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kotmj

kotmj's shift towards a meat-reduced diet: Sort of like a diary.

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If he was wearing a cheap 20 bucks wrist watch, this man knows how to practise restraint even in his diet. You dont have to be vegan to be trim n healthy.

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There has been a few life-changing moments in my life. I don't recall them all, but dropping meat from my diet is a very big one. It changed everything.

 

On Saturday night, a thought popped into my mind -- I want to be a Taoist. However, I know nothing about Taoism, and have no idea how one becomes one.

 

The thought was probably precipitated by an encounter I had last week with a nearly 60-year old man who, during conversation, said he was a Taoist, but now a Christian. And I thought to myself what a sad creature he must be to drop something like Taoism for the ridiculousness of Christianity. That moment made me realise I found Christianity a most deficient faith, and that anything else must be better. I am, alas, too familiar with the Bible. What rubbish.

 

On Sunday, I browsed a bookshop and bought a book by Osho, an Indian "mystic". Everything he wrote resonated with me. I got immediate results. Another life changing moment.

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The clothes are a gift to the customer from those who participated in their making, the cash is merely for tax purposes.

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Let me sum up the whole Oriental mysticism thing. I wish someone would have done it earlier.

 

The "human condition" is characterized by unhappiness, unlike with animals who appear to have none of our guilt, shame, anxieties and fear, because humans have a conscious mind, probably situated in the pre-frontal cortex, and is what makes us so unique in the animal kingdom.

 

Oriental teachings are techniques to allow humans to remove themselves from their ceaselessly chattering minds at will. To have a state of serenity like the cat on the rug. To switch off the mind, on demand. To just be conscious of the present, with no past and no future. A piercing clarity of yourself and your environment, and nothing else.

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Steve Shaw, co-founder of eGullet, died of a heart attack at 44. His internet handle? "Fat Guy".

 

eGullet was great. All about food and cooking.

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Not sure if I've mentioned it, but I have been taking a sort of spicy Indian jam made from a recipe said to be 10,000 years old, according to ancient Indian scrips (themselves from 400-500 BCE).

 

It's a jam made from the Indian gooseberry, aka Amla. Plus some 47 other herbs and spices. It tastes like prune with pepper. It's called chyawanprash.

 

Been taking it maybe 5 months or so. It is amazing. Never want to be without it. I have recently found it best to take it twice a day: in the morning and right before sleep. I dissolve it in warm water.

 

I would like to describe its effects, but they are complex and far-reaching, so just try it for yourself.

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I would like to describe its effects, but they are complex and far-reaching, so just try it for yourself.

 

When the effect of a particular food is described as far-reaching, I can only imagine where it all ends.

Pray tell.

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It may not end where you hope it does. It's difficult for me to describe how it makes me feel without using strange language. It's the opposite of a stimulant like coffee or ginseng -- it seems to smooth over any little discomforts in the digestive tract. Makes me feel light and cool. Like everything is well sorted.

 

It's supposed to contain a ton of antioxidants.

 

I've eaten raw Amla -- it's one hell of a berry.

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It also gives me a deeper sleep -- I enter into REM sleep more often when I drink chyawanprash before bed.

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Most people, when they do things for their health, do it expecting to boost their health.

 

You can't boost your health. You can't "be healthy". You will grow old, get sick, and die. We are all queued up in front of the slaughterhouse.

 

About the best health possible is when you do not burden your body any further. Even in your best health, you are growing old, will get sick, and die.

 

Good health simply means you are normal, normal as in aging. There is no "boost" or "uplift". You can dampen health, but you can't enhance it.

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It can be as simple as rice with vegetable curry. It's a great meal, really.

IMG_1670_zpsd14b7d04.jpg

 

You'll definitely live longer on this than on Mdm Kwan's nasi bojari.

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There are only two places where watercress is grown in Malaysia. Cameron Highlands, and where I live. I've always been curious how they are grown. While out hiking with my dog some time ago, I snapped this pic of watercress terraces. (Click to enlarge.)

IMG_4810_zps6cadc756.jpg

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Very few youtube cooking vids are funny. I found myself in stitches watching the Food Wishes channel on youtube -- the guy is hilarious. I tried his recipe for slow cooked green beans today -- being mostly vegan, I omitted the bacon.

 

Here's how it turned out:

IMG_2518_zpsfaa87ed5.jpg

 

Clockwise from top left: Miso soup with tofu and seaweed, stir fried miniature Bok Choy, slow cooked green beans, brown rice.

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It's been a year since I have been eating mostly vegan. I can just barely remember the difference in how I felt (better, without exception) a year ago as I transitioned to this diet; it's become the new normal for me. Since then, there has been no change for the worse.

 

I do get an inkling of how I used to feel before this diet whenever I eat meat. There are these low-level discomforts in the digestive tract. It sometimes happens even with vegan meals, but not often. It happens almost every time with a meat meal.

 

Occasionally, I do have the desire for meat. Mostly for shellfish. It's fairly infrequent, maybe once in two weeks, if I have been going on a purely vegan stretch. Mostly, I do not get the opportunity to get any meat cravings because situations come up where I have to break a vegan stretch anyway, for instance when I eat with others.

 

In practice it works out to about two meals a week with meat in it. So about 10% of the meals I eat would contain meat. It's different though from the meat meals most people eat. Most people eat meat -- the number one source of meat in this country is industrially-farmed chicken -- as though the meat is the highlight. Because I've been sensitized to the whole meat issue, when I do eat meat I do so quite conscious of the fact. I end up consuming a lot less of it when I do have it. I think I eat in total about 5% the meat consumption of the average Malaysian, and maybe 3% that of a West European.

 

I can go on indefinitely on such a diet. I do not see any reason to go back eating "normally" again.

 

What is beginning to happen is an optimization of the vegan diet I eat. I find some combinations better than others. For instance, I just had a bean and vegetable soup that totally doesn't irritate the digestive tract. Turmeric and black pepper in combination is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and if I put these two in a soup I get a surreally calm feeling in the digestive tract even after a big bowl of it. No bloating and no irritation.

 

The other shift I've made within the vegan diet is brown/red rice instead of white rice. I have always looked at brown rice as needless self-flaggelation, but it turns out it just requires some time before it becomes very normal. When I eat out it's white; when I eat at home it's brown. One thing I still haven't gotten used to is wholemeal pasta.

 

I think it's important not to be dogmatic about veganism; not to treat it as a religion and to stay strictly within its confines. If you find yourself craving for something, go get it. Your body is probably telling you something. If you're like me though, you will not crave for anything really.

 

The above advice is gratuitious. Of all the people I told about this in the past year, only one person tried going vegan . One out of dozens. People do not, it seems, have a problem to solve with their food composition. What they think they have a problem with is quantity. Everybody is trying to eat less, but nobody thinks they need to eat less meat. If anything, they think they need to eat more meat and less carbs.

 

The remarkable thing (for me) is that they wouldn't even try the vegan diet for three weeks. Not even for one day. It's just out of the discussion for them. Meat is a requisite. Meat is the bread of life.

 

I might try having more raw greens next. See how it goes.

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The researchers also said they have not clarified a possible correlation between poor health in the first place and these subjects adopting a vegetarian diet.

 

But there is really no need to look at studies. Just trial it for 3 weeks and you will know everything you need to know about the suitability of such a diet to your personal circumstances.

 

The effects will shock you, as it has the two other people who have tried it and reported back to me.

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