We Are What We Eat

‘We are what we eat’ is saying that what we choose to eat is who we are.

Our modern diet has become more and more intolerable to our natural state of being, where many illnesses and dis-eases in the body are coming from what we eat and our general lifestyle.

We call ourselves the most intelligent species on earth, yet what we eat is not always what our body is asking for.

Could we as humans learn from the animal kingdom who respect their body and only eat what they need and never more?
We have become a nation who indulges in excess on foods and in particular those that are deeply harmful to our body.

Our body has a natural way of living and being, which requires food to nourish and support it to function at an optimum level. Each organ and every cell in our body has a job to do and food plays a big part by supplying nutrients and giving the body energy and hydration – all which are needed to stay alive.

Our digestive system can be overloaded and unable to deal with what we are eating if we overeat or eat excess of certain foods.

Today’s fast foods and processed foods are known to be high in sugar and saturated fats, both of which have a negative effect on the body. Add to this our daily caffeine in tea, coffee and chocolate and is it any surprise we have so many types of complications and illnesses?

Alcohol alters our natural state of being and it is a scientific proven poison and yet for some reason we consume this drink, which is known to be addictive just like caffeine.

The main ingredient in alcohol is sugar and there is much debate now from the medical world telling us that sugar is harming our body and leading to all types of illness and disease.

Having a poor diet and making ill choices in what foods we eat means that our immune system will be low and we are more susceptible to the colds and flu that may be around.

Eating pre-packed food because we are stressed and have a busy lifestyle could mean that we are not getting any nutrients which the body requires to have daily vitality.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for our body and whilst supplements support this, our natural way is to receive these from the foods we eat.

We may not be aware that processed foods, antibiotics, tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking, anti-depressants, HRT and birth control pills are ALL assimilation barriers for certain vitamins and minerals. This means we do not get the essential nutrients being absorbed in our body because these foods and substances are blocking them.

This is serious and worth exploring as we tend to keep going until we get ill.

Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are all highly addictive and applying common sense and removing these from our diet will result in positive changes to our body.

Eating foods because of our beliefs may not always be the right thing for our body. In my case I was a vegan and then a vegetarian, which included dairy products. However, following a serious illness where my blood iron levels were so low, I was advised to eat meat and eggs. I was forced to ‘suspend all beliefs’ and change my diet. It is no surprise my blood count went back to normal and I began to pay attention to what I was eating.

Today I am what I eat. I have not visited my GP in 9 years and have increased vitality levels, since removing gluten, salt, sugar, dairy and yeast from my diet. I feel 20 years younger and I am constantly asked by others what I eat.

Next – the yeast menace is something that needs more public awareness. It can be the underlying cause to many current symptoms like depression, vaginal thrush, bloating, mood swings, anxiety, skin problems, constipation, headaches and the inability to lose weight.

Yeast affects the gut flora and this imbalance has been detected in people with Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Eating a sensible diet, which has variety can and will support us to absorb the nutrients that we need and increase our resilience against infection and live a more longer and healthier life.

Making wise food choices by eating wholefoods and eliminating refined and processed foods, is a good start.

Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, an American doctor and psychiatrist who studied the chemistry of the brain said, ‘with an adequate intake of micronutrients – essential substances we need to nourish us – most chronic diseases would not exist. Good nutritional therapy is the medicine of the future’.

Dr. Linus Pauling known as one of the geniuses of our time and voted the second most important scientist of the twentieth century, with 48 Ph.D.’s said ‘by giving the body the right (ortho) molecules, most disease would be eradicated. Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow’.

Throughout history we have been told that ‘We are what we eat’.

Edison in the early twentieth century said the doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and the cause and prevention of disease.

Is this what Hippocrates was telling us in 390 BC when he said
‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’?

Is it time to use food as medicine and not just something to function our body?

‘We are what we eat’ – this requires each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own health and well-being and as Edison expands on this it is also ‘the care of the human frame’ and not just diet that will prevent disease.

Taking responsibility for everything we eat and having an understanding of what food does to our body, will bring more awareness in a world that currently needs radical changes in our food industry, in order to bring down the illnesses related to the food we consume.

Patrick Holford who is one of the UK’s leading nutrition experts states ‘I am now completely convinced that the concept of optimum nutrition is the greatest step forward in medicine for over a century and that, if applied from an early age, it is a guarantee for a long and healthy life’.

References

Holford, P. (2005). The New Optimum Nutrition Bible (pages 1-4). Crossing Press

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Comments 50

  1. Dear world
    Just incase you are reading this blog and its got you interested – keep checking the website as we will be posting weekly blogs and these are some of the related topics coming out this year..

    Chocolate
    Sugar
    Alcohol
    Diabetes
    Obesity
    Water
    Diets
    Eating
    Fast Foods

    Where possible we will give you statistics not to alarm you but so you get the picture of what is actually going on in our world today.

  2. Another excellent blog Bina. We, as a humanity, have certainly lost our way with our food and lost touch with our common sense. I, like many, have noticed how much our health is related to the kind of food we eat or drink. Removing alcohol, coffee, gluten, diary, yeast and sugar has been the best thing that has happened to my body and I feel and look years younger. Fresh, simple and unprocessed food feels right for me as well as the right amount – not too much and not too little – according to our body mass and lifestyle.

    1. So what you are saying really here Maryline is the lifestyle choices you have made by cutting out foods and drinks that you know are harmful to the body comes down to that word RESPONSIBILITY. We can always blame the food, the manufacturers, the adverts or whatever but it is only when we take things into our own hands and make the choices not to harm our body which lets face it is precious will things actually change.
      What part of us is intelligent if we eat over and over again something we know is hurting us inside and the same goes for drinking?
      I know if I was into all that list you mention in your comment, I would feel like it is a lot to give up, so the key is to do it step by step and keep asking why on earth do I need yeast or gluten and just opening up in this way brings more awareness and the possibility that you may even be able to feel how eating bread does have an effect on your body. Then you could stay open and check in how you feel after eating sugar and be honest as sugar is in so much food these days.

  3. It has been my experience that the food we eat plays a big part of how well we feel within ourselves. Having given up gluten, dairy products, excessive sugar, yeast, alcohol and coffee a lot of my health issues started to clear up by themselves. The most noticeable condition which was affecting my daily life was IBS, bloating, being overweight and chronic fatigue – most days I was housebound and found it difficult to work and leave the house before midday due to the symptoms of the IBS. After a couple of months of giving up the gluten and dairy products my IBS symptoms improved immensely and I have never looked back. Things are so very different now as I work full time and most days leave the house around 7.30am and get back at around 6.30pm – it’s great to have the confidence and not worry about going out.

    1. What you are saying here is huge Julie and coming from your own lived experience I feel that it is worth paying attention to. All your symptoms have some relation to what you eat and so the common sense tells us how about removing some foods from your diet and see what happens.
      I never had IBS but I was constantly bloated and never ever dreamt of giving up my crusty white bread and butter so thick you would not believe it. If I am honest there was a comfort even though my body was uncomfortable. How absurd is that?
      Once I got an understanding what it does to me and then feel that for myself and not because someone told me, I got it. I was willing to have a go and of course the benefits far outweigh the few seconds of that butter in my mouth and the smell of fresh bread.
      Like you Julie, I work long hours now and have completely different vitality levels and the biggest change is my moods are not up and down or all over the place. I am known for my steadiness – a quality that has taken some time to develop and which I value and appreciate beyond words.

  4. Great comment Michael to bring even more awareness about the QUALITY of the food we eat. Let me expand on this from my own experience.
    Taking the time to shop and prepare the ingredients then cook holds a quality. Doing these tasks without feeling obligated or resentful or whinging that you got no time will also have a “quality”. Both have a different quality and this is what is felt.
    So go with the first one and add a dose of deep self care and self love and bingo your are making a choice to nurture yourself and your body will thank you.
    Now if that choice is comfort foods like pies, fatty foods, cakes and dairy then that is also a quality as your body will not see this as nurturing. If your organs could talk they would tell you they don’t need the burden of clearing all that out and of course it exhausts you. On that note – have you ever eaten and instantly feel tired or sleepy?

    1. “Taking the time to shop and prepare the ingredients then cook holds a quality. Doing these tasks without feeling obligated or resentful or whinging that you got no time will also have a “quality”. Both have a different quality and this is what is felt.”

      I have done an experiment on this with my kids and it is super-interesting.

      1 of my boys doesn’t seem to like spinach. Yet one day, his Godmother had been down to the awesome greengrocer near her and bought some. She gave it to me. Now, this woman is incredible – she treats people and life with such respect and care that you can feel it in her movements. Well, she showed my kids the spinach and shared how she had bought it, from whom and why it was going to be so delicious and nourishing for the body. She was simply speaking from her own experience, not in ‘sell’ mode.

      Would you believe that on the way home, my ‘I don’t like spinach’ son was tearing off spinach leaves from the bunch and stuffing them into his face. I kid you not.

      Why was he doing that? What was it that he’d tuned into?

      For me this says it all really.

  5. Great question – “Is it time to use food as medicine and not just something to function our body?” Great blog, and hearing your personal experience makes it real. When I was younger I reacted to coffee with palpitations and hot sweats so I stopped drinking it, as I got older I had mucus and sinus trouble until I stopped all dairy and then those symptoms subsided. When I used to eat wheat/sandwiches etc my tummy bloated and I got sleepy so I gave up first wheat, then gluten. Our body knows what it doesn’t need, and, it also knows what it needs – if we choose to listen to it.

    1. Thanks Jane – you are right that when we add our personal experience to something it does make it real and I feel it is because we can relate to it more. Bit like true stories and true movies, it sure has a different vibe so to speak. The Truth is we can relate to anything as we are constantly having a relationship with everything. So even food and what we eat is a relationship if you get what I mean.
      Next – I have to agree that our body knows what it wants and what it does not want but that mind of ours can override anything if we choose to, so it does come down to choice.

      1. Exactly Bina, it does come down to choice and in many instances our ‘unhealthy’ choices are determined by going for something that will satisfy us at a mental and emotional level but is actually harming the body. It takes the willingness to experiment and not go the comfortable way when we first start making different food choices – and it can be uncomfortable to start with as you give up foods you have used to satisfy an emotional need but it surely is worth it. In my case dairy was ruining my digestion but I loved my cheese and cream – so yes when I stopped eating them I felt very empty and hollow for a week or two, but wow my body and felt so much better, my constipation and bloating disappeared. I have never looked back and nothing would convince me to eat these foods again, not the lushest butter, ice cream or the most delicious brie cheese. I choose the way my body feels now with its robust digestion and vitality over and above anything that dairy once offered me.

  6. Well this comment sounds like the foods I used to love Josephine.
    Gooey brie cheese melted please and tons of butter and cream and ice cream all what I call ‘no teeth needed’ foods so very comforting like I was a baby.
    Like you I felt empty inside to start with when I was ‘trying’ to give up and then I realised I was in reaction to what I had heard and not actually feeling it for myself. I went to soya cream and milk and gluten free bread but noticed it had a lot of sugar so that was not really an option. The magic is my spots started to go and so did the bloated belly and I started to like how I was feeling. Then when I had my frothy de-caff soya thing, I felt sick literally inside and this is when I made my own connection. It was like my stomach saying ‘get out and stay out’. This tends to be the way I learn and the more I listen to my body the more I get to support myself.
    Just like you the vitality I now have simply confirms that I do not need dairy or other foods that harm my body.

  7. …So what is stopping us from doing the sensible thing with food??!

    Like so many, I did not find the strength to really and truly cut out the foods I knew where hurting me until I was so so unhappy and fed up with how I felt all the time and how dysfunctional I was due to exhaustion and moodiness.

    At this point I found the role model I wanted in Bina Pattel. Her honesty and integrity helped me find the courage to dig deep and find the self love I needed to say ‘I want to stop harming myself’ and to make a commitment to ‘no more unconscious eating to escape my feelings or eating just for function sake with no self love in it at all’ and offer myself something different, something truly supportive… it is a process and one which only gets easier as I develop awareness of my body; feeling what it wants and does not want.

    I have an entirely different relationship with food now and even with the list of things I no longer eat (nor crave to eat!) I feel more enjoyment and satisfaction and I am more passionate about my food than back when I ate ‘everything’.

    My body feels really good and has become more sleek and lovely than I thought it could be and I am 43 now!

  8. I love Josephine Bell’s comment and Bina’s reply here as it is high time we all talk about the “WHY” we eat foods that not only do not nurture us but that harm us.

    Like so many, I too have found that I can unconsciously eat for the purpose of stuffing an emotion down instead of eating to support my body. Simple Living has inspired me to make a choice to become more aware of how I am feeling and why I crave certain foods. These days if I dont feel OK I stop and allow myself to ‘feel’ whatever emotion is coming up (that I don’t ‘want’ to feel) and once I have felt it and named it, it loses its hold on me and I am then free to feel what my body really wants to eat or IF I am even hungry at all.

    This simple practice has helped me to lighten up not only physically but emotionally and has played a great part in my choices being SO much more loving in all areas of my life.

    1. I agree with you Jo that there is a direct correlation to how we feel which will then determine the choices of food we eat. The other thing that someone shared with me recently is you eat when you are not doing something you want to do.
      So after hearing this I took note and its true. I found myself having a thought about food and it was because I was doing something I didn’t want to do.
      Well you could say that this is life but what if it was just a matter of wrong timing or you know you could have said ‘no thanks, not putting my body through that’.
      Could it be that simple.
      next – I have lost count how many times I needed water and not food so it shows you we think we are hungry but it may not be the case.

  9. I found this blog very supportive for me today as I ate things yesterday that certainly did not make me feel great this morning as I have woken up a little snotty in the nose. No big deal, as I simply have to clock this and take greater care and pay more attention next time when placing food into my mouth. I can also check in with myself next time I go to put something in my mouth and ask is it actually what my body is asking for?

    1. I know what you mean here Sally and how many times before we actually make changes when it comes to what we put inside our mouth that the body then goes “oh No, not again” as it has to process it all. Why are we not educated at school about the process of food and given the pros and cons so we can make our own minds up about the effects of food? Why is there not more media coverage on sugar which clearly is a poison?
      Why are so many people taking cholesterol tablets without asking why?
      Why is there so much indulgence in chocolate and most people would agree it is addictive. If it wasn’t we would not keep craving more.
      It comes down to that question – where is our Responsibility?
      When is it that we will take full Responsibility for our food choices?

  10. It seems throughout our history different people have been saying that what we put into our mouths has the capacity to cause us great harm with many different diseases and ailments resulting. With the scientific knowledge that we have today, that what we put into our mouths causes a range of diseases from obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, issues involving all the major organs, to name just a few, why does the human race still eat and drink to excess? As you say Bina, we can learn from the animal kingdom. Animals will only eat when they are hungry and they will only eat what they need, no indulgence. On a personal level I used to be the king of indulgence, hence the reason my weight, at my heaviest, was 27 and a half stone. With the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I gained an understanding as to what foods were doing to my body and why and when I was eating certain foods. But is having an understanding about food, enough to inspire people to change their diet? Looking at how the world is today and with the increasing rates of illness and disease related to food, I would say no. I feel that there is an understanding of the effect certain foods have on us, so what is it that makes us humans eat and drink to excess? Could it simply be that most people are not yet ready to be that responsible for their own well-being prefering instead to stay in the comfort of their comfortable lives?

    1. Great confirmation Tim how we most certainly can learn from the animal kingdom when it comes to eating food.
      So much money is research about what food consumption does to the human body and yet we forget the common sense stuff by asking WHY.
      Why do we need to overeat? We need to look deeper and explore the possibilities that something is going on and this leads us to our food choices.
      Your weight loss story is huge – pun intended and I know it has come from a deep understanding about WHY you got to over 27 stone in weight in the first place. There is a correlation between our emotional state and our what foods we choose to eat.
      As you say Tim there is a responsibility and most of us prefer the easy comfort option in the knowing that the health systems will take care of us if needed.

  11. I totally agree with this blog, having had bad irritable bowel syndrome from childhood and every medication on offer, anti inflammatories, anti spasmodics, pain killers, digest aids, to help with the symptoms it wasn’t until I stopped eating Gluten and Dairy that my symptoms hugely decreased. This was about 28 years ago when I also had ongoing sinusitis , which I had an appointment set to have my sinuses drilled having been on antibiotics for 6 months continually which didn’t stop it. 2 – 3 weeks after stopping dairy I was able to cancel the appointment for the surgery as it was no longer necessary, the sinusitis cleared up completely. That spoke volumes to me, so having proved that foods impacted my health to such a degree over time I continued to see what else was causing me problems.. sugar , salt, alcohol, yeast. It was a process of refinement, listening to my body. I was also a vegan for 10 years, I had no strength and was deficient in various nutrients. When I started to eat meat again , chicken first, I couldn’t believe the difference it made, I never looked back. With these changes I love cooking my own food from fresh ingredients and a selection of herbs and spices, so nutritious , so tasty. Like you I would not go near these foods now.

    1. This is a great testimony Ruth about how important it is to discern and choose foods that our body is asking for that support it and not make it react with all the list of symptoms you mention in your comment.
      Common sense tells us we do not have the multiple stomachs that a cow has and therefore we are not naturally designed to drink dairy milk from another species. You never see a goat drink the milk of another animal, so why do we as humans think it is ok?
      Our blog on the website about gluten confirms it is a glue and that is where the original name came from. Our farming methods and agriculture has changed so much now that we no longer need gluten in our diet. I am yet to meet someone who has not benefited from taking gluten and dairy out of their diet.
      The way gluten and dairy is manufactured today is in itself not what our precious bodies need to sustain vitality levels.

      1. That’s quite a statement, to say you ‘have yet to meet someone who has not benefitted from taking gluten and dairy out of their diet’. It speaks for itself, from your lived experience, how this small change alone from our diet can have a large effect on our health, vitality and wellbeing.

        There are so many gluten and dairy alternatives these days, super markets have their own sections for it with a good variety on offer and readily available.

  12. I’m seeing a theme on this website about overriding – why do we humans override the things we know to be true? When I read this blog I know it is right beyond a shadow of a doubt: that bad food choices have a negative affect on my body. I get tired or over-stimulated or want to make more bad choices. So why make those choices in the first place? Is it really worth it for a few moments of comfort or whatever? There’s that old saying ‘a minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips’ and that’s literally it: just a single minute and then it’s in your body affecting your chemical balance and hormones and blood sugar and vitality (not just your hips!). There’s a lot to look at here about why we do this and to remind us we can make different choices. A wise person once told me it’s not about what you say no to (that cake, that coffee or whatever), but about what you say yes to (feeling good in your body, cherishing a good night’s sleep, for example).

    1. You make some great points here Jenifer and what sticks out is the bit about making bad choices then making ‘more bad choices’. Sounds absurd and makes no sense but that is exactly what we do. We abuse our body and then override the ill feeling inside us and do it again and again. Like a kind of momentum and we just can’t stop. Crazy how we behave really when you think about it.
      Why is it that we love our food so much for the few seconds it is in our mouth?
      As we all know it then starts its digestive process and most of us really don’t want to know how all that works, what goes on and how it truly affects our whole being inside.
      Is that because if we knew the truth we would need to take RESPONSIBILITY?
      That word is for sure a running theme in this website on blogs and comments from Simple Living Global incase you haven’t noticed.

  13. We are what we eat and we would benefit if we started to pay more attention to what we place into our bodies and whether what we are eating is supporting our bodies to feel light, nourished and warm or whether the opposite is true. There are so many books and diets written about food that are not supportive of our bodies as each body is different. What works for me to eat may not work for another person of the same age and so how can we have any books, websites, magazines telling us what to or what not to eat? What we do really benefit from is being educated on the effects certain foods have on our bodies and the effects our consumption of them have on the animals kingdom like this article does.
    http://simplelivingglobal.com/the-truth-about-dairy/

    1. Good point you make here Shevon – how many of us actually pay any attention to what we place into our bodies?
      People are walking down the street and eating or whilst they are working. Bit like multi tasking.
      Do we care enough about our body to give it what it needs to support us to do what it does?
      If we can honestly say yes to this question, then are we making sure we do this consistently?
      Many of us have a tendency to go for it short term but it either gets boring or we get distracted and move to something else so we never keep at it.
      Taking note of what foods feel right when we eat and being honest about how we feel AFTER we have a drink or eat our favourite foods would be a start.
      Could it be possible that being dis-honest is one reason why we have not had any real change in our life?
      As you say at the end we would ALL benefit from ‘being educated about the effects that certain foods have on our body’. It is time we got our kids learning about this so future generations will be in a better place than we are right now in the world.

  14. This blog brings back memories of when I used to eat whatever, whenever I wanted to. I was Not taking note to my body’s constant signals, exhaustion, sleeplessness, fatigue, blocked noses, mucousiness, I could go on. Why was I ignoring these signals until a health issue stopped me in my tracks and I had the choice taken away, take heed or ignore and become worse.

    Fast track to today, I have let go of a lot of the foods that were dis-serving my body and I feel so much different to back then.

    Why do people continue to gorge themselves on food and drink, it is time for people of the world to realised they are responsible for what they eat.

  15. We are bombarded with food images and adverts constantly. I agree with the author you are what you eat. I have always loved cooking since a child and dislike anything processed. We are told to eat this and eat that or not to eat this etc. Could it be our body has a clever way of Knowing what it needs and what it does not.

  16. Daily Mail – 11th March 2017

    Organic farming has been reported as ‘not better for the planet’.

    Some of the benefits of cutting out pesticides is being undone, as organic produce is 40% lower than on traditional farms – this adds to greenhouse gases and water shortages.

    This leads to farmers needing more land to grow the same amount –
    Dr. Verena Seufert, University of British Columbia

    The study in the Journal Science Advances is said to also criticise the cost as organic shoppers often see their shopping costs increase by 50%.

    I didn’t know this about the land and the reduced productivity, but on a micro-level, I did find that my finances were much reduced when I used to insist on having all organic food.

    Today I don’t shop that way and hardly ever buy organic foods and to be honest I don’t notice any difference in the taste or my health and there is no decline. What I have noticed is that I spend much less on food which in turn can only assist the planet, as I am not spending more than I need.

  17. This article in the Daily Mail last year gives some bare faced facts of the effects of sugar on our body – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3507655/Revealed-body-sugar-weakening-immune-triggering-thrush-terrifying-tool-reveals-exactly-white-stuff-harms-health.html

    It shows in diagrams the harmful effects of sugar on Men, Women and Children.

    The ‘white stuff’, as they call it, really is a poison to the body and a seriously addictive substance. According to the nutritionalist’s video it gives a high to the brain working on the opiate receptors in the brain, ‘it lights up the whole addiction centre, where as cocaine only lights up part of it’.

    It states – Children have a delicate immune system which can be upset by too much sugar. After consuming around 100 grams of sugar (the amount found in a litre bottle of fizzy pop), white blood cells can be around 40 per cent less effective at killing germs. According to researchers at Columbia University, this can cripple the immune system for up to five hours after eating sugar.

    This really does ask for the question.. why do we eat sugar?
    What’s behind those cravings, the need for sweetness?
    What is missing in our lives that sends us to the falseness of sugar and the harm it causes?

    Are we listening to our body.. does it really want sugar?

  18. Research at Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy has been looking at data from national sources (for 2012 in the U.S.) to understand more about the role diet may play in heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. (link below)

    Professor Renata Micha said that her research group “…observed about 700,000 deaths due to those diseases,” and that “Nearly half of these were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors combined.”

    Micha sees a data trend implying that “It wasn’t just too much ‘bad’ in the American diet; it’s also not enough ‘good,’”. She says “Americans are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, vegetable oils or fish,”

    This is huge…
    …nearly 350,000. deaths could be due to us not choosing enough foods that our body wants!

    When faced with the suffering and loss that dying of one of these diseases costs us, our families and our world it is incredible to consider that such major health improvements may be in our reach simply by adding quality to our diet.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=202105&utm_content=bufferb382a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  19. Nearly half of all the ready meals eaten in Europe in 2016, were consumed in the U.K.

    On average people in the U.K. eat one ready meal a week – twice as many as in France and 6 times as many as in Spain. (The Week magazine, 25th February 2017)

    I feel that what these figures really show us is that with our quick, ‘rush here and there’ lifestyles we are not taking care of ourselves and valuing cooking as an important part of life.

    From what I know of the Spanish, mealtimes and eating with others is a big part of their culture and so I also question whether with a fast paced life we are also devaluing the benefits of connecting and sharing with others as we eat.

    I know that eating home cooked food with others is very nurturing and I always feel very warm and fulfilled thereafter, not just from the food but due to genuine engagement and connection with others.

    Could we be missing out on more by opting for the quick fix?

  20. I see the world and its brothers big into the vitamin pill popping stuff but as this blog says it simply does not work with certain things like alcohol and caffeine which block it.
    Makes sense really and as someone who has not taken a single vitamin in decades and no GP or hospital visits in 9 years, I reckon I can say there is another way.

    What we eat is a big thing and I for one am not in the mastery of this. What I do is try things out, stop listening to others, follow no one and work things out for myself. My body instantly knows if something is not right. I can eat it again and then feel the effects again until I learn No means NO.

    The other serious thing that the world could do with knowing more about is the Yeast menace. Sometimes not being educated or informed leaves us in the dark and then we wonder why certain symptoms are happening and all we need to do is eliminate certain foods from our diet and see and feel the change.

  21. Eating competitions are actually regarded as a sport, I was shocked to read this.

    We all know how we feel when we overeat and so would it not be wiser to ask why we are overeating rather than creating eating competitions that encourage it?

    With obesity rates rising and the consequent huge impact this is having on our health services, none of this is making sense.

    What makes even more no-sense are stories where people are dying during eating competitions often through choking.

    We are killing ourselves through food – literally.

  22. An article in the Daily Mail, 11/03/17, talks of how prison food is of a better quality than hospital food.

    One of the reasons for the drop in the standard of hospital food is that, more and more, the responsibility for providing food to hospitals is being outsourced to catering companies. With this, the meals are being mass produced and reheated or worse, regenerated in self-contained high-pressure steamers.

    In many new hospitals being built, this reliance on this type of food has led to them being built without kitchens.

    Although this is being done under the guise of ‘efficiency’, it is actually a false economy as patients are taking longer to recover because of being undernourished.

    It seems illogical that some hospitals are choosing to feed their patients in this way. Medical science has known for a long time that adequate nourishment is needed for a healthy body but yet they are building hospitals without kitchens or bringing in food that is not up to the task of providing the necessary nutrition.

    If the food in prisons is of a higher quality then are we missing the mark here?

    Now it’s not to say that prison food should be of a lesser quality. There should, of course, be no distinction, but to have a medically ill person that isn’t receiving the required nutritional food to aid their recovery, seems totally absurd.

    Is this just simply a cost saving exercise or is there something else going on here?

    Is it possible that those in authority don’t nurture themselves properly so they are unable to nurture others?

    I know if I were in hospital I would want a freshly cooked meal to nourish me rather than a pre heated or regenerated one.

    Hospitals provide a great service in caring for their patients and the proper food should be part of that great service.

  23. I have come to realise that this food and eating stuff is not that easy to get a grip of.

    In the past I joined the veggie vegan bandwagon and then following two blood transfusions I was craving liver and red meat after surgery. That was over a decade ago.

    The I started listening to what I thought made sense and went for it giving up this that and the other, but NOT ONCE asking my body how it was feeling.

    The weight dropped off and I thought I looked great but inside I was like in starving mode. So then I went back to crazy thoughts and ate what I wanted, but of course it was not great even though most would consider it a healthy diet.

    So to be honest nothing so far was working.
    What changed was when I gave myself permission to STOP LISTENING TO OTHER PEOPLE and work things out for myself but always with common sense.

    So if I want to eat something sweet then I know for a fact I am tired.
    If I suddenly want to eat and there is no real hunger, I am very aware some ugly feeling I don’t want to feel has come up. Then in comes the choice of whether I stuff down the feeling with whatever I can find in the fridge or cupboard or suddenly create something to take my mind off what I was feeling and before you know it I am scoffing food and I feel numb, always bloated and none the wiser.

    Healthy for each of us means something different and we all have convenient truths that suit us to justify what is ok and what is not.

    What has worked and continues to work is checking in with our body and how it is feeling, so going off track is easily felt and we can then clock it and take note and then choose to make another choice next time. Not easy and it does require practice.

    Eating for the sake of it or because the clock tells me it’s a certain time is simply not on my radar as that really does not work.

    The best tip is to be sensible and realistic and learn about the harm of what any food is doing to our precious body and that way with the understanding it is easier to say No to things like chocolate, coffee, dairy, gluten and sugar.

  24. The common phrases “just eat it” and “just suck it up” refer to letting something ‘slide’ (let it go without speaking up or saying no) that feels wrong and the terminology shows us that we know just where it goes… into our gut…

    …so if we are what we eat than aren’t we also whatever else we take into our body?
    Is it possible that my body has to “digest” every emotion, drama or disrespect I take into it?

    The scientist Mina Bissell talks about discovering that it is the ‘environment’ surrounding the cells which either cultivate, prevent or even reverse cancer…

    https://www.ted.com/talks/mina_bissell_experiments_that_point_to_a_new_understanding_of_canc

    Is it possible that that with my every thought, choice and action am I creating a soup in which the cells that make me up will either thrive, become sick… or heal?

    If food has an effect on our health why wouldn’t other things we put in our body have an effect on our health too?

    What would happen if, for our health and well being, we took into consideration, not only what we eat but the quality of ‘anything’ else we can put ‘into’ our bodies on a daily basis like:

    Sound, Emotion, Gentle or Harsh movements, Thoughts, Reactions, Music, Movies, Video games, Harsh or gentle Language, social environment, etc.?

    What if we considered the quality of the thoughts and emotions we allow to run in our mind and throughout our body?

    I know that I feel my body respond and react to my thoughts and emotions and that sometimes it is so strong it makes me feel physically sick…

    …so what if we asked our body if it is disturbed or nurtured by more than just the food we consume?

  25. As a regular commuter on trains and buses in London, I sure get to see a cross section of what our world is up to today.

    Then ADD those ads that are in our face anywhere and everywhere with new this and that, when it comes to food and is it any wonder we have a massive obesity crisis and many now of all ages with eating disorders?

    So we wake up knackered with lack of sleep and we feel sluggish and need to get going. We all know food gives us energy and what we eat plays a hand in how we are choosing to live. I have heard it so many times and experienced this in the past, that we crave fatty, carbs and sugary foods when we are tired.

    With a dose of common sense, we all know deep down that these types of food do not truly nurture and nourish our body and give us the vitality levels we need to get on with daily life and what it brings.

    I am a walking talking science – in other words, a living proof that we are what we eat.

    In the past I can honestly say I was bloated 24/7 and my dominant thoughts and priority was food and what I could eat and how much. Food was more than a hobby. It had overtaken my life and no surprise I was married to a man who was morbidly obese.

    That was over 10 years ago. Today I can claim that I know what works when it comes to food and if we are what we eat, then I have come a long way, as I do not suffer from exhaustion or have a need to shove foods in my mouth that are ’empty’ in value.

    However, even if I am a little bit tired, I notice I want something sweet so that’s how quick I get my signs. I am not perfect but I do have an awareness of what works and what really does not work when it comes to eating food.

    When I am asked what I eat and how come I look great and younger than my age, I always say ‘sort the sleep thing out and the food gets easier’ as the munchies are not there, if we are not tired.

    ADD to that drinking plenty of water every day and things start to change and it is easier to stay on track. That’s coming from lived experience, so I know it works and I do not need to be double blind tested in a lab to prove it.

  26. On my walk today on the high street there is a massive advert about the latest soda drink with no sugar. Really?

    We all know we want the taste of sugar or the fix that it gives us when we drink it, so the million dollar question is –

    What have we got in the drink now instead of zero sugar?

    We all know how creative our human intelligence has become in making stuff in the lab to replicate whatever it is we need and demand.

    If we are honest – does this really support the human body?
    Is an artificial sweetener going to register with our body simply as sugar?

    Are we fooling ourselves thinking it is zero sugar so must be good for us?

    Are we interested to look at what else goes into making this coloured liquid?

    Are we aware that we are not interested in asking questions like WHY do we need a fizzy drink that contains chemicals that are not natural?

    If we could interview our body, have we wondered what it would have to say?

  27. Something just came to me and that is, how about we had COMMON SENSE when it comes to our eating choices.

    Let’s face it – we do actually have a choice in everything.

    What if we started to get real and get honest, for example x food bloats you and it happens all the time. Why not take it as a sign that your body is reacting to this and stop eating it?

    Another example could be you feel heavy and tired when you overeat so simple common sense would say – stop over eating as you really don’t want the consequences.

    Another one is caffeine, sugar or whatever you feel is stimulating you – that might be hard to give up so how about we ask questions like, when do we notice we need that pick up during the day – is it first thing or last thing at night or all the time?

    If we all put our common sense hat on and kept it on, may be we would could be the ones to make the changes that we know our body is calling for.

    I know that my past eating was way off and discipline never worked.

    Listening to those who walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to eating choices, has made a big difference.

    However, I still learn best when I go through it myself and become the experiment – tried and tested. That way it is coming from me and my body is my confirmation. Also I don’t need to subscribe to the latest fad diet or buzz word when it comes to eating and all these fancy pop up eating places trying to tempt us with more and more, while my body is saying “no thanks mate, seen it, done it, been there and it doesn’t work”.

  28. Food is the ultimate drug as it is socially acceptable.

    Of course we need food for our bodies but the majority of us eat way too much.

    In every high street there are an abundance of eating places and new ones are constantly popping up. Now ‘healthy eating’ is popular we have a plethora of places selling gluten free, antioxidant rich, low sugar foods to name a few current trends, but are we eating these foods because we have truthfully felt the benefits for our body or because the latest magazine or celebrity say so?

    I can certainly relate to what you are saying Bina as food was more than a hobby for me too. I was known to never be without food and praised for being able to eat a lot.

    At any social gathering I would always head to the food – now I know that I was hiding behind the food so that I did not have to feel how uncomfortable I felt openly interacting with others.

    The tips you give here of sorting out our sleep and drinking plenty of water are certainly two things that are helping me to not feel the need to eat so much.

    Being willing to go to bed at a time that supports me and having water on my desk while I work, are two things that are helping me.

  29. I know what you mean by feeling tired and then wanting something sweet to eat. It is interesting that our relationship with food is linked to how we are feeling inside.

    I know that when I am regularly making and eating home cooked meals I am nurturing myself and when I am not or if I ever find myself regularly eating on the go, or snacking is happening I know I am avoiding nurturing myself and I have to ask why.

    Also I find I can reach for certain foods that make me feel sleepy or slow me down if I have not being saying what I feel needs to be said in situations, instead using the food to further suppress what is there to be said.

    It have really found it useful to consider that what we eat is not just about what we put into our mouths but also why we eat what we eat.

  30. Reading this vitally important post, what comes to me is the question: why do we eat foods that harm us?

    Of course, there are innumerable reasons why people override the wisdom of their bodies and consume food, drink and substances that harm rather than nourish them. To explore this a little, I would like to touch on some examples from my life of eating choices that I made for reasons other than nourishing myself.

    I am no longer a vegetarian but I was a vegetarian for over 20 years after becoming a vegetarian to impress a girl I really fancied at the age of 16 who was a vegetarian. The strategy did not work and my love remained painfully unrequited. Go figure!

    I have eaten marijuana pakoras at a Punjabi wedding in a remote Punjabi village because I was told they would get me really high and they were great fun. I would never touch marijuana now.

    I was raised in a Sikh family and, although I do not feel Sikh or consider myself to be Sikh, I do attend ceremonial events at Sikh temples – I’ve been to a few weddings, funerals and baby celebrations at Sikh temples over the last few years .

    At the end of every ceremony or session of worship at a Sikh Gurdwara (temple) a sacred food is brought around and handed out in handfuls to the congregation before the congregation stands up to leave. Called prashad, it is a mix of equal parts wheat flour, sugar and clarified butter.

    It is said that the recipe for prashad is divine and was given to the 10th founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Gobind (the Sikh religion was founded by a lineage of 10 gurus). It is taught that prashad is a symbol that reminds us that everything in life comes from the Guru’s grace (“kirpa” in Punjab) and everything in life is sweet because it is a blessing from the Guru. Also, it is interesting that when one receives prashad in the Gurdwara, one is meant to hold up ones hands together, cupped, almost in supplication.

    Now, for almost 10 years I have not eaten wheat or dairy. These foods do not serve me and my body reacts against them (I have tested this). Also, I know sugar does not work for me either (although I have some way to go with freeing myself of that habit of consumption).
    So, being gluten and dairy-free for a while now, I have refused the prashad when it has been brought round in the Gurdwara.
    I am told that it is an insult to refuse prashad. But I cannot eat wheat or butter – I can clearly feel the harm these foods do to me and their consumption can leave me feeling unwell for days afterward.

    Also, consuming prashad seems to me to be a method by which individuals are asked to kind of ingest a belief system and an ideology. This is not something I wish to do. Of course Sikhism is not alone in such practices – what’s going on when worshippers are asked to sip sacramental wine in church or eat a communion wafer (body of Christ) in church?

    So, asking ourselves if there have been times in our life when we have chosen to eat foods that we know (perhaps through hindsight) are harmful, and why we ate or were being asked to eat those foods at those times, is an interesting and potentially insightful thing to do.

    1. As you are talking here Raja about the Sikh religion, I feel to mention I grew up in the Hindu stuff that never made much sense to me.
      They also call it “prashad” and I used to get a hard time (and still do even now) for refusing to have the grapes, milk and other foods I never eat that have been offered to God.

      I recall once when I said No for the thousandth time and my dad insisted my husband honours the religion and just has the milk. Note he is dairy free for over a decade. The insistence turned into anger and my husband just left the room. Sounds strange but the very movement changed it all and when he came back my mum reminded my dad we both don’t do dairy. That was until the next time and we go through the same thing all over again.

      These ideals and beliefs are so ingrained and how they come to disturb us if we are not strong in what we truly know our body wants.

      For me, I will never agree, condone or abide by rules that make no sense, like the copious amount of sugar in these “prashad” things.
      On another note, when a boy or girl is born there is a certain type of sweet – for boys it is pure white sugar and milk powder and once upon a time, I would scoff it down and want more. Today – it would be true to say it is lifetimes away from my radar and not ever something I even think about.

      Next – at a Diwali event this month, I had people asking me heaps of questions about Diabetes and High Blood Pressure – both very prominent in Indian people generally it seems. At my table I had many downing soda and orange juice like they had never seen it before topped with srikhand – curd cheese and white sugar in equal amounts but as we are in the modern world they ADD dried and fresh fruits for extra. The double or triple portions of the egg free cake coming around. Note eggs are what most Indian veggies would not eat so they have found another way to have their cake and eat it – pun intended.

      YES some think I am weird as I don’t subscribe to this stuff, but looking around at the 200 people, even blind Freddy would notice I was full of vitality and not looking my age and not overweight or suffering with any medical condition.

      By the way that was after a day at work and it was 9pm !

      So it would be true to say that What We Eat speaks volumes about us and there is no getting away from this.

  31. I recently came to an understanding that just because someone offers you food does not mean you are obliged to eat it. Thankfully I have always been quite particular where my food comes from.

    With the help of the author of this blog I have come to understand what foods react with my body and more importantly my issues with food have faded away.

    I was bulimic at the age of 17 years old. Whilst I stopped doing it my relationship with food was rocky up until 2 years ago.
    I would say I now have a healthy relationship with food.

  32. Just flicking through the magazine that comes with our weekend newspaper and of course there is more – always more on food.

    I had heard of cronuts but not cruffins.

    What is it about us that wants something different and mixing things around to give our tastebuds something else?

    This is a cross between a croissant and a muffin and this celebrity chef is saying he has a new take by adding even more buttermilk, butter and sugar then frying them.

    He then talked about pumpkin ice-cream and the bit that got me was you have to mix it 6 times in 3 hours whilst in the freezer. With the way the world is moving at this stressy fast pace, who has time but more to the point what on earth is this all doing to our insides?

    We as humans are unable to settle for the basics and there is this incredible appetite to have more and more different types of foods.

    Who is craving this stuff and why is what we should all be asking.

    Our mind plays havoc at the expense of our body and it seems we have yet to join the dots and work this simple equation out.

    1. You could not make that up “cruffins”. Has the world gone mad. There are now so many guises and re-interpretation of foods made to look glamorous; so as to intice the person to eat something that is likely to be unhealthy.

      Worrying times given the world is in crisis with diabetes and obesity amongst other things.

  33. Just reading about a celebrity chef who said that when it comes to chefs they do not hold back with fattening stuff like butter, cream, cheese, sugar and chocolate.

    This in itself speaks volumes and we all love the nice restaurant food as someone more qualified than us is cooking and it looks and smells like what we want.

    I was one for fine dining, in my champagne days with lemonade money. I done the London circuit for fancy restaurants. That was over 12 years ago and from lived experience I could now say that it left me bloated and full but always craving more. I recall eating and thinking, when could I go to my next fancy restaurant and where will it be.

    I know now that the combo of salt, sugar and fat is addictive and as a business they want us coming back.

    It worked, as I was one who would keep going back, even if that meant going into debt on my plastic cards, because those ‘specials’ on the board in fancy fine dining cost so much more than what is on the regular menu.

    The weight piled on and there was no regard for my body, if I am being honest.

    We are certainly what we eat and there is no getting away from that.

    Making small changes and feeling what to eat always makes the difference.

    Checking how my body feels before and after eating anything is still something I need to practice more of, as it is so easy to eat with my head and eyes, if you know what I mean.

  34. I was on the bus this week and observed a mother taking her baby out of the pram. The baby was no more than 6 months old.
    Mum went into her bag and took out a cake and proceeded to feed her baby this.

    You could see the baby had not yet developed teeth. My point is, this baby does not have the capacity to say No to the cake.
    What are we showing our children?
    Are we setting our children up for a life of obesity?

    Our world needs to wake up and look at what is really going on with our food issues in today’s modern world.

  35. I realise I get food ‘hangovers’.

    If I eat food my brain wants but my body doesn’t, my body tells me the next day. Not just heavy, slow digestion, but a slight headache, a tired feeling, a sense of not being sharp.

    I can feel it is because the body is struggling to process the food from the day before – still working on yesterday’s cycle instead of starting afresh today.

    Alcohol hangovers are well known. What if the body also suffers when we poison it – perhaps much more subtly – with food?

    And if this is true, what level of responsibility and care is the body actually asking for with food?

  36. I just read about an ‘ingestible electronic capsule’ that monitors how gas levels in our gut are building up.

    You swallow a tiny computer and it sends data to your mobile phone as is passes through your digestive system.

    The goal is to understand how our gut works and food that may cause problems, from data such as ‘intestinal wind patterns’.

    It is my experience that we know exactly, to the tiniest detail, which foods are hard to digest and sit in our system for ages. Which foods our body processes easily; those that make us feel nourished and well. Which foods make us gassy.

    Do we need this ingestible pill to confirm to us our own lived science?

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/with-ingestible-pill-you-can-track-fart-development-in-real-time-on-your-phone/

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