April 6, 2010 at 3:56 am #33871
It’s kind of interesting to me to reflect upon how we gain chi or lose chi from the little things that we do or fail to do during the course of a day. You know, like eating, sleeping, breathing, etc. The things most people take for granted and put on automatic to some degree or another.
Of the little things, my favorite and probably the most complex in many people’s minds is the subject of eating. That is, if people even think about it at all. 🙂
Shouldn’t we gain chi from eating a good meal? After eating a meal, do you feel like you gained chi?
I am no expert, but, over the years I have tried to understand a few schools of thought on the subject of eating. The one that makes the most sense to me is “metabolic typing”, which Dr. William so eloquently explains on the videos (linked hereto), over at the Tao Gathering website.
The key is finding the optimal diet for you as an individual. This could, theoretically, be done by trial and error, in lieu of having access to a professional trained in metabolic typing.
Okay, so let’s assume you are eating your optimal diet or, let’s be more flexible and say a diet that is reasonably close to optimal. Or, actually, let’s take a step back and establish an assumption. Can we assume that the main purpose for eating is to nourish the body?
I found a diet that seemed somewhat optimal for me, in that, a very small amount of food seems to nourish my body very well. I can elaborate more on my process of finding a somewhat optimal diet for me, in a separate post. By the way, I am 6 feet tall and I weigh 166 pounds with a small-boned (for a western male) frame. I’m slim but not bony.
Even though I had switched to a somewhat optimal diet for me, from habit, I had been eating what everyone seemed to think was a normal amount of food for a meal. I just ate until I was full, like everyone does. After lunch, as usual, I would fight unconsciousness for a couple of hours. That’s just normal, right?
Also, although my abdomen would be pretty flat upon arising from sleep, after lunch I would notice a little paunch. That’s normal too, isn’t it?
Then, one day I thought about it. Why am I still going unconscious after lunch if I am on such an optimal diet? And, why do I have this paunch if I am just eating a normal amount of food.
And then it came to me like a bolt from the blue. I was overeating! Even though I am not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, I was overeating.
When you find your optimal diet, the amount of food that you NEED to eat is amazingly small.
Could it be that many obese people are obese because they are on such a bad diet that their bodies are always demanding more food because they are so deficient in vital nutrients?
What does this have to do with chi? Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that fighting unconsciousness in the middle of the day is about as far away from gaining chi or experiencing chi as you can get.
Perhaps overeating is one of the primary chi bandits in our lives. So, I’ve been tuning in more to how much do I need to eat.
Grand Master Chia says that we should stop eating when we are still desirous of food. Grand Master Chia is great, isn’t he? He just drops these little pearls out there for us grasshoppers. haha
When one is on a somewhat optimal diet, one can follow that advice from Grand Master Chia pretty easily, with a little practice. I have been experimenting lately, and now I eat about a third of what I used to consider a normal amount.
Guess what? No unconsciousness after lunch and no paunch. After I eat a meal now, I actually feel like I gained chi.
I have learned that I have to TUNE IN to the body when I am eating. Listen to it. It will tell me when it has had enough. And SLOW DOWN!! Give the body a chance to tell me. SAVOR my food. As Steven likes to say — ENJOY THE PROCESS! Chew my food thoroughly. PAUSE after a few bites. Put my chopsticks down and LISTEN to my body.
After I started getting the hang of this, I could start serving myself smaller and smaller amounts of food. My stomach is shrinking and more and more, I “feel full” on these small amounts.April 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm #33872
>>>Could it be that many obese people are obese
>>>because they are on such a bad diet that their
>>>bodies are always demanding more food because
>>>they are so deficient in vital nutrients?
It’s also in some cases a physiological addiction.
Eating food, and in particular large quantities of it, for
some people triggers a cascade of dopamine release through
the body. This creates a pleasurable, cozy sensation in
the body–a similar effect, albeit maybe less intense, to
that of the rush a drug addict gets.
Ultimately the body’s resources are being used to provide this
rush, so the trade-off for the rush is the depletion of one’s
>>>Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think
>>>that fighting unconsciousness in the middle of the day
>>>is about as far away from gaining chi or experiencing
>>>chi as you can get.
Eating large quantities of food tricks your body into thinking
that you are getting ready to hibernate with a big store of
food. Drowsiness is just your body’s way telling you it wants
to hibernate. It’s no different than a lion that wants to lie
down and take a long nap after killing/eating a gazelle and having
a full belly. Eat a smaller meal, and the body doesn’t think
about hibernating–it wants to stay active.
As a general rule, it’s always best to eat to about 70% capacity,
or in other words, eat enough so that you’ve removed the immediate
feeling of intense hunger, but not enough to feel full.
I think it is smart to try to figure out what foods work best
for you, because it is obvious everyone is different.
In lieu of that, as a general approach, I would say . . .
Best approach in my view for food:
Eat foods that are as natural as possible, with a sensible
mix of cooked and raw foods, and listen to your body
as to what it needs.
It is not natural to eat nothing but McDonald’s and your
body was not designed for that.
It is not natural to eat nothing but “an all raw-food diet”
and your body was not designed for that.
Take an extremist and unbalanced view toward eating, and
you will develop extremely unbalanced health.
Just simply asking the question, “Is what I’m doing right
now in balance and in harmony?” will usually tell you what
the right answer is.
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