Martial Arts for Life

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Martial Arts for Life: Discipline at the Plate








“Don’t dig your grave with your knife and fork” – English Proverb

Having “discipline at the plate” is a key trait of successful hitters in baseball. It refers to having the self-discipline to only swing at quality pitches that can be put into play and lay off pitches that are poor quality or out of the strike zone. Hitters that have this characteristic are coveted by major league teams and often enjoy great success.

Of course, we’re talking about another type of discipline at the plate here, one that leads to success with regard to one’s health and longevity. This is the act of exercising discipline when eating. According to the TIME Magazine article, “Eat Less, Live Longer?” decades of calorie-restriction studies involving organisms ranging from microscopic yeast to rhesus monkeys have shown that reducing the amount of food consumed has extended the life spans of these organisms by as much as 50%.

One of the healthiest countries in the world is Okinawa. Nearly 30% of Okinawans live to be 100!  The Okinawans have a saying that goes like this “Hari Hachi Bu”, which roughly translated means “80 percent full.” The idea is that you never stuff yourself. Instead of eating until you’re full, you eat until you are not hungry. This takes practice and discipline but the benefits are significant.

It should also be noted that the traditional Okinawan diet consists of portions made of a bowl of cooked food and a fruit. According to author Stefan Anitei, “Okinawans eat daily seven portions of vegetables and fruits, seven of cereals and two of soy products. They take various portions of fish weekly and very sporadically meat and dairy products. Overall, their diet is low in calories and contains a lot of vegetables.”

To put this discipline into practice,  try using a smaller plate for all your meals. This makes it seem that there is more food on the plate. Research shows us that by doing this, you will automatically eat less.

Most entrées at restaurants are oversized. Try sharing one entrée with someone else or only eating half and taking the rest to go. Replace a 12” sandwich with a 6”, etc. Remember, instead of eating until you are full; eat until you are no longer hungry.

When it comes to your health, a little bit of a discipline goes a long way.

“If you take care of your stomach the first 50 years of your life, your stomach will take care of you the next 50…” – Unknown


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December 6, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment