It’s hard to think about health or being healthy without thinking about food.
It’s hard to think about food without thinking about eating.
It’s hard to think about eating without thinking about what you should be eating- but probably aren’t currently eating.
And it’s hard to think about what you should be eating- but probably aren’t- without thinking about what you should be doing or being when wanting to be healthy.
All that does is bring us right back to where we started from.
And that isn’t helpful at all.
What we do need is a bit of a paradigm shift.
We need a shift of definition or mindset around food and around the concept of nourishment.
It’s not just a question of what we should be eating but also of how we are eating and of what we are giving ourselves as food.
Now that sounds like I just said the same thing, so some clarification is needed.
Eating is different from nourishing yourself.
Both can involve food although the latter doesn’t always require it.
The idea of nutrition has been reduced to it’s biochemical processes. You eat food. You get vitamins and minerals as long as your body is capable of absorbing and utilizing them. Once that part is done, you use those nutrients to build, repair and stabilize your body’s tissues, organs and other assorted parts.
Done, end of story.
But let’s open the book on nutrition and on nourishment and reveal it’s other side.
I challenge you to entertain the thought that actual food is more than just what you put into your mouth, is more than what you chew, drink or swallow. I challenge you to think that food is way more than you’re thinking right now.
Move past the food and drinks and into the realm of the things that also feed you.
Search out for the things that not only feed your body, but also feed your soul and your mind.
This is where the truth of nutrition lies.
So what do I mean?
I’m talking about broader concepts that we cannot live without that comprise our body’s tissues and organs just as much as the hamburger and fries you might have ate earlier.
Spirituality and/or religion.
A safe and peaceful home environment.
Education and learning.
Physical movement and exercise.
Honesty and communication.
All of these comprise my definition of true nourishment.
These are the things that we need in order to live a full and healthy life.
However, the degrees to which they exist within our lives are different for each of us.
Our need for one thing may be different than our parent’s need for the same thing, or our spouse’s need or our best friend’s need or our co-worker’s need.
Our nutritional needs are biochemically specific for our bodies.
This means that not only our foods and drinks may be different, but also these broader and less tangible concepts of love, spirituality, relationships, home, education, exercise, family, and communication.
This means that you are an individual, you are unique and you are the only one who can determine what it is that you truly need.
Other people’s opinions are great, but in the end, it’s all up to you.
Experiment. Be open to failing miserably. Allow yourself to get back up on your horse and try again.
Find out what nourishes you for real and embrace it. This is your life to live. Own it.