30.4.2016 | 00:58
I wanted to continue the exploration I began in my last blog post.
Sometimes we get so focused on macronutrients, micronutrients, food allergies and sensitivities, and everything else involved with diet that we forget that there’s more to health and wellness than just what we put into our mouths.
(Not that that isn’t important, and I’ll discuss that in the next article.)
But, as Joshua Rosenthal of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (of which Debra is a graduate) says, there is “primary food” and “secondary food.”
“Secondary” food is what we eat and drink.
“Primary” food is the sustenance we get from other sources.
Primary food comes from our relationships with others, our careers and communities, and yes, our spiritual practices.
Trust me, you can think you’re doing all of the right things physiologically, but if you don’t have the right sort of mindset in place?
You’re in a lot of trouble….
Yes, we need to worry about protein, fat and carbohydrates.
And yes, we have to pay attention to vitamins, minerals and their various co-factors.
But none of that will do us any good at all if we’re approaching diet from a place of fear, or stress.
If we’re worrying about every morsel of food we put in our mouths, we’re not practicing a healthy lifestyle.
I don’t know about you, but if I can’t indulge in something special now and then – mindfully, of course – then I don’t want to play….
I’ve passed up opportunities to share meals with friends and family because I couldn’t find anything “acceptable” to eat according to my particular dogma.
That kind of sucks.
You can follow a healthy diet – barring certain health conditions that require rigid adherence as a matter of life and death – and still participate in social occasions.
It may not be 100% organic, or completely GMO-free, but pretty much every restaurant has a salad bar, or a “veggie plate” option.
Sometimes we just need to relax, because the stress of our “Diet Dogma” causes more dis-ease than the not perfect food….
I think most of us are better off eating mindfully instead of “perfectly,” and practicing stress-reducing activities before meals.
Many people are fans of HeartMath©, which is a wonderful technique for calming your body, and shifting from “fight or flight” mode to the more healthful “rest and digest.”
A lot of other folks recommend prayer, or blessing the food and those who bring it to us – and the Earth which provides it.
Yes, there are obvious exceptions to this, such as food allergies so severe they can lead to anaphylactic shock and require the use of Epi-pens®, and conditions such as Celiac Disease. And I am by no means making light of these, or making fun of people who need to avoid specific foods for serious reasons of health.
But I’ve seen this movie, and I know how it ends….
I ate a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-glycemic vegan diet. I didn’t drink alcohol, and my caffeine came from green tea or chocolate (85+%).
And guess what?
I had digestive issues, thyroid issues, adrenal issues … maybe even heavy metal toxicity.
I’ve relaxed a lot since then, roughly a year ago.
I’ve stopped worrying as much about every single morsel of food that passed my lips.
I moved to a new home, in a new (well, sort of – I’ve lived here before) town.
I’m more physically active – there’s that “primary food” again!! – and I’ve got a better mindset.
And I’m starting to feel a lot better than I did when I followed what I thought was the “perfect” diet….