The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion

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9780399173158: The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion

Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what’s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics—a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one!
 
The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you:
 
- Sustain energy
- Extend youthfulness
- Take off those stubborn extra pounds
- Reflect an enlightened outlook
 
This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped “good karma” in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living.

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About the Author:

Victoria Moran is the author of twelve books, including Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World and Creating a Charmed Life: Sensible, Spiritual Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know. An obesity survivor, certified holistic health counselor, and much-sought-after speaker, Moran hosts the Main Street Vegan podcast on Unity Online Radio and directs Main Street Vegan Academy (mainstreetvegan.net), training vegan lifestyle coaches and educators.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Praise for The Good Karma Diet

Please Read the Introduction

This is an incredibly important introduction. I feel as if I’m introducing you to the man or woman you just might fall in love with, or to the CEO who’s going to make you vice president and richer than you’ve ever been. I’m introducing you here, of course, not to another human being, but to a remarkable way of life that you may well fall in love with. If you do, you’ll know very soon that things have taken a decidedly upward turn. Nothing will ever be the same.

You’ll be doing something revolutionary: making food choices based on kindness and love instead of preferences formed in childhood, or opinions about calories, carbs, and fat grams that developed later. Those judgments disregard the law of karma that states that every action (and word and thought, too) has a consequence. If we acted as truly rational beings, we’d take only those actions, dietary and otherwise, that result in positive consequences, the proverbial “happily ever after.” But we don’t—at least, not all the time.

Karma is a fascinating concept. The word comes from the Sanskrit (it literally means “action”), and this principle of “what goes around comes around” is central to the worldview of spiritual teachings with Indian origins—Hinduism, yoga, Buddhism, Jainism. Sharon Gannon, cofounder of Jivamukti Yoga, explains it: “What we do, no matter how insignificant it may seem, affects everyone else, including ourselves. Our present reality depends on how we have treated others in our past. That’s good news because it means we can change what we don’t like—our karma—by changing our actions.”

And karma isn’t exclusively Indian. Jesus expounded on it clearly when he said, “. . . whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Even the physical world reflects this postulate. Remember learning in high school Newton’s Third Law, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”? Newton was thinking physics, not that eating peanut butter out of the jar in front of the TV would make us feel bad, but it’s fascinating that life on earth is, to a large extent, a ceaseless dance of cause and effect.

What does this have to do with your dinner? Plenty. When you make food choices that you’re proud of, that meet your own high standards, the meal will be uniquely satisfying. Of course you’ll want it to look and smell and taste good. You’ll be sure there’s enough of it and enough substance to it that your body and brain will get the message that you ate. It will be in line with what you know about health and nutrition, so you’ll feel that you’ve genuinely done your body good. And it won’t have hurt anyone else. You will have done the research to know that the exquisite square of dark chocolate putting a perfect period at the end of your meal didn’t come from slave labor, as a great deal of chocolate does. And you’ll know that no sentient being suffered or died in order for you to nourish yourself.

“So that’s the catch,” you might be thinking. “Vegan propaganda!” (Definitions: vegetarian = no meat or fish; vegan = no animal products of any kind, including dairy products and eggs.) Let me come clean at the outset: I can’t even envision a diet connected with good karma that includes animal foods. Can somebody be healthy and eat some meat and eggs and dairy products? Of course. Unless someone is dealing with heart disease or kidney disease or gout, conditions known to be directly impacted by the consumption of animal protein and fat, the body can handle some animal foods. I don’t say this as a health professional—I’m not one—but as an observer of life.

However, I contend that only a vegan meal is capable of producing in the person who consumes it the deepest level of well-being, satisfaction that comes without any glimmer of conscious or unconscious guilt. Only a vegan can honestly look a cow, pig, sheep, turkey, or chicken in the eye. Fishes count, too. It was while observing them that Franz Kafka commented, “Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.”

Nothing fills us with deep and lasting joy the way that doing a good turn for someone else does. Saving somebody’s life, human or animal, is that “good turn” in spades, and you can start precisely where you are. I don’t expect you to go from zero to Moby in nothing flat, but I invite you to consider the possibility that nothing will more readily bring about a state of peace with your body and your food than making sure no one else’s body is your food.

Upping the Radiance Factor

When I ventured veganward more than thirty years ago, doing this was (1) really weird and (2) really healthy, because there were almost no vegan junk foods or convenience foods. We ate vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts and seeds almost exclusively. New vegans routinely lost weight (I dropped the final fifty of a sixty-pound excess after making the switch, and it’s still gone). Even though we’d never heard of antioxidants, and the first brave soul to put greens in a smoothie had yet to surface, everybody seemed to either take up a sport or adopt twins because we had unbelievable energy. In those days, being vegan protected a person from baked goods. And ice cream. And pizza.

Those protections are no longer in place. There are vegan versions of nearly every snack food and comfort food known to humankind, and that’s good. We’ll save more animals when potential vegans don’t have to fear the loss of chicken-like nuggets. Nevertheless, if you want to dazzle onlookers with your state of health and the way you look now and as time goes by, you’ll need a more enlightened take on food and self-care. You’ll be heading toward “vegan with lots of produce and minimal cupcakes.” And you’ll get to grow into it at your own pace.

The Good Karma Diet, which is, in all honesty, the Good Karma Life, is a process of moving from doing fine to doing splendidly, or from not so healthy and not so happy to vibrant health and the unshakeable conviction that there’s a miracle hiding in this day somewhere and you’re going to find it. It puts you in harmony with the needs of your body and the calling of your spirit. It’s living in a way that requires you to treat yourself like the divine being you are, and eating in a way that lets you choose from foods that are as beautiful as you yourself have ever wished to be.

This way of living and eating has been around awhile—some would say since the Garden of Eden—and it has a growing body of admirers and adherents, with some celebrities and illuminati sprinkling glitter on its reputation. Right now, however, the only person who matters is you, learning what you need to and getting as much support as you require to do this joyously and successfully from now until forever.

If you stick with me on this, you cannot fail. Nothing is perfect except the spirit within you and the Power that got you here. Everything else, including the choices you make about eating and exercise and the rest, is an attempt to replicate that love and beauty and energy. The closer you come, the more incredible you’ll feel. And on days when you’re not as close as you’d like to be, that essence of you is still perfect, and that Power loves you as much as ever. Unlike old-fashioned diets characterized by on and off, or lose and gain, this is an invitation to live a more momentous life than most people believe is possible. It is a gateway to a growth experience that will get richer and deeper and more magnificent as you go along.

I’m offering you an opportunity to upgrade the way you eat, live, see yourself, and relate to those around you. You can expect to lose weight if you have weight to lose. You’ll find yourself waking up in a good mood more often. Your skin will have that luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living. And you’ll get compliments.

You may overcome a pesky health complaint. People who nourish themselves with plant foods—mostly whole and unprocessed, with a lot of salads, fresh fruits, colorful smoothies, and green juices in the mix—report leaving behind everything from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) to eczema, depression to migraines. I can’t tell you how your body, mind, and spirit will work together to heal some specific ailment. If you have medical concerns, you’ll want to work with a reputable health care provider, ideally one who is open to this way of eating, and chart together what improvements you’re making, and what medications can be decreased or eliminated.

Dealing with pathologies is beyond the scope of this book, and I’m not recommending self-diagnosis or self-treatment. If you’re under a doctor’s care, consult with him or her about what you intend to do and proceed with that guidance. (To find a compatible physician in your area, check out VegDocs.com.) Everyone else, start today!

Getting the Most from This Book

Are you excited yet? Either way, that’s fine for now, because I’m excited enough for both of us. I’m excited that you’ll be healthier, but I’m more excited that you’ll be happier. Happy people do healthy things. Customize your Good Karma journey to your own life and circumstances. If you’ve tried something similar before and it didn’t seem to work for you, give this a shot. You wouldn’t be in this philosophical neighborhood again if there weren’t something here for you.

In addition to this book’s twenty-five chapters, you’ll find sprinkled throughout “Good Karma Stories,” vignettes from men and women whose lives changed for the very-much-better as a result of altering their food choices. In some cases, this looks like pure cause and effect, i.e., they lost weight or got healthier as a result of their dietary changes. More often, the good karma is more far-reaching. It’s a whole-life turnaround ignited not only by eating whole foods but also by realizing the dignity and essential worth of every being who has, or had, life on earth and the desire to keep it. In addition, you’ll find here and there Good Karma Tips (GKTs) that offer practical suggestions you can start to implement right now.

While this is a living book, not a cookbook, you will, nevertheless, find as Appendix A “Life Can Be Hard, So Food Should Be Easy Recipes,” from Toronto recipe creator, culinary photographer, and raw food chef Doris Fin, CHHC, AADP. These recipes are beautiful and easy to make, and Doris’s style of food prep—very fresh, very colorful, mostly raw—makes for the instant karma of feeling amazing not long after you swallow. You don’t need to become a full-time “raw fooder”—I haven’t done that—but the more alive the food you eat, the more alive you’ll look and feel.

In Appendix B, you’ll find suggestions for books to read, and some with which to cook, after you finish this one. Books are the great renewers, connecting you again and again with the passion you feel when a novel idea first ignites your imagination.

I also wanted to insert a note for anyone who follows my work and knows that this is not my first book with “diet” in the title. You might be wondering how many diets one woman is entitled to come up with! Here’s the explanation: that earlier book, The Love-Powered Diet, is about overcoming food addiction; it gives any reader dealing with compulsive eating a way to restructure from the inside out. It also suggests and details a vegan foodstyle, just as this book does, but The Good Karma Diet is designed to appeal to everyone, not just people who have had an unusually troublesome relationship with food. This book also leans toward a high-green, high-raw, youth-preserving way of eating that I had not fully discovered when I wrote my other “diet” book.

So, here we are: poised to sparkle and shine, to feel exquisitely alive, and to make a genuine difference in this world. I’m humbled and grateful that you’re trusting me as a guide on your journey. I honor where you’ve already been and what you already know, which I’m betting is considerable. I promise to tell you the truth as I see it, recognizing that others may see it differently. And I’ll tell you what I do myself, because it is apparently working.

There’s no need to overhaul your life overnight, but don’t dawdle, either. You’re offered something here that goes far beyond the soulless rhetoric of the weight loss industry, the food giants, and the “Oh, dear, dear, we mustn’t be too radical” nutritional establishment. We’re not talking about doing a little better and feeling a little better, but rather about regeneration. It starts in your kitchen but it expands to touch every aspect of your life. This is dietary yoga, transformation for body and soul. If these ideas resonate with you and you’re ready to make this shift, you’re in for a divinely delicious adventure.

1

I didn’t know it was possible to feel this good.

I woke up not long ago thinking, “This is the craziest thing: if I had a real job, I’d be retiring this year, and yet I feel more alive and more energized than when I was twenty.” I knew it was what Arnold Ehret, a nineteenth-century “food reformer,” had called “Paradise Health.” I had it, physically and emotionally.

I’d been on a pretty good path for a long time. Although I spent the first thirty years of my life bingeing and dieting—always gaining or losing weight, and conversely losing and gaining my flimsy self-esteem—I finally got so tired of that un-merry merry-go-round that I gave up the fight and was open to recovery from the inside out. Food was my drug, so I went to meetings like any other addict. I put my appetite in the hands of God, and God gave me my life back, only better.

Once I wasn’t eating for a fix anymore, I was able to move toward plant-based eating, and despite fits and starts and goofs and lapses, I ultimately ended up at profound, committed veganism—nothing from an animal, not fish or low-fat yogurt or eggs, even when hidden in a banana-walnut muffin.

I made the veg choice, as Isaac Bashevis Singer said that he, too, had done “for the health of the chickens.” I knew a little of the horrors of factory farming, and that even small, local farmers, as dedicated as they are to doing things better, are caught up in the economic necessity of having to separate mother dairy cows from their babies and sending the unneeded boy calves off for veal. Small farms acquire the chicks who will be laying hens from the same hatcheries that serve factory farms and ruthlessly kill the boy babies shortly after they break free from their shells. And, of course, the slaughterhouse ends things for all farmed animals, usually while they’re still young.

With my vegan conversion, it was easy to keep the weight off and avoid the heart disease and diabetes that plague both sides of my family of origin. I raised a beautiful vegan daughter, Adair, wrote several books, and enjoyed some breathtaking moments of speaking for large audiences and going on TV. I had trials like everyone else, and even some tragedies. My first husband, Patrick Moran, suffered from an anxiety disorder and took his life when our daughter was only four. In 2007, my sixteen-year-old stepson, James Melton, died from a freak illness. These were devastating experiences, to be sure, and yet, like everyone else who lo...

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Descrizione libro Tarcher/Putnam,US, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one! The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you: - Sustain energy - Extend youthfulness - Take off those stubborn extra pounds - Reflect an enlightened outlook This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped good karma in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780399173158

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Descrizione libro Tarcher/Putnam,US, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one! The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you: - Sustain energy - Extend youthfulness - Take off those stubborn extra pounds - Reflect an enlightened outlook This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped good karma in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780399173158

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