Within the Path to Happiness program we have some very popular modules.
Maybe none more so than the ‘Eating for Mental Wealth’ module.
A spelling mistake you might think? Nope.
Let me explain….
Many years ago, a Western man travelled to Nepal to understand the powers of meditation by living in and amongst the Buddhist community.
One thing he noticed was what seemed to be an arrogance about the monks. This was definitely something he had not expected as he expected them to be humble and without an ego.
Yet he found them so sure of themselves that they almost seemed cocky.
Then, one day as he sat down with a local Buddhist after prayer, he found out the reason for their ‘arrogance’.
The problem wasn’t that the Buddhists had an arrogance or an ego at all.
The problem was that the traveller from the West had such a negative view of himself that the Buddhists respect (I will explain how important this is in a moment), understanding and love of themselves came across as rude, arrogant, egotistical and narcissistic.
When he tried to explain to the Buddhist how miserable he felt some days, how everyday felt like an uphill battle and that he just didn’t feel happy most of the time, the cloth wearing local just didn’t understand as there were no words in his language for how the American traveller had been feeling about himself.
It took a long while for the traveller to translate his feelings. Feeling these negative thoughts about yourself is just not know within this society.
Yet, in this society, they knew very little (if anything at all) about stress, depression, anxiety, alzheimer’s and dementia.
And not only did they never suffer with these illnesses of the mind, but they rarely visited a doctor, a dentist of a hospital because Western conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, IBS, acne, fibromyagia, tooth decay, poor eye sight and headaches just did not exist in their world!
There are many reasons why our mental health directly impacts our physical health.
Our environment, our relationships, our physical activity and mental activities such as meditation all help to reduce mental diseases and improve our physical health and well-being but one of the most under rated ways we can improve our mental health (and therefore our physical health) is by the foods we eat.
This is where respect comes into it.
We need to think of our body and our mind as the most important part of our lives. I know we might think we need to put others first such as our children, partners or parents but we cannot serve them in the way we want to without a clear mind and a healthy body.
We MUST put ourselves first or we will make ourselves ill trying to run a marathon on an empty stomach.
Below is a little snippet from the ‘Eating for mental wealth’ module from within the Path to Happiness Program:
When life is frantic, and demands on our time and energy are high, it’s easy to feel that we want the quickest, easiest possible route to fuelling our bodies.
Obviously, the more nutrient-rich, unprocessed and freshly-prepared our food is, the more we benefit and support our body systems.
Realistically though, there are likely to be times that we take the easy road -in this case, learning to make informed choices can reduce the impact of less than ideal food choices.
To achieve optimum energy release and hormone response, try to stick to the following recommendations:
- Avoid white bread and pasta, biscuits, cakes, sweets, breakfast cereals and food containing refined sugar.
- Avoid processed and convenience foods as much as possible, as well as stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
- Avoid chemical additives, preservatives, colourings and flavourings-carry an additive chart for reference as some E numbers are actually natural substances.
- Stick to fruit, wholegrains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, and good quality protein, organic where possible.
- Eat protein with carbohydrates (eg. fruit with a few nuts, brown rice with chicken)
- Steam vegetables where possible, and eat potatoes in their skins as significant nutrients are stored just under the skin.
- Wash fruit and vegetables, and avoid pesticides (see the Pesticides section for more information) If at all possible, eat organically.
- Avoid cooking and storage methods which compromise or contaminate food. Cook with stainless steel or ceramic pans.
- Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers, especially food with any fat content (the fat allows plasticising chemicals to leach into the food).
- Use non-PVC clingfilm only, especially to wrap foods containing fat for the same reasons.
- Pesticides and plasticising chemicals disrupt hormone production and body responses.
These are just a few tips from within the module that you can take away and use straight away.
This module follows on directly from the Mindset & Motivation module for a very good reason. Our mental health is the key to all our success.
We can eat well for 2-3 hours a day and workout for another hour but our mind goes with us everywhere we go and we need to make sure we have the healthiest and happiest mind we can.
If you want to know more about this amazing program, please click the link below.