Shape Up/Get Smarter

by | May 19, 2003 | Archives

There are few things that most of us can do to improve health. In fact recent studies suggest that overweight people are at higher risk of cancer. Scientific studies have shown that caloric reduction increases longevity and now studies also suggest that reduced calories increase intelligence.

Gosh, if we get some weight off we feel better, live longer and are smarter! What more can we ask for? Yet most of us at the least battle with our weight. So if those pounds keep creeping up, what can we do?

A message earlier this year at at how we can use a three day discipline program to beat the fat. Here is an enhancement to this idea, a simple three-day eating plan (you've heard so many times before) but with a VERY simple twist.

For three days eat only very small amounts of food and I mean small. Day #1 for example have just two boiled eggs and a bit of toast for breakfast. For lunch, just four ounces of protein and a salad with a little dressing (lemon and oil) is enough. Dinner can be a fruit lassi (one half yogurt-one half hot water with a bit of fruit).

This is no big deal. We have all heard of this, but here is a twist to this plan.

The twist is to make your meals into artistic events. (Merri is an expert on serving food that is exquisitely beautiful and well as delicious. She counts this equal to an artist's painting.)

See how small you can make breakfast, lunch and dinner but also see how beautiful you can make it.

Create a new art form and then eat it. This can be fun and makes more sense than it would seem because one reason small meals don't work is because we don't get enough time with our food. Doing the artwork lengthens the meal and helps you relax so you are in a better position to slowly eat the meal.

Here is one more tip taught to me by a shamana in the Andes. One day we were on a picnic with loads of beautiful, healthy foods. She sat next to me and refused all offers of the food and said “I'll just eat this one perfect apple”.

First, she just sat and looked at that apple. “We must use every sense when we eat, so I am enjoying this beautiful red,” she said. Then she smelled the apple's fragrance and ran her hand over its smooth surface gaining a tactile sense of her meal. Yet before taking the first bite, she stopped and sharpened her awareness of the sounds around us, the birds and the fresh wind singing.

Finally, she took a bite and she chewed and she chewed and she chewed. “Our throats are designed to accept only liquid”, she spoke again. “So we must chew our food until it is liquid in our mouth before we swallow.”

This is a memory I try to recall every meal.

Incredibly simple ideas are often hard to remember, but here are three simple steps: make your meal smaller, turn your meal into a work of art and engage all your senses on your food as you slowly and completely chew. This can dramatically improve your health, longevity, well-being and sense of satisfaction!

Until next message may your good health always be sensed.