The world that we live in today has turned what we eat into an industry. It is no longer the simple and basic function or practice that humans were designed to engage in to live. This is what I believe is the ROOT of the problem. All things are no longer equal: food is no longer JUST food. There are emotional components, there is “science” behind what we should or should not eat, there are chemicals, there is the processing of food, and then there is advertising/marketing. Food is never what we think it is. Because of this, no one diet, no one way of eating is going to be right for everyone.
I believe that we all must SIMPLIFY. Get back to the very basic of the basics. We must eat food that has been grown with care and love, and within the very natural symbiosis of the entire ecosystem around it. What that means is that we have to rediscover our roots and the basic human relationship with food and the earth. We must understand how food is made, where it comes from, and how every purchase we make, shapes the very industry around us. We are now voting with our dollar.
How do we Apply this to our Lives?
The way that I do it is to always be aware and conscious of the source. Can I identify this food as something that was just harvested? Was this food grown with the consciousness of the environment around it? Was this food sprayed or fumigated? Was it genetically modified? Was it grown in healthy soil? Was it fed natural manure, purified water and did it receive sunlight? What happened to this food after it was harvested? Was it sprayed and fumigated? Was it shipped across the nation and therefore waxed, sprayed and frozen? Is the place that I am purchasing from conscious of the importance of the previous practices? Do they care more about making a profit or providing an honest, well-grown product? Do they care not only about their consumer, but also their provider (grower, farmer)?
These might seem like a lot of questions to be conscious of, and many of them you might not know the answer to, but the awareness is KEY. We must begin knowing, truly knowing, what we are putting into our bodies. The best way to do this is to educate yourself and to invest in your food.
The bottom line about diets is that they are simply a new way of complicating something that is SIMPLE. We must eat food that is clean, treated well, grown well and unprocessed. We must consume it as close to the day that it was harvested. We reduce and eliminate foods that have traveled from afar (therefore reducing the environmental impact), have been sitting on shelves, and therefore are not fresh. The point is that all foods can be reduced to these simple practices. No matter what “diet” you choose, if it does not follow these guidelines, then its are not going to be the best choice.
Once you look at food in this light, the rest becomes much easier. A vegan diet filled with processed soy, fake meat, processed carbs, soda and frozen pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables is not healthier than a diet consisting of farm-fresh, free range eggs, raw milk, and freshly picked fruits and vegetables. We MUST stop looking at food as what diet does it fit into, and start looking at it as how it fits into nature and the natural human process of eating real food. Each “diet” has its positives and negatives, and that is simply because they are always trying to put everything into this scientific box. Guess what? Humans did not get put on this earth with a manual on how to eat. Everything on this earth is already in its perfect state when we do not mettle in its processes. The closer to its original state the better.
In regards to whether people should eat animal products or not has only become a highly controversial topic because meat, fish and dairy, are no longer just meat, fish and dairy. Even so-called “Organic” foods are not necessarily as pure as you might think. Furthermore, humans used to have to actually HUNT for their game, and therefore only ate meat sparingly. Today’s conditions are no longer that way. As a result, humans are consuming higher and higher amounts of a food that they used to only eat occasionally, and the majority of it is toxic. This leads to all of the diseases, cancers and chronic symptoms that plague the world today.
The next thing to consider is the toxicity of our food. The water, air, soil and therefore our bodies are witnessing their highest levels of toxicity every known to man, and therefore we must look to food sources that are the LEAST toxic. What that means is that you must not only look for Organic, you must look to a source that you TRUST. Believe it or not, organic food is a HUGE industry on the rise, and much like the rest of the conventional food industry, it must cut corners in order to keep up with the demand. As a result, you are no longer always getting what you think you are paying for, and that is, toxin-free, nutrient dense food. This is where purchasing from your local farmer is IDEAL and this is why we must begin including superfoods. Superfoods contain the highest density of nutrients of all the foods, and because we can no longer rely on our typical fruits, vegetables and grains for nutrients and antioxidants, we must look to these foods to fill that void. Furthermore, the majority of superfoods are still held to high standards, are not being grown on a massive scale, and therefore their quality is still in tact in the majority of cases.
*Learn more about superfoods with the Superfood Guide.
Finally, we must look at one of the, if not THE, most important factor of all: Emotional Connection. While toxicity, how the product was grown, harvested etc. are all vital components to finding the right way to eat, the emotional component may very well trump them all. I am not talking about so-called “emotional eating,” but how we as a human spiritually connect with our food. I like to think of this process as how we NOURISH ourselves, rather than how we FEED ourselves.
Food is not just a biochemical substance needed to fuel the body, but it also contains an energetic component that ties us deeply into the earth. We must always remember “you are what you eat.” Every bite of food literally becomes YOU, not only physically, but energetically as well. Therefore, the purer the food, the purer the body. That is one of the main reasons why monks and other spiritual people abide by a vegan diet. Because the plants, herbs and roots of the earth are the very LIFE FORCE that sustain all other beings.
We must always listen to our body. While we are all made of essentially same nuts and bolts, we are nonetheless individual and each body thrives on different foods, especially at different times in your life. For example, some people who are weak physically will not thrive on raw food and will do really well on cooked warm food. Then there are people who have stronger constitutions who do really well on raw food and do poorly on heavy, oiler foods. Therefore, always listen to your body, and be ready to adapt your diet to your state of health. That is why you will always hear that different foods and diets help heal different people.
With that said, we are not only looking at what food is providing us energetically, but also how we relate to that food. If you are a strung out vegan raw foodist who is constantly stressed and neurotic about being perfect and pure (yes, I have been that person), than you most likely are never going to be healthier than the calm, centered person eating the chicken and eggs that he grew on his organic farm. You must always form a HEALTHY relationship with your food that is centered on the pure essence of nourishing, not feeding in order to truly reap the benefits that healthy food can provide you.
So in order to conclude this novella, we must break down all the constructs in which you view food today, and rebuilt a new consciousness that centers on a pure awareness of your innate tie to the earth through the natural process of nourishing yourself. Once you are able to achieve that, that which is a spiritually aware and toxin-free relationship, health and a healthy weight will follow.
The best way to begin this path is by getting to know your food. Purchase your food directly from your local farms. Talk with your farmers about how they grow their food. Consume only the cleanest of foods available to you (local, farm-fresh, chemical and processing-free, vegetables, sprouts, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans). Only purchase pantry goods from credible, non-toxic sources. Develop a relationship where you can reconnect with your true natural being through the beautiful process of nourishing.