I watched Deepak Chopra on Dr. Oz yesterday afternoon and though I always love watching, listening and learning from him, I found this particular 4 question meditation didn’t, for me personally, compare to some of his others. It was all about highest expectations, and that doesn’t work for me, but it certainly will for some. I still prefer the more simple 4 questions—who am I? –what do I want? —what is my purpose?—what makes me happy? It’s great that Chopra always reminds us, with the very calmest of voices, that thoughts are natural in meditation and that to make yourself NOT think, is actually a thought as well. Meditation is all about focusing on ONE thing at a time and while it may be a candle, a mantra, breathing or our heart, it can just as easily be a question. Or 4 of them. Chopra also reminds us not to LOOK for the answers, but instead to just let answers come in the form of images, feelings, and yes, even thoughts. These meditations are designed to be done for 21 days to evoke change from the inside, out. One of the most beautiful things about meditation is there are NO negative side effects. Meditation definitely trumps medication!
Jumping to a topic from a few weeks ago– TMAO–the compound found in our blood after eating certain foods and linked to heart attacks, was in the news again this week. Scientists are learning more about the connection between egg yolks, liver, beef and pork and why they cause heart attacks in individuals with no cardiac risk factors. It appears that when some of the trillions of bacteria and microbes that live in our gut combine with lecithin– a nutrient found in the above mentioned food products (as well as wheat germ–weird) they form an artery clogging compound called trimenthlamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and that the level of these TMAOs have a direct impact on heart attacks, strokes and death. Of course, these findings make way for the possibility of an antibiotic that can kill the bacteria that are needed for the chemical reaction to occur. I’ll opt for the road less traveled and simply avoid those foods!
Q and A
Yesterday, a reader, N.M., wrote to say she has eliminated dairy and red meat from her diet but is still eating fish and poultry because she just doesn’t know what healthy foods to replace them with. She said that books say what NOT to eat, but she wonders what is left after eliminating all the flesh products, the processed foods, the GMOs, etc. It always comes back to the same thing. Fruits, veggies, grains, (watching those with gluten if that’s an issue) nuts and seeds. While that might sound limiting, there are so many varieties of all of the above, that it really doesn’t get boring. A sample menu for a day might include oatmeal with fruits, peanut butter and flax seed for breakfast. A large garden salad to which I always add some chick peas for lunch and grilled veggies, grilled tofu and even another salad for dinner. Fruit is a part of every day, but for me I generally like to eat my fruits in the first half of the day because of the natural sugars in them. At night I have been having some warmed almond milk (a suggestion from Sanjay Gupta) with a sprinkle of ginger, a sprinkle of turmeric, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a little honey. It is so much better than it sounds–seriously. You have to really mix the spices in and it ends up tasting something like hot cocoa, without the chocolate. I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s exactly what it tastes like to me. Lately, I have been coupling that with a dropper full of valerian root and I find it really helps relax me at the end of the day. If I am craving something, I will have a spoon of peanut butter. Growing up, peanut butter was said to be soooooo fattening, but 2 tablespoons yield 190 calories and 2 tablespoons is a lot. We all need some healthy fats so I think it’s a great food, in moderation. Please, keep the questions coming!
Finally, I would like to share that the family of Bob Levinson (missing since March 9, 2007–the second longest held hostage in American history) has asked us to show our support by wearing PINK on Thursdays. If you are on Facebook and want to learn more about Levinson, you can go to the Help Bob Levinson page and become a friend. Christine Levinson, Bob’s wife and the mother of their 7 children is in New York this week being honored for her courage, strength and resolve. We all look forward to the day they are all reunited. If you aren’t sure what to wear today, think Pink this and every Thursday.
I am considering some sort of extra class at Tamarac Fitness Center for the summer months. This would be an extra class, meaning it would be one you have to pay for, but I would keep the fee as low as I can. I would like to make the class a bit more athletic than the one we do on Tuesday nights at 7. I need some feedback to what works…a Friday evening at 6? Saturday at noon? Sunday morning? Once a month? Any feedback? I think I could probably open it up to non-members as well as members so give me some feedback and we’ll go from there.
Well, if you have read all this, you are sitting at your computer TOO long and it’s time to take a break. Perhaps you can close your eyes and ask yourself the four questions. Meditation provides great balance to this fast paced world of technology. Thanks for stopping in and if anything you read today may help another, please pass it on. Thanks.