Is Nutrition Actually Spiritual?
Throughout history, there have been endless food philosophies, diets, and patterns of eating. In our modern day culture, the overwhelming amount of information bombarding us daily can leave us confused, defeated, and fearful of food. Thus we may separate our nutrition from our spirituality, whether consciously or unconsciously.
It's an ever evolving process, to find connection to and make peace with food.
My own outlook has shifted MANY times over the years. I'm not perfect, and I've had my share of food related struggles or unhealthy behaviors popping up. There are some constants that I know keep me feeling my best. Coupling that with my experience in the wellness field, I've seen so many of the same patterns present themselves over and over.
When you separate from or think of food with fear and resentment, unhealthy behaviors will persist. This is why most "diets" never work. The diet mentality is to be fearful of certain foods, or the foods we actually want, to dote on our bodies and criticize them. To feel guilt and shame around food.
This negative approach to eating will never bring true fulfillment and satisfaction.
In a way, I think some people don't realize how deep their connection with food really is, and the lack of understanding and clarity there causes some self-sabotaging behaviors to persist. In order to make peace with food once and for all, we first have to trust ourselves. Tune out MOST of the external noise and start to get back to listening to what your body actually needs.
What foods make you feel really good?
Do you tend to follow your internal cues for hunger and fullness?
Are there foods you love that maybe make you feel crappy?
Can you see the emotional ties to your favorite comfort foods?
What are your core values around food? What matters most to you?
Am I aware or concerned with where my food came from and its impact in the world?
Do I feel this food helps raise or lower my personal vibration?
Does this food make me feel more connected to my body, to the earth, to other people?
One of the most important things to remember when diving into this deeper perspective around nutrition is that no one "must" follow the same personal food philosophy.
We each have so many differences, such that we must take into account the following when formulating our own guidelines:
Bio individuality-What makes me feel good, may not work for you, varying body types, Ayurvedic doshas
Differences in values-Do your core values direct you towards caring more about the earth, veganism, organic farming, supporting local, etc.
Personal preferences and pleasure-There are distinct reasons why we're attracted to the foods we love, and we should allow ourselves to feel pleasure around food and enjoy it without guilt
Current emotional state-Periods of high stress will certainly have an impact on our food choices AND our needs
Spiritual connection to food-Ancestral connection, religious affiliations, vibrational alignment, sacred foods, etc.
Health Status- Dis-ease in the body calls for heightened awareness and attention to how foods can help balance our equilibrium, and aid in managing or resolving these issues.
Realize also, that your nutrition status and food choices do not equate to your self-worth.
Choosing foods you perceive as "bad" does not make you a bad person!
We must allow ourselves flexibility, and have compassion for ourselves and the factors that motivate us to eat.
To love food is to honor this sacred connection and power we have to fuel ourselves each and every day. The foods we eat literally become us, they are the building blocks for our physical bodies. Trust yourself, love your body, and follow your intuition.
(originally published 3/19/18)