Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awakened Eating, some tips from the Feldie world, common sense, Michael Pollen, and ....

Was I awake in this pic?
Maybe not, interested in the game of
"getting my picture taken."
And in my hand, not blackberries,
but seaweed right off the beach on Orcas Island.

In the link above for the Tao of Now book, you'll now get 64 segments worth of contents, and a sample of lessons 61 (Moving the Head), 62 Emotional learning: gratitude, 63 Thinking: Write a poem, maybe even two poems with two hands, 64, Soul, an amazing letter in getting free from old junk.

The amazing letter one I actually posted a few back in here, as a Valentine's/ freedom/ happiness/ love treat. But maybe you didn't find it, or try it.


And today, I feel like rambling a little about Feldenkrais and Food. The longer essay could be Feldenkrais and Food and Fighting and, but that's for a day when I feel like essentially starting a new non-fiction book, and once my Tao of Now 108 ways books is finished revision, it's time for a fiction work from me.

Be that as it may, lots of people are obsessed with eating, and there are a fair amount of Feldies who might enjoy thinking about how their eating is using, and is not using the principles of a system, one of whose descriptions is:
The Potent Self, a Study in Spontaneity and Compulsion.

And then the mind says, oh good: we'll just eat spontaneously, a little bagel here, a little candy bar there, non of this rigid stuff.

Well, here's the rigid stuff I suggest avoiding:
calorie counting
food groups
percentage of protein or grams of protein
amounts of carbohydrates

What's left then, if we are to eat more healthy.

One: cut out the addictions in American food, the so called SAD diet, Standard American Diet.
Which are:
bread and pasta breakfast cereal, any grains that aren't whole grains
dairy that's pasteurized
non-food ( it's in a box, jar or package and has a big list of ingredients,
some of which is chemicals,
some of which is almost always sugar
and something from corn fructose, which means genetically modified corn)
all soy products that aren't fermented (everything but miso, tempeh, and nato)

Oh, dear, if that sounds like "everythng"
And it's just everything that we are used to because we
are used to what we are used to
because we are used to what we are
used to

and don't you forget the millions spent
to keep us hamsters running those same wheels 
of cheese, dairy, sugar and flour products, with
soy this and that as the pretend option

but drop the habitual food stuff it inners
and what else is there to do


Two : awareness through movement.

Is eating a movement?
As in the mouth moves, the tongue moves and tastes.
And what would it be like to actually sense our tongue and teeth and mouth moving as we ate.

In a way back and quiet wonderful Gestalt book,
by Fritz Perls, of course, but also the radical educationalist and man of letters,
Paul Goodman,
called, I think Gestalt Therapy,
(yes it's Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality,
and it's now 37 dollars, wow, I had an old copy I carried around for years,
oh well)

They have an exactly experiement: chew each bite until it liquifies and then
swallow that.
Many people find this "disgusting," and isn't that weird,
it's our food, our mouth,
and we're so used to gobbling, that
we create ourselves as food shoveling in robots.

Not eaters.

Not aware and awake.

So anyway: talking uses the teeth and tongue and we usually go to sleep with
and eating uses the teeth and tongue
and we usually go to sleep with that.

And if we want to wake,
waking in our most sleeping movements
seems the most "bang for the buck."

Wake up in eat and/ or talking
and we are well along the way
(wake up in a conversation where we are both eating
and talking,

And what else in awareness as we eat:

What is the shape of our body,
or five lines,
how are we sitting,
what is holding us up in gravity,
or are we slumped back on a couch watching TV,
or snuggled up in an easy chair,
reading a book.

Seen in this way,
little meals throughout the day,
that we actually chew and taste,
of things like carrots,
or buffalo,
or spinach,
or salmon,
or garlic,
or celery,
we can taste in the moment what really tastes good
to us,
and since we aren't shoveling it in,
we can feel what's happening in our stomach and being as we eat.

And interesting prospect, this waking up to our eating.

And another Feldenkrais tip:
You know how important the time after a lesson is,
how to go slow,
not rush off to mechanical habitual stuff,
not talk a lot (not talk any is best)
take time to really settle it in.

Maybe this could be part of awakened eating,
taking some time afterward to lie down for a few minutes,
or take a walk,
a make a drawing,
or even meditate,
though most of the official meditators set up before a meal
as the time.

And we can discover on our own,
how a meditation in the Feldie way, fives lines and now
and breathing
and sensing our stomach and lungs,
how all that could be after eating.

So, that's a good start.
I will at other times say this and that about raw
and more about non-habitual eating,
but for starters,
this little essay has enough to begin a radical shift in many a life.

And will anyone try it?

Who knows.

As Moshe says: people love the idea of changing,
as long as they can stay exactly as they are. 

And here's more,
a review of Michael Pollen's Food Rules

It goes like this:

5.0 out of 5 stars You could buy a #3 at Mickey D's --- or start to save your life, January 7, 2010
By Jesse Kornbluth "Head Butler" (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (Paperback)
If you got in on the ground floor, you chewed every page of The Omnivore's Dilemma, (464 pages, $8.00 at Amazon).

If you were a second responder, the first Michael Pollan book you read was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, (256 pages, $7.50 at Amazon), which boils theory and anecdote down to a tasty, healthy feeding strategy.

If you're new to the topic or haven't paid attention --- or love Pollan's work and want to spread the gospel --- here's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (137 pages, $11 retail, $5.50 at Amazon), a skinny paperback that says pretty much everything you'd find in his longer books.

Or you can consider Pollan's reduction of his message to seven words --- "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" --- and read nothing more because you know how to crack that koan and adopt a way of eating that just might save your life.

Why, you may wonder, does a clearly written 256-page book need to be boiled down to 64 general principles?

Two reasons.

Those of us who read about food have, in the last few years, been swamped by the language of nutrition. Antioxidants. Polyphenols. Probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids. But you can know all about this stuff and still not be able to answer the basic question: Yeah, but what should I eat?

Then there are those who have never heard Pollan's message. They're the folks on the coach, eating pre-packaged snack food, sucking down sodas, serving vegetables as an afterthought. In short, people who are devotees of the Western diet --- which is, says Pollan, "the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!"

Pollan wants to help both groups --- and break the cycle of self-created disease.

And the quickest way to do that is through lessons so simple even the guy chowing down a Hungry Man ("It's good to feel full") meal can understand.

"Food Rules" may be short, but it's elegantly organized. Part I addresses the question: What should I eat? (Answer: food.) Part II asks: What kind of food should I eat? (Answer: mostly plants.) And Part II considers: How should I eat? (Answer: Not too much.)

These are un-American answers. Advertising trains us to shop in the center aisles of supermarkets. We've been brainwashed to believe that fast food is food. Because we're so busy, we're encouraged not to cook for ourselves. And that way of living works for us --- right up to the moment we're overweight and diabetic.

But if we break the cycle?

"People who get off the western diet," says Pollan, "see dramatic improvements in their health."

What does Pollan tell you in these pages? Here's a sample:

--- "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
--- "Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce."
---- "Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot...There are exceptions --- honey --- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food."
--- "Always leave the table a little hungry.'"
--- "Eat meals together, at regular meal times."
--- "Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car."
--- "Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk."

Pollan would have you only eat junk food you cook yourself. He'd like you to buy your snacks at a farmer's market. He'd like you to use meat as a flavor enhancer, a condiment, an afterthought. And he'd like to see you hurt the bottom line of pre-packaged food companies by paying a little more for real food that's worth eating.

I can imagine a great many of of you nodding in agreement. And feeling superior. And still buying several copies --- to send, anonymously, to loved ones who are eating themselves to death. I can think of no better gift.

that's a grand start
isn't it now?

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