This post discusses the first component of the Karma Sense Eating Plan (KSEP), the Karma part. For those who don’t know, the Karma Sense Eating Plan is a nutrition style that anyone can adopt to become healthier and happier and, oh yeah, save the world. Anyone! Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore, Locavore (not to be confused with locovore which I think is what you call people who eat crazy $hit), Anyone! It works as well for the frugal as it does for the lavish. It can be adopted little-by-little or all at once. In part or in whole. Regardless, you will reap the benefits. I first describe the Karma Sense Eating Plan (KSEP) in this post. You really should read that post. You should share that post with your friends. It would be a kindness to me. And since it can make your friends happier and healthier, it would be a kindness to them. All of us together would be spreading good Karma. We would be taking the first step in following the Karma Sense Eating Plan. Here is more on Karma and that first step.
The Case for Karma
I like to think that the decisions I make rely on logic and facts. Given that, Karma is a little out of my wheelhouse. Yet I’m a full-out believer. Still, to satisfy the skeptic in me I’ve looked for real data on the phenomenon and there really isn’t that much out there. Any evidence I do have is purely anecdotal. It’s based on long-term observation (because I’m old and can observe things over the long-term). Through that observation, I’ve seen that people who do the right thing consistently outperform people who don’t.
So, despite the heading of this discussion, I’m not actually going to make a case for Karma. You either believe or you don’t. But the nice thing about Karma, as it relates to the Karma Sense Eating Plan, is that you don’t have to believe.
If you’re someone who wants to do the right thing, wants to be a good person, cares about other people, then what I am about to propose will help get you what you want. If you’re someone who wants to make positive changes in your eating habits, then what I am about to propose will help get you what you want.
What I Am About to Propose
No doubt you always try to be nice, helpful, polite, and kind. But there may be a little more you could do, right? My proposal is for you to start by doing one additional nice thing per day. Have that thing be associated with a meal and try to smile to yourself about it immediate prior to the meal. Not only will your nice thing make someone else happy but by associating it with a meal, you will consciously recognize that you are about to eat something. You will recognize that the thing you are about to eat is special because it is related to someone else’s happiness. You will treat that meal differently from how you treat most meals. That difference will make you more mindful about it. Because you are more mindful about it, it will be easier for you to consciously eat more slowly and recognize when you’re satisfied but not full (an important part of the Sense and Eating parts of the Karma Sense Eating Plan). And, because you consciously eat more slowly and recognize when you’re satisfied but not full, you’ll be eating more healthfully. Eating healthfully is a key benefit and goal of KSEP.
But although we’re striving for flexibility with the Karma Sense Eating Plan, there are always a few guidelines and these are the guidelines for the Karma component.
- When preparing to eat or soon after, do something nice that you wouldn’t normally do. If you usually do the dishes after dinner then I’m afraid that doesn’t count. There are an infinite number of kind things you can do, I’ll even throw out some examples in just a bit. Try something new.
- If you adopt a good Karma practice and it becomes a habit, refer to #1 above. Add something new so you can continue expand your good Karma portfolio. You may have heard that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit or to break a habit. Research does not support this. But if it helps you to have a definition, pick a number between 21 and 60 and go with that. Making it a habit is not a requirement. But if you do, then mix things up a little with a new one.
- Aim to adopt one new good Karma practice with each meal. Although it is a great idea to start with just one per day, see how many you can add. Being kind doesn’t necessarily take extra time. And there are so many options, including these…
Good Karma Options
The good karma options proposed below are just a small sample of things you could do. But what makes the Karma component of KSEP so awesome is that it respects your personal definition of kindness. The only limitations are that your choice should be an act of kindness that you don’t normally do. Also, if you start doing it regularly and it becomes a long-term habit, then you need to pick up a new one. Here are some ideas:
One other note, while you’ll be performing these acts of kindness out of the goodness of your heart, there is a selfish reason you’re doing this as well (There is nothing wrong with being selfish by the way. Our very existence is often a kindness to someone else). We’re trying to shake up your eating routine so you treat mealtime in a way that will ultimately drive better health. If you take on a Karma project that does not happen immediately before starting to eat (e.g. shopping, tipping, cleaning, etc.), you will want to find a way to acknowledge the act just before digging in. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry about it now. We’ll talk about how to deal with this challenge more when we discuss the Sense component of KSEP.
Until then, there are a few things you can do. The right thing for you depends on what is running through your mind as you’re reading this. If what you’re saying to yourself sounds like this:
“I’d like to do this Karma Sense thing but I know me. I can’t suddenly change what I have done for years no matter how good an idea this is. I’ll simply never remember to do all this without help and Davey H is rolling out new sections of KSEP slower than George R. R. Martin issues new volumes of Game of Thrones.“
Then take on the partial adoption approach. Just try to do a new (to you) Karma-appropriate act of kindness every day and don’t worry about the rest. You will be well on your way to being Karma Sensible by the time the next post is released. If, however, what you’re saying to yourself sounds something like this:
“The jury is out. I would like to live a healthier lifestyle and save the world in one fell swoop but I’m not convinced this will help. However, what I’ve read so far is not quite as painful as a root canal so I will see how it plays out and decide what to do once I read more.”
I’d still recommend the partial adoption approach. Just defer doing anything Karma Sense related until your skeptical mind is satisfied. If, however, what you’re saying to yourself sounds something like this:
“This is the most ridiculous pile of drivel I’ve ever seen. We are all stupider for having read this. Yet much like any train wreck, I am oddly drawn to it. At the very least it will supply an endless opportunity to troll.”
I recommend that you bring on your best trolling. I relish the opportunity to go tête-à-tête (which I believe is French for mano a mano).
The point is (which I probably should have said to begin with instead of dragging poor George R. R. into it), at no time should you attempt to go all Big Bang over the Karma Sense Eating Plan. For most people, that won’t work. Instead bite off as much as you can chew in one swallow. (see what I did there?) As this series of posts starts to close, we’ll talk about more specific implementation strategies.
But to close this post (if you weren’t taking notes), we’ll move to…
- You don’t have to believe in Karma to reap the benefits of the Karma Sense Eating Plan.
- To adopt the Karma Sense style of eating, choose a new act of kindness to associate with a meal and do this act. It should be something you don’t usually do.
- It would be great if you actually make a habit of your new kind act. If you do, try to add another one to your repertoire (repertoire is French for “stuff that you do”).
- Your ultimate target should be one kind act with each meal. Since these can add up time-wise, you can stop worrying about Key Point 3 when you get to this stage.
- If your kind act is something that can’t be timed to occur immediately before you begin eating, take the time to consciously acknowledge it somehow. This will make sure you are conforming to the Sense part of KSEP, a part that will be discussed in another post.
The Karma Sense eating plan can be adapted to address just about any health goal (lose weight, gain muscle, feel more energy, manage stress) that can be solved through good nutrition. The person who submits the most creative but realistic Good Karma Idea (e.g. as suggested in Karma Option 15 above) will receive a free 2 session consultation that concludes with a customized plan. Features of these sessions include:
- Each consultation is private, confidential and can be performed face-to-face or via phone.
- First consultation is up to 90 minutes long and will explore your vision for health and goals.
- Second consultation will propose an adapted version of the Karma Sense Eating Plan that is customized to your vision and goals.
- There is no other obligation and there will be no attempt to sell you anything.
The selected entry will be chosen at the sole discretion of Davey H 2.0. Offer ends on June 30, 2015.