Mindful Eating

Tania Kazi, health & wellness coach, yoga teacher and meditation instructor looks at why we should remove the word ‘diet’ from our vocabulary

The health and food industry has promoted the word ‘diet’ for many years, and there are countless misconceptions that have arisen due to that. Most people simply cringe at the very thought of going on a ‘diet’, while some never really live their life off one.

One thing we have all come to realise, as we have watched the health industry go through its many dieting fads, is that diets usually do not last, nor are their effects lasting.

As a wellness counselor, and a yoga and meditation teacher, one of the first things I do is inquire about a person’s food lifestyle as I teach them how to live more mindfully. And what I like to share with them, is that they would be better off if they removed the word ‘diet’ from their life and instead chose the word ‘lifestyle’.

Adopting a healthy and healing lifestyle yields far better and lasting results than sampling different, short-lived diets.

There is enough research to illustrate the fact that processed and refined foods are damaging for our bodies. Consumption of these kinds of foods over a lifetime inevitably lead to chronic diseases. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced lives, we turn to quick and easy to fix meals that often use processed foods in abundance. Those foods have very little nutritional value and though our stomachs and taste buds may feel satisfied, our organs receive very little nutritional value from them to stay young, healthy and working in optimum condition.

One way to choose a healthy lifestyle is to opt for natural, organic produce and to cook food from scratch, if possible.

Though Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been saying this for years, now there is also sufficient scientific evidence to suggest that inflammation is the cause of all illness. And to that end, animal protein has been directly linked to increased inflammation in the body.

Occasionally, I notice a lack of desire in my clients to opt for a healthier lifestyle, because the processed foods they are used to are addictive in nature and, therefore, harder to stop consuming. I share with them the valuable information that choosing a healthy lifestyle does not just keep illness at bay, but has also proved to be anti-aging for most.

Opting for a mostly plant-based diet and cooking with heart healthy oils (like olive oil or grapeseed oil instead of canola) is far better for the health and youthfulness of our organs.

There is a lot that goes into what we consume. And what we consume inevitably leads to the quality of life we are going to enjoy. After all, without health, it matters very little what we have in our lives, because lack of health makes it impossible to enjoy all the blessings and the good things.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of plant medicine, advises us to cook our own food. Though that is increasingly hard to do, the truth is that we not only consume the nutrition from the foods we cook, but we also draw the energy of the person who cooked the food. That is because cooking is a form of meditation, whether the person cooking realises it or not. Science explains that energy travels faster than matter, and our thoughts carry their own energy frequency. Peaceful and positive thoughts have a coherent resonance, whereas negative thoughts carry a fragmented vibration. Food is receptive to not just the seasoning and the flavours we put into it, but also to the thoughts that are transferred through the hands that cook it.

Living a life of optimal health requires attention and tender care, and these things require time. That is why ‘fast living’ and ‘fast food’ have an irredeemably damaging effect on our bodies and the quality of our lives. That said, it is never too late to start making wiser choices regarding what we consume.

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