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Posts Tagged ‘conscious eating’

 As I’ve been shedding more awareness on the choices I make around food and the thoughts that I attach or don’t attach to in relationship to this realm, one thing has become clear: If I/we really want to cultivate a wholesome and conscious relationship with food, at some point we need to reassess the lens we’re looking through and question if our perception supports this kind of development. Coming to understand food and our relationship to it is one thing, but transforming this knowledge into a living expression is slightly different. Why? Because it literally is a new posture that we develop through transforming our own self. It’s alchemy really; where we take our knowledge and values and infuse them into our being in such a way that we literally redefine our sense of self, which in turn alters how we relate to life in a very tangible way.

As I’ve been exploring how to obtain this “new posture” and what it means, it’s become clear that this sort of transformation is outside the boundaries of the mind. We can think of it as relating to food (or life for that matter) from two different perspectives. One, the dimension of the mind, is where we collect knowledge and facts, analyze and assess what is true and what isn’t. From this perspective we can accumulate a lot but it doesn’t necessarily mean we do anything with this information. As we enter into the other perspective, a more philosophical position if you will, we see that we can take those nuggets of knowledge, and the values they promote, and apply them to our own sense of self. Here we realize that we are conscious creators not only of material things but of our own being. We find from this perspective the truth in the saying “you are what you eat.” And just as the common metal is transformed into gold and silver we begin to see that life has inherent meaning, significance and purpose to it, and that we are all a part of a greater living universe. When we come to know this from our own depths, our own interiority, we can freely embrace all facets of life and all levels of development, giving us the capacity to give more, to make more conscious choices and to become a living expression of something much deeper.

I realize this is pushing the edge a bit here as we aren’t really use to thinking about our relationship to food so deeply, but if you stick with me just a bit I think you’ll see what I mean. Let’s take a real life example to help clarify these different perspectives. As well as being the co-creator of EFE I am also an acupuncture student. For a prerequisite I took a course on nutrition. It was a two day course packed solid with lectures on the scientific breakdown of foods and their bio-chemical-nutrient components. As I started the course I, as were my fellow students, were completely excited to learn more about food. And boy did we! We gained a lot of knowledge over the course of the weekend. However, when class came to a close I noticed that something in my classmates and I had shifted. It seemed we all went from excitement to paranoid in 2 days flat. I went from being from being adventurous and creative with my eats to being frustrated with all the “nutritionism dogma.” What had happened? Obviously we need to retain the scientific knowledge of food, but at the same time I have seen far too many people suffer from food induced paranoia and actually wreck their health as they try to follow the “nutritional” diet.

So where does this leave us? Our culture is predominately embedded in a reductionist mentality when it comes to our food and health. Meaning, we still take things and break them down to their tiniest components rather than looking at the whole picture. Of course this is certainly valuable. For example, if we didn’t have this approach we wouldn’t know that certain combinations of vitamins and minerals in our system can actually block our absorption of other nutrients, not to mention we would be a lot more clueless when it comes to knowing anything our biochemistry. Yes, the reductionist model does hold it’s worth from one undeniable perspective. However, we can see that from this perspective we can easily get lost in the nitty-gritty and forget that from there we’re only seeing one tiny part of a whole. Clearly we need both perspectives.

So what does that look like? For me it looks like bringing in the educational component into a bigger perspective in a way that complements and enriches my experience with food and life. Meaning, I learn about the basics of food but I don’t obsess about it. I’m more interested in having a wholesome, flourishing relationship with food and life than sticking to a specific diet or “nutritional lab-tested recipe.” I am more interested in eating in a way that promotes my whole being from biology to consciousness. I’ve found that if I stand in this position everything naturally falls in line; from education, to choosing foods and recipes, to preparing nourishing meals, to the table, all the way up and out to self and cultural development. There is an ease and self-refueling positivity that emerges when our appetite is satisfied with not only good, wholesome foods, but development on all levels of our being, be it inner and outer.

Straight ahead,
Amber

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When it comes to evolution and revolution all boundaries dissolve.  There is no “us versus them,” or “in compared to out.”  Seeing through evolutionary eyes is recognizing that even though there may appear to be separations, ultimately everything is just a part of the big One.   When we recognize that at any given moment there is really only one thing happening, only one thing going on, we can begin to see through the boundaries created by our minds, by our egos.  And when we experience and deeply acknowledge this to be Truth we can see that evolution and revolution go hand in and hand, and we realize that revolution could never really be a personal matter.  Instead we can see that revolution describes the process of consciousness evolving.

With this being said, we’re thrilled to give you a taste of what else is percolating in the outer reaches of culture.  Below you’ll find a post by our friends at Hungry for Revolution….

What does the food revolution have to do with 2012? Well, it all boils down to one sentence, “The world we have created is not sustainable.” This is the first sentence of a revolutionary new book by Ervin Laszlo entitled, WorldShift 2012: Making Green Business, New Politics, and Higher Consciousness Work Together.

Laszlo is the founder and president of The Club of Budapest, a think tank with honorary members such as Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, as well as politicians, artists, scientists, musicians, economists, spiritual leaders—the list is impressive. WorldShift 2012 is introduced as The Club of Budapest’s “Handbook of Conscious Change,” and this is in fact how the book reads, as a handbook. It is short and to the point, stuffed full of information, part politics, part philosophy, part science, part spirituality—like the Club itself.

The handbook defines a WorldShift as “a worldwide shift from a path of unsustainability, conflict, and confrontation to a path toward sustainability, well-being, and peace.” Laszlo describes in great detail what this shift will look like, why it needs to come about, and what it will take to cause it. Part of this is shifting “from living on the shoulders of nature to being a harmonious part of the ecosystem” (44). This is what Hungry for a Revolution is all about. So many essential elements of our lives right now are in blatant conflict with nature, and this is causing many unnatural consequences, among these global warming, poverty, and growing health epidemics.

WorldShift 2012 acknowledges the overwhelming problems our world is facing and presents us with the possibility of a complete shift in the world as we know it. In the foreword by Deepak Chopra, he states, “We are already living in two worlds. One world moves ahead by inertia from the past, like a massive luxury liner drifting at sea, while the other steps into the unknown, like a child entering the woods for the first time” (ix). This is the revolution we seek, and apparently it is a revolution in consciousness.

WorldShift 2012 is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com.

Check out the website and consider signing the WorldShift Declaration.

Naturally yours,
the food patriot

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 Kos•mic adj.:
Of or relating to the Kosmos—the multidimensional evolving Totality of existence, encompassing not only the physical but the biological, emotional, mental, psychic, and spiritual domains.

 It is truly my pleasure to share with you this interview with thought leader Megan Cater and Eating for Evolution’s creator Tiffany Pollard.  In this discussion Meg & Tif explore deep time from the Kosmocentric perspective. You’ll be pulled into the edge of your own understanding of what it means to be a human being alive right now!

Consider that our choices (including food choices) are a reflection of our values, and our values come from how deeply we have thought about life, and to what degree we act upon what we’ve seen. Join them on this truly alive and thought provoking journey.

This incredible interview is free to all members for a limited time, so sign up for a FREE account to access it now while it’s available!

 Click here to listen now!

 

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McLovinLast Friday my husband and I were out at a local pub celebrating his birthday.  As it was the eve before Halloween the scene was hopin’ with costumes, laughter, and great music.   My senses were saturated as I surveyed the joint, taking in all the action.  Sandwiched between your average Joes at the bar, Beaker from the Muppets, a bumblebee in fishnet stockings, a gypsy and several naughty nurses, there was, needless to say, a lot to take in.  
But as the sea of cleavage and tight skirts parted, a fairly short guy, probably in his mid-twenties, caught my eye- or rather his T-shirt did.   He was wearing what at first glance appeared to be just a plain shirt with a yellow M on it, and the phrase “I’m lovin’ it.” It took me a second glance, but as I looked again I realized the golden arches were not the arches on your average Happy Meal, rather they were a pair of women’s legs in heals.. well you get the picture.  Instantly disgusted by the whole scene I felt like a lowlife just being there, but nonetheless it got me thinking about McDonald’s famous catch phrase “I’m lovin’ it.”  
 
I think it’s safe to say that it isn’t really a stretch of our intelligence, or experience, to see that McDonald’s food isn’t lovin’ us, and that we aren’t really lovin’ it. I know, I’m putting the kibosh on a good ‘ole American favorite, but times are a changing, or rather consciousness is.  As I consider what foods are worthy of my love I find myself looking to foods that resemble the values that I strive for, like integrity, vitality and higher levels of consciousness.  I know it sounds funny to think of food having values like this, but the deeper I look at it, the more I see that the separation between what is on my plate and who I am is dissolving.  

We’ve all heard the phrase “You are what you eat,” but how deeply do we really understand this statement to be true?  As co-creator of Eating for Evolution, food and our relationship to food, is on my mind a lot, and yet I continue to be amazed by the subtle and intimate nature of how profoundly food affects every aspect of our being.  
 
I’m finding that our relationship to food is just like a marriage.  And like in marriage, at least in culture I’m in, we choose our partner, just like we choose what we eat and what we don’t eat.  And similar to a wholesome “marriage,” we can choose partners that love us, give us tender care and support for higher development.  Contrary to an unwholesome “marriage” where there is lack of vitality, strong sense of separation and stagnation.  While society has gobbled this concept up intellectually, experientially it seems we are seriously lacking.  I say this because once we step beyond our cognition and become an embodiment of this knowledge; it isn’t just our diets that change, our expression in the world changes, and as this changes the culture at large does.  The vibration of cultural revolution is in the air but it has yet to blossom into a full fledge cultural movement.  

When we place emphasis on greater values and becoming the kind of people who live up to these values, the discrepancy between our unlived aspirations and our choices will soften, becoming perpetually integrated.  Then we can experience what it is really like to be “lovin’ it,” in the most wholesome expression possible.

-Amber

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chopin veggiesI love Amber’s line from the last post: “even if we’re making these wonderful and smart choices around food, it doesn’t necessarily mean our relationship to food is any different. It can still be convoluted with impure motivations and fraught with personal fears and desires.” 

One of the courses that we soon will be offering through Eating for Evolution will be focused on helping folks to transcend this “problem” based relationship with food. How that is needed! And we have a lot of work to do as a culture if we truly intend to lift ourselves out of what I like to call “food neuroticism.”

For now, start to notice all of the “voices” or thoughts that come up in your mind as you begin to decide what to eat. I want you to see and experience first hand how un-simple and downright disconnected from “body reality” our thoughts about food can be. Here are some of the common ones:
How much fat?
How many calories ?
s it cheap and fast?
What is the glycemic index?
an I lose weight if I eat this?
Will this make me bloated?
I want it but I shouldn’ have it.
Oh but I want it!
Oh but I REALLY shouldn’t have it.
Does this have enough fiber?
Is this “heart healthy?”
I ate ___ for breakfast, will ____ this be ok If I eat ____ will I be able to fit into _____?

And the list goes on. But notice that no-where up there are questions like “what does my body really need or want?” or “Am I hungry?” Where is the simplicity? I think that it gets lost somewhere in the complexity of our “knowledge” around “nutritionism.”

Now science has brought us many wonderful insights and I am most certainly a proponent of knowledge and forward progress. But what I ask is, is all of this scientific knowledge about food and nutrition actually helping us move forward? Open ended question, and open for debateŠ would love to hear your thoughts.

Being in the field myself, I have come to see that my increasing knowledge around the reductionist aspects of food (protein, vitamins, mineral, antioxidants), has simply served to re-enforce deep and time honored facts: Eat food, real food, as unprocessed and whole as possible. When you do this, you will get all of these fantastic micronutrients without having to worry about it! Eat lots of plants, and prepare them simply. Eat as many things that grow in your area as possible. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. And eat food that makes your entire Being feel alive and alert.

These are pretty straight forward guidelines and are fundamentally simple and good. They are important to embrace in order to shift our food neuroticism. Next post: “How to drop the crazy mind when choosing what to eat!”

Warmly, Tiffany

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See previous post for context.
What I experience with myself and with my patients is that we can have a cognitive recognition that this is true (what we eat affects not just us, but the “whole.”). But we don’t necessarily line our actions up with the fact that we believe this. So, either we don’t really believe, or we just don’t care enough. I think there is probably some truth to both of those.

So the question is, how do we take that on? “That” being our deeply, conditioned cynicism and our blinding ambivalence. You have to look into your own experience to see that these core beliefs/values are actually true about ourselves and the culture in which we live. So how do we change that?!

These are darn serious questions that encompass not just our relationship to food, but also our relationship to life. They will not be answered within this post. But we can begin to create awareness around them, and one way that we can do this is through a thoughtful inquiry into something that we are all quite intimate with… eating!

A good and practical place to start is by paying attention. Simply start paying attention to what you put in your mouth. “Listen” and find out if what you consume is helping to fuel not just your body, but also the conscious awareness that makes up the deepest aspect of who you are. If you really want to know the answer, I have no doubt that you will gain insight.

Once you start paying attention on this level, you will begin to see how food powerfully affects your conscious, and in turn has impact on the “whole.”

Tiffany

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I just finished reading an article “The Biocentric Universe” in the Discovery magazine, and while the whole article was fascinating, this one quote has stayed on my mind: “Today no one questions the immediate nature of this connectedness between bits of light or matter, or even entire clusters of atoms.”   The article goes on to discuss the nature of consciousness and the difference between our perceptions and absolute essence.  What I find so exciting about this, is not so much what the words themselves mean, they’re merely pointing to a truth that has long been understood in spiritual and philosophical realms, but the fact that they were published in a scientific magazine.  Surely this is the marking of a breakthrough in consciousness itself, but you may be asking, what has this got to do with food?  I dare to say the answer is everything!  

We are all aware of the affects food has on our body, mind, emotion and environment, but when was the last time we considered the affect it had on our consciousness?  I suppose before we could even ask that question we would have to know, to experience for ourselves, that food does indeed affect consciousness.  This past weekend I had a firsthand experience of this.  With relatives in town I spent the weekend eagerly showing them around town.  Because we were out and about so much we ended up eating out for most meals, and in turn my usual dietary habits were suspended and I indulged in unusual dining choices.   Early this week they returned home and I got back in the groove of work and school… or at least I tried.  I spent three days with brain fog so thick I struggled to see through it.  Directly affected my ability to communicate, make choices, discern, be active, plan, it was needless to say an uncomfortable few days.  But that was just on the surface.  By far the worst part was actually being responsible for hindering the emergence of consciousness.  I was literally taken out of the game by my own choices related to food.  

My point is that the choices we make around food, of what we eat and how we eat it, is not just a personal or environmental or even survival affair.  It has a direct influence on the ground of our being and our ability to manifest our deepest potentials.  But don’t just take my word for it.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  Here’s how you can do it:

1.        Notice how you engage with others after eating junk food, over eating, emotional eating or even under eating.  Pay attention to your ability to contribute to the conversations, generate ideas, and communicate effectively and authentically.

 2.       Compare this to the quality of engagement you have with others after eating a meal of high quality, pure and simple foods that are in more of a “whole” state.

As we strive to become more aware, more productive and conscious beings, we are faced with the challenge of living our day-to-day activities in a way that reflects our highest insights.  When we experience the truth of Oneness we can’t simply put this truth up on the shelf while we chow down on some grub and then take it down when we’re ready to engage spiritually or philosophically.  If we are truly interested in becoming more conscious, if it is our pure intention to evolve on the highest level, then we must come to realize that what we eat does not just fuel or hinder ourselves, it affects the whole.
 
Love, Amber

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