Making Conscious Choices
Taking note of what’s going on around us.
Giving Ourselves Over To Something Greater Than Ourselves.
These are the lessons I am learning at the moment, and living in a different environment in a small village in the country, is perhaps heightening even changing my awareness of these things. Mostly, the more I read and learn about what is happening to the food we eat, the more conscious I am becoming of my own shopping behaviour – and thereby, the shopping behaviour of others.
I recently attended a one day event put on by the Mindd Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation set up to help practitioners and patients discover and implement effective treatments for metabolic, immunologic, neurologic, digestive, developmental conditions that often affect the mind. Amongst other activities, Mindd run ongoing seminars which focus on food as medicine. I learnt a lot at the seminar (and will be publishing articles by some of the presenters in future magazines), but particularly the health benefits of probiotics and fermented foods. Coconut kefir was of particular interest, as it detoxes and nourishes the body, enhancing hydration and recolonising beneficial microflora in the digestive system. Regular use of coconut kefir is purported to relieve intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, cleanse the endocrine system, reduce flatulence and create a generally healthier digestive system. So personally, I am certainly always looking to introduce more probiotic and fermented foods into my own diet, rather than [necessarily] propping myself up with supplements. Aside from the coconut kefir, there are biotic drinks and superfood powders such as Acai, Maca, Cacao which are extremely beneficial.
And just to put this ‘food’ thing in perspective, in the US (according to the latest available figures), as many as one in three people, or about 105 million Americans, now actively shun gluten due to diagnosed coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity or intolerance, or personal choice, proving that "gluten-free" has officially gone mainstream.
So I would like to ask you to ask yourself – now – what are you eating? And how conscious are you of what you eat? What about how much you eat every time you do eat – how big are your servings? What about the times of day you eat and how often? Do you eat at regular times? And … where do you shop?
Well I am going to share my answers with you to those questions – firstly, what I eat. I do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables – mostly. But after two years of going strictly gluten-free, I now do include some foods and grains in my diet that include gluten, but I don’t choose to do so. Wherever I can, I still choose gluten-free, because I simply feel better when I do. My stomach doesn’t bloat up and I find I can keep more regular when I make this choice. I also eat fish as much as possible, and chicken that is hormone-free and eggs that are certified organic from birds that roam free. Re the fish, like many of us, I am reading as much as possible about mercury levels and try to find out where the fish comes from and whether it is wild or farmed before I purchase it. I see fish as a bit of ‘work-in-progress’ but at the moment, feel it is very important to include it regularly in my diet.
With regard to how much I eat, I have significantly downsized, and have been feeling sooooo much better for it. I really believe we all eat far too much, and often times, feel much the worse for it.
The times I eat … I’m not so good on that one. Because one of the choices I have made in my life is to start each day when my body and mind feels ready to do so, the first meal in my day is often not until later in the morning – and this does vary according to what is happening in my life at the time. But what is pretty regular I think, is the number of hours between each meal time, which seems to fall pretty naturally into every four hours. But I do find this the hardest area to be consistent in. We are all so busy with our work (mostly with computers!) and I find I just don’t digest so well if I am feeling emotionally challenged by outside influences. The best thing is I am a lot more aware of this now than I used to be … another ‘word-in-progress.’
The last one, where do I shop, is a really big one for me, and one I can easily get on my soapbox about… but that is another article. Suffice to say, I try as hard as I can to not shop in supermarkets, to shop locally, and support small businesses. I really hope you do too.
Article courtesy of Catherine Mercer