Over the last few weeks, I have been pondering over the issue of dieting and health and honouring my mind, body and spirit.
Honouring Our Mind, Body and Spirit with Food
As we progress into the 21st century, eyes are turned towards how food is affecting our health. Top of the list is Obesity and Cancer, followed closely by Diabetes and many autoimmune diseases such as Fibromyalgia.
But above all the rules about what to eat and what not, is knowing the truth for our own bodies that count.
I have studied the subject of food and diet for over forty years, not least because I have a weight and food issue myself. I have been very overweight, and very slim, now at the age of seventy-five I am somewhere in between. Funnily enough, I am the weight that I was when I went on my first slimming diet at the age of nineteen. So, on the one hand, I have wasted my time and effort, but more importantly, I have learnt a lot about my body that I would not have known without having to watch my weight
And I have written books and blogs and done a few radio interviews. And my life has been enriched because of what some may see as a problem. When I see people who are suffering because of misinformation over the years about what works and what does not, my heart goes out to them, because I can see that I too could have suffered because of the lack of knowledge about what suits my body.
I am not talking about any particular way of healthy eating, but experimenting and finding what suits our individual needs. Some may eat meat, others not. Some may eat raw food and others not. A low carbohydrate diet is for many people, and one reason for that is that most carbohydrate food these days is high in sugar and refined.
What is almost certain is that eating the processed junk that saves time and money, whether they are proclaimed healthy or not, is damaging our health.
We simply need to be more aware, conscious and experiment on what suits our bodies, way of life and beliefs and honouring them.
We have been misled for many years now about what we should and should not eat.
Take fat, for instance. In the 1970s we were led to believe that we should not eat fat. There was even a slimming empire based on that and based their diet on no fat at all, and we are still trying to break the habit of eating low-fat products.
But eventually, scientists have realised that low fat is unhealthy and that the body needs a certain amount of healthy fat.
What about those who eat a lot and get away with it?
That is a myth. There are people who seem to get away with it, but eventually, find that they have not. My husband was skinny all his life, but after years of a bad diet, he had Type 2 Diabetes.
However, I have observed that people with no food issues are aware of when to stop eating, what to eat, have consistency around food and probably eat very little. Even those who we may think to eat a lot, and remain slim and fit have a point where they stop eating for a while. Most people with weight issues, most likely have a history of dieting one minute and binge eating the next.
But I believe that finding the truth about your own needs is paramount for healthy eating. I wonder how many people who live on the processed junk sold to us, give a thought to the damage that they may be doing to their health?
So, in general, I am convinced that if we eat a healthy diet, we are already somewhat conscious.
Now I have realised that at least for me, I want to take this a step further, and turn my consciousness into honouring my body, mind and spirit.
I do this by asking myself before I eat three questions.
- Am I honouring my body mind and spirit by eating this particular food?
- If my creator was standing in front of me, would I offer this food to them?
- Am I eating this for comfort or nurture?
Let’s take them one at a time.
Am I honouring my body mind and spirit by eating this particular food?
In other words, I have studied and experienced the results of eating wheat. I know that I can eat a little, especially products made with Spelt flour. But because I had an eating disorder, namely Bulimia, in the past, I know that it can lead to a binge, and secondly, it bloats my body and leaves me very uncomfortable and lethargic. So; would I be honouring my body? No because of the damage it can do to me. My mind? Yes, because it leaves me in a foggy state. My Spirit? Yes, because I feel that I will have dishonoured my body.
If my creator was standing in front of me?
Is this food pure enough and as clean as I can make it? Or is it Frankenstein food that can damage this wonderful creation that is taking me through my time on earth?
Am I eating this for comfort or nurture?
Well in a way they are both the same up to a point. But if I am not really hungry, and eating for comfort, is that viable at this moment? Will I be able to stop at just one or two, or go on to a binge? However, if I am really hungry or my body clock is telling me something, then eat.
I may add here that there will be times when our body craves something. Usually, that is a sign that we need something in that particular food. Also, four o’clock in the afternoon is a very popular time for sugar cravings. I usually have a cup of tea with some stevia in it. (However, there are some people who would not be able to do that because it would set off a craving for sugar.)
So there are no rules with healthy eating. We need to learn about what is suitable for our body. There will be times when we get it wrong, but that is the part of the learning process.
And to do this, we can learn to trust that process.
I am still learning, but can suddenly see where I have been going wrong.
At the end of my book, The Truth Has Set Me Free; I talk about how I finally overcame my problem of depression. And it was to stop beating myself up over being depressed in the first place. And it is just the same with what I eat.
What I have been doing all my life is trying to live by a set of rules, and in some regimes, you could call it dogma. When I have gone wrong in the past, I have beat myself up because I haven’t stuck to my diet, I have gone onto binge eating and not caring. I am writing this to myself as well as anyone else.
So now I am finding that those three questions have become a daily habit that has made me more aware, and perhaps it may work for many others too.
At last I am honouring my Mind, Body and Spirit.
See also Books
See also Patricia Cherry, Hummingbird Funerals