Monday, May 10, 2010

Mindfulness and Meditation...And Minus the Salt

I am trying out a very low sodium diet. I had been adding salt to most of my meals to enhance the flavor but I think that could be contributing to some of the problems, so I am backing out on my salt intake as much as I can to see if it helps. I have read that the estimated sodium level that we need per day is about 500mg a day (about 1/4 tsp salt or 1/2 cup soup broth) and the average American consumes on average between 2172-4126mg a day. Sodium is necessary for your body to function but too much of it can cause problems. My plan is to use about 1/4 tsp salt a day and keep it to that if I can (realistically some days might be higher than others.) Sodium can be found in many many processed foods. Fortunately, I don't eat too many of those kinds of foods but I still need to be careful.

I have been increasing the amounts of herbs and spices when I cook. My basil, thai basil, chives, and collard greens are still doing well and all I have to do is pick some leaves off when I am cooking and add them into my meal.

On another note, youtube has become one of my best friends recently. I search for "relaxation music" and I've been loving some of the results. I listen to it at work sometimes to relieve stress and calm myself. There is also a Deepak Chopra Guided Meditation that is very helpful.

"in the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." Deepak Chopra

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting My Hands in the Earth

I try to eat organic food when I can not only for environmental purposes but I also don't like the idea of having pesticides and other chemicals in my stomach. I think that would just contribute to the problems. I live in an apt so I don't have outdoor garden space but I decided to try to grow some potted plants indoors anyway. Right now I am growing basil, thai basil, chives, and collard greens (plus some non edible plants :) ) I am planning on getting some mint and kale. For myself it is a good idea to try to grow herbs and greens because I use them a lot. I hear fennel is good for settling the stomach so I might try that, too.

I've recently found that being around nature and growing my own plants, herbs, and veggies has been very therapeutic for me as well. My allergy doctor, when I first started seeing her, said, "Food is your medicine." I think the whole process of growing, preparing, and eating my food as well as taking care of the environment is my medicine. Making art when I can also helps relieve the stress.

Note: for the chia seeds and sunflower/flax bread. I had been adding chia seeds to my meals and tried to make my own sunflower/pumpkin seed/flax seed "bread" with agave nectar and olive oil. I did experience stomach pain and bloating, so I think the proper procedure is to start out with small amounts of chia seeds or flax seeds and work your way up.

Food: right now I am enjoying leftovers of a meal I made. I made brown rice pasta, and I sauteed sweet potatoes, green peppers, asparagus, and chopped onions (added turmeric, dill, salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic.) It's pretty tasty.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds delight to play with your hair. Kahlil Gibran