How Stories About Food Can Heal or Harm
Social media is choking with hero and villain stories about food. Every day there’s a story about a miracle food that cures everything and right behind it a list of ten foods you must never eat. Little of the rhetoric is a testament to good research and the majority is a sign of lazy journalism.
I’m not talking about heavily processed foods, but natural foods like fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, fish, chicken, cheese, coffee, coconut oil and so on. The hype gets us over-thinking and triggers us emotionally.
Studying nutrition and reading tons of books praising or slamming certain dietary approaches created inner turmoil for me, as I’m sure it does for many. Despite my research, there were many unanswered questions. The deeper I delved the more questions it raised. Foods were good or evil and opinion changed constantly, begging for certain foods to be worshiped or maligned.
I wondered how my body responds to food when I have such judgment about it. All is well when it’s a positive judgment but what about when I’m buying into a negative story and then eating the food anyway. We have to eat. It’s little wonder I ended up with so many food intolerances.
Now, I take much of what I read about food with a pinch of salt.
I eat a broad range of fresh natural nourishing dishes cooked at home or in salads and it’s unusual for me to buy processed products. David and I design delicious recipes that are simple to make and taste great. I buy organic when I can and wash fruit and vegetables properly when I can’t. When I’m travelling and eating out I look for cafes and restaurants that offer fresh healthy options.
Listening to my body and responding to its needs is paramount to having a healthy relationship with food.
As a child, I recall my grandparents saying grace before meals. An Ayurvedic Dr. told me that the intention of grace was to quiet the mind and the body to prepare for digestion. That makes sense when we understand that digestion is done in the body’s resting state.
A moment of gratitude before meals gives our bodies a chance to relax in readiness for the food we’re about to receive.