Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 5S5N Diet

One of the longevity factors to me is diet. This factor is implied in three places on the Eightfold path of the Buddha. The first behavioral precept is "not to kill" (but to cherish all life) which extends beyond not killing humans to also not killing animals. The second behavioral precept is "not to steal" (but to take only what is freely given) and can extend to include not stealing eggs from chickens and not stealing milk from calves. The fifth behavioral precept is "not to intoxicate" (but to keep body and mind pure and clear). This suggests not drinking alcohol to the point where you get a "buzz" and to the point which it does brain cell damage. This precept also suggests positive discipline of fasting and cleansing. After much personal experiment, I find that I have moved away from pure water fasting and use herbal formulas. I find it works in my schedule to have a kind of "morning fast" where I drink a cleansing herbal tea formula and do not eat anything until 1pm (when the second digestive fire meridian cycle activation happens). Traditional Buddhism has a reverse strategy where they do not eat anything after 12 noon, making the later day and evening into a kind of daily fast. This discipline is usually designated for monks and nuns. I suspect it is because the rule may not be optimal for all the lifestyle patterns and time schedules of modern life. The principle is valuable. It is to give our bodies a break from perpetually digesting food so that it can "shut down" and "do routine maintanence". Another possibility that I experimented with is to take one day off per a week for a whole year, usually Sunday (whatever day you choose becomes the rule for the year, the body likes consistency). I found that after about two months that my body looked forward to having a day without eating. In terms of pure water fasts, I think that three days is the maximum that one really needs to do. The 48 hour point is usually when the body unloads a lot of toxins and where we may need to rest a lot. It is helpful to do a little running for 15 minutes twice a day when fasting. It seems to burn up some compounds in the body that would otherwise be slightly toxic and make one restless. A person may be guided to extend the pure water fast if the body wants more time to unload toxins. Again, I have found herbal brews to be a gentler and easier cleansing experience, but it may take some wisdom to learn how to use them and which herbs to choose.

There is an Chinese medical principle that goes, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food". The general American diet tends to be pleasure oriented, emotionally repressive, and toxic. It is a surprise that Americans live as long as they do. In order to have a chance for longevity, this dietary paradigm needs to shift. We should not have to spend our time reversing the ill effects of a poor diet. Our path of eating needs to be medicinally oriented so that EVERYTHING that we eat is nutritional, cleansing, and healing. Such a diet can be very flavorful and can, in fact, be more tasty than highly processed starch with flavoring agents that passes for American food.

I found that it is possible to have a mnemonic to orient a new selection of foods to eat which is based on 5S and 5N:

Steamed Veggies

No Animal products
No Eggs
No Dairy
No Refined Flour
No Refined Sugar

The smoothies are the "raw" or "live" part of the diet. I also use a vegan protein supplement and practice "protein cycling". It seems that our bodies must work a little harder to break down proteins. Our bodies do find it easier to break down vegan protein than animal protein. This should not be surprising, since animal muscle tissue is designed to survive combat situations in an animal eat animal environment. It is meant to be tough and break down resistant tissues. While plants, too, have defenses against certain environmental factors, the nutritious parts of plants are designed to be food and sometimes even designed to be food for animals. Certain plants create fruit that is meant to be eaten by animals so that the seeds can be transported by the animals to new locations. This is why very often in compost piles one will see plants growing there. In any case, vegan protein supplements come from soy beans, potatoes, hemp, peas, and rice. Peas and potatoes are highly underrated sources of protein. Peas are about 1/3 protein and it seems that its protein is very usable and digestible. Peas seem to add well to a wide variety of dishes and make a delicious raw food soup when combined with tahini.

Saute or stir fry is a very good way of cooking. After having been into a raw food diet for over a year and a quarter, I returned to cooked foods. I felt intuitively guided from within to do so. What I learned from my journey is the a raw food diet is very cleansing and makes an ideal diet to do for 3 months. At a certain point, a person will get "protein cravings" and it is a sign that a certain level of detox is complete. I have known many people who, on a raw food diet, will, after 3 to 5 months, start craving raw food sources of protein and overdo eating nuts in particular. My feeling is that it might be wiser to just include some cooked foods that are high in protein at this point, rather than to try to be a purist (however, if it is working for you then go full steam ahead with being completely raw). Traditional stir fry is a kind of flash cooking process that does preserve a certain amount of nutrients and enzymes in a way similar to raw foods. The main weakness of stir frying is the oils. But it is possible to do "water stir fry" where you use a little water, rather than oil. This extracts some flavors from the veggies that can later be made into a sauce. The oil can be added later, after the heat is turned off, so that the oils do not get heat compromised. Coconut milk can be added to enhance the sauce. To make a gravy without flour, I found blended potatoes to be a very good substitute.

Soups are on the opposite side of the cooking spectrum to raw foods. I find that vegan cooked soups are very digestible even though they are enzyme compromised. I think that this is because the slow cooking process is similar to what we have to do in order to digest our food. Soups are also an ideal way to eat the legume family, the bean family. This group has highest amount of protein of the vegan food spectrum, but is a little hard for many people to digest. I found that even when raw and sprouted that legumes did not digest easily for me. I found that in soups that they were very easily absorbable and left that nice warm feeling in the belly of having had a good meal. Raw food soups are also possible and they are very good. There is a recipe for raw food pea soup on my website. They can supply enzymes that are missing or compromised in most cooked food preparations.

Salads are the most universally accepted raw food. They are always reliable nutrition and are good to get the "green" aspect of the rainbow spectrum. Ideally we should be eating a rainbow of colors in our weekly diet. Green is the most missing in the American diet. The "overeating overweight crisis" in the American diet is partly an illusion. Americans are often eating less than they used to but are still getting overweight. However, the green band of the rainbow spectrum of foods is eaten less than ever before. The American diet of animal flesh, cheese, milk products, carbonated sugar water (or exitotoxins as artificial sweeteners) with artificial flavoring, flour products, french fries, and sugar snacks is very much missing anything green and is very fattening (along with cortisol stress induced fat production). I found it interesting that several companies were selling powdered dehydrated veggies as a nutritional supplement and finding that several "miraculous cures" were happening when taking them. Salads are now easier to prepare and take with the advent of these "mixed greens" packages already triple washed and ready for use.

Steamed veggies is the last of the five S factors. Steaming seems to do well for carrots, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes (yukon gold potatoes are my favorite), brocolli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, zucchini, and squash. Steaming veggies retains most of the vitamin content without creating the carcinogens of frying foods. It is also a good sterilizer if there is a suspicion of surface contamination (combined with water rinsing before steaming).

The five N factors are targeted towards foods that both karmaically and nutritionally are weak for us. I do feel that getting involved in the karma of killing and eating animals is not wise and not compassionate. It is something that our socialization process has dulled in our conscience. It is partly marketing making animal flesh foods look good and never showing certain parts of the process of getting the animal flesh, never showing how an animal gets terrified and runs for its life, fights back, or struggles when it realizes that it is going to be killed. It never shows the life condition of animals who live mostly a caged life and are waiting to be killed for food. If you want to get a sense of the karmaic interdependance behind the animal flesh industry, it may be wise to visit a slaughter house or to watch some videos about it. You can also get a sense of the dulled conscience if you just look at your pet cat (or the pet cat of a friend) hold a knife in the air around it and feel the intention to kill the cat for food. You do not have to carry it out, but just feel what it would be like to slab the cat (or dog) with the idea of eating it. You might even notice a response from the cat from just feeling your thought vibration. There are a lot of rationalizations that can come up to defend animal flesh eating. I would suggest putting them aside and asking yourself if you could eat a pet, a cat, dog, or horse that you have bonded with and that you have formed a friendship with. These animals are not so different from the ones that are killed and eaten. It is true that many animals eat other animals, some seemed designed to be carnivores, though it is possible to train them to eat vegetarian. Animal flesh eating eventually forms our digestive processes so that we develope enzymes and acids to break down those foods. Our bodies are not rigid and solid entities, but are transitory and always changing. If we change our diet, then we will evolve new enzymes and acids to digest the foods that we were meant to. Carnivores can learn to do this. I had a friend who had a very healthy dog who had learned to eat vegan. Some argue that killing plants for food is "just the same" as killing animals. The phrase "just the same" is actually not so clear in what it means. There are a lot of similarities and differences between "killing" plants and "killing" animals. The differences are worth mentioning. One is that animals are killed in their prime, when they have many more years of good life that they could live. Animals are not killed and eaten near the end of their life, when their animal flesh is dried out and disease ridden. Plants are eaten, if at all, near the end of their life cycle. Plants do not have to be killed to be eaten. If you hand harvest them, you can even make them grow more, and even help the plant become healthier. You cannot help an animal by harvesting a limb to eat. Plants also do not seem to have an individualized soul. You can cut a plant in half and both halves can grow. Plants can be multiplied into many forms through all kinds of method ofs cellular division. Animals seem to have an individualized soul and which dies when the heart, gut, and brain are impaired beyond a certain point. In terms of breaking down animal flesh, it uses a different path than carbohydrate digestion. It produces more toxic compound in our system. Carnivores have half the intestinal length than we do and double the acid strength. The intention is to rapidly digest and evacuate the animal flesh so that they do not get over toxified. Even so, carnivore feces stinks of toxic compounds, whereas herbivore feces does not. Even the sweat of carnivores wreaks of toxic compounds, so much so that carnivores have to hunt their prey from downwind in order to avoid detection. Carnivores also are not known for long lifespans. In the Genesis Flood story, humans are reported to have lived from 1,000 to 600 years, but when they start eating animal flesh, their lifespan goes down to 40 years (ref Genesis 9:2-5 which also shows that humans were generally vegetarian before the flood). I consider the vegan diet to be a necessary foundation for a complete life extension and physical immortality program.

The second N is related to having no dairy products. It seems that dairy products are the basis of having all kinds of allergies. I found in my own life that my severe childhood allergies weakened severely when I stopped eating animal flesh, almost became nonexistent when I became vegan, and disappeared for long periods of time when I did some energetic emotional processing. There is still a trace of allergic reactions which still happen, but they are very diminished and I have not needed antihistamines for symptom management for a very very long time. It seems that eggs and dairy have a way of transmitting species specific programs to the offspring from mother to child. We are getting a subtle hormone soup that is designed to program cows and chickens. This is now further combined with bovine growth hormones that artificially stimulate the cows within their very artificial lives in caged environments. The milk is stolen from the calves who need it and the calves are even sometimes fed the blood of their mothers as a replacement. I found that many Asians, who are used to not having any dairy, will start getting allergies within 7 years of taking dairy products. Dairy has an enzyme which scars arteries and require us to generate cholesterol compounds to paste over those scars and eventually clog the arterial pathways. Casein, which is abundant in those melty cheese dishes everyone seems to love is actually used to make glue. It is a binding agent which can create mucoidal strands in our intestines which later become hiding places for pathogens to launch attacks on our bodies. Water fasting does not generally remove these strands, but fasting with certain herbal formulas does. Every cheese lover has them and may need a surgery for removal of part of their colon in later life in order to avoid colon cancer.

The third N is similar to the second in that eggs are little packets of information designed for a baby chicken. The hens tend to want to possess, nurture, and defend both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Although they are useful sources of protein when transitioning away from eating animal flesh, they are usually loaded with hormones. The nice very white eggs are generally the product of factory farms where the chickens go crazy and start pecking each other until they are debeaked. Even a lot of the free range chickens are raised in the same conditions. The main difference is a small amount of time on a small patch of grass. It is kinder to support the family chicken farms where at least the chickens have some kind of life before they are killed for food. It seems that the hormonal information packet can throw off the menstrual cycle in human females. The animal protein is still harder to break down and generally does not produce the cleaner feeling of processing vegan proteins. If the protein cycle dominates too much, then some of the protein is converted into energy and produces more acid compounds that carbohydrate combustion. It is partly this cycle that produces the sweat smell associated with carnivores.

The last two Ns, no flour and no refined sugar, both relate to overprocessed food which turns into a "sugar high" and a "sugar low" in the blood stream. Flour products, with some exceptions, turns into sugar so fast that it is sugar. When refined sugar hits our system, we have to use insulin to neutralize what it is doing to us. When we exhaust our insulin, then we have diabetes. The "sugar low" puts our brain into a crisis, since its steadily flow of glucose that it needs to function and survive is disrupted. Our brains need a constant supply of oxygen and glucose or brain cells start to get destroyed. There is a two minute window to this refined sugar induced crisis. It can be buffered by building up a reserve of the amino acid glutamine (which can convert to glucose if needed and which is stored in the brain). When we underbreathe, too, we create a state where the brain starts to atrophy. Colloidal and ionic minerals also buffer the sugar. Oils slow down sugar combustion. Adding, for instance, a tablespoon of flax oil helps to slow down the sugar reaction. Our bodies need a sustained level of blood sugar, rather than peaks and valleys.

The 5S5N formula defines a basic diet that can help people to ground in a healthier way of eating. This formula does not go into certain healing herbal teas and nutritional supplements that are useful to do once this foundation is established. It also does not talk about addictions to coffee, chocolate, marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco which are worth eliminating. The curious thing is that it seems that small amounts of dark chocolate may be useful, since chocolate (without milk and milk fat mixed into it) has a ton of antioxidants within it. Alcohol, too, is small amounts has anti-aging compounds like reservatol when taken below the level of creating a "buzz" or inebriation. It seems that people need to take an honest look at themselves to see if they have an addiction and to take steps to heal themselves of these conditions. Addictions have an emotionally repressive element to them. We get addicted when we do not want to feel and move through our emotional pain into complete healing. We are tempted to indulge in our addiction when our emotional pain is surfacing. Alcohol represses our fear, tobacco repressed our anger, marijuana represses our sadness, sugar represses our sadness, chocolate represses our sadness, overeating represses our anxiety, coffee represses our anger, and LSD represses our repression. In mentioning this system of correspondences, I feel obligated to add that the repression is only about the first felt layer. Behind some sadness is repressed anger. We can use one emotion to repress another. Thus, while marijuana represses sadness, anger could be below the sadness. Some of the people I have met who have been addicted to marijuana can have rage issues hidden behind the sadness layer that marijuana represses. The hot gases that are inhaled with marijuana and tobacco smoking burn out the aveoli in our lungs which we do need for efficient oxygen gain and prana gain from our breathing. Having said this, there may be a skillful use and right dosage for any of these substances within a healing path. I do not recommend breathing in hot gases because of the impact on the lungs, especially when people are already underbreathing. It is very easy to rationalize an addiction and use the idea of its right use to justify its unhealthy use. Ideally we are meant to be very scientific about what works for us and what does not, rather than letting attachment oriented addictive cravings run us with their unconscious motivations. I think this is the reason why the Buddha recommended not drinking alcohol, not eating animal flesh, and watching our sex drive, since these can become unhealthy addictions and hurt our lives.

This is roughly how I see the dietary discipline that is supportive of health in general and physical immortality in specific. There was a teacher named Shivapuri Baba who named that we have three kinds of conscience. One was spiritual and mental which is satisfied when we live our spiritual purpose. Another was emotional and interpersonal which is satisfied when we learn how to be kind, honest, and fair with all sentient beings. The last is biological and evolutionary which is satisfied when we learn how to take of our bodies. There is a kind of "organic shame" when we do not treat our bodies well, when we indulge in addictions, when we indulge in sweets to the point where we hurt our bodies, when we misuse sexual energy, and other things. The very cells of our bodies start a kind of silent screaming after a while and start feeling duller when we do not honor our organic conscience. Inside our organic conscience is a kind of wisdom which can help us to heal. It takes some time to learn how to be true to these three forms of conscience. It is part of "prajna parmita" in Buddhist (intuitive wisdom). If we eat with awareness, we will feel occasional regret when we have eaten something that does not serve our real needs. As we do conscious energy breathing, this conscience will naturally become stronger and require us to change from within the process.

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