Over the course of the year, the most popular Juice Fast is just after Christmas and New Year. Around Christmas we all want to look good. We love being on holiday, love the indulgence of delicious food and drink and the mood of giving and receiving gifts. We don’t give our bodies much consideration in this process, until afterwards, when we feel full and bloated and unfit and all we want to do is reset the balance, repair the damage and get back to normal as quickly as possible. Year after year, we repeat this pattern, we make endless New Year’s resolutions to fix everything and tell ourselves we’ll never do that again.
Does this really work? Is the body happy about this arrangement? Is it on tap, for us to do what we like whenever we want? Or is it quietly rebellious, refusing to play our game, dumping the wastes we’ve thrown into it, in some vulnerable organ to later cause health problems which we wonder what on earth we did to deserve.
Such a lifestyle speeds up the aging process because we are giving the body too much work to do and too many wastes to remove.
What does anti-aging even mean? The word itself is in conflict with the natural cycle of life. Spring follows winter, death follows life. Every day, there are thousands of cellular-deaths occurring within our bodies; new cells replace old, cell death occurs constantly. This is how good immunity is maintained.
So how can we age well?
Flowers die. You don’t have to cut off their heads. One day they just drop their petals. They aren’t bothered; they are not hung-up about it. It’s part of the natural cycle. We humans seem to have forgotten this in the modern world. We are part of that same natural cycle.
Given that aging is a natural process, let’s slow it down as best we can. No need to make a huge creative or scientific effort. We can instead observe nature and intuit her guidance. Other animals take breaks from eating when they are feeling unwell, or they might observe a fellow animal eating a particular leaf only when it is feeling poorly and then next time they’re ill, they try the same and find it to work.
Do you see a gorilla making New Year’s resolutions after a banana indulgence? Can you force your pet dog or cat to eat if they’re full or unwell? No. The secret is for us to respect our bodies, and notice our senses. There is a world of understanding if we just stop and observe what we do. Misusing our senses can be the initial trigger for many of our health problems. This is what you are given to understand on a Juice Fast. The sense organs take a break. We stop multi-tasking. We make new discoveries, like how our sense of taste is enhanced when eating is the sole activity. The same can be applied to hearing and seeing and touching and smelling. You can come to understand the impact of overusing and underusing your sense organs. And it makes your wiser and kinder to yourself all year round so that New Year’s Resolutions become unnecessary.
If you eat simply, quietly, even contemplatively, you notice yourself relax a little, your stomach gets all the attention and your digestion works better.
Food is fuel for your body and it doesn’t function so well if you overfill it. It has set requirements just like a car. When you give your body no more than it needs, it knows what to do. Give it a break. Don’t over use or under use. Step back, keep it simple.
The very simple laws of change are
- You become what you meditate on
- Change occurs when you do something different
So why not plan your New Year’s Resolution before Christmas. Meditate on a happy body that has been given just sufficient for perfect functioning; and do something different when all that food and drink is tempting you. Take less. Push your plate away. Give it sneakily to the dog. Walk away if you have to. Don’t tell anyone. Friends might apply pressure for you to conform to the occasion. It’s nobody else’s business. Make your own deal with your own body.
Factors in common for longevity around the world are as follows:
- A sense of community is vital. You cannot live a long time so easily in isolation
- A reason to wake up in the morning. Ask yourself what you have to be grateful for and remember it when you wake up. The bacon and eggs and coffee and cigarette can wait.
- Systematic under-eating – a key factor in longevity – don’t overeat.
- Choose food as close to nature as possible. Food should be chosen intelligently, be clean, freshly prepared and still resembling its native state.
They say in Ancient Ayurveda, everything in the external universe is reflected and has its counterpart in the internal universe. Our bodies are like an internal solar system, there are laws and checks and balances. Honour this, own this knowledge and take responsibility for what and how you nourish that body. It’s the only one you have and it’s nobody else’s business but your own.
A wise Ayurvedic Teacher once taught me a wonderful way to fast – start with 15 handfuls of food at the full moon reduce down to 1 handful of food at the new moon, then increase up again. Simple and uncomplicated and a happy body will result. Reduce your food intake, sign up to a Juice Fast, slow the anti-aging process and make this your New Year’s resolution.
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