March 4, 2015.
How far we have come with awareness of healthy eating and the many ways to take good care of ourselves through what we ingest. Unfortunately, even with all this information, education, and changes in our diet many of us still do not feel energetic and vital. Could it be that we are not only what we eat but how we eat?
At breakfast, the news you read, watch or listen to reports: “A two hundred point drop in the world stock market since yesterday, and another drop is predicted today.” “Holiday shoppers were held hostage in a department store at gunpoint for three hours.” “Rain is predicted for this weekend”—your one vacation this winter. The bond you voted against, meant to raise your local taxes, passed.
Enjoy eating your breakfast??!!
Lunch consists of dashing into a fast-food restaurant and grabbing a bite to eat; or, perhaps, piles of work require you to take a quick mini lunch at your desk or in the car while driving to an appointment—sandwich in one hand, cell phone in the other.
The evening news reports how famine has affected the rural population in Africa and shows starving, emaciated babies and children. Violence has erupted in Bosnia or Israel or the Middle East.
How does your favorite dish taste, the one that was lovingly prepared for your dinner?
Can we possibly enjoy, digest, and assimilate food when our minds are engaged elsewhere? Our mouths may chew and our throats may swallow by automatic process; yet, if our minds are focused on the stock market report or shocked by the violence, is it possible to digest our food fully? Is it any wonder that so many people in this country routinely use digestive aids?
Walk into any drugstore or pharmacy. We see aisles and aisles of pills and liquids to help us take care of burning stomach, heartburn, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Add in all the headache remedies that are connected to the stomach not digesting properly. We support a large multimillion dollar drug industry that is built around our eating improperly and not being conscious when we eat. By their own claim, these aides give us only temporary relief. For permanent relief, our eating habits must change.
Where does digestion begin? In the stomach? In the mouth? Most digestion begins with the mind.
Did you ever go to a restaurant and choose a wonderful, tantalizing dish from the menu? Your mouth waters just thinking about eating it. The digestive process has already begun. The server comes to take your order and five minutes later is back to inform you that they are out of your desired dish. How difficult is it to choose something else? Your mind, mouth, and stomach have already prepared for the first choice! Even though your mouth never actually tasted it, your digestion had begun just by the thinking process.
Have you ever had the experience of going out to lunch with friends for a “business luncheon”? The topic of conversation gets tense; still, you continue to eat. Only after your fork no longer has anything to lift do you notice that there is nothing left on your plate; yet, you do not remember eating anything. You gingerly look under the table to see if you inadvertently dropped it there. The floor is void of food. Our bodies may have received the food, but we were not nourished.
While working on a clinical team, it seemed to be my role to remind my colleagues about being conscious at meal times. I would encourage them to “eat not eat and meet.” Do only one thing at a time, I explained; “either eat or meet.” It became common for me to be asked in advance if I would be at a certain meeting near the lunch hour. If my schedule was busy at that time, I was met with, “Oh good! Without you there we can eat while we meet.” It can be a difficult position to be the Jiminey Cricket, the conscience of the group!
So, I remind you: Be present for each meal—in mind as well as in body. There’s plenty of time for meetings, for news, for heated discussions at other times. Be meditative and peaceful while you eat. Savor your food. And savor your good health.
❤ Article: Natural Vitality With Balanced Food
❤ The Healing Path of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
Photo by Bhaskar Deva | ©AbundantWellBeing