“So what is a good meditator? The one who meditates.”
My journey with Happy Living began almost two years ago, and it has brought about changes that I could never have imagined. As the content Sherpa here at Happy Living, one of my main missions is to search the expanse of the inter-webs for resources—articles, news, podcasts, you name it—that might help our readers improve their health and wellbeing. Little did I know that on this search my own personal health and wellbeing would be so greatly affected.
Born out of that discovery comes Happy Habits, an article series in which I’m sharing the habits and concepts (or more likely, the foods!) that I have incorporated into my daily life as a result of all my Happy Living Sherpa-ing. In the past, I have shared about everything from my love of bone broth to my discovery that I’d been unintentionally intermittently fasting and the joys of standing at work. To begin the year, I want to share 3 more #HappyHabits with y’all, in case you’re looking for a little more practical inspiration as you charge forward into 2018.
Let me start by saying, I am by no means what you’d call experienced in the art of meditation. I wouldn’t even comfortably call myself a novice! If you’d told me two years ago that I would every be someone who’d sit still and meditate for any period of time, I would have thought you were some sort of witch doctor condemning me to a very mundane future. In other words, wouldn’t have believed you.
I experimented with meditating for the first time while at the World Domination Summit. Meditation seemed to be the conference’s unofficial theme, and indeed, every speaker who captivated my attention mentioned the importance of their meditation practice.
And so, curious, I decided to try it. I have been developing my meditation practice ever since. I still don’t practice perfectly, and yet, I’ve noticed that I feel increasingly less at ease when I fall out of practice. So I keep trying.
Looking to try meditation yourself? I recommend checking out the great resource Mindful.org to learn more or trying out a meditation app like Headspace or 10% Happier.
Real and Whole Food Meals:
What is “real and whole food”? Simply put, it’s things that have an ingredient list of only one ingredient. As in, a potato is a potato or a bag of rice’s only listed ingredient is rice. No added anything.
I try to prepare as many of my meals as possible using real and whole foods. I achieve this goal by doing almost all of my grocery shopping on the periphery of the store, where all the perishable items reside. I typically buy as much food as I can that doesn’t come pre-packaged, like fruits and vegetables. It has taken me some time to adjust to this new style of grocery shopping and of cooking, but in a lot of ways, it has simplified things in my attempt to rid my diet of extraneous nonsense (all the additives, chemicals and whatever else is used to keep “food” from perishing). Now, when I read the ingredients list on a package, if I see more than one or two ingredients (salt in a bag of nuts, for instance), I am often out already moving on to the next thing.
Try cooking a meal with all whole fresh ingredients and let me know how it goes for you.
*Disclaimer* Please don’t enter into a multi-day fast without doing your own research, consulting with a medical professional, and most of all, consulting with yourself to make sure it is truly aligned for you.
I was first intrigued by the concept of a multi-day fast when I read that it has the potential to reset the immune system. That sounds good, right? Our bodies are constantly running, so an immune system reset sounds great to me. I’d never continually run my computer without allowing it to rest and reboot every once in awhile, so why should I treat my body differently?
A lot of the articles indicated that a minimum three-day fast is necessary to start reaping rewards, but that initially seemed like three-too-many days without eating, so I started with just two days. When that went well, I felt convinced I could handle a three day fast.
I followed a protocol by Tim Ferris who lists as benefits: autophagy, immune system regeneration, reduced inflammation and increases neurogenesis.
I believe that undergoing a fast of length is an endurance of the body and mind. The first, let’s say 36 hours or so of the three-day fast went well and without much issue. The first day was easy to get through because I could tell myself not even to entertain the notion of eating that day: “What? Are you kidding? You don’t get to eat for two more days!” Day two was even easier—I barely had any cravings. But boy, day three was a different story! I woke up with a celebratory thought of a feast that night, and just as soon as that thought faded, it was replaced by a headache. My fairly high energy level of the last two days had vanished, and I felt slow. I somehow made it to my goal of a 72-hour fast and re-fed according to the protocol. It was arduous, and yet, I plan to do it again.
I have added doing a multi-day fast to my health regimen, and I will keep y’all posted on my benefits from it.
I would love to hear from you if you practice any of these healthy habits or hear your thoughts after trying them out–particularly about multi-day fasting! Leave a comment below or email me.
I hope you find some happiness in these Happy Habits! Check back in regularly to Happy Living for future Happy Habits.
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