“For millennia Spiritual masters have known how powerful our thoughts are in our lives. Now, researchers in quantum physics and consciousness are confirming this. Regardless of what were are engaging in, our thoughts hold tremendous power over us. Therefore, our thoughts about food have a direct effect on our health. If we feel guilty about what we are eating, this influences how our bodies react to the foods we consume. “ (Love What You Eat: How Your Beliefs About Food Majorly Affect Your Health, 2013).
Many of the clients I see believe that certain foods, even those that are healthy, are “bad”. They feel guilty and ashamed about eating them. This has a negative influence on their relationship with food and the progress of their recovery. It is hard for them to see that “healthy” or “not”, “good” or “bad”, the foods we eat have an impact on us based off our mindset about them.
Yes it is important to eat within the boundaries of our nutrient needs, but if we do digress or indulge, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up, but instead eat with a free conscious and pure joy.
I’m sure you are familiar with the sayings “You are what you eat” and “Your body is your temple.” But what foods you eat aren’t the only things to pay attention to. We also need to think about how we eat in order to open up the pathway to enlightenment in our relationship with food. Being mindful in the way you approach food, experiencing its textures, flavors, and aromas can open the door for food experience like no other you have ever had. This can create an appreciation for this wonderful gift on your plate in front of you.
The society we live in is constantly displaying new studies, newspaper articles, or a post on social media sites, about the “right” things to eat. We tend to get confused. A few years ago it was grapefruit that was the staple of health, now we forgot about grapefruit and can’t get enough of kale and quinoa. We get so caught up in staying current with the next health fad that we forget how to eat, and appreciate all foods for all that they provide to us. Being healthy in mind, body, and spirit, are the basics to being spiritually connected to the food you eat, and how to fully experience the joys of eating. Understanding how to eat is just as important, and may even be more important, than what to eat.
Next time you are eating a meal, and thoughts such as; “this food is going to make me gain weight”, “this is a bad food, and I should not be eating it”, or “I will hate myself for eating this”, ignore them. By giving those thoughts power, we are not just ingesting nutrients, we are also ingesting fear. For example, whenever you’re eating a hamburger and you feel guilty, you are eating fear. This damages your immune system when you eat while feeling even the slightest negative emotion. If you’re going to eat a hamburger, eat a hamburger and enjoy it! Relish in the experience. Your mind and body will thank you for “eating in joy”.
It is important to eat what you love and love what you eat. I’m not trying to say, eat chocolate cake exclusively or completely avoiding vegetables, but that it is a good idea to enjoy whatever you eat, no matter how “bad” or “good” it may be. Your body is an amazing vessel, and it knows how you feel about your food while you’re eating. In response it will metabolize food differently based on your mood and feelings during mealtime. Take for example, the excitement and delight expressed when the Cool Ranch Doritos Taco was released. Those individuals who finally had it in their hands, and couldn’t wait to enjoy the Cool Ranch sensation in their mouth, sent happy messages from their hypothalamus to their organs helping them metabolize the taco more efficiently. By having a healthy attitude toward the taco they actually stimulated the release of the thyroid hormone, which in turn ignited the digestive hormones.
What I’m trying to express here is the more you enjoy what you are eating, and the less you worry about the fat content, cholesterol, sugar, or whatever else it is that may cause anxiety, you’ll actually digest it better and make better use of the nutrients. The opposite is found to be true as well. When negative thoughts and emotions arise, they can adversely affect digestion. While eating under stress it is hard for your body to adequately absorb the nutrients from the food you consuming. Once you slow down, breathe deeply, and enjoy the pleasures of nourishing your body, you begin to gain more joy and nutrition from the food you are eating, no matter what it is.
I recommend approaching food the way you should approach your life. When you eat joyfully, you bring more joy into your life. When you savor your meal, you savor your life. When you accept the food you eat, you are more accepting of yourself. I truly believe that when you’re filled with love, joy, contentment, or calm during your meals, the food you consume is also full of that same energy. The more you eat what you love, and love what you eat, the more you gain from the amazing power of a healthy relationship with food. In return this can lead to tremendous breakthroughs not just in your diet but also in your life.
Inspired by the article Feel That Meal! Do you love what you eat? By Denise Linn and Meadow Linn from Healtyourlife.com
Love What You Eat: How Your Beliefs About Food Majorly Affect Your Health. (2013) The Healers Journal. Retrieved from http://www.thehealersjournal.com/2013/07/11/food-beliefs-and-health-love-what-you-eat/