Explore Your Relationship to Food: It’s Vital to Your Health
We are in relationship to everything around us. The relationship we have with people and with ourselves is vital to our existence. In these important relationships we strive for balance. But have you considered the relationship we have to food? To the substance that nourishes us the most in partnership with air and water?
Our society today sends a lot of messages about relationships and what we should be doing to understand, improve or change them. The volumes of marketing and sales information is designed to make us believe that others are looking out for our wellbeing, and so should we. No other place is this barrage of good intentions more insidious than in messages about food and health. We take for granted that the air we breathe and the water we use to hydrate and clean our bodies is pure and of the best quality, but what about food? If we follow the food marketers, it isn’t long before we are overweight, sick, tired, depressed and desperately undernourished.
The message from food manufacturers is that their processed products are equal if not superior to non-manufactured foods. They can isolate vitamins, add them to a packaged food, and convince you that it will boost your health. This is misguided. The energy we need to nourish our bodies should be a product of sun, air, and soil of the highest quality. If we are eating naturally raised food, our bodies will respond and reflect those energetic qualities. If we are eating food that has been highly processed and manipulated with chemicals, then our bodies will work overtime to try to dissect these concoctions into something nourishing. In the end, try as it might, the body cannot make unnatural ingredients natural, and thus, our bodies start to function less like natural, energetic, unique creations, and more like a factory.
Without question, our physical bodies are the structure that houses our emotional bodies. There is a direct connection between the health of our bodies and the vitality of our spirits. The relationship to food too is unspoken, yet our bodies are in constant communication with the messages we get from the food we eat. In this Age of Abundance, where all foods are available no matter the season, we are hard pressed to ever satisfy the cravings. Indeed, in the body’s quest for balance, it is easy to misunderstand the cravings. To rise above these cravings for sweet, salty and fat, it is important to dissect them as part of a larger, holistic picture. Take a week to examine the triggers for these cravings and you will soon see a different pattern emerging; a pattern that can be broken and reframed to achieve optimal weight and wellness.
When we pause to look at it, our relationship to our bodies is best seen through the choices we make about food on a daily basis. Nothing is more personal or nourishing to the body than the food we eat. We can all point to certain foods that give us comfort. Oftentimes, these foods have an emotion attached to them particularly during special occasions where we share recipes that reflect our heritage. We often make exceptions to our regular diet (whatever that may be) to participate in these cherished moments. Conversely, there are foods we choose in times of stress, sadness, and anger that hurt our bodies and provide no real support for our emotions. It is best to look for balance on a day to day basis. Our food choices should be a healthy, individual response to the body’s cries for water, high quality fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein. When our bodies are in balance, the lows are not going to be as low and –this is truth – the highs can be even higher! Each body is unique, and should be cared for with mindfulness, kindness, and patience.
Everyday we hear in the media about the rise of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, stroke, ADHD, and a myriad of other chronic diseases. In the wellness world, these are considered “food borne illnesses”. The good news is that our intuition and common sense hasn’t been completely whitewashed in the past 100+ years since industrialization and the rise of factory farming. Our collective consciousness is rising to respond to our body’s basic needs for balance and nourishment. Movements against Genetically Modified foods, and demands for increases in local, organic, sustainable food reflect that the movement toward “health” food has a renewed urgency in it. The individual is completely in charge of making choices to support the body’s quest for balance and help restore the balance within the Earth. Engage your body in a new relationship to food and you will engage your heart and mind to the purity of life and love. It’s not too late – it’s never too late! We all have the tools we need to invite in a new view of nourishment – on the plate and beyond.