#Eating Right

 

SUMMARY

1. Food is a reflection of the divine. It sustains, nourishes and fortifies life in this body.
2. Food, thoughts and breath - all of these require absolute mindfulness.
3. In this era where a plethora of diets are available, it’s important to understand what’s the right food for your body.
4. Our body’s intelligence guides our food choices. It has the power to decide what nourishes it - a decision that’s over and above your beliefs and conditioning.
5. Mindfully taking responsibility of your platter leads to better health, less wastage and compassion for the planet and gratitude towards Mother Earth.

 

 

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

Food is a reflection of the divine. It sustains you, nourishes you, and fortifies life into this world. It is one of the most fundamental necessities of life which comes second only to breathe. The act of eating is deeply divine. Putting a morsel of food in your mouth is akin to conducting Yagna, a sacrificial offering to please the deity.

Therefore, the food that we consume is an offering to our highest self. How wonderful it would be to perceive it this way! And this is not restricted only to the aspect of eating. The thoughts we think and the breath we take is equally significant offerings we make to our highest self. Therefore, all of these primal acts require deep mindfulness.


Food is the basis of life. It nourishes one’s body and mind alike. That is why it is important to remember that what we eat and how we eat has an impact on our mind, body, and spirit. Our food choices and habits have undergone tremendous changes as we have evolved over the ages. Today, as we bask in the glory of this smart and comfortable life, we are inundated with choices galore in every aspect of life. This goes with food too! We have an array of fab diets to choose from: be it a vegan diet, a raw vegan diet, a paleo diet, a keto diet and what not! The list is endless.

This raises so many questions: which food is right for us and which is not? Is gluten harmful to us or is it good for us? Is milk not the complete food it used to be? Does raw food really cause more harm than good? Where do we look for as each diet comes with its huge list of pros and cons?

The answer lies in tuning into your own body and listening deeply. Our body has it’s own intelligence: that’s how it’s often able to heal itself, only when you don’t meddle with it. The intelligence which runs through this universe runs through our bodies too, governing all its functions. The same innate intelligence guides us to our food choices according to the body’s needs in specific demography and climate.

It is this intelligence that manifests in babies as a constant reluctance to drink any milk after it is weaned off the breast milk. The same intelligence makes a dog chew on the grass while having an upset stomach. The only difference between the man and the dog, in this case, is that man’s intelligence has become heavily shrouded by cultural and industrial indoctrination.

Let’s understand this: our bodies are very intelligent; they can talk to us. All we need to do is observe them and work accordingly. Just observe how you feel after a meal. Do you feel sleepy or energetic? Pay close attention to these signals.

Make a list of all the foods that are advertised and simply stop eating those foods. That’s one great advice that I received from my nutritionist. Why would someone advertise foods that are instinctive to a human? Do you ever see advertisements for oranges or apples or cucumbers? You would never!

Every animal instinctively knows what to eat. All, except as human beings who have lost touch with this beautiful ability due to getting lost in this world of advertisements. We eat according to our culture, our tastes and above all, the advertisements. But this is not healthy and often leads to lifestyle diseases.

 

Whenever we visit an orchid of farmers resplendent with fresh juicy fruits and vegetables, how do we feel? Don’t we wish to eat them right away? That is our instinct at work.


Your relationship with food will change once you start listening to your body. You start chewing more while mixing more saliva with your food in your mouth. Also, when you swivel some water in your mouth that will satisfy your parched throat better than just gulping down huge sips of water.

Do not eat when your body signals you to stop, however lovely the taste of your food may be. You may even consider cutting down packaged food once you become aware of how bloated and uncomfortable they make you feel.


Maybe somewhere down the line, you will discover that you have the power to know what your body requires and which food will provide you with ample nourishment. Of course, your conditioning, habits and belief systems do come into play. The whole effort is to rise above them and find for yourself a flexible diet in alignment with your body’s needs.

Gradually you will learn to discern and answer your body’s nourishment needs which are most satisfying.

When it comes to your body, being flexible with your food choices is a mandatory step all of us need to take when dealing with food and nutrition. Because evolution is an ongoing process, we all are perennially on this journey. It is important for us to open our minds and test for ourselves what works for us and what does not. This should be done with a complete commitment to our health and well being. Our body’s instinct is the single most important factor when it comes to our food choices.

Whether you are serving the food or preparing to be served, you can use this time to prepare your soul for the nourishment ahead. It’s time to feel joy and gratitude. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says, “Be conscious and eat in such a way that in two and a half hours, the food moves out of your stomach and in 12-18 hours it is completely out of your system. If you maintain this simple awareness, you will experience much more energy and agility in your body.”

Studies have found that the human brain works best when the stomach is a bit empty. Because an empty stomach produces ghrelin, which heightens and stimulates the performance of the body and helps you keep alert, active and focused. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you stay hungry all the time and don’t eat, but rather be conscious of how much you eat. Portion size is a determining factor. So when you apply this awareness to the act of eating, it not only slows down the process of eating but also results in the right consumption of food, easy digestion and affects our overall food consumption on the planet. Imagine, there can be so much less wastage of food. Our planet is plagued with so much wastage of food that goes around.

One more way of making food closer to nature is by eating a plant-based diet. Because raw food which consists of fruits and uncooked vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fresh herbs is laden with so much of life energy, called Prana. Although specially plucked fruits and vegetables are full of so much of life energy and they could be the best choice for a great diet. So the more a food item goes through processing preservation or cooking, the less amount of life energy in it. So, think about it that way: how much fresh food are you eating? How much of life energy are you eating in a day? Because we are the only species that makes food less nutritious by refining it before eating. Oil, sugar, white rice, flour are great examples. And we are the only ones who peel the fruits and vegetables before eating, while the maximum nutrition is just under the peel. When we refine them, we end up losing a tremendous amount of nutrition and essential fiber. Therefore,  experts recommend that you should eat whole plant-based diets that could be as organic as possible.

Also, when it comes to your relationship with food, there could be other factors as well. The first on the list is emotions. Because, whenever you are stressed, all you ever do is eat. Because that is the time when we are likely to eat all the wrong foods due to our love for comfort food. We like foods that we have been brought upon. Emotions play a big role in our food choices. That’s why most of the advertisements for processed and packaged foods are laden with emotions.

Our sleep patterns are highly disturbed too. People skip their meals to meet deadlines at work. As a result, they tend to overeat or crave unhealthy food when they get time. Hence, the body does all the hard work at odd hours. Most of our meals are eaten either before television sets or while chatting over the phone. With the easy availability of fast foods and takeaways, so many of us are munching on foods while on the move. The food is so easily available that we have lost the reverence for it. Late night parties and heavy and oily food and overeating, all these are taxing our bodies beyond our imagination.


One more thing that we can do to build our relationship with food is we can get involved and active in the process of getting food. Eating can be the most intimate act with oneself but when you get involved with the whole process of sourcing and consuming food as much as you can, that goes a long way in building your relationship with food. When each family member contributes to the process of preparing meals, for instance from selecting fruits and vegetables to cutting and chopping to cooking to laying the table and serving together, imagine how much the intimacy could extend which would envelop the whole family in a blanket of love. This could be so wonderful especially in the current times. It is not surprising to know that the meals cooked and consumed passionately excite your taste buds as well as your digestive enzymes, too.

 

In a nutshell, if each of us mindfully takes responsibility for our own platter, chances are that it results in better health, less wastage as much as possible and compassion for the planet overall. This will also bring in a sense of gratitude to all the love Mother Earth bestows upon us in the form of this nourishing bounty.

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Mar 5, 2020      #The Malkan Show

 

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