Saturday, September 7, 2019

When I Was Twenty-Two

In the yoga and/or kundalini meditation methods you practice, do you include specific diet and/or exercise practices? When I was twenty-two, I know I didn't. Not that I was a steak or ribs eater only; I wasn't. I ate vegetables or salad with lunch and dinner. My diet was well within the guidelines set forth by the Surgeon General at the time, guidelines that are changing all the time — sometimes even reinstating foodstuffs that were previously proscribed.
It's not impossible to reduce meat intake

Had I known then what I now believe to be true, I would have modified my diet. Why? In order to get the most benefit from yoga or meditation, you need a fully functioning body with all systems and subsystems at peak efficiency.

Trouble is, at age twenty-two, you assume that all systems are Go! This may NOT be the case, but telling a twenty or a thirty-something to have a checkup is a futile exercise. In case you didn't know, twenty-two year olds are immortal!

How do you measure your system's efficiency? A bare minimum would entail:
  • Charting your weight and body mass,
  • Having a bi-annual blood test,
  • Monitoring blood pressure.
These actions give you a vital heads-up on the four major deadly diseases: cancer, stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular. Why should you do this?

Not even an active kundalini can overcome the ill effects of clogged arteries. What's more, you may appear to be functioning at a high level, but just below the surface, you have a runaway cholesterol or blood sugar.

The solution? Once you take an interest in the state of your health (especially important for those practicing kundalini meditation), you can start making an effort to optimize your systems.

“Formerly, the medical profession didn’t even think it was possible to reverse heart disease. Drugs were given to try to slow the progression, and surgery was performed to circumvent clogged arteries to try to relieve symptoms, but the disease was expected to get worse and worse until you died. Now, however, we know that as soon as we stop eating an artery-clogging diet, our bodies can start healing themselves, in many cases opening up arteries without drugs or surgery.”

~ Greger, Michael. How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

As you age, it's easy to misinterpret symptoms. For example, shortness of breath could be self-diagnosed as the result of aging when it's really due to the gradual clogging of arteries. The result: you tell yourself "I'm growing older. I don't have as much energy" and you forgo having a medical checkup. I know. It happened to me.

Clogged arteries means high cholesterol, a condition a blood test can easily detect and which, if done regularly, can not only bring your cholesterol levels down, it can, with proper diet and exercise, repair damaged arteries. At least, that's what Dr. Greger, the author of the following book, offers clinical evidence of, starting with this no-holds-barred advisory: "It’s the Cholesterol, Stupid!"

This is the TOC of a book my doctor, a young progressive person, recommended.

After following its guidelines (spoiler: this book is not a sort of trendy diet, it is a set guidelines) for two months, I lost twenty pounds, I was able to do the Heart Stress Test without straining, and my cholesterol dropped from 164 to 47. These guidelines are not just for old fogies like me, they can help anyone (even a twenty-two year old) get the jump on cholesterol and trans fats, the two most dangerous elements that began clogging your arteries at an early age.
Kundalini Books
JJ Semple's Kundalini Books

Now, at age 81, I do a blood test every four months. The changes in my eating habits have jump-started my kundalini, allowing it to continue expanding both body and consciousness.
“Popeye was right when he bragged that he was strong to the finish because he ate his spinach. Dark-green, leafy vegetables are the healthiest foods on the planet. As whole foods go, they offer the most nutrition per calorie. Just to emphasize the point, there was a study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer entitled Antioxidant, Antimutagenic, and Antitumor Effects of Pine Needles. Edible leaves, in all their shapes and sizes, it seems, can be healthy foods. In 1777, General George Washington issued a general order that American troops should forage for wild greens growing around their camps 'as these vegetables are very conducive to health, and tend to prevent all putrid disorders.' Since then, however, Americans have declared their independence from greens. Today, only about one in twenty-five even reach a dozen servings throughout the course of an entire month. I advise getting more than a dozen servings per week.”
~ Greger, Michael. How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease (p. 350). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.
Only a few years ago in 2015, I believed I was in fine shape — no health vulnerabilities, no deficiencies. Was I ever wrong. Since then I've become vigilant. Yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi are excellent early warning mechanisms for conditions like shortness of breath. If you notice a change in performance, don't wait. Get with your doctor. The four deadly diseases are degenerative — the result of deteriorating organs: liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, intestines, stomach. In most cases, they are due to the substances — liquids, solids, and gasses — that you ingest:
"We’ve known for nearly two decades that a single fast-food meal—Sausage and Egg McMuffins were used in the original study—can stiffen your arteries within hours, cutting in half their ability to relax normally. And just as this inflammatory state starts to calm down five or six hours later—lunchtime! You may once again whack your arteries with another load of harmful food, leaving many Americans stuck in a danger zone of chronic, low-grade inflammation. Unhealthy meals don’t just cause internal damage decades down the road but right here and now, within hours of going into your mouth."
~ Greger, Michael. How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease (p. 28). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.
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