Below is a list of quotes I have heard many times, from many of the wonderful people with whom I work. Can you relate to any of them?
“I wish I could just see food as fuel”.
“I wish someone would tell me exactly what to eat, every day. Do you do meal plans?”
“I wish they made a powder / pill / drink that I could have instead of food.”
“Food is confusing.”
“Food is overwhelming.”
“Have you heard of the new diet where you don’t eat carbs / eat only carbs / don’t eat meat / eat only meat / only eat red things / only eat before 5 pm? What do you think of it?”
I get it. For many of us, food is freaky and scary. Maybe you’d just rather not deal with getting to know it or trusting your body to tell you how it feels about it, because if you stray the tiniest bit from being rigid and in control, all hell will break loose and you will end up face down in a giant chocolate cake.
This comes from thinking we need to do things perfectly.
And this also comes from a DEEP disconnection from what food REALLY is, and from our bodies.
What would you say if I told you that food is actually magical?
See, we evolved in sync with the plants and animals that surround us. That has enabled us to digest them and to make use of the nutrients they offer us. (That’s also why we can’t digest Red Bull, cotton candy, gummy worms, and McDonald’s. Our bodies don’t know how, because those things are not food).
Consider your ancestry. Where are your people from? Chances are, your body will be good at digesting the foods native to that area. (Which explains why, while my tastebuds adore chili peppers, tomatoes, corn and beans, my gut doesn’t).
Not only do we digest the plants and animals that surround us, but we also gain deep healing from them.
There are certain plants you can consume, for example, that can do anything from kill bacteria and fungus and viruses to improve circulation to enhance sleep to increase mental focus to create better mood to reduce pain and inflammation. That’s amazing.
So it’s magical on that level, but it’s magical in another way, too:
The sensory experience of preparing and consuming food can alter our emotional state.
And here is where we leave behind the categories of “good food”/”bad food”. You can do this with any food. It’s about how you do it – not what you’re eating (although what you’re eating should ideally taste great).
Try taking the time to experience this the next time you make something to eat. It can be a hearty seasonal stew, or it can be a latte and a piece of cake. Slow down, breathe, and sink into the taste, feeling, and even scent of what you’re consuming. Consider where the ingredients came from, and how far they had to travel to arrive on your plate, and how many people were involved in the process. Think about the sun and the rain that helped the grains and vegetables to grow from tiny seeds to mature plants that now provide your body with nutrients.
It’s pretty different than how you normally eat, isn’t it?
What might happen to your relationship with food if you started to understand how multidimensional – and magical – food really is?