“How do we begin to seek the wisdom of the body? You do it one step at a time – eating experience by eating experience. Every mealtime is another chance to feed yourself in a natural way, to take care of yourself as you have never done before, to love and trust yourself to answer your own call. This way of self-care moves out into all other areas of your life, but it starts with the precious act of feeding yourself meal by meal, day by day.”
-Carol Normandi and Laurelee Roark in Stephen Buhner’s The Transformational Power of Fasting, p. 60.
“We eat the way we live. What we do with food, we do in our lives. Eating is a stage upon which we act out our beliefs about ourselves.”
Our goal this semester is to search for wisdom and direction about your future through exploring the intelligences of the body, mind, and heart. We start then by paying attention to the body, which is mostly ignored by HKIS students in the all-out drive for academic achievement and success. The goal of this project, then, is to focus on an area of physical health – probably food – that you want to strengthen, study about, and mindfully establish a healthier relationship with in your life. At the end of the project, I want you to reflect on not only what you have learned about your body, but whether this focus has in some way helped you in terms of your total body-mind-heart self as well.
What are you likely to get out of this project? This year in my class:
- 68% felt happier and more positive about their life
- 68% were more alert in class
- 63% felt more self-confident
- 32% perceived less stressed
- 32% felt more spiritual
- 32% believed that their sports performance improved
- 21% slept better
Practice: Choose a lifestyle change that involves your (a) diet and a (b) new intention towards eating.
Study: Research one of the topics below and share what you/your group have/has learned through a presentation.
1. DIET CHANGE
Project Choice Suggestions
The choices below are ranked from the broadest and most impactful on your health at the top to the more targeted and least impactful at the bottom. Choose whatever level of challenge fits your needs and capabilities at this time.
Research gut health and change your diet to increase this area (see Waveworks advice below; also WWDTY magazine November 2017 article, “8 Ways to Heal Your Gut” in library).
Basic info on the Anti-Candida Diet (for those with eczema) or adopt elements of your choice from the Bullet-Proof Diet. More info on the Candida diet.
Alkaline-based diet (see these two alkaline food charts here)
Eat a healthy breakfast (e.g., smoothie – see my recipe below)
Shift from a more animal-based diet to a greater vegetable-based diet (or go vegetarian)(See this summary of “The China Study” to learn more.
Increase your intake of superfoods (see this description of 50 superfoods)
Reduce or eliminate processed food or fast food
Limit your processed sugar intake
Reduce or eliminate dairy products
If you feel you can’t be as strict as the project choice might suggest, then set a reasonable goal for yourself. Listen to yourself and your body. (I’ve also read a fascinating book on fasting, a summary of which can be read here, if anyone would like to try this.)
I asked Pelle, the co-founder of Waveworks (which I discuss more below), to summarize his health advice to his clients. Here’s his response: “I recommend to focus on gut health to reduce inflammation in the body, which is the key for the whole immune system. Take good quality probiotics and curcumin supplement, avoid eating pro-inflammatory foods for a while, especially gluten, dairy, red meat, sugar and alcohol. Boost PH levels by drinking good quality still water (at least 2.5-3 liters daily), eat more vegetables and less animal protein, avoid all soft drinks and sparkling water, minimize coffee intake.”
If you already eat in a very healthy way, talk to me and we can consider some other type of physical change or practice that might bring you more into your body (e.g., exercise, yoga, conscious walking).
2. INTENTION CHANGE
Our minds rarely slow down to think of what we are eating. Instead we are preoccupied with our homework, our relationships, our online entertainment or social media connections. Accompanying this physical change in your diet, I also invite you to seek a new more mindful relationship with food.
All of us know that we should be incredibly grateful that we have food (about 21,000 people, mostly children, die of lack of food or nutrition-related disease every day), and that we are free to choose to eat what we want. I want each of you to choose to call to mind gratefulness for the food that we receive on a daily basis. You create whatever kind of brief practice to remember the gift that you are receiving when you eat. I encourage you to be creative and find your own way to do this.
Here are some tips from a website promoting mindful eating that may be useful to you.
Here are some other articles that may help you:
- “6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating“
- “7 Habits of Mind to Bring to Your Next Meal or Snack“
- “Rethink Your Food Cravings with the Art of Savoring”
Traditionally, religions often say “grace” before meals:
- Buddhist statements
- 11 Beautiful Ways to Say Grace
- Christian Grace Before Meals
- A Jewish Prayer After Meals
However, since most of you are not active members of one religious community, creatively think how you might slow down, pay attention to food, foster gratefulness, and appreciate the incredible gift of receiving nourishing and oftentimes comforting food that sustains your life every day.
I give thanks to all the sentient beings,
who gave of themselves,
some with their lives,
so that I may have this food to nourish my body.
- We eat in silence in order to do so mindfully.
- We consider the miracle that sunshine, earth, rain, and seeds have brought together in this piece of food that we are eating.
- We imagine the hands that have labored to tend this food, harvest it, and bring it from the fields to us today.
- We now consider the people in our immediate lives who sustain our lives through the gift of food, shelter, and care.
- We remember our grandparents, our parents, and others who have given of themselves to bring us the gift of health and well-being that we enjoy today.
- We receive these many blessings with a grateful heart, committing ourselves to passing on these gifts to others for their enrichment.
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.
Oh give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Amen
- Did you implement a diet change that was a personal challenge to you?
- Did you record this diet change as the process developed and did you submit the log at the end of the project?
- Did you attempt a shift in intention which accompanied your diet change?
- Did you research the topic in such a way that the study portion illuminated your experience with the diet change?
- Did you reflect on the impact that this diet change and the intention had on your relationship with your body and the body-mind-heart as a whole?
- Did you able to communicate in an articulate and visually inviting manner your study and experience in your presentation?
Be Healthier Today Rubric
|Diet Change||Student clearly chose a challenging area of food health to change, reflected deeply on the process, and combined this effectively with research.||Student clearly chose a challenging area of food health to change, and reflected significantly on the process.||Student chose a topic of value, but the follow through appears lackluster or insufficient to understand whether the food change affected the student or not.|
|Log||Submitted and completed with substantive reflection||Submitted and completed with some reflection||Submitted, but not completed.|
|Intention Shift||An intention shift that seemed personally relevant to the student was implemented and reflected upon deeply.||An intention shift was implemented and reflected upon meaningfully.||Uncertain whether the intention shift was done consistently enough to have an authentic impact on the student.|
|Research||Valuable research ties in directly with the diet change and provides a compelling argument to other students to consider this nutrition intervention.||Valuable research is shared, but it isn’t integrated in the presentation in a compelling manner to the students.||An inadequate amount of research is shared, or is not directly relevant to the actual diet change.|
|Reflection||Students consider not only the implications for the body, but also reflect deeply on the impact upon the mind and heart as they present their personal experience and research.||Students demonstrate significant personal reflection on the diet change and intention change that they implemented.||Students lack significant personal reflection on the diet change and intention change that they implemented.|
|Communication||The visual presentation is inviting to the audience and demonstrates care in effectively sharing their learning with the class.||The visual presentation clearly communicates the information in an orderly and effective style.||The visual presentation is drab, too brief, or reflects some carelessness in its preparation.|
My Experience with Waveworks
As I’ve shared before, about five years ago I was physically very sick, and feared that sometime in the future – possibly sooner rather than later – I would come down with some chronic disease like cancer or heart disease that would end my life. It was in the midst of this crisis that I came across a new clinic in Central called Waveworks that offered an electro-magnetic therapy called bioresonance. Even though restoring my health holistically has taken a lot of time and effort, I could tell from the first week of treatment that my body was responding. Waveworks changed my life, not only physically, but it was also started me on a whole new path of exploring the body-mind-heart totality that is the basis of this course. Sadly, the practitioner that helped me, Pelle, has recently passed away; I’m very thankful for all that I learned from him.
This is a testimonial I wrote for Waveworks about my health journey with them that began in May, 2012.
“I expect that in years to come I will look back and see coming to Waveworks as a turning point in my life. For more than ten years my health had been in serious decline to the point that I had become chronically sick, and feared that I might live a shorter life than I had expected. In the midst of anxiety and near panic, I was given a tip about visiting Waveworks. From the first appointment, I could feel my body responding to something that it was desperately searching for. In time, I came to understand that a combination of nutritional deficiency, allergies and heavy metal poisoning had lowered my immune system to a threadbare point. The Waveworks team gave me just the right combination of bioresonance treatment, nutritional supplements, and health advice to revive my health. Now a little more than a year after my first visit, I eat a very healthy and balanced diet, my allergies have disappeared, and the mercury and lead are completely out of my system. For the first time in many years, I can start my school year as a teacher feeling that my health is an asset rather than a liability as I seek to serve my students. I’m very grateful to Waveworks for not only a return of my health, but also for a much better understanding of what is needed to maintain one’s health under the stresses and strains of modern day life.”
To read more testimonials from Waveworks, hit here:
For much of the last five years I have made myself a smoothie in the morning that includes these ingredients:
- Red or green apple (green has less sugar)
- Frozen organic vegetables and fruits (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, etc)
- Mineral water through a filter that takes the PH up to 9.2
- 1 scoop of Dr. Green’s powder mix: @ 50 micronutrients
- Sprouted flax seeds and chia seeds (24 hours in the fridge)
- Coconut oil
- Hemp milk
- Spirulina (blue green micro algae) and Chlorella (algae from the coral reefs of Japan)
Other possible ingredients:
- Organic nuts (walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews)
If you would like to know more about juicing, I have put Stephen Buhner’s recipes and advice on Schoology. Here is his very insightful advice on fasting, which includes juicing as a strategy.
Additional Health Resources
- Natural Ways to Combat Depression
- Even Short-Term Sugar Intake Diminishes Memory
- Sugar Makes You Less Resilient When Facing Stress
- Antibiotics Raise the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
- Hitting the Sleep Sweet Spot
- Get a Dog for Students with ADHD
- Processed Foods Increase Cancer Risk.
- Seriously, Juice is Not Healthy
- High-fat diet could trigger depression and anxiety
- Aspirin numbs our social pain too
- Getting Sleep to Combat Candida – tips on sleeping.
- Healthy Alternatives to Sugar from the Candida Diet website.
- Gut health can lead to weight loss and other benefits.
- “Inflamation: The Secret Killer“; see this video clip.
- “The Science of Grounding” (15 minute video) on the health benefits of connecting to the earth. “The Healing Benefits of Healing the Human Body.” See this video explanation.
- Flu shots aren’t very effective.
- Drink green tea to support your brain.
- Blueberries and chocolate are anti-aging. Eating blueberries and strawberries boosts memory.
- “A Seismic Shift in how People Eat,” by Hans Taparia and Pamela Koch.
- Nearly half of cancers caused by lifestyle choices.
- Mobile phones triple the risk of miscarriage.
- The power of magnesium as a supplement. More info here.
- Even for adolescents not eating green vegetables begins to change the shape of the heart in a ways that lead to future risks.
- Add olive or soy bean oil to greens to increase micronutrient value.
- Probiotics and whole grains can help cure colon cancer
- 11 Symptoms of Candida
- Youtube video of power foods for your brain
- Youtube video on link between nutrition and mental health: Julia Rucklidge
- Food Rules by Michael Pollan: 64 one-page rules about how to eat healthy
- Anti-inflammatory diet (see Waveworks’ Patient Education Sheet)
- Dealing with candida overgrowth (see Waveworks’ Patient Education Sheet)
- Avoid dairy products (milk, cheese, cream cheese, butter)
- Limit sugar: articles on the sugar industry and a professor on a crusade to equate sugar with cigarettes or alcohol.
- Go gluten-free
- See books and videos on The Wheat Belly
- Critiques of the Wheat Belly:
- Role of wheat in obesity from the China Study
- Questions about wheat belly theory: http://www.cbc.ca/news/wheat-belly-arguments-are-based-on-shaky-science-critics-say-1.2974214
- Saturated fats are not the problem; rather, flour, sugar and processed foods cause heart disease.Other interesting health related information that may be relevant to your project16. Get better sleepShawn Stephenson on
- Surviving cancer: Book Radical Remission; Baking soda as a cancer cure (higher pH values decreases chance of cancer):
- Organic Garlic Juice
- Proper Breathing (American Veda, p. 145, Andrew Weil)
- Benefits of breathing proper breathing
- Also check out this book The Art of Breathing by Dan Penman from our library, which is a very short summary (you can read it in 15-20 minutes) of what he has learned through years of study with experts in the field.
- 10 nutrients scientifically proven to make you feel awesome
- Stretching to help with your back, neck, and shoulder problems.
- The danger of antibiotics
- Link between glyphosate and autism. One researcher claims that by 2025, half of all children will have autism!
- Dental amalgam and mercury poisoning and watch this video of a 50-year old amalgam-filled tooth still defuming.
- Air pollution and air purifiers in Hong Kong
- See this brilliant piece of writing on the neuroses people have today around dieting
- Avoid tofu and 8 other foods
- “The Men Who Made Us Fat“
- “Fed Up” (full film online)
- “Food Matters“
- “The Truth About Sugar” (BBC)
- “The Living Matrix“
- “The Secrets about Sugar“
- Lectures by (or “60 Minutes” episode of) Dr. Robert Lustig on sugar as an addiction like drugs or alcohol
- “The Dark Side of Fast Food: Why Does it Make You Sick, Fat, and Tired“
- “The War on Wheat“
- “Living for Longevity – the Nutrition Connection – Research on Aging:” presentation by professors at University of California – San Diego.
“If body and soul are not separate, then to heal the body at the deepest level is a work of the soul, and to listen to and learn from the body is to become closer to one’s Self.”
–Charles Eisenstein, The Yoga of Eating, 10