Diet on Solitary Retreat

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
Chi
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Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Chi » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:09 pm

I'm in the imagining/planning phase for a two-month personal retreat. I would like to hear some opinions about the food I will store and eat. Here's the preliminary list:

Steel-Cut Oats
Almond Butter
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Green Vibrance Powder
Water

I will not bring anything sweet, because I want to learn what life is like without any sugar. Almost butter might be the only item I might go overboard with at times but I will take a strong determination to limit my intake to one or two spoonfuls a day. I would like to bring as few items with me as possible while still feeling completely confident in the nutritional value and balance of the foods.

What do you think? Is it balanced enough? Am I missing anything? Would you substitute anything?

Thank you all for your thoughtful advice.

Be Happy!
Chi
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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Weakfocus
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Weakfocus » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:06 pm

Chi wrote:Steel-Cut Oats
Almond Butter
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Green Vibrance Powder
Water

What do you think? Is it balanced enough? Am I missing anything? Would you substitute anything?


Hello Chi

I am no nutrition expert, but at first glance this diet is lacking in fresh vegetables and fruits. Is it healthy to go for two months without them? Constipation and even vitamin deficiency might manifest themselves without green leafy vegetables and some fruit in diet, although you seem to be relying on some type of supplement powder for them. Personally I would plan for some fruit or vegetable daily.

It will require a strong determination to live off such a limited food (taste) diversity. I know I could not do it. Good for you if you already have that inner strength and maturity, else I would suggest diversifying your food sources lest the meditation retreat become a glorified two month dieting program where the lack of food diversity actually hinders you from the primary objective. Best wishes to you for this endeavour.

Chi
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Chi » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:54 pm

Thank you for your advice weakfocus. I am strongly considering adding frozen fruit/veggies to the list since I will want to avoid the supermarket during the retreat.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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Ben
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:58 pm

Chi wrote:
Steel-Cut Oats
Almond Butter
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Green Vibrance Powder
Water


What do you think? Is it balanced enough? Am I missing anything? Would you substitute


To be honest, the above looks like a recipe for failure. If the above is all you intend to eat for sixty days you will either be breaking your retreat or getting sick.

If I we're going to self-cater for sixty days I would be going plant-based whole food diet. That means whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, beans or bean products such as tofu and tempeh. I would also incorporate nuts. The only dietary supplements I use (and recommend is vit B12, vit D (in winter), and a reputable probiotic.

My other recommendation is to find out whether your local supermarkets allow ordering via the internet and provide home delivery. This will ensure access to fresh produce for the entirety of your two month retreat.
All the best,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Goofaholix
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:12 pm

If this retreat is going to be so solitary that you have nobody supporting you to the extent that they will be checking up on you from time to time and delivering groceries etc then it doesn't see like a good idea to me.

Why not an organised teacher led group retreat?
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

Chi
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Chi » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:00 am

Thanks for your suggestions and breaking me out of my limited, idealistic shell.

Regarding the teacher-led retreat: I just did a 3-monther in Myanmar and feel solitude would be better for now.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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James the Giant
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby James the Giant » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 am

Add a packet of psyllium or bran fibre, to avoid constipation.
The food ordering-online thing sounds good as suggested above.
In my area the supermarket chain only charges $10 for delivery, even out on the farm, as they save so much money on shop space, rental, etc.
Solo retreat sounds great, may you delight in solitude!
Best wishes.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Goofaholix
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:35 am

Chi wrote:Thanks for your suggestions and breaking me out of my limited, idealistic shell.

Regarding the teacher-led retreat: I just did a 3-monther in Myanmar and feel solitude would be better for now.


If finances is not too much a constraint IMS have hermitages available for this kind of retreat, one in massechusets one in hawaii, there are probably others. At least then there would be someone to help if you needed it.

It might be worth a look.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

Bakmoon
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Bakmoon » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:19 pm

Protein is a big concern, but that is easy enough to fix. Corn and beans is a classic protein combo that gives you all of your necessary amino acids.

For vitamins I think that the best way to go is with a wide selection of fruits and vegetable products. I think that green peas are good for vitamins but I'm not sure.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Diet on Solitary Retreat

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:52 am

try getting hold of a energy drink like supermalt http://www.supermalt.com/products
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