By Rolf Gates, MedChefs Health Coach
As the creator of the Right Mindset in the MedChefs program, I’d like to take a few moments to explain where the concepts of Right Plate and Right Mindset come from and how they work together.
A Little History and Context
My father was a Unitarian minister who had a passion for eastern philosophy. As a child, I learned about many types of religions and was fascinated by the story of the Buddha, a regular person who ultimately triumphed over the challenges the Gods put before him. As an adult, I learned that those challenges were internal. And that the practice he used to make peace with himself was called mindfulness. Today I am a Yoga teacher using that same practice to help people overcome those same challenges in a world quite different than the one the Buddha grew up in.
A Set of External and Internal Skills
The practice of Yoga flows, like so many other forms of human endeavor, from understanding intention to action. In Yoga the actions you take have two aspects, an external one and an internal one. An example is the concept of wise effort: the idea that each action one takes should be a balance of effort and ease which can be applied to creating balance in your daily life, how you sit in meditation, or how you walk to work. A skill in Yoga is applied to every relationship in your life: the one you have with your thoughts, your beliefs, you habits, your friends, your family, the work you do, the food that you eat, and the body that it nourishes.
As MedChefs took shape, we sought to follow Yoga’s example by offering a set of skills one could apply externally and a set of skills they could apply internally. The Right Plate speaks to the external skills of selecting the right foods and eating them in the right amounts. In this way, one can rebuild their body in much the same way as an architect selects the materials she will use to create a building. The Right Mindset is a set of internal skills that support us as we rebuild our relationship to food, to our health, and to ourselves. The MedChefs program transforms our relationship to food day-by-day, step-by-step. We find that we now have a choice in these moments, when in the past we relied on habit. Over time, this practice grows to bring more choice into every area of our lives.