Try this simple mindfulness exercise and you will be putting a tidbit of timeless wisdom into action and probably having some fun also.
Devote a full ten or fifteen minutes to making your lunch. Take your time. Relax and focus. Make your lunch as beautiful yet simple, as nutritious and yet delicious as you can. Really put some thought and effort into it. If you work outside the home, do this the night before or in the morning before you leave, and take it to work with you.
When it comes time to eat, give your lunch your undivided attention. Do not eat while reading, surfing the web, or anything like that. Just sit and eat the food. Think only about the food — about how pretty it is, how nice it tastes, how good for you it is, how wonderfully it is going to fuel your activities, what a blessing it is, and so forth. Fully chew and taste every bite.
It just may be the best meal you’ve had in six months.
We can imagine Lao Tzu eating this way, or Solomon; we feel instinctively that an exercise of this nature could be found as readily in a Buddhist temple as in a Catholic monastery or New Age retreat. As elegant as a Japanese tea ceremony or Ethiopian coffee-brewing, a meal such as this is as practical and fun today as it might have been in the court of Akhenaten or in a little cabin by Walden Pond.
Can we not say that this is indeed an example of the ageless wisdom?
For those of you doing the low carb thing (or some variant such as the 4HB slow carb diet, the paleo diet, etc.) here are a couple of lunch suggestions:
Try the Wholly Guacamole single serving packs. They’re affordable, delish, and a nice balance of convenience and nutrition. You get 6 for about $4.00. Throw one in your lunch bag with some some snow pea pods and carrots. A great alternative to ranch dressing or some other empty calorie dip.
Here’s another healthy main course you can make with 5 ingredients or less:
Broccoli Bacon Chicken Salad
3 cups diced free range chicken
3 cups thinly sliced broccoli
1/4 cup real bacon bits (not imitation!)
Olive oil mayo to desired consistency
Bake chicken at 375 for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until it reads 190 on your meat thermometer. Allow to cool, skin, and dice. Wash and slice broccoli very thin. Combine with chicken, add olive oil mayo and bacon, and stir.
One day I’m talking about the struggles of buying local and eating healthy, ranting about GMO foods, and posting healthy recipes. The next day I’m posting about my ridiculous junk food fests and posting pictures of potato chip bags.
Allow me to head off any accusations of food hypocrisy and/or schizophrenia. I only eat junk food on Saturday “cheat days.” What’s a cheat day? It comes from Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body. Under his slow-carb plan, you can eat whatever you want one day a week. I like the idea for two primary reasons.
First, cheat day allows me to eat whatever my friends and family are eating one day per week. If the guys are having nachos and beer, or the wife and kids want Chinese, I don’t have to the alien from Planet X.
Second, cheat day encourages me to be much more strict during the week. Before I began allowing one cheat day per week, junky foods started creeping in everywhere. Now, if a food item seems remotely junky, I put off eating it until Saturday. You can only eat so much junk in one day. In short, my net junk food consumption is lower with the addition of one cheat day per week.
In my opinion, cheat days are fun and beneficial to anyone trying to stick to a very rigid diet plan (mine is meat, eggs, veggies, and nuts only.) If you’re having trouble sticking to a diet plan, you might find that giving yourself the safety valve of a weekly cheat day actually increases your overall long term success rate.
Cheat Day Breakfast (technically half of it)
Being on the 4HB diet plan means that I get to eat whatever I want one day per week. Saturday is my cheat day, and here’s what I had on 3/9.
This is a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, baked potato chips, and chocolate milk.
In the interest of full disclosure, this is just the first plate. When it was done I ate another one just like it. So technically this is a photo of 1/2 of my cheat day breakfast.
I wasn’t hungry for lunch.
Dinner was six slices of pizza and a beer. Dessert was two ice cream sandwiches and the rest of the quart of chocolate milk. Snack was a slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
This is the best diet ever.
Saw this in Adbusters magazine and thought, wow, I must be onto something.