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Posts Tagged ‘simple living’

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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simple green

Photo by Eric Schey

To add onto our theme of Spring posts I’ve been thinking about simplicity. For ages spring has been associated with simplicity. Following in Mother Natures footsteps we are naturally inclined to drop excess and take in only what we need to fuel our growth. This is a perfect time of year to lighten our load by detoxing the body by eating fresh and simple meals. Despite the hottest trends of eating local, fresh and organic, our modern lifestyle far exceeds the realm of simplicity. Perhaps this is because our motives are derived from fear of our current environmental crisis, or our conscious or sub-conscious desire to fulfill the popular “go green” image. It seems obvious that living a “green” lifestyle does not necessarily equate to living a life of simplicity, so I got to wondering, what does it really mean to live a simple lifestyle?

In our “go green!” culture simplicity seems to be a very misunderstood concept. We realize the way we are living now far exceeds the sustainable and moral life that we are striving for, but clearly it isn’t practical or productive to simply drop the way we live now and “go back” to living the way our ancestors did. Rather than regressing we need to find a new way of relating to simplicity. We’re use to thinking of simplicity as a something we do, an action we take to reduce complexity. For example, my husband and I use wind power electricity, we carpool or ride the bus when possible, we eat organically and of course, we’re avid recyclers. All admirable and necessary actions, but I think there is a deeper gem to be found in living simplistically. I think it isn’t something we do as much as it is something we become an expression of.

I am reminded of the ancient Taoists and how they understood the universe to be a process unfolding. They were acutely aware of the movement of qi and believed that nothing should be done to impede the maturation of the movement. They believed one should align themselves with the flow so as to not disturb the unfolding. As a result they lived simple lives in accordance with the spontaneous unfolding of the universe. But what about the times we’re living in now? We’re faced with an all time critically high crisis’s, problems our ancestors did not have to deal with. There is no question in my mind that our survival depends on us being able to find simpler ways of living, but just what that looks like is still a mystery. It’s possible we’ll come together through community, or create some new technology that will save us from extinction. The list of possibilities is endless, but unfortunately all too easy to push off onto the shoulders of others.

What I’m interested in exploring is what each individual can do right now to start living more simply. While I don’t have the answer, I do think it requires seeing the changes that need to be made and having the integrity to act on them. But perhaps more importantly, it’s about having the courage to make a declaration for something beyond the individual self. Like the Taoists believed, it’s about aligning ourselves with the unfolding of evolution.

I think examining one’s relationship to food is a great way to explore simplicity. As we begin to really look at our relationship to food and pay attention to what it is our bodies want we find that they’re hungry for simplicity. The body runs best on foods that are in easy to digest combinations and they crave foods that are local, fresh and organic. But I think there’s even more to it than that, because as I mentioned above, 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.

Check it out
As usual, don’t just take my word for it. Check it out yourself.
Contemplate what simplicity means and what it really looks like to be an expression of it?
What does it look like to eat from this position of simplicity?

-Amber

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