Why do we eat?
You’re probably thinking: Easy! Because we get hungry! But what I’m really asking is: what do you think the purpose of food is for our bodies? The reason I ask is because this is absolutely essential in determining your relationship with food, a relationship that reflects how you see yourself in this world.
How do you usually decide what to eat? Many of us tend to think about food in terms of calories, mainly because we are concerned about body image. Most diet fads that are popular today (paleo, engine 2, eat right for your type, weightwatchers, the spark solution, and so on) focus on weight loss and sometimes calorie counting leaving us with the impression that that is all food is about. That could be true if our body was only a mass of muscles, but it isn’t. If you think about it, your organs, your tissues, your cells, your bacteria do not really care about the number of calories you eat, and they are the ones that are impacted by the foods you consume. That is a concern only to your “self-image” –which is in your mind only, but, what is your body, really? Is it only an image on the mirror?
Food is not just calories. The power of food can change your health.
It’s about the information that food delivers to your body, not the number of calories it may have. Calorie counting is an outdated but persistent and shallow trend that many people still follow due to unawareness of the magnitude of the power that food actually has on our health and vitality. Food is so much more than just calories. It is information that talks to your genes. Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, explains that your genes can be changed in one day by changes in what you eat, so imagine the scale at which you are affecting your biology with your choices at every single meal [read his article here]. It is vital that we realize how powerfully food can impact our health on a daily basis. You may be counting calories and (for a period time) guarantee to stay slim, but that does not guarantee a healthy, vibrant life. Recognize that food is medicine. The composition of the foods you choose to eat sends a very specific message to each cell and bacteria in your body. They read that information, and that then determines the quality of your health, and your life.
It’s all about choice, and the choice is yours.
When you choose to eat whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, whole grains –all preferably organic) you do not need to worry about calories. Think about it: they’re all foods that come from the ground, which means they are on this earth to nourish us. That’s their purpose. Your body is not meant to have any synthetic, artificial foods or drinks, but real foods that the earth gives us and that provide it with the nutrients it needs to accomplish the functions it has. What you put on the end of your fork is one of the most important choices you have every day to control your health, your life, and the environment.
What is your relationship with food like? Choose to eat foods that maximize your health and increase your vitality. “Empty” foods–in terms of nutritional content, mainly processed foods, even if low in calories do not offer any benefits, but rather leave your body starving. You might get to look thin on the mirror, but get sick often and have no energy or drive. Is that all you are, an image? Is that what you really want for your life? Your relationship with food reflects your relationship with yourself and with life. How much do you truly appreciate your body? How do you honor it? Show your body how much you value and respect it by giving it what it really needs: proper nutrients from whole foods. In return, your body will be thankful and very kind to you. If you love and appreciate yourself, you will only want the best for you, and that is a diet rich in clean, whole foods that can nurture your body and soul.
“Every decision you make stems from what you think you are and represents the value that you put upon yourself.” –A Course in Miracles
Eat well. Be well.