Discipline in Eating - Nourishing Mind, Body, and Soul
The food you eat can either be your medicine or your poison, which means it can either elevate your health or lead to disease and suffering.
The saying goes - You are what you eat. Discipline in eating not only concerns the types of food we put in our bodies but also how much and how often we eat, the origin of the food, and how the food might have been transported and processed.
The food we eat is meant to bring us closer to the source of energy. After eating, one should be able to meditate and feel unblocked emotionally and physically.
The Impact of Food on Our Health
From a young age, we become focused on taste. However, the true test of food is how it makes you feel. It doesn’t mean it should taste bad, but how the fuel/food you take in makes you feel physically and mentally should take precedence over taste.
While processed food and refined sugars might taste good, they can wreak havoc on you physically and emotionally. Instead, when you have sugar cravings, you can turn to living foods like fruits or honey.
Eat Living Foods for Optimal Health
Living foods are natural foods as close to their original pure form as possible. It ensures they retain all their active ingredients and nutrients. Categories of living foods include naturally growing fruits and vegetables, fermented fruits and vegetables, sprouted nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, and whole grains.
It is also always best that your food has not traveled long distances to get to you. Eating regionally is most beneficial for you and the planet as well. It leaves a smaller carbon footprint as less gas is used in transportation. It may also have fewer impurities as there is less contact with items such as packaging, shipping vessels, and chemicals along the journey of the food to your plate.
Eat Regionally and Sustainably
One should learn to control their insatiable taste buds for sensation and impulse to keep their stomach full. Improper eating can lead to fear, anxiety, and depression, as the heart, mind, and body must work hard to process the food.
Eat Mindfully for Spiritual and Physical Well-being
Food should be energy-enhancing. If we eat too much or eat wrong, it can lead to energy depletion. It can affect us both spiritually and physically. The energy used to process the food you shouldn’t have eaten is taken from meditation, wellness, and other life-enhancing activities, leading to laziness and a misuse of our life force.
One must eat with restraint and reverence to allow their body to flourish. Eating is a form of meditation. Good food can abstain us from disease and suffering and keep us from needing medical attention, thus, allowing for a happy and blissful life.
Your mind is a product of the food you eat. What you eat is the raw material of the mind. When your food is pure, your mind will be pure, which leads to firmer memory. A high memory power is unshakable and releases the knots at the heart, enabling your character, personality, and understanding of yourself and this world to evolve. Your experience of the self becomes more and more evident through discipline.
Things to Consider When We Practice Discipline in Eating:
Ensure you are hungry when you eat; it signals the fire is burning and ready to digest the food properly. Eat frugally and only what you need and digest without difficulty. It is also better to chew thoroughly and not drink water until finishing your meal to allow the fire to work.
- Keep the fire going for proper digestion by leaving the meal a little hungry.
- Food is your prana (life force). Eat with regularity and discipline. Whether it is three meals a day or intermittent fasting, make sure it agrees with your body and mind. It’s intentional and habitual. Fasting has proven to lead to mental clarity and give your body a chance to reset. Popular fasting protocols today include intermittent fasting, which is generally 16 hours off, water and coffee only, and 8 hours on, or a once-a-week 24-hour water fast.
- Ideally, it is best to eat living foods, those in season and haven’t traveled great distances to arrive on your plate. The origin of food matters. Eating within your ecosystem ensures that unnecessary energy didn't encounter the food and that it wasn't processed.
- Flavors to be taken in moderation: Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, astringent, and pungent.
- Eat what is good for your blood, health, mind, brain, and general well-being.
Lastly, you should enjoy yourself. You are human. You can have days to loosen the rules and the belt, but don't let these days become habits. Practicing discipline in eating will lead to the healing of mind, body, and soul and any persisting ailments. Respect your body as the temple it is by giving it the right food and relaxation to have a deeper spiritual and healthier physical experience.