“As William James observed, we must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”
― Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
Though the practice centered on Gratitude last week, personally I skipped the Thanksgiving and went straight to detox. Grain-free eating however isn't synonymous with deprivation. I eat plentiful whole food (as opposed to processed food) of vegetables, meats, fishes, eggs, nuts, butter, nut oils, and fruits that my body is satiated and craving-free. When I talk to people about dropping grains from my diet most of them are confused which foods are grains. It's a long list of grass seeds that are mostly genetically engineered and or processed, according to William Davis, MD. Rices, wheats, oats, barleys, farros, breads (including the organic heart-healthy whole grain ones), pastas, noodles, baking flours and so on no longer captivate my attention. I'm beginning to regard them as non-food stuff. The other day at a Trader Joe's the checkout guy was so impressed with my grocery selections he quoted Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". I however do not persuade others to be grain-free, though I love sharing what it has done for me. And I gladly take a bite full of an excellent homemade cake from a friend fully appreciating its moist buttery sweetness with no regret.
When it comes to health, the journey begins with deliberate elimination of what we don't need. We've been trained to approach well-being from a perspective of lacking. The health and food industries are machined by professional marketers trained to grab consumer attention and take whatever means necessary to make us dependent on their products. They know that when the human brain is told it lacks something the mind is going to think of what to get in order to gain whatever it believes it doesn't possess. Instead of eliminating the things that keep us sick we take drugs, do more exercises, eat more "healthy" foods the government and its lobbyists in the food and drug industry advise, drink more green juices, etc. In the community I live and work nobody is sick of starvation yet most are starving for energy and nutrients because we eat the wrong thing in the wrong amount with the wrong attitude. I can't say for a fact that everybody's poison is grain food. Feeling less than well and vital points to the fact that there is a culprit which has been sabotaging our health. But if you were like me you wouldn't even know what vitality feels like, having felt not so vital for so long. The saving grace is curiosity and open-mindedness. Last week I listed the conditions I no longer experience in my personal journal. But I want to share with you instead what I'm experiencing after eliminating all grains from my daily intake.
Below are the list of benefits of grain-free diet found on EcoWatch. You can check out the website for details.
- Improved Mood
- Reduced Anxiety
- Lifted Mind Fog
- Enhanced Learning
- Reversal of Seizures
- Reversal of Neurological Impairment
- Prevention of Dementia
I'm experiencing the first four benefits as well as the absence of sciatic pain and joint aches which could be related to the benefit #6. Beyond these I also see my skin clears up and the complexion improved, my hair stops falling, my belly is flat and felt relaxed -- no lumpy belly and love handles, improved eyesight, increased energy and vitality, excellent bowel movement, healthy menstruation, no allergy, and no food craving -- and all for less than two months of grain-free consumption. This Saturday, I am offering a Yin Detox workshop. I'll not be talking about eliminating grains or any specific food. But I'll be sharing the wisdom of the body within the digestive and energetic systems. Yin and meditation in particular have reshaped my nervous response to this point where I can let go of the long held Samskara or conditioning. Without the practices it would likely be impossible to drop generations of misperception that caused mental illness, diabetes, dementia, and cancer in my family lineage. To return to vitality, it takes a deep cleansing in the psyche that is the somatic memory in every tissue of the body and brain. Letting go of a deep conditioning requires a certain amount of neurological clarity that is the capacity to mindfully reflect within and with others. There is more for me to explore and experiment as life continues. Last Sunday, a regular attendee in my Restorative class complimented how good I looked. She quoted (from a cosmetic bag), "Inner beauty is for amateurs". We laughed heartily. The beauty industry sure knows how to sell. Do we know not to buy into their propaganda? To radiate the vibrant self is to continually drop away what the body can't digest, what the heart can't embrace, and what the wisdom knows to be untrue.