A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was starting an elimination diet to help me get some clarity about how my body reacts to certain foods—and to give myself the opportunity to be more mindful about eating, in general.
The elimination diet has proven elucidating. I still have a few foods left on the list to test. But here’s where I’ve landed thus far:
White rice causes body anxiety almost immediately after eating it. I even tested this on two separate occasions to be sure. And, Yup. Me and white rice don’t seem to be compatible. (MERP)
Brown rice seems ok, though… (YAY)
And, although dairy doesn’t cause stomach pain or anxiety, it definitely seems to effect my sinuses. Within hours of re-introducing it into my diet, I started experiencing minor post nasal drip and sinus cavity pressure/headaches. During my fast/juice cleanse, I experienced zero sinus issues—which was unusual for me (I’ve always had chronic sinus inflammation that neither I nor any doctor was ever able to diagnose). I’m not sure if I’m willing to give up dairy completely….But now that I’m clear that it’s the cause of my sinus symptoms, I’m definitely going to start cutting significantly back.
I also discovered corn doesn’t seem to be one of my best friends, either. While I can’t say I had pain when I ate it—my stomach didn’t quite feel “right” afterward (lasting for two days)…
As for meat, I’ve never been much of a red meat eater (I’ve always noticed stomach pain after eating it in the past). But I do love fish. And chicken and pork are also foods that I typically eat once and a while. Since fish and chicken have both been tested and seem to be in the “OK” column, I’m going to continue eating them for now (pork has yet to be tested). It’s possible that I might end up eliminating meat from my diet altogether at some point—but I’m still contemplating this.
Another thing I noted during this whole mindful eating experiment is how, prior to taking an intentional look at the food I’ve been eating, I spent zero time thinking about where the food came from—and if it came from an animal, if that animal had been ethically raised (including whether or not it was “humanely” slaughtered). I just ate what was available and wasn’t mindful about anything except the price.
Chatting with one of my mindfulness mentors about all this, she suggested I consider investigating sustainably farmed food. I didn’t even know what this term meant before this whole experience (sure, I’d heard of it—but I never bothered to actually look into what it entailed).
So, I made some time to sit down and do some research. I’m still going through all this info and am doing my best to educate myself (there’s a lot of info out there—and it’s not as black and white as one would hope). But, from what I can currently assess, eating organic, sustainably farmed food whenever possible seems to align with who I know myself to be—and how I want to show up in the world.
Maybe it appeals to you, too?….
Here are some resources to help you decide for yourself:
Sustainable Food Resources:
Farmer’s Markets Locator:
CSA Locator (Community Supported Agriculture):
Mindfulness isn’t just about sitting down to meditate every day—it’s about bringing the practice into our daily lives… And, if you’re looking for some fun ways to do this, I highly recommend checking out, How to Train a Wild Elephant by Jan Chozen Bays, MD.
Bays presents 52 practical mindfulness exercises (one for each week). And each exercise includes tips on how to remind yourself to do it, as well as deeper life lessons connected to it. Regardless of how long you’ve been practicing, it’s a great book for any mindfulness enthusiast to have handy.
Over the past month or so, I’ve been posting “Mindful Living Challenges” based on Bays’ exercises over on The Mindfulness Diaries Facebook page as well as in our Google+ Community. And this week, I’m posting “Leave No Trace.”
If you feel positively moved to do so, give the exercise a try and see what comes up for you—and maybe even share your experiences/observations with “The Mindfulness Diaries” social media communities…We’d love to hear from you!