Eat good. Feel good. Let me add…Look good. Looking good is a direct function of both what we eat and how we feel. Body and mind at play which reflects on the face. As they say “You are what you eat”. It is a simple, yet profound statement but so very true – our physical growth, mental progress, sleep, health, thoughts, actions, communication, social behaviour and more – a lot depends on what we eat and how it manifests. Therefore, adopt the mantra “I cannot control everything in my life, but I can control what I put in my body.”
As a cancer survivor, I knew I had to make some important changes in my diet and sleep but had kept postponing for years – may be not prioritising well enough, may be not finding the right advice or sheer laziness. A few months back, fortunately I found a good nutritionist who has inculcated the right discipline about food – when to eat, how to eat (true we don’t know the basics of how to eat !), why to eat, how much to eat, what to eat, what not to eat, how to fast, why to fast and more importantly how to balance food along with a good amount of exercise, adequate sunshine (which we urbanites are so deprived of) and sufficient sleep. Strange that we take all this for granted and invite all sorts of illnesses to our body, becoming slaves to medicines. Sadly for many, medicine becomes food, rather than food becoming medicine. As part of Fit India Movement, can we also adopt “Eat right” mantra ? I subscribe to the view that it is not ok to eat junk just because you go and burn it out in a gym or any physical exercise. After my new diet plan, I also subscribe to the view that diet doesn’t mean depriving yourself of good food, tasty cuisines, parties and travel. It means a lot of self-discipline, making the right choices, saying no consciously and becoming self-aware of your body and mind. Needless to say there is a trade off but if it ensures healthy living, why not ?
During Dussehra, there was an interesting message from the Ministry of Health depicting the burning of 3 effigies (high salt, fat & sugar) with a message “Eat Right India – Lets eliminate high salt, fat & sugar from our diet”. While the creative was brilliant, is the Government really serious about helping us eliminate ? Not really says my good friend who is an advisor to the Ministry of Health. Rubbishing it as an expensive PR exercise, she said when she tweeted as to why then do KFCs and McDonalds exist, she got a private reply saying “Madum, if these outlets are shut down, economy will go down” ! Shocking attitude. If Fit India is a call given by none other than the Prime Minister of the country, if Eat Right India is the headline message of the Ministry of Health, it is time Right Food gets the attention it deserves from the Government through its economic policies. Well, till it does, you and I can start controlling what we put into our body – food or medicine !! Make the right choice this festive season. Have sustainable diet plans so that your goals are achieved.
Adequate sleep is so essential for a healthy body and mind apart from right food. How I wish our work patterns permit this ! More on this on some other day since this is a topic that I strongly feel about. I feel guilty of expecting colleagues to stretch themselves at the cost of sleep because certain irresponsible clients do not share documents in time and our MCA portal plays the villain.
Of all the Deepavali messages I liked this one “Most difficult cleaning…..let’s attempt this Diwali”. Very aptly titled on this picture which shows cobwebs being cleared out from the mind as part of festival cleaning. We generally focus on cleaning our surroundings, houses, offices, shops, factories, restaurants and even our bodies, treating ourselves to a good facial or a massage. All to look good and feel good. All an ‘outside-inside’ effort. Why not an inner clean up ? An ‘inside-outside’ attempt to feel good and hence look good ? Whether it is with food and exercise or thoughts and emotions, if you feel good, you are bound to look good and radiate the glow from within. This is what yoga does. Pranayama does. Meditation does. Travel does. Music does. Sports does. Doing whatever you like best does.
Many of you must have been inspired by this widely circulated image (see banner) with the right caption of cleaning the mind. You will agree this is the toughest cleaning because firstly you don’t know what the dirt is, where it lies in the mind, whether it is dirt at all or not and secondly if identified how to clean it, how much to clean, how long to clean and thirdly how to prevent its accumulation in future. Dirt and scum lining our mind could be unwanted thoughts piled over the years, rusted brain with no activity, negative emotions like anger, greed, ego, pride, arrogance, excessive desires, jealousy, frustration, despondency, cynicism etc. collected through adulthood whether by nature or upbringing or experiences. Can we attempt to clear this out ? Can we become like a child with a curious mind which absorbs everything like a sponge ? Can we learn to unlearn ? Can we adopt a ‘thought purging process’ ? Can we learn to forgive and forget ? Can we learn to move forward without looking back ? Can we create room for positivity, hope, happiness, compassion, giving and fresh learning ? If we can do this, then and only then we can invite light into ourselves to remove the darkness. To illuminate our surroundings. It is tough but not impossible. This is not Diwali-specific cleaning but a life-long cleansing and detox process that helps us stay young, fresh, vibrant and alive.