I saw a photograph in a newspaper of men in a demonstration taken in the 1920s. Without exception, they all appeared rather slim. I decided to lose 10% body weight. A small expression of solidarity.
In recent years, I have been taking a much greater interest in food. I even watched some television programmes on cooking. I was not impressed. I looked at the chefs (all men). The question arose: “If I eat regularly the meals they cook, then I will end up looking rather like them.” The chefs I watched on TV did not look fit. They looked rather heavy and sluggish to put it as mildly as possible.
I would strongly recommend that TV chefs change their diet before their arteries cave in.
On the positive side, TV chefs can encourage viewers to try out new types of home cooking. The food issue is much more than that. These cooking programmes seemed to be obsessed with taste, the very short lived pleasurable sensations experienced on the tongue before swallowing.
TV chefs ignore the causes and conditions for food such as:
- farm workers
- GM crops,
- locally grown food
- organic food
- the soil
- treatment of farm animals, birds and fish.
There is the upsurge of local markets where we can buy locally grown produce. Causes and conditions for food counts for nothing in these television programmes. It’s about taste, taste, taste. Taste is the very end result of the food chain. I find food tastes better knowing that it is organic and healthy.
There are the TV food gurus who approve or disapprove of the cooking efforts of apprentice chefs. Once again, there is not a word spoken about the origins of the food or a willingness to offer teachings on a healthy diet for a sustainable world with recipes to match. Furthermore, the meals themselves seem to belong to the 20th or 19th century. We need a revolution in the way we relate to food. TV chefs have let us down.
The pharmaceutical industry continues to spend mega-money on finding a pill to cure obesity. They know if they do find a cure the corporation will make a fortune. I hear that the Viagra pill has made the industry billions. I received this website from a friend in California a few days ago on the pill to cure obesity. The website shows the usual before and after photos. http:/
I see there are programmes on television with people paraded on stage who weigh 150 kilos (330 pounds, 24 stone) or a lot more. There is no challenging the junk food and drink industry, the pernicious advertising campaigns to encourage addiction or the use of addictive substances. There is no sensitive inquiry with largely overweight people about any unresolved emotional needs pf those who feel trapped in the force of their eating habits. These issues contribute to such large weight gain for men and women. There is no addressing on these television programmes what nourishes heart and mind, nor exploration and insight into any unresolved personal issues of those suffering with obesity.
These people are paraded in front of the television cameras in much the same way as Victorians went to the circus to look at deformed people. American television seems to specialise in such crude entertainment where the obese are evicted from the programme if they do not lose enough weight in a week. It is television voyeurism. It is Darwinian thinking-survival of the fittest at the exclusion of the fattest.
Thoughtful Literature on Food
There is a growing body of thoughtful literature available in the early part of the 21st century. Here are three examples.
- The China Study by Colin Campbell. A Comprehensive Study of Nutrition. A friend in Germany strongly recommended this book. Based on extensive research, this remarkable book strongly recommends a plant-based diet to reduce the diseases of affluence, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes.
- Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe (yes, the title carries the usual American hype) but it does detail some of the healthy foods available. A friend in Jerusalem kindly gave me a copy of this book. Along with recipes, David Wolfe recommends nutritious plant products such as berries, hempseed, maca, spirulina and honey. A whole new range of healthy food is becoming available.
- Enlightened Eating: Simple Recipes for the Body, Soul and Planet by Caroline Dupont A friend in Norway gave me a copy of this excellent cookbook which helps us deepen our understanding of our relationship to food and the world we live in. Caroline Dupont uses recipes universally appealing and easy-to-prepare.
Several years ago, a former partner kindly gave me a Samson juicer (the Rolls Royce of juicers) – a machine that quietly and efficiently squeezed out all the juice.
A couple of years ago, I bought a blender for £49.99 – reduced from £199 – to use all the fruit and certain vegetables without waste. I put into the blender fruit and vegetables, soya protein powder, along with soya milk, quinoa ‘milk’ or almond milk to make a smoothie. Healthy and tasty.
I have to say though that our teeth make the best smoothie. If we mindfully chew a bite from fruit or veg several times, it becomes a pure liquid smoothie by the time we swallow it. That’s the primary purpose of our teeth. They serve as an organic smoothie maker, via mindful chewing!
On a personal note,
I decided last July to go on a diet. I decided to lose 10% of my body weight. I have listened to many others who have gone on a diet. I thought I would try it as an experiment. It was the first time in my life I have gone on a diet. I used to fast when I was a Buddhist monk but the motive for that was different – namely to experience altered states of consciousness through the combination of fasting and meditation.
My height is 181 centimetres (just under six feet) and I weighed 73 kilos (11 stone, five pounds, 160 pounds) in July. I cut back on bread, glutton, replaced at home a meal with a fruit and veg smoothie, and continued to enjoy digestive biscuits and black chocolate with a hint of ginger. I am away from home half the time on retreats. I simply ate about 25 percent less on retreats. The weight dropped month by month. I now weigh 66 kilos (10 stone 5 lbs, 145 pounds) – a 10% drop.
I can’t say I feel any different. My belt buckle now goes in two holes further. Nobody has noticed my weight loss. I think I will have a digestive biscuit to celebrate. Just one.