The Karma Sense Eating Plan is a modular and adaptable approach for you to achieve better health, happiness, and, oh yeah, to save the world. Everything you need to know to implement this flexible approach to wellness is in the write-up of the Plan component. That description also further demonstrates that I’ve never grown up as it manages to reference Legos and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
This post continues with that toy-based theme as I start to revamp my own personal nutrition plan. Then, I discuss a maligned food that many people could and should be eating. Finally, I give you a status on some exciting developments with the Karma Sense Eating Plan crowdfunding campaign and on the book itself. Let playtime begin.
Tranforming – More Than Meets the Eye
Some of my posts pay subtle homage to my beloved 2000 Oldsmobile Alero. People like to make fun of my car but Supercompressor clearly understands my attachment when they named Oldsmobile one of “11 Extinct American Car Brands We Wish Would Return.”
Here is the pretty little thing now…
Maybe people would be a little kinder if they knew I could turn my car into a real-life Transformer
Speaking of transforming, readers of my last few posts know that I refrain from eating one or two days per week but that I’m transitioning to a new Intermittent Fasting protocol (IF) in which I fast every day between 9 PM and 1 PM the following day. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post about how I intend to do this and I’ll do so using the process and tools of The Karma Sense Eating Plan.
This series of posts should be interesting to the following audience:
- People who want to change their body composition by losing fat and building muscle.
- Women who are curious about IF for any number of health related reasons but worry about the hormonal implications.
- People who want to see a real life application of KSEP with me eating my own dog food (not literally).
To review, the planning process in KSEP consists of seven (7) discrete steps. Since the example we’re going through is particularly complex, we’ll need to spread this discussion over several posts. But let’s get started.
Step 1: Define Destination
Step 1 allows me to take a big-picture view of what optimal health and happiness means to me. In this step, I build a vision for the future, identify my values and select an immediate focus. The result should be so detailed, I can almost see, taste, hear, smell and feel it. By formalizing and drilling down my destination, it makes it easier for me to stay motivated and to track my progress. We’ll see that later in the process.
Build a Vision for the Future
There are many ways to develop your vision. When describing the Plan component, we do it by asking a number of questions that define your destination.
When I first created my vision for optimal health and happiness, it looked like this:
I am content with my current physical and mental health and would like to look and feel the same for as long as I can. I want to better manage my destiny and have more control over what I do from day-to-day. I want to excel at helping others find the happiness I’ve found. My family time should never be restricted.
There are no new developments in my life that make me want to change my vision now. There are more details I could add about my transition to Health Coach and my wish to travel, but this is enough to give you an idea without having to focus too much on me. Your vision is likely different. It may be more specific. It may include aspects of your life that are a priority for you but that I never considered. It really doesn’t matter. It’s your vision.
Identify your Values
After affirming my vision, I want to extract and understand the aspects of the vision that stand out to me so much that they actually define me. There are a series of questions the Plan component description to get me to this stage. In the book, I include a well-known series of adjectives you can review along with instructions on how to use them. This exercise helps you acknowledge what you value most. For me, those values in no particular order are:
- Competence – I want to stand among the best health and happiness coaches.
- Family – My family’s happiness and security is a real priority to me. I’d sacrifice anything for it.
- Independence – I want to maneuver through the world on my own terms. My current day job has significant dependency on others. I’ve worked that way for years. It’s time for a change.
- Making a contribution – I’m happiest when I am helping others achieve their own happiness.
- Tolerance – I love being exposed to different points of view. I learn so much that way and it helps guide and reinforce my belief system.
- Vitality – I want to be vibrant and robust until my last day here.
The book also has one other useful tool called the Save the World Model. As a teaser, it looks something like this.
As you should know by now, The Karma Sense Eating Plan is big on this whole saving the world thing. It also respects that different people have different notions of what a saved world would look like. These different notions are expressed through different priorities that also reflect your values. I may cover this in a future post but for now, it may be useful to overlay the values that come out of this exercise and understand what segment of the world (e.g. your family, the environment, etc.) these values apply to. This will help you get a better notion of whether your Karma Sense Eating Plan is really saving the world or not.
Back to my plan, with my list of values and my vision, I should prioritize the things I do in my life that honor them. Those priorities will change all the time, but they will serve as the focus for any implementation of a Karma Sense Eating Plan.
Select Immediate Focus
The final part to defining my destination is to decide on my immediate focus. The focus is driven by what is most important and attainable to me at this moment. If should be something that aligns with my vision and values.
That’s where Intermittent Fasting comes into play. The Plan component offers up some questions that help you single out your focus. When I apply the questions to my case, I can see that I address so many of my priorities by making this change to my diet. If increases my competence as a coach because I gain real world experience in something my clients might want to do. It also supports my desire for vitality. If the purported benefits are true, this will help me keep up the physical health I envision for the future.
Given the above, my Focus is to use a customized version of a daily 16-hour fasting protocol to increase my competence as a health and nutrition coach and to see if it is a way to maintain my long-term physical health. Over the course of the coming weeks, we’ll find out if this is correct or if I need to change my focus.
Focus vs. Goal
Note that in this case, my focus, trying out a new nutrition routine to increase my skills and improve my health, is not the same as defining my goal. I have more work to do to make it specific enough to be my goal. But it’s also correct that the focus and goal can be the same. It all depends on you. It’s kind of like picking what you want to hear in your music playlist. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a genre, say Swedish Death Metal. Sometimes you want to hear songs from a specific Swedish Death Metal band. Let’s say Meshuggah. And sometimes all you want to here is obZen, a specific song or album from the Swedish Death Metal band, Meshuggah. Your focus and your goals work the same; different precision and way less percussion.
The next step in the process is to identify constraints. We’ll cover that and more in upcoming posts in the series. But at this point you may be asking why Step 1 is important. It’s important because a well-understood vision that respects my values and provides me focus will be a motivator when times get tough. I can reflect back on them at any time to remind me while I’m doing this.
If the information coming out of Step 1 doesn’t work as a motivator, then either my plan isn’t helping me reach my vision or my vision isn’t an authentic representation of what I really want.
More on this next time.
In Defense of Mr. Potato Head
People who follow a low carbohydrate diet either for weight loss or general improvement in health may be ignoring a potential partner; the much maligned white potato. For some reason people give sweet potatoes a free pass based on an illusion that they’re significantly more nutritious.
Here’s the skinny. Mantra #1 of the Karma Sense Eating Plan asks that you Eat Slowly and Stop Before You’re Full. This advice is based on evidence that eating more slowly and getting in touch with the feeling of satisfaction leads to better health. Also, that feeling of satisfaction (or “satiation”) leads to less calorie consumption and ultimately to weight loss.
In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, 40 different foods were examined for their level of satiation. Foods in the study included beans, beef, eggs, fish, cheese, and boiled potatoes. Boiled white potatoes came out as the most satiating of the bunch by a wide margin. In another study from the same journal, white potatoes were shown to have the most positive effect on insulin and ghrelin (the so-called hunger hormone) when compared to other carbohydrate sources such as pasta and rice.
If you love potatoes but are depriving yourself due to some weight-loss strategy that doesn’t allow them, you may be sabotaging your goal. Furthermore, in addition to the benefits above, potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
Are you now interested in returning potatoes to your menu? Here are some hints to enhance their nutrition and health benefits.
- Cook your potatoes with the skin on. When you peel them before cooking, many of the beneficial nutrients are lost in the process.
- Eat the skin. The skin has the most potassium. It’s also a great source of another essential nutrient, folate. If you don’t like the skin or if keeping the skin interferes with the recipe. You can save the skins, toss them in olive oil and roast them in the oven until crispy. Yum (but the oil is high in calories if that is an issue).
- Cook your potatoes but don’t eat them until after they’ve cooled down. When potatoes cool after cooking, their structure changes. The carbs become something known as “resistant starch” and carbohydrates that are high in resistant starch have many health benefits. The potatoes become probiotic meaning they nourish the good bacteria in your gut. They also regulate the rise and fall of insulin without the spikes that ultimately result in insulin resistance. Finally, they digest more slowly like the “whole carbohydrates” in mantra #3, Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates After Vigorous Exercise. There are a number of easy and delicious ways to take advantage of this. One is to make potato salad using mashed avocado and a little plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. This gives you a protein hit (mantra #2) and a good fat boost (mantra #5) all at once. Another option is to mix chunks of cold potatoes with a good fat vinaigrette dressing (mantra #5 again) and some chopped onion and French-style green beans (mantra #3). An added benefit to eating your resistant starch potato with a bit of fat is that it further slows the digestion of carbohydrates.
- As much as it pains me to say this, fried potatoes, whether “French” or chips have no health benefits. Avoid them except as a treat that you’ve earned or planned.
- Unfortunately, some people are just sensitive to carbohydrates. No matter how much they like them and no matter what they do, eating carbohydrates affects their weight. The best way to work around this is to Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates, like potatoes, only After Vigorous Exercise.
Karma Sense Eating Plan Update
I continue to be humbled by the support The Karma Sense Eating Plan is getting via the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. As of this writing, the project is about 20% funded with about 40 days to go. I am so grateful to those of you support this project through your preorders, your additional donations, and by spreading the word.
While all that was going on, I am very close to selecting an editor and am working out the final business details with the cover designer. In addition, The Karma Sense Advisory Board has its first member. This is an important role as the Advisory Board provides the stewardship for Karma Sense funds and their direction to charity. If you are interested in participating at this level, please visit the campaign site by clicking on its image below and select the “Karma Sense Advisory Board” perk.
Finally, if you want to give to The Karma Sense Eating Plan campaign but are not comfortable doing so through the Indiegogo site, feel free to contact me directly and we’ll make alternate arrangements.