This is yet another mid-week summary to fill the void between installments of the Karma Sense Eating Plan (KSEP). In this week’s update, we discuss one of the hottest new diet crazes and how I can co-opt it with a Karma Sense spin. Then, I present a few insights on coaching and happiness from nerd-crush, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Finally, I walk through a day of being Karma Sensible via a Tour de Karma.
The “Nordic Diet” Karma Sense Style
There is a lot of interest lately in something called the “Nordic Diet.” This is stimulated by the notion that people from Nordic countries are known for their longevity and ability to resist obesity. The Nordic Diet includes lists of foods that should be eaten frequently, in moderation, sparingly or avoided. It’s a food pyramid with emphasis on specific regional ingredients such as rye bread and canola oil.
The Karma Sense Eating Plan is inclusive by design and embraces individual cultural values. It also encourages mindful eating practices (as described in mantra #1, Eat Slowly and Stop Before You’re Full. With these goals in mind and in honor of the Nordic Diet’s heritage, I propose an extension known as the Viking Diet. It includes all of the food recommendations of the Nordic Diet. In addition, it adds a technique known as “Viking Style” eating. When eating Viking Style, you use no utensils. You just use your hands or dig in face first. Also, no napkins. Instead wipe your face on the shoulder of the systkin (brother or sister in Old Norse) next to you. I see this as a valid variation of the mindful eating practice I discussed previously.
The Nordic Diet is indeed healthful eating style and is compatible with the Karma Sense Eating Plan. If the types of foods in the Nordic Diet appeal to you, go for it! You can learn more about the real Nordic Diet in this article by
You can learn more about the real Nordic Diet in this article by Authority Nation.
The Karma Sense Eating Plan is about being happy, healthy, and oh yeah, SAVING THE WORLD! Do you know who else saves worlds? Superheroes!
In this section, we’ll talk about a real-life superhero, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. When it comes to making the wonders of science accessible to yo-yos like me, he is #1 on the hit parade. In a recent interview, he made the following comment about his style of teaching:
“I’ve found that no one complains about pop culture being a source of someone lecturing to them. If someone’s telling you about Kim Kardashian, you’re not going to accuse them of lecturing to you. If I can explore an intersection between pop culture and science literacy, then it generally will not come across as a lecture. You’re surfing a wave already created by a pop-culture force.”
Thank you NDT for stating this so eloquently. The Karma Sense series and L4 as a whole is about dispensing health and wellness information without taking itself too seriously. We’re all so inundated with new findings on how to live a more healthy lifestyle, that it ends up making us less healthy in the end. We stress out. Or we over do it. Or we decide the whole situation is so hopeless, we may as well not try at all. All are bad outcomes.
I can’t hold a candle to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. If I did, he’d probably punch me and I suspect that would be painful. But besides that, if I end up making all of this health mumbo jumbo more accessible without lecturing, I’ve met my goal. And I’ll try not to do it by referencing Kim Kardashian. I’m sure she’s very nice, but even I can’t find a way to segue from her to topics like mindfulness.
But back to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Keeping in mind that one of the main points of the Karma Sense Eating Plan is happiness for all, here is what he says on that subject:
Many people who are unhappy are unhappy because there was some point in their past where there was some glory day, and as they get older they’re not creating more glory days. They reflect on a time that they will never reach again, and it brings some level of dissatisfaction into their lives. I have circumvented that by simply making incumbent upon myself to always be productive in ways that are consistent with my physical body, my mental state of knowledge, but more important, my presumed growth in wisdom that would come with age. The problem is when people stop writing chapters. There’s no reason why you can’t keep writing chapters of your life. No matter who you are, no matter your state of education, you can take on hobbies, you can take on activities, you can travel. You can continue to connect with people.
Words to live by. ‘Nuff said.
Karma Sense Eating Update
Mantra #3 was just too verbose. As I started documenting it for its eventual post, I saw that Google would barf seeing so many words in a post title. It was also too specific. So I made it more succinct. Mantra #3 is now simply Eat More Vegetables and Fruits.
“Lucky for you”, he said with sarcasm, “the actual post about mantra #3 remains verbose.”
Last weekend I did my annual volunteer (good Karma deposit) session at the Tour de Fat. Don’t know what a Tour de Fat is? You leave me no choice but to explain it in a diagram.
My role as volunteer is festival bouncer. The job mostly consists of checking IDs to make sure people drink responsibly (good Karma deposit). Also, I carry the collected cash to the deposit location. These responsibilities require that I look intimidating. I applied my “trying to look intimidating tattoo.”
The festival was 15 miles from where I live and I rode my bicycle. It’s 90% bike trails. Choosing to ride was good for the environment and I didn’t annoy any drivers (good Karma deposit). It was a windy day and on the way there a rider was drafting behind me. That meant I needed to work harder to drag her along (good Karma deposit). Ultimately I turned eat to cross the Potomac River and she continued north. She thanked me (good Karma deposit for her). While crossing the 14th Street Bridge, there was a couple riding about a quarter mile ahead of me. He was wearing a hat and it blew off his head. Because of the wind, the hat was blowing away from him and towards me. He would never catch up to it before it blew into the river. I dismounted and picked it up (good Karma deposit). It was a University of Michigan hat. I opted not to throw it in the river (double good Karma deposit). I got back on my bike and returned it when I caught up with its owner. He thanked me (good Karma deposit for him).
I got to the festival way before my shift but offered to start early (good Karma deposit). The crowds were chaotic but ruly. (how come unruly is a word but ruly isn’t?) I tried to keep the crowds spirits light during the bureaucratic ID check by cracking a joke now and then (NOTE: original text said “good joke” but the adjective was removed by the editor who reminded me that KSEP is a work of nonfiction. Also, good Karma deposit). The TdF bought my lunch (good Karma for TdF). I encountered this at one of the food trucks:
Heavy sigh! Never good to beg for your Karma.
Prior to eating I took note of the good Karma deposits I made, the good Karma that was sent my way, and was thankful for the people who created my meal. My lunch was a slice of pizza. It took me 12 minutes to eat. It did not consist of enough protein or vegetables. The fat profile was not optimal At least it was consumed within 2 hours of vigorous exercise. One out of 5 mantras covered. The Karma Sense Eating Plan recognizes and even encourages times of noncompliance. So, no big deal. I gave a tip for my complimentary meal despite the aforementioned Karma-begging (good Karma deposit).
TdF also gave volunteers swag and bought us two beers (good Karma for TdF). I took advantage of the swag (water bottle) but gave my beer tokens to a nice young couple who showed up after token sales shut down (good Karma deposit). They had a direction mishap and were late.
I concluded my shift and headed back home on my bike (good Karma deposit). I picked up another drafter (good Karma deposit) who never acknowledge my existence even after I pulled him up the two overpasses by National Airport (his Karma loss). I got home and was pleased to have such a beautiful, active, socially stimulating and good Karma filled day.
Why did I walk you through all this?
- Selfishly, for my own happiness. There are extensive studies on how positive expressive writing increases happiness. Research also suggest that activities such as journaling strengthens the immune system and leads to better pain and symptom management for the chronically ill. In fact writing up the Karma Sense Eating Plan is a pure joy to me. I’d do it even if you didn’t read it. But thanks for reading it.
- To make the point that it’s not difficult to make Karma deposits. But also, as a reminder that they’re not really deposits. Acts of Karma are donations to the Karmasphere. They’re not made with an expectation that something good will happen. There is no Karma account from which you can withdraw with interest. No specific fabulousness happened at the TdF that made me say “I sure am glad I was pleasant, generous, and helpful today instead of my usual surly and grouchy self.” On the other hand, I had a great day. Karma.
- To review what a Karma Sensible day is like. No worries about whether I did things right. There’s tons of benefit in “roughly right”.
Last weekend launched the first of several installments of the Eating component. That post is about mantra #1, Eat Slowly and Stop Before You’re Full. The next installment of the Karma Sense Eating Plan is about mantra #2, Eat Protein in Every Meal. It’s a body transformation thriller that comes out this weekend. It has controversy, a few superhero references ( 😯 ), and something to do with <Title of a Game That Prompts You For Parts of Speech With No Other Context In Order To Assemble A Surprisingly Silly Story>.