You have seen them before – those three little monkeys sitting in a row. Each little monkey sits cross-legged all in a row. The first monkey has its’ hands over its’ eyes, the second has its’ hands over its’ ears and the third has its’ hands over its’ mouth. These are the ‘see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil’ monkeys. These wise monkeys are used to teach our children lessons. What type of lesson is often dependent on your particular culture. For example, in western culture, these three monkeys pose a lesson of caution that we, humans, have a tendency to ‘turn a blind eye to impropriety”.
What if instead, you chose to study these three wise little monkeys from the perspective of a mindfulness mindset? Before answering that question, you might have one of your own. What is mindfulness? The most simple answer is that it involves taking stock of the moment you are in right now. It is all about being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations and surroundings.This awareness is about being “present” in the moment.
This involves actively shutting out distracting thoughts – often thoughts about what might be happening in the future or what took place in the past. Instead, mindfulness involves focussing on what is going on for yourself right in this very moment of time. The three little monkeys despite each of their limitations – not seeing, not hearing or not speaking – can still use other senses to be present in the moment.
The act of being present in the moment involves the much undervalued skill of “noticing”. Noticing is taking the time to take in what you see, hear, feel, taste – using all your available senses. This will let you be more aware of what is going on right in the here and now. This act of noticing can be a flood of observations. These observations, gathered and sorted, can result in new awarenesses. These new awarenesses can expand your understanding of yourself, of others and even how the world operates around you. This may not have been realized before until you chose to slow down and just “be”.
Noticing can help you to appreciate even the very smallest of differences. Such differences can be powerful reinforcers for repeating changed behaviours that you now realize are working to your benefit in your life. Here are some things you may notice after adopting a whole plant-based lifestyle:
Feeling Lighter . . .
Many report a new bodily sensation of feeling lighter within a short period of time before any weight loss has occurred. It is like going into your a store to buy a new pair of running shoes after 4pm when your feet are the most swollen and fatigued. You then put on those new runners – and bam! You feel lighter and there is a new spring in your step (same swollen, tired feet and same weight).
Having More Energy . . .
As you eat your way to better health with a power plate of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes another nice reality takes shape. Remember when those evenings consisted of being a couch potato in front of the television? Or if you did manage to do something in the evening, you felt like you were dragging around an anchor tied to your butt? Well, after a short time, many discover a new energy in the evening and begin filling it with lots of enjoyable activities!
No More Toilet Troubles . . .
Remember when an extended stay in the bathroom was accompanied by mandatory reading materials and many understandable groans and grunts? Yes you finally got some relief – until the next time! Well with whole plant-based foods, this is no longer an issue. You notice a very efficient consumption-elimination cycle that occurs so efficiently and regularly that no reading materials are needed and gone are all those grunts and groans! Relief never felt soooo good!! Ahhh – the benefits of fibre!
Shopping Simplified. . .
No need to go up and down every grocery store aisle anymore. You can now be very focussed in your shopping, limiting yourself to a few aisles and departments. The produce department has a rainbow variety of fruits and vegetables with no label reading needed. Other aisles like the frozen vegetable and fruit freezer sections have very simple ingredients that make label reading easy and quick. Shopping is now simpler and more efficient.
Meal Preparation Made Easy . . .
You can use ordinary grocery store foods to create flavourful, delicious and filling meals that take as little as 15 minutes to make. The internet is an ideal resource. Just put in “oil-free, whole plant-based recipes” and you will be amazed at the variety of menu ideas representing every ethic culture. There is something for everyone. Spices allow you to further enhance your dishes to your taste preferences. You will grow in your confidence and competence in no time, no matter how much of a kitchen klutz you were before you started your whole plant-based journey!
More Money At The End of The Month . . .
Another welcome change you will notice and appreciate is having money leftover in your food budget. Eating whole plant-based foods is actually cheaper than you might have predicted. Fruits and vegetables in season are often on sale. Off season fruits and vegetables can be bought frozen. When you make the choice to buy frozen, this is not a poor second. To the contrary, modern freezing methods means just-picked fruit and just-harvested vegetables are immediately flash frozen at their peak to capture their ripe deliciousness. Frozen means you use exactly what you need without wasting the excess. This lack of wastage means your dollar is going further without any unintentional loss due spoilage.
Creating a Living Legacy . . .
It is a new reality that our children, with our inconsistent employment/economic situation, will not be benefactors of much or possibly any material inheritance. The elder generation needs their savings for their own needs, so little or none will be left over for the next generation coming up. So what will you be able to leave your children and grandchildren? You will be able to leave them something far much more valuable than any amount of financial wealth. You will leave them the knowledge and practice of the evidence-based nutritional principals of living a life-extending, disease- preventing, whole plant-based lifestyle. Imagine living free of the worries of being a victim of food-borne illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. To be free of such suffering and instead enjoy a long, lean and happy, healthy life. The added bonus is knowing each generation of consumers of whole plant-based foods actively contribute to reducing green house gases, reducing the contamination of our fragile, finite water supply, preserving more of the rain forest which supplies the planet with oxygen and making more food available to feed the world.l
Noticing is an empowering practice that can help you realize the value of your actions and reinforce your efforts to make positive changes in your life. What is at the end of your fork? Enjoy noticing all the benefits fo your whole plant-based lifestyle!