When I think of spring I think of taking time to reflect on things I could do in my own life to improve my health and environment.
This year my friend Robert and his wife Eleni are my inspiration. A few weeks ago they embarked on a mission to clean up their diet. Robert is Italian and Eleni was born in Greece, so they share a love of strong coffee, cheese, pasta, pizza, and rich European chocolates.
They agreed to support/challenge/dare each other to give up sugar, grains and dairy for three months.
They are both Yoga/Ayurveda practitioners, so they refer to their plan not as a diet, but a tapas. In the Yoga Sutras, a tapas is a new behavior, a contrary action undertaken with the intention of self-improvement. Tapas serves to shake up our mind’s inherent tendency to create and hold onto habits, even when they no longer work for us.
So it’s week three and I just spoke with Robert. Here’s what he had to report:
“It’s really amazing Chris. Like so many of us born in the 50′s I was a formula baby. That stuff is made of corn syrup, cow’s milk and chemicals. So I’ve literally been using dairy and sugar as comfort food since day one. The first few days Eleni and I were incredibly cranky with each other till we realized we were just going through withdrawal and lightened up on each other. Then, something very interesting happened. I was enjoying my fresh fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruit like I never had before. Though I had eaten these things in the past, now I was savoring their flavor and texture in a whole new way.
I started to lose weight, about 10 pounds so far, and the cravings are all but gone. Something else has disappeared: Guilt. Even though I enjoyed sweets they always came with a sense of guilt. My energy is more even and steady than I ever remember it being. Though I’m still taking it one day at a time, I have no doubt that I’ll be able to go the entire three months, maybe more. One additional incentive, Eleni has also been very successful changing her diet. And there’s no way I’m going to let her beat me. No way.”
I hope Robert’s story inspired you like it did me. Maybe there is some tapas in your own life that you have been wanting to do. Now is the time. Go for it!!!!