As I stepped up on the scale, and read the display, I realized that I was now 188 lbs. About 25 lbs overweight. This is how I gained, lost, and kept off, that extra weight.
As I progressed spiritually, and aged, I needed less food, and this became particularly apparent, when I traveled on a project with a generous expense account.
I stayed at a hotel with a breakfast buffet. I realize now that I only need a cup of oatmeal, and some fruit, in the morning, but then, in addition, ate a one egg omelet with vegetables, fried potatoes, and a large portion from the excellent selection of fruits available. I ate a restaurant portion of rice, and vegetables, for lunch. A restaurant portion of salad, fish, rice, or potatoes, and vegetables for dinner. Then, with the money left over, I bought a pint of an organic, frozen coconut dessert, and a fresh squeezed juice for the morning.
All reasonably healthy. In moderation.
This was more food than I needed, though, and the sugars contained in the dessert made me want to eat the entire portion, and so I did. After a month of this behavior, and reduced exercise due to the schedule of the project, I was having difficulty fitting into my clothes.
The American Diet and Lifestyle
Many Americans skip, or eat a light, high stimulation, low nutritional value, like coffee, and a pastry, (caffeine, sugar, refined (partial grain) flour, dairy) hurried breakfast, as late as mid morning, a light lunch as late as mid afternoon, and a large dinner mid evening. All of which is outside optimal digestion, and, absorption cycles. Many, too, eat unhealthy amounts of saturated fats, sugars, and refined flours. And drink excessive amounts of caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages, often highly sweetened, which add unnecessary calories, and cravings for more. Many Americans, too, eat beyond what they need for comfort, and recreation.
Much can be found on the Internet now about healthy eating, and healing foods, and, from the medical community, on the perils of not doing so. For example, an article published in Reuters Health News, April 4, 2019, linked one in five deaths worldwide to people eating poor diets high in sugar, salt, and processed meat that contributed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, a global study found.
Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in a general population of middle-aged adults, Journal of the American Heart Association, August 09, 2019
The Transformation of the Medical System
It is especially important, now, to develop healthy eating habits during this time of medical system transformation. Medical professionals, for the most part, mean well, however, the current system has become so complex, and focused on treatment with surgeries, and drugs, that, “Medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S.”
Fortunately – based on the awakening of consumer interest, and demand – the medical system is beginning to respond. At one time doctor meant teacher and an Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health formed to “advance integrative medicine and health through academic institutions and health systems.”
Integrative Medical Centers have opened in many hospitals, clinics, and wellness centers, bringing together the best of the world’s medicines, including education on healthy eating, and disease prevention.
I’ve been eating a healthy diet since the mid-1990s, which was essential to overcoming my health challenges at that time (see Interview.) I’ve progressed beyond alcoholic, high sugar, and most caffeinated beverages (green tea occasionally), pharmaceuticals, and most meat, as well. I feel fantastic on this diet and, even though almost all organic, only costs about $10 per day.
- Vegan/mostly vegetarian
- Whole grains
- Fruits, and vegetables
- Lentils, beans and tofu
- Nuts, and, seeds
- Fish, and eggs, occasionally
- Gluten, and dairy, free
- Reduced nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables, some of the most popular, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc, contain belladonna, are very toxic for some people, and so I eat these sparingly. One small portion/day usually.
- Very small amounts of salt, and sugar.
- I wake up 5 – 6 am without an alarm.
- Breakfast should be the second heaviest meal, before eight am.
- Lunch should be the heaviest, noon to one.
- Dinner, the lightest meal, before seven pm.
- Moderate portions.
- In bed 9 – 10 pm.
- Drink liquids, ideally water, 20 minutes before, or 20 minutes after meals, not during, so as to not dilute digestive fluids. Half of my body weight, in ounces, per day. This is about the right amount of liquid for me during the summer; less during the winter.
- Daily exercise and relaxation/meditation.
Adhering to this regimen I lost between a quarter, and a half pound per day, depending on how much walking, and bicycling I did.
When I reached 162 lbs again, a much flatter stomach, and able to get back into some favorite clothes, I discovered that I didn’t want, or need, to return to the sluggishness of eating until “full and stuffed.” I was easily able to keep that extra weight off as “intentional eating” is actually in alignment with optimal body functionality.
After a light dinner I still felt hungry initially, and then began to choose to enjoy the feeling of clarity, and well being, like that experienced during fasting, which then passed within an hour. After digesting for 30 minutes I sometimes sipped 6 – 12 ounces of Reed’s Extra (non-alcoholic) Ginger Beer which assisted me through the adjustment. Ginger also provides a wide range of health benefits. Walking, too, after dinner can be helpful in shifting focus off the initial feeling of not eating enough.
Because early evening is the optimal time to eat lightly this might call for a lifestyle adjustment, and may require the cooperation, and understanding, of friends, and family. An added benefit would be sitting at the dinner table sipping a Ginger Beer, while family eats, and doing all the talking without interruption. After a while of this, they might join you in healthy eating!
Fortunately, there are many vegetarian “look alike” choices now that taste great, and are hard to distinguish from what they are imitating, to begin transitioning with. I’ve tried, and like, Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers and Beyond Sausages, Smart Dogs, and Udi’s whole grain, gluten free, hamburger, and hot dog buns (contain egg and potato.)
I also tried, and like, Tofurky products, although contain wheat, and therefore not gluten free. I’ve also made a good tasting baked bean burger/open faced sandwich/(un) Sloppy Joe with a can of organic Walnut Acres maple, and onion, baked beans thickened with buckwheat, a gluten free, flour. Buckwheat flour is also great for thickening vegetable stews.
It’s not hard to cook simple, healthy food, and so I’ve included some suggestions, and preparation instructions. It can take several weeks to adjust to new flavors and so patience is required.
Whole Foods organic bulk rolled oats, with organic flax seeds, and an organic fruit. Oatmeal (and whole grains, and vegetables, contain more protein than most people realize, as does combining rice, and beans.)
I reuse the 32 oz plastic bulk containers when I want to take a meal along with me. Boil three quarters of a cup of water. Spoon two heaping teaspoons of organic flax seeds into a one pint corning ware bowl. Pour the boiling water over the flax seeds, stir for ten seconds to soften, add two thirds of a cup of oatmeal, and stir. Cover. Ready in five minutes, a thick, chewy, consistency that I like, and one bowl to wash. Quick oats, prepared in the same way, are softer, if that is your preference (requires 7/8 of a cup of water.) One adult multi-vitamin.
Flax seeds provide omega 3 essential fatty acid. Flax seed oil is a versatile, yellow, liquid, an excellent replacement for butter, and actually easier to work with, pouring onto popcorn for example. Use sparingly as this is also a high calorie, low bulk food, 120 calories per tablespoon.
Rice, vegetables, and beans for lunch.
Fill a five quart pot with four quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add one 8.8 oz, Thai Kitchen thin (white) rice noodles and boil 2 – 3 minutes. Drain, and put back in the pot. White rice is an excellent “baseline,” and causes very few allergic symptoms, but can be varied with other more nutritious forms of brown rice like Pad Thai noodles, fusilli spirals and penne pastas.
At the same time boil two 16 oz bags of frozen vegetables. I like Whole Foods Stir Fry Asian Vegetables, and organic Blue Curled Kale, but any vegetables will do (with the exception, of course, of those causing allergic reactions.)
I mix in an eight ounce Trader Joe’s organic red wine, and olive oil, vinaigrette salad dressing for flavor, and chop the noodles. I then open, drain, rinse, and add a 15 oz can of red kidney beans. Beans, along with vegetables, and dressings, can also be varied.
Olive oil provides omega 6 essential fatty acid, and is also a high calorie, low bulk food, 120 calories per tablespoon.
Add the cooked vegetables and mix thoroughly. Enough, for me, for four lunches.
I’ve also used two, 25 oz jars of Organic Tomato Basil Marinara with a 16 oz package of organic brown rice pasta, two, 16 oz cans of organic kidney beans, and two, 16 oz organic frozen vegetables, which makes five portions.
One teaspoon of organic nut butter; almond, cashew, sunflower seed etc, and a small portion, three, or four, squares, of an organic, 85% cacao chocolate bar, for fun. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring and the low sugar content of a high percentage cacao bar doesn’t make me crave more.
Nut butters are also a high calorie, low bulk food, 95 calories per tablespoon, and additional servings can therefore, along with flax seed, and olive, oil, be used to maintain weight.
Once I returned to my desired weight I began to add additional calories in the form of “good fats” back in.
“Easy to make” vegetable stews for dinner. Add a cup of cooked rice, rice noodles, or quinoa, and a half pint of cooked vegetables, to a 20 oz Trader Joes Lentil With Ancient Grains (contains millet, quinoa, and amaranth), or Organic Split Pea, soup. Heat and serve.
Or “fun foods.” I make one Beyond Burger with mustard, a slice of tomato, and onion, on a toasted gluten free bun, or a Smart Dog, or Beyond Sausage, with mustard and ketchup, and one pint of boiled, mixed vegetables flavored with a table spoon, or two, of organic olive oil. Or, for the more adventurous, a table spoon, or two, of Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce. Another teaspoon of nut butter, and a fruit for dessert.
It isn’t all cook at home either. I am able to find excellent, reasonable cost, vegetarian meals now at most restaurants. Mediterranean, Asian, and Indian continue to be among my favorites.
In April, 2019, I was able to dine with friends at Harry Carey’s, on Navy Pier, on a Beyond Burger, without the bun, or cheese, vegetables, and french fries.
Step By Step
This article, therefore, is an example of what is possible, and the further suggestion to embark slowly, completing each necessary step with patience, and reasonable expectations, and an eye towards the eventual rewards of significantly improved health, physical appearance, quality of life, well being, and spiritual progress.
I didn’t arrive at the ability to eat, and enjoy, vegan\mostly vegetarian, and organic, gluten and dairy free, reduced nightshade vegetables, and low salt, and sugar, overnight. What may be required also then, for some, would be the transformational work of discovering, understanding, and correcting, the root causes of their excessive eating, and drinking.
Eventually, the lower vibration satisfactions of excess, indulgence, and artificially enhanced flavors becomes replaced by much more satisfying food experiences on many additional levels. Among them, the ability to savor, and enjoy, natural flavors, and experience the warm glow of energetic balance. Like finally finding the right fuel for an automobile capable of high performance.
I am eating about 75% warm, soft, cooked foods at this time, and about 25% raw. I have a rather spiritually evolved friend, however, who grows her own food. All she needs for a meal is a pint container of her raw vegetables. She, in turn, has met, and is acquainted with, some Breatharians who can exist by ingesting the energy around them, and a small amount of liquid.
Consult with your physician and nutritionist for additional dietary advice.
© 2019 Robert Taub all rights reserved