Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

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Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby DonnieRage » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:29 am

I have an issue when it comes to eating. I've been raised strictly on fast food, meat, and soda and I'm paying the price with a very unhealthy body. I sincerely want to like vegetables so much, but almost every one I've tried (I've tried a lot lately and I re-try them often) literally makes me gag to the point of nearly vomiting, and I simply can't seem to like them. I also am having an insanely hard time stopping drinking soda, granted I drink more water now than I ever did in my life, there are still days I go without water and instead it's just Soda and Sweet Tea. What I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any particular meditation techniques to help me get over this. Should I just continue practicing Vipassana, or is there more I could try to help me get control over these cravings?
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:50 am

I'll tell you what is working for me - adopting a sugar-free aspartame-free wholefoods plant-based (vegan) diet.

There is emerging a great deal of scientific evidence of the efficacy of this dietary approach for long-term physical and mental health and happiness.

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooti ... -of-death/
Forks over knives: http://www.forksoverknives.com/

I also suggest limiting your caloric intake. Track the calories and macro-nutrients in your food and engage in regular intense exercise. My Fitness Pal: www.myfitnesspal.com

However, if you have been brought up on a diet of junk food for most of your life it will initially take some commitment. As for gagging on vegetables - it could be in the way they are prepared/cooked. It is also where practicing equanimity and sense restraint will come in handy.
Be careful of attempting to practice repulsiveness of nutriment which can lead, in some people, to develop aversion towards food.

And continue with the vipassana practice.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby chownah » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:32 am

Do you like carrots or cucumbers, or celery? If you do make a point of eating a lot of them. If you don't like them then try them with a dip of some rich concoction like clam dip or sour cream......Start with lots of dip and gradually you might develop a taste for the veggies and you will then enjoy them with less of the dip...........the idea here is disguise them at first to slowly introduce them with the hope that you will acquire a taste for them. Maybe try omelettes with some veggies in them......or what about spanikopita which is a Greek dish with spinach but the overall effect is not at all like eating vegetables. What about soup with veggies in it? Stew with carrots and potatoes.....Just keep adding more carrots and whatever vegetable you want and eventually the veggie flavor will be apparent.....it can sneak up on you.

Also, wait until you are very very hungry before eating and then eat first some of whatever veggie you like or tolerate best. Since most children don't like many veggies it can be seen that veggies are an acquired taste for most people.......seems like maybe you just need to work a bit harder at it than most.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:12 pm

Tricks to get Adults to eat healthier:

"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby reflection » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:35 pm

A 'meditation' you can do is to reflect how bad it is for your body, and how it also influences your state of mind. But apart from that I think meditation will do little to change your taste. Perhaps the best thing is to learn how to cook. Once you get into cooking and making things yourself to your taste you will find healthy dishes more attractive and the unhealthy ones not so much - at least that's my experience.

Because vegetables can be not so nice if not well prepared and super delicious if well prepared. I love my mom, but the way she prepared vegetables I never liked them. Often overcooked, and just plain with some gravy. However, since I've left the house and was introduced to some new ways of preparing vegetables, I really love them and now I cook vegetarian food with lots of vegetables generally.

You have to find out what you like. Some vegetables I find are best raw, others best well cooked and others somewhere in between. Also what you do with the vegetables matters. Some of the world's kitchens you may like more than others. Personally I think the Indian kitchen has some of the best vegetable dishes.

With respect to soda's, chocolate, sweets, chips and all that I have a simple policy: I simply don't buy it or only occasionally. The moment of buying is the best moment to stop yourself. If you already have it in your home you will probably take it anyway, but if you don't, you simply can't. And then you will see the craving is only momentarily and it will fade away again.
Last edited by reflection on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Jhana4 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:45 pm

DonnieRage wrote:I have an issue when it comes to eating. I've been raised strictly on fast food, meat, and soda and I'm paying the price with a very unhealthy body. I sincerely want to like vegetables so much, but almost every one I've tried (I've tried a lot lately and I re-try them often) literally makes me gag to the point of nearly vomiting, and I simply can't seem to like them. I also am having an insanely hard time stopping drinking soda, granted I drink more water now than I ever did in my life, there are still days I go without water and instead it's just Soda and Sweet Tea. What I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any particular meditation techniques to help me get over this. Should I just continue practicing Vipassana, or is there more I could try to help me get control over these cravings?


I was raised in a home that didn't know much about cooking or nutrition. I didn't really start eating vegetables until I developed an interest in nutrition and vegetarianism when I was 14. It helped me to only eat a little portion of one vegetable at a time. I would savor the taste in mouth, being alert to the difference in the taste itself versus my "blech!" reaction to the taste. After doing that I would try to just concentrate on the taste and be calm. After a while that worked, vegetable by vegetable. Cheap Chinese helped once I got to college, as many you used sweet sauces. In my 20s experimenting with recipes helped even further. LOL, this is pretty much how you are supposed to deal with pain in vipassana, so it fits your request for a meditation solution.

I've known a number of people who stepped down off soda and caffiene by progressively replacing the sodas they drank with green tea, then phasing out the green tea or settling down to 1 - 2 cups a day.

When you are ready you can watch the documentary Forks Over Knives on hulu.com for free.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Viscid » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:50 pm

It's actually really interesting how malleable our preferences for particular foods are-- if you just accept the taste as-is and don't reinforce the disgust you hold for it, the next time you encounter the food it'll be a noticeably less unpleasant experience.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby reflection » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:56 pm

It's true, perception is so tricky. If you are about to have some food and think "this will be disgusting", it probably will be.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby JeffR » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:11 am

Ben wrote:I'll tell you what is working for me - adopting a sugar-free aspartame-free wholefoods plant-based (vegan) diet.

There is emerging a great deal of scientific evidence of the efficacy of this dietary approach for long-term physical and mental health and happiness.



Not sure about the sweetners, but President Bill Clinton, former greasy food addict, has done so:

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-fo ... 50111212/1
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:18 am

JeffR wrote:
Ben wrote:I'll tell you what is working for me - adopting a sugar-free aspartame-free wholefoods plant-based (vegan) diet.

There is emerging a great deal of scientific evidence of the efficacy of this dietary approach for long-term physical and mental health and happiness.



Not sure about the sweetners, but President Bill Clinton, former greasy food addict, has done so:

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-fo ... 50111212/1


Thanks for the article on Bill Clinton's dietary change. I also advocate a "cold turkey" approach to switching from standard western diet to a vegan diet.

Sugar, particularly high-fructose corn syrup consumption is linked with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and aspartame use with brain tumor growth. Hence, it is why I have decided to remove it from my diet.
I'm happy to provide more detailed info if you are interested.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Marfa » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:56 am

I'm not an expert on meditation but I have some experience with food cravings - so this is simply what I do and it has worked for me so far.
Whenever food cravings present themselves, I try to treat them like the stuff that comes up when one's sitting: go back to the breath, or tag them "sensation", or - if the day is good - look into them like one would do with pain.
On the subject of taste, I agree with Ben when he mentioned that a lot of your repulsion may come from the way food is cooked and prepared.
A lot of people still seem to think that "healthy" means (or must mean) "yucky", but it's really not true, and there are millions of recipes (online and in books) that prove that equation wrong.
I'm posting here one of them for DonnieRage - and for the skeptics: :smile:

http://www.vegalicious.org/2009/07/20/s ... i-muffins/





*hope I'm not breaking any forum's rules :embarassed:
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ajisai » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:01 pm

How are you cooking your vegetables? Adding some spices and herbs might help :smile:
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby DonnieRage » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:32 am

The night I posted this I actually decided to eat vegetarian. Since I've been studying and practicing buddhism the ethics behind meat eating (particularly involving consumerism) have slowly crept up on me and I actually started bumming myself out a little when eating meat. I'm like the pickiest eater I've ever met, but now I've found tofu to be awesome with szechuan sauce on it, I'm trying to find ways to cook brown rice so I'll like it, and green bell peppers have EASILY been the most accessible vegetable so far (I actually love them raw), and I make my sweet tea with honey instead of sugar now. I appreciate all the advice so far and it's always encouraging to see other people who are and who strive to be healthy.

What kind of stuff could I dip things like carrots and celery in, other than ranch? Anyone think honey would be tasty dipping or would the flavors be to contrasting?
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:43 am

You might find this SHORT post about proper vegan nutrition useful since you seem to be experimenting with that. HTH
http://beforewisdom.com/blog/vegan-diets/
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:45 am

DonnieRage wrote: What kind of stuff could I dip things like carrots and celery in, other than ranch? Anyone think honey would be tasty dipping or would the flavors be to contrasting?


Slice both thin. Chop up an onion, saute it with some olive oil until it light brown. Then mix in the carrots and celery. After the oil is used up ( cook on medium heat to prolong the oil ) , gone away, squirt in some some sauce and stir things up in that for a while. Serve it over brown rice with your tofu.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Marfa » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:51 am

DonnieRage wrote:What kind of stuff could I dip things like carrots and celery in, other than ranch? Anyone think honey would be tasty dipping or would the flavors be to contrasting?

hi DR, you can try to make your own sauce using yogurt (either cow or soy one).Add some olive oil and the spices that go in the ranch sauce,or go your own way and experiment.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:32 am

DonnieRage wrote:What kind of stuff could I dip things like carrots and celery in, other than ranch? Anyone think honey would be tasty dipping or would the flavors be to contrasting?


Here are a few to get you started:

Guacamole: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutritio ... le-recipes
Baba Ganoush: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/25913/baba+ghanoush
Houmous: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/houmous-2

Personally, I would stay away from honey or using other sweeteners. You'll only be exacerbating the problem of finding vegetables unpalatable and only finding super-sweet tastes palatable. You will also be setting up the conditions for future obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Most vegetables have complex and beautiful flavours, some of which are naturally sweet. Just give yourself some time to accustom yourself to the new flavour and texture profiles.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby reflection » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:37 pm

Congratulations on your choice of trying to eat vegetarian. It really changed my eating pattern into a much more healthy one - and believe it or not - also a more enjoyable one.

I often make a simple yogurt dip because it is so easy and fast. You can do it in a million ways so it doesn't have to become boring, but just yoghurt, salt, pepper and mixed spices (like Indian masasa) is enough for me. If I want I add garlic(paste). A famous yogurt sauce is Greek tsatsiki, takes a bit more time but you can make some and put it in the fridge for later.

If you like sweet you could try to make a puree of carrots - just saute some grated carrot in a bit of butter and blend afterward. It'll become very very sweet.

You could make a honey mustard dip as well. Just plain honey I don't think would be that great.
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby JeffR » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:09 am

Ben wrote:
DonnieRage wrote:What kind of stuff could I dip things like carrots and celery in, other than ranch? Anyone think honey would be tasty dipping or would the flavors be to contrasting?


Here are a few to get you started:

Guacamole: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutritio ... le-recipes
Baba Ganoush: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/25913/baba+ghanoush
Houmous: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/houmous-2

Personally, I would stay away from honey or using other sweeteners. You'll only be exacerbating the problem of finding vegetables unpalatable and only finding super-sweet tastes palatable. You will also be setting up the conditions for future obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Most vegetables have complex and beautiful flavours, some of which are naturally sweet. Just give yourself some time to accustom yourself to the new flavour and texture profiles.


Great suggestions for dip by Ben. I avoid salad dressings due to the fats, sugars and additives. Avocados are also a good source of plant protein and healthy fats that someone going vegie must add to their diet. I prefer Houmous and Baba Ganoush to Guacamole, don't know the protein value, although Garbonzo beans are legumes so there should be plant protein value in the Houmous.

I've read that eating beans with rice is better than eating beans plain. Something to do with better absorption in the intestinal tract when rice is present. I experience less gas eating beans in this combination as well :embarassed: .

Ben,
I would like a link to the health effects of corn syrup. Although I avoid sweeteners of all kinds, I do like to be informed.

-Jeff
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Re: Meditation and Diet (controlling poor eating habits)

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:24 am

JeffR wrote:I avoid salad dressings due to the fats, sugars and additives. Avocados are also a good source of plant protein and healthy fats that someone going vegie must add to their diet. I prefer Houmous and Baba Ganoush to Guacamole, don't know the protein value, although Garbonzo beans are legumes so there should be plant protein value in the Houmous.

I have an app on my phone that calculates nutrients of recipes per serving. There will be protein in the houmous. Not so much in the baba ganoush or guacamole. But where they might lack in protein - they have other good phyto nutrients.

JeffR wrote:I've read that eating beans with rice is better than eating beans plain. Something to do with better absorption in the intestinal tract when rice is present. I experience less gas eating beans in this combination as well :embarassed: .

I recently read research which suggests the thinking regarding complementing amino acids from different food sources is no longer considered valid. And again, its important to differentiate what sort of rice one is talking about. White rice is sadly lacking in nutrient value and IMHO avoided. Go for brown rice, black rice or red rice. Another excellent alternative to healthy strains of rice is quinoa, particularly black quinoa.

JeffR wrote:Ben,
I would like a link to the health effects of corn syrup. Although I avoid sweeteners of all kinds, I do like to be informed.


No problem, Jeff. I'll organise that for you tonight.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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