book). Following a mono-diet has really given me a sense of compassion, especially when I think about how many people all around the world are lucky if they even get three bowls of rice and beans every day.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Yesterday morning I went to yoga while I still had some energy. On my way home I stopped at the library to browse and found two great books.
There is so much good stuff packed into this one little book! Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk from Vietnam. He was born in 1926 and is a peace activist. Interesting tidbit: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was influenced by him and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. Thich Nhat Hanh shares a few strategies that we could all use to reduce stress in our everyday lives.
- Smile! It costs nothing and it brings everyone around us happiness. If you feel like you’ve lost your smile, remember that it’s not gone. Imagine that someone or something is keeping it for you. “A smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.”
- Exercise conscious breathing. I love mantras (words that are used to calm and focus the mind). I use them in the car when I’m driving, while I’m pushing a cart at Target, or while I’m at work. This one is so calming and happy: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.” Try it…instant happiness!
- Use mealtimes to share happy thoughts with your loved ones. Refrain from gossip or negative topics while eating (well, ever. but I’m still working on that one so I can at least curb it during dinner)
- When driving use red lights or stop signs as a reminder to be mindful. Smile at it and take a deep breath. Happiness is always available in the present moment (this is going to be a challenge, but so worth it).
- The strongest animals on earth are vegetarian: gorillas, elephants, hippos, wild horses, buffalo. Humans are most similar to gorillas. We have flexible fingers (for pulling fruit from trees), flattened teeth for grinding (gorillas have sharp teeth up front for tearing plants and cracking open fruit shells) and long intestines (because plants digest quickly there’s transit time to digest minerals and nutrients. In contrast, tigers have short intestines because meat should be broken down and expelled quickly. Meat just kinda sits in our intestines rotting. Ewww…)
- Fruit digests quickly and is best eaten on an empty stomach (I’ve read this before in Skinny Bitch). While you’re at it, skip the seedless fruit. It’s
been genetically modifiedbland and tasteless. Fruit should have seeds, that’s the way nature intended.
- She also advocates pairing certain foods together at meals. I’ve never considered this before but she suggests eating leafy greens and raw veggies at lunch and dinner. Basically she says to pick either a starch or protein with your veggies but don’t combine starches with protein. So for example, if you are going to eat fish or (organic, local) chicken then pair it with a salad or steamed veggies. If you are eating rice or pasta then eat it with veggies.
Pretty in pink
Live music in Rittenhouse Square
Do you have any tips for daily mindfulness? What are your thoughts on fruit and digestion? Does it matter when fruit’s eaten? Have you tried combining certain foods?