We must heal our relationship with food first!
Every New Year, most of us resolve to better our health, and better diet is at the top of those resolutions. Everyone claims to have the perfect diet for you! Bombarded with the enticing ads, their promises and compelling testimonials, we resolve to buy into at least one of them. We are all gung-ho in the beginning of the year with the new diet but the results fall short of what we anticipated or expected. A few weeks or even just days into the new diet our energy wanes, our will power fades away and before we know it, we fall right back into our old habits of eating and blaming ourselves for not being disciplined enough to follow through. Getting stuck in the self-sabotaging patterns, we quickly begin to look outside again for something that will keep us inspired, give us the quick results and most importantly would be easy. Is that too much to ask?
It IS too much to ask as long as we continue to look outside of ourselves in search of that perfect diet. But it is easily attainable when we dig deep into our habits and our relationship with food. Our struggles with diets and food is less about food and more about our psychological conditioning around food, our lack of deeper understanding of ourselves and our stressed out lives. If that was not enough, challenges like guilt, shame and emotional hunger combined with our disconnection from natural food sources creates the perfect storm for this dysfunctional relationship with food. Adding to that a society that promotes overconsumption, addiction and lack of personal responsibility makes the perfect recipe for more illness and disease.
To create health, we need to look in the opposite direction – inward.
What’s out there is information, but to transform our health what we need is wisdom. That source of wisdom is within each one of us. All that’s needed is our willingness to try to access it!
Why do we place so much emphasis on the food and diets when it comes to creating better health? Because food is one of the big ways we can all participate and take the reigns of our health into our own hands. Nothing gets more in the way of our aspirations, our goals and our ability to live a purposeful life than ill health, and nothing can stop us from living our rich and meaningful life when we are healthy from the inside out. Food is a metaphor for life; if we can heal our relationship with food, we can heal our life.
Inspired by the daily struggles of my clients and many Americans, my newly released #1 Best Seller book, “Healing Your Relationship With Food: The Ayurveda Answer” explains why we become anxious, worried and frustrated, and then eventually give up, all because we are not solving the right problem.
This book goes deep into emotional eating and all the psychological conditioning around food and a way to heal this conditioning by going to the root of the problem and understanding the bigger picture. The book explains how the 6000 years old ancient and time tested Science of Ayurveda provides that bigger picture and invites the reader to:
- go back to the basics of eating and nourishing oneself.
- get physical and emotional satisfaction from food in a healthy way
- Look beyond the caloric content of food and gaining a deeper understanding of what’s on our dinner plate
- Simplify food choices to regain balance and optimize our health.
- Bring joy back into meal planning and preparation with simple recipes
- Utilize food as medicine
Knowing is one thing, but most of us struggle with doing what we know. This path from knowing to doing is riddled with complexity, conflicting information and our own lack of understanding about ourselves. We need clarity and a deeper understanding in order to integrate our knowing into our living. This is where Ayurveda fills the gap. It provides a system to heal our relationship with food, a system that brings us clarity, common sense and wisdom, a system that provides a bigger context and that is relevant and usable for everyone. Most importantly, Ayurveda provides a system that promises lasting health while ending our battle with food once and for all.
Instead of providing a set of rules to follow and the inducement to forever chase the next best diet, Ayurveda is a dynamic living wisdom that assists us in understanding our lives, ourselves, and our changing needs. It guides us to optimize our health naturally, in alignment with our calling or our purpose. Food is a means to an end. Can we relate to it in a way that creates an inner environment of balance, health and longevity? There is a natural intelligence in food. Can we maintain and harness its intelligence so it supports our health, our purpose and our life? With Ayurveda, we can!
Ayurveda’s deep wisdom and understanding is foundational in healing our relationship with food and it empowers us to assess the fad diets and programs that keep us searching for results at the same time as they fail to fulfill the promises they make. Ayurveda is a holistic system that views each individual as a whole and understands that all levels of our existence—physical, emotional and spiritual—are interconnected. Ayurveda starts from the premise that health isn’t just about a lack of symptoms, but it’s about a balanced mind and body. It recognizes that spirituality and healing are not separate concepts; they are one and the same thing. This is how food becomes our medicine.
I am convinced that the solution to our food-related problems lies in returning to basics, in simplifying nutrition, and in building a healthier relationship with our food and food sources. Most importantly, it lies in our willingness to use our common sense and ask the bigger questions when it comes to our struggles with food. I am certain that when we view food as our ally in creating long-lasting health and healing, we may be taking the single most important step in healing our relationship with food, regardless of what background, beliefs and associations we may have. I believe that food can be the source of health and healing. And, when viewed as such, it can be our most valuable resource in dealing with stress.
Our real hunger is for love, comfort, joy, satisfaction and fulfillment. Food is a medium of expression for all of those vital aspects of what we seek in life. It is up to us to extract the real nutrients from our meals simply by shifting our attitude, by slowing down, and by taking the time that is needed to nurture ourselves. What we experience through eating will be infused into the other areas of our lives. Food is love. Nothing says “I love you” more than a meal that we cook for ourselves or someone else. We feel the love in the comfort, warmth and satisfaction when we eat. When we can allow our ego to shatter and surrender to what simply is, love is all that remains. We heal!
Food is the most natural state of medicine, providing healing energy with every bite. It repairs our internal organs, nourishes our body, and comforts our soul. Our body’s own innate intelligence guides us as to what to eat if we don’t get in the way. It is more common-sensical than we think. Paying attention to the effects of food on your mind, body and soul can create a solid frame of reference that will point the way to which foods are good for you and which are not. Food is a tasty way of restoring balance to your body. Believe in the healing power of food and you will naturally be drawn to use food in this way.
The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition. – Thomas Edison