Philosophy of food and diet
Having tried every way of eating over the years I have come to the evolution that there is no ‘one right way’ for everyone. Furthermore, there is not even a consistent oath for the individual; what may be appropriate and right at one stage in life at a later date is found to no longer work.
That is not to discredit different approaches. I have enjoyed the journey and been intrigued experimenting on myself with methods/approaches such as raw, eating for blood-type, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, Ayurvedic, anti-Candida, low carb/high fat diets to name but a few things I’ve tried. All of them have some kernels of truth contained within them, and may be a good choice of an approach to eating at a certain time and place.
However, frustrating and frightening as it may be, the onus is on us to take responsibility for observing what feels right for us (on an ethical-level as well as physical) and realising that this is an ever-changing work in progress. I’ve found it a profound lesson against the natural wish to find truth and security in the dogma of a rigid perspective embodied in a particular teaching. Unfortunately, if truth and security are found, it’s letting go to the chaotic, ever-changing seas of life, keeping a sense of humour, staying honest and present and constantly adjusting the sails of your course.
This said, there are a few basic principles which we may take as good signposts on this winding road. Firstly, like my old-grandmother likes to say ‘a little off what you like, does you good’. Don’t be too exclusively rigid, this causes more tension and stress which in turn can affect very negatively our quality of digestion. This. Doesn’t mean, going crazy and eating whatever the hell you want. More, you stick with basic rules and then you can make exceptions along the way when you need/feel like. Whatever your poison (within limits) it won’t kill you now and again, whether it’s a glass of wine, some ice-cream, chocolate or a packet of crisps or French fries. Just be aware of how it makes you feel. You probably will then crave it less the next time around…
But a lot of it is just common sense. Suit your eating to the level of activity you are currently doing. If you’re training a lot you will need to adjust your diet from when you are the person sitting at a computer all day. Also, it seems sensible to not eat heavy meals late at night and to pick fresh and seasonal foods over long-life and processed choices, or those flown half way around the world for weeks before arriving on your plate. To pick the simplest foods, or those that have been the least interfered with or modified is of tantamount importance as is choosing whole grains over refined choices, such as brown-rice, millet and quinoa over pastas and breads, or soaking and cooking your own beans and lentils rather than using a tin.
Dairy, meat, fish and eggs opens up a whole other level of contention. I think this must be really left to individual choice, but on,y when a person can be honest with their moral responsibilities and also how certain dietary choices can make you feel. For many, meat is profoundly hard to digest and can stir up unwanted emotions. Eggs and diary may or may not also cause you ethical dilemma. Just be aware of the choices and implications of your decisions and also how they make you feel after eating. For many, these things to are problematic for the digestion. Other people seem to find that if they steer clear of cows milk products and elect only those made with sheeps and goats milk this proves satisfactory.
Naturally, stimulants, whatever they be, are not ideal on any front. Drugs on any level profoundly disorientate the subtle energy of the body and smoking interferes with the breath which is the very anchor of our vitality. Sadly, even our coffee has its consequences and so does that beer or glass of wine the next morning. The best thing, is to notice how they make you feel and gradually cravings may naturally drop away. Also, it may be convenient to forget, but don’t forget that sugar is one of the worst offenders here. This substance can completely mess with your whole digestion all day long. Of the few categorical statements I give on diet I would recommend to gradually cut all sugar at any cost. A little honey, maple or agave now and again, maybe, but refined sugar plays havoc with us. Then again, don’t force it; we never want to set up a struggle paradigm around eating. stress is starting to be appreciated as the number one factor in assimilating the best from our food and so trying to maintain a considered , but relaxed attitude to our diet should stand us in good stead.