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  1. @Leo Gura Thank you for taking the time to comment. I have done some research on the various diets, but I have never committed to a specific dietary regimen for more than two weeks. The reason being that I failed to see any sort of improvements in my symptoms. I now realize two weeks is probably not enough time to see any substantial effects and I was expecting instant results. My lab work is normal and docs and specialists have not been able to find the cause of my symptoms. That's why I started to do my own research as I suspect that some food or food group may play a major role. The more I started digging into nutrition and diets, the more contradictions I encountered. I admit having felt discouraged. A few days ago, I saw the documentary "What the health" and I just about puked when I heard about "pus" in dairy. I felt an instant disgust for eating animal-based food after seeing the film. I bought a couple of books, one of which is "How not to die" by Michael Greger, which I began reading this morning. I'm inclined to believe that an organic plant-based diet seems to have the most benefits for the body (and for the environment). I will keep reading and doing more research. I'm thin so losing weight is definitely not the reason why I'm interested in nutrition (nor is getting jacked LOL). As you said, I simply want to find the optimum diet for my body. @Socrates Thanks for the comment as well. A few years ago, I started following a high(er) fat diet which included dairy (cheese, creamy sauce, etc..), with organic pasture-fed meat (beef, chicken). After a few months, I did a blood test and my cholesterol went through the roof. At the time, I had read a couple of books which advocated that LDL cholesterol (supposedly the bad one) is not linked to coronary heart disease as previously thought. Rather, the particle size (low-density vs large-density particles) should be the measure of heart disease risk instead. So for me, a high saturated fat diet definitely increased my blood cholesterol, which many doctors and scientists dispute. I think the particle size may indeed be of value, but none of the doctors I have seen in the past few years seem to be aware of this. They are stuck in their old school thinking. For now, I will do my best to keep my cholesterol numbers in line with the recommended values (higher HDL and lower LDL) until further research is done. But, as Leo said, saturated fat does not even matter when following a whole food plant-based diet. In that regard, it is a non-issue.
  2. Thank you, everyone! I appreciate your contributions and perspectives. I wrote "best" in quotes because intuitively, I felt that it is rather subjective. Each side will defend their arguments and insist they are the "best" course of action. One can be a vegan (and think of themselves as spiritual) and be so identified with this persona that any non-vegan is seen as a threat. I'm not defending or promoting any particular dietary lifestyle. I can see how getting in touch with one's body or intuition forms the basis of mindfulness. From that place, I think it is easier to identify which food nourishes your body.
  3. Hi! One of the most challenging aspects of personal development for me is trying to reconcile contradictory information. This seems to be especially prevalent in the domain of health. For instance, there are studies which support a link between saturated fats and heart disease. But, there are also convincing studies which seem to prove just the opposite - that there is no such association. Saturated fats is just one example, but there are many others (gluten, dairy, all those specialty diets, etc...). How is one supposed to navigate this maze and determine what is "best?" Thanks!
  4. I typically don't have much trouble falling asleep, however, staying asleep once I wake up in the middle of the night can be another challenge. Others have cited great suggestions already. Here's my evening routine. - Go to bed by a set time usually by 9pm (habit, routine) - Turn on Himalayan Salt lamp on nightstand (only lamp in my bedroom) - Read a few pages of a physical book under the soft warm orange light of the Himalayan Salt lamp The later usually helps me transition from being somewhat alert to a yawning stage. When I start yawning, it's an indication that my body is ready (at least that's been my own experience). At that point, I turn off the lamp and tae the same position in my bed (again a habit). I usually have one hand on my stomach and the other along the side of my body - don't ask me why. I guess you could think of the routine some basketball players or tennis players go through. I find that a cool room is also helpful. In regards to going back to sleep after awakening, I found it much more challenging. It is easier if I think of sleep in a positive way. The quality and tone of my thoughts about sleep at that point are crucial. If I see sleep as something that deprives me from doing other things, or if I see it as "boring" than all its are off. If I open to it and appreciate the positive health benefits and beauty of sleep, then I've found it easier to fall back asleep. Meditation has been helpful in changing my perception of sleep. This is not a panacea, but hopefully you can extract something helpful and incorporate it into your own routine. Be well!
  5. @Leo Gura Wow, I suddenly experienced an aha moment after reading your sentence. It's feels like that sentence was the missing piece of puzzle that still had me confused. The feeling is amazing! Now I'll get started on my list of 50 thoughts to flatten. Thanks again, Leo and Christian for starting the thread!
  6. @Leo Gura Thank you for the clarification, Leo. Your example of the sensation of an itch is helpful. In fact, I'm starting to see the correlation with your video on the illusory nature of thoughts. I'm still having a hard time with the concept of "flattening" using some of the examples provided in that video (ie. the image of the spider in particular).
  7. This video has been particularly helpful for me. It's not necessarily specific to thought, although the technique of self-inquiry Rupert goes through can be applied all the same.
  8. This is such a fascinating topic. A few months ago, I would not even have stopped to consider what a thought is. This would have been too deep and insignificant then. Through meditation and applying what I learned from Leo's videos (and other sources), I'm finding a renewed interest in discovering what a thought is, what/who the "I" is, and the process of self-inquiry. @abrakamowse posted a video a few posts above from Mooji. I had no idea who he was, but after watching one of his video on self-inquiry, I started experiencing a shift. I'm also finding videos from Rupert Spira extremely interesting. He is very articulate and I find myself watching his videos again and again. I certainly don't have the answer(s) yet, but discovering AND enjoying the process of self-inquiry is beyond words.