One of the sayings I grew up with at home (and which I’m very grateful for) is, “My word is my bond”. It’s something that immediately conjures up a feeling of solidity and trust and it’s engrained enough for me to take it for granted that everyone knows this about me, so I rarely (if ever) use it myself, I just live by it to the best of my ability. But in Spanish there’s another saying: “Papelito habla”, which refers to the binding quality of the written word.

Yesterday I went for a blood test. Not because I’m unwell, on the contrary, I feel fine, but because, after 5 years of enjoying a (mainly) vegan diet and being questioned left, right and centre, implicitly and explicitly, even by people I’ve met in the medical field, I  thought it would be a good idea, just as a precautionary measure, to get a simple test done and to see for myself if I really am lacking in iron, protein, vitamins and minerals that many of us believe must derive from an omnivore diet.

I’m posting my results below, but before that, I just want to clarify – because clarity is key 😊 – that I don’t doubt for a moment that people with different diets from mine would obtain similar results. The point of publishing these is to share that even though my health might not be perfect, it is more than good enough, and I am so happy and grateful! Also, that I know these results come from a combination of factors, not only a healthy plant-based diet, but the insight that comes from the practice of mindfulness meditation, which allows me to listen to my body as it tells me what it needs every day.

There’s no doubt that sitting with ourselves in stillness and in silence for a few minutes every day, and with the support of good friends, can revolutionise our mind, body and spirit.

What a difference this makes to our learners!

One more thing is that these results make me so happy because I don’t think I’d ever seen a blood test result in which every single criteria falls within the clinical parameters. Last time I had a blood sample taken was because I wanted to donate blood at a state hospital (as a universal donor with O negative type blood) but I was rejected due to a mild but chronic vascular/circulatory issue deemed as a risk for the donor. Still, it was an eye-opener to have been rejected and I’d been hesitant – even though I feel fine – to have another blood test done without the specific orders from a doctor.

The lesson here for me is that even when everything isn’t perfect in our life, we can be grateful and happy for so many conditions that lead towards health and well-being. Not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those around us. We can appreciate good results like these quite deeply in the knowledge that they won’t always be this way, because everything is impermanent, which is why we continue to practise mindfulness even when we are well.

If you’re in ELT and interested in finding out about this wonderful practice, please take a look at this outline of what our Workshops are all about or go ahead and sign up for our Introduction to Mindful Practices Workshop starting 3rd June – see you there!