TARA COTTRELL is a writer, digital strategist, and mom. She consults and writes for lifestyle and wellness brands in Silicon Valley and is a well-being advocate for at-risk and foster youth. She is currently the web content manager at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and lives in Menlo Park, CA.
DAN ZIGMOND is a writer, data scientist, and Zen priest. He advises startups and venture capital firms about data and health. He is a contributing editor at Tricycle, the largest Buddhist magazine in North America, and teaches at Jikoji Zen Center, a small Buddhist temple in the Santa Cruz mountains. In May 2015, he was named one of “20 Business Geniuses You Need to Know” by Wired Magazine, as he frequently reminds his kids. He lives in Menlo Park, too.
There’s a lot you probably don’t know about the Buddha. For one, the real Buddha was thin. And before he became the “Enlightened One,” he was a pampered prince named Siddhartha. He tried dieting once and didn’t like it any more than the rest of us. Instead, he sought a “middle way” between unhealthy overindulgence and unrealistic abstinence. The instructions he gave his monks about eating, more than 2,500 years ago, were surprisingly simple.
Fast forward to today, and modern science confirms what Buddha knew all along. It’s not what you eat that’s important, but when you eat. You don’t need to follow the latest fads or give up your favorite foods. You just have to remember a few guidelines that Buddha provided—guidelines that will help you lose weight, feel better, and stop obsessing about food. Sure, Buddha lived before the age of doughnuts and French fries, but his wisdom and teachings endure, providing us with a sane, mindful approach to achieving optimum health.