Today, I did a talk at the Norwalk Library in CT. The topic was “Eat Right, Think Right, Live Right”. We covered a lot of ideas around eating right, getting in touch with one’s inner wisdom (and not blindly following dietary dogma) and suggestions on how to begin the journey towards properly nourishing all aspects of ourselves which in turn honor all that we are.
It genuinely felt good to plant the seeds around this topic and sense that people may apply some of what they heard today into their day-to-day lives.
We started by talking about the pain most of us feel in our lives and the reason for it: Disconnection. In the way we live today, we are disconnected from one another, disconnected from who we really are and what we want, disconnected from what we eat (what we are actually eating, where it’s grown, etc.), disconnected from our body’s inner wisdom on what we need to truly thrive, etc.
This sense of disconnection from food, from each other and from who we really are fuels a feeling of isolation and despair. We are all neuro-biologically hardwired for connection and when we don’t have that, we can’t thrive in the way that serves us best.
We foster this disconnection by, among many things, not being aware that the foods we eat have a tremendous impact on how we live, how we feel and who we are/become. When we eat foods which are ‘dead’ or chemically processed to a point that maybe the cardboard box actually contains more nutrients that what’s in it, we take in the nature of what we eat. When we eat dead food, we die inside.
This may seem dramatic, but it’s something worth discovering for ourselves. And it’s not about eating ‘healthy foods’ just for all its vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which can become a mechanical process. It’s about appreciating that foods that are found in nature contain much richness, history and mystery that when we take them into our bodies, we are fed way beyond the analysis of what the food contains.
Think of chlorophyll, the food of plants and what gives plants its green color. Chlorophyll has the same molecular structure as hemoglobin in our red blood cells. So, it’s conceivable that the food for plants may ignite the life force in human beings. More than that, plants carry the elements of air, water, sunshine, earth and the harvesting by the farmers, etc. When we eat, we nourish ourselves with those elements as well and become one with what we eat. Mindful eating helps us see the connection between us and the food we eat, fostering a wonderful sense of interdependence and connection.
And it’s not just what we eat and don’t eat (or where our food comes from which is a huge issue), but it’s about honoring what our body wants. Some of us may do better with a primarily vegetarian way of eating while others could benefit from having some meat or dairy in our diet. It’s OK. If we don’t honor that, we will again feel disconnected from who we are. Dietary traditions are one thing, your truth is the real deal.
Quality is important – so in what we choose to eat per listening to our body, opt for the highest quality you can afford. When we eat food, we are also eating the energy of the food. If an animal has been factory-farmed and pumped with arsenic, as in the case of conventional chickens, we are taking that energy into our body and it will affect us. And, please I cannot begin the GMO discussion here – we now have designer crops that have been genetically modified to withstand large amounts of pesticides. There are approved not because they have been proven safe, but because there is no data to suggest that they are not (!).
Bottom line point I want to make is that food, while not the only thing, can plan an important role in fostering a sense of connection or disconnection, depending on how we approach it.