I think a question we often ask ourselves is “Does food really matter?” “Does it really make that much of a difference what we eat?” I have discovered that the answer to that question is absolutely! We truly are what we eat, we are made up of what we put into our bodies.
I used to be so skeptical about “natural” or “whole” foods and when I was overweight I never thought at all about what I was eating. I never realized that I was truly addicted to sugar and so imbalanced. My blood sugar levels were never stable and I was definitely not as nice a person as I am now. I would need to eat all the time because I would constantly crash. The foods that I was choosing were not beneficial to my body or mind at all.
I also never knew how to cook and fast food was just normal to me. I never planned meals or gave much thought to what I was purchasing for my kids to eat. I purchased what everyone else was purchasing, sugary cereals, white bread, frozen entrees, meat, eggs, milk, cheese (A LOT of cheese), and a lot of packaged snacks. That life seems so foreign to me now that I have really done my research and gained understanding into how important food really is. I have fallen in love with whole foods and the way they make me feel and cooking is so much fun to me now. I cook all our meals and make all of my children’s snacks. If there is something that they want, like cookies or muffins or even ice cream, I make it for them, using healthy ingredients. We sit down together as a family to eat our meals and go out everyday for a walk.
Food really does matter. What we put in our bodies, makes us who we are, affecting not only our physical self, but our emotional self and most importantly our minds. I find that when I eat lighter foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, I feel lighter and my mind feels more clear. When I am eating a lot more baking and heavier foods like flour, beans or soy I am less energetic and more bogged down and tired.
I love the concept of macrobiotics and although I don’t live by it, I do believe in the yin and yang of different foods and find this information very useful. In The Hip Chick’s Guide To Macrobiotics Jessica Porter talks about how yin and yang attract. If you eat a lot of sugar (yin) you will crave a lot of meat (yang). This explains why people always have beer at a BBQ or dessert after a meal of meat, potatoes and vegetables. Our bodies are always looking to be balanced so naturally we will gravitate to what we need to balance ourselves out. For vegetarians and vegans, who strive to eat a healthy diet, the yin and yang principles apply as well, but our cravings are less extreme as salt, eggs, meat and dairy are the most yang foods and alcohol, sugar and creamy, sweet dairy are the most yin foods. I don’t believe that we need to always be centered and eat what centers us, but to understand how to achieve balance and why we have cravings. I never want to label myself with a specific diet like raw vegan or macrobiotic, but take principles from those ways of eating and reap the benefits from time to time. Our family basically eats within the balanced range as it is.
It is all very interesting and I have found it to make a lot of sense to me. I suggest getting your hands on that book. It has really helped me to understand more about food. There is so much great information contained within the pages of that book and recipes too!
Food can harm or it can heal. This is such great news because it is something we all have control over. We decide what we put in our bodies and into the bodies of our children. We can choose natural, whole foods and teach our kids about healthy eating. It is a simple thing we can all do that really can make a huge difference. If you are still skeptical about a change in your diet, remember, you never know unless you try. I truly believe that we can heal ourselves with food. We can prevent disease before it ever happens and we can all be healthier, happier and more loving people when we eat in a more natural way. That is something I have experienced first hand and for me there really is no going back.
I have included this video of Chef Jamie Oliver, recipient of the TED Prize, “One wish to change the world.” Something I stumbled upon a while back that I thought was worth sharing. Even though he is not vegan, he makes a lot of good points in his speech. I would also suggest watching Food Matters and Food Inc. both are great documentaries about the food industry and inform us about what we are eating and feeding to our children.
Enjoy your day!!