Reasons we reach for food and nature’s wisdom

psychology of eating

  1. Genuine hunger – instinctual us, animal us
  2. Meeting an emotional need. Using food as something pleasurable to get away from something painful we are feeling
  3. Being stuck in a pattern, a habit, automatic behaviour associated with certain activities

This week is all about the body and I felt it would be useful to summarise some information on our relationship with food. I am reinforcing these messages for myself as much as for everyone else and I hope you will find it useful.

We all heard of binge eating, emotional eating, overeating, over-consuming on calories, mindless eating, etc. These are unhealthy patterns of behaviour, which we either do consciously with a purpose or unconsciously.

There is one way of eating, which is natural and the most helpful is to eat when you are hungry. When we are consciously aware and mindful of clues sent to us by the body, NOT our mind, indicating it is time to eat. When we know we are ready for intake of food, we need calories and there is a genuine need for nourishment on a physical level. It is when we know that if we don’t eat we might not ‘survive’, it is instinctual function for our body to sustain life through taking in some food.

The other two ways of relating to food are the ones to watch for. One is us using food as a way of making us feel ‘better’, that pleasure trap when we seek a relief from a difficult emotional state and wanting to feel pleasure and we do it through food. This is emotional eating. I know, e.g. in the past my emotional eating had been connected closely to grief. It works similarly with other habits, like smoking, e.g., which for me, again used to be a way to gain relief when I felt unsafe. Very specific emotions that I would need to release through using something else. Once you identify what it is that you are ‘running away’ from through inducing pleasure using food, then it is time to FEEL that emotion, allow it to be, having courage to be with that, as it is part of you.

One other reason we eat is through habit. Something that we keep on doing automatically to a point that we are not always conscious of, we simply do it when engaging with a certain activity. A good example is watching TV in the evening. Many would reach for food when watching movies, favourite programmes, because this is something that they have done over and over again for a long time, hence a habit is formed and the brain knows it is food time once you are on that sofa switching on your television. The first thing to do is to become aware of where you might be using food, in what situations and circumstances that you might have not realised. The only way to break that pattern is to learn to interrupt that behaviour consciously. Once you are aware, conscious then you can begin to stop it in its tracks. It is like changing a cycle, interrupting something repeatedly should rewire our habitual thinking or automatic actions into doing something else. This needs to be practiced again and again and there will be time when you will be able to watch television without overloading on calories. This would happen overtime through interruption of the cycle and engaging with activities that take you away from that pattern and from food. Do something instead for a period of time to give your brain a different message. Remove your association between watching a film and eating.

Now think of nature in all its presentations and with all its inhabitants and species. What stands out to you when you look to nature? With me it is balance, it is a beginning, a middle and the end. It is time for everything where nothing is rushed or delayed, where everything has its place. Summer doesn’t come before spring, flowers do not bloom in winter and the earth is not producing food when the ground is frozen. Nature teaches us that there is a system of elements that constantly working together to achieve an overall balance. Sometimes challenges are thrown in its way in a way of adverse weather conditions like floods and droughts, yet it recovers, it catches up and it continues to live. There is a force of survival and thriving for that equilibrium state where everything is just as it should be.

Now think of your body in the same way. Evaluate when it is the right time for you to eat, e.g. are you a morning eater? Are you more of a snacker or a bigger, more regular meal eater? What is your body’s preference and schedule for calorie intake? What feels most natural and nourishing? Do you follow your body’s natural rhythms or are you even aware of it? The goal is to bring your body into balance with your mind, your spirit and your emotional world. Is it in balance? What foods bring you joy not when you use it to avoid something else, but when you seek to give your body nourishment and enhancement in order to feel better?

My connection to nature and the earth has helped me balance out my physical and emotional enormously. Eating produce that comes from earth gives my brain a message that it is fresh, it is filled with water and sunshine and it is full of nutrients. It is good for me. Remember doing something enough times repeatedly can rewire your brain into knowing it is working and good for you. Start small with changing one or two things a week in order to increase your potential for balance in the body, add something beneficial or take away something that is not good for you. Small, steady and continuous steps.

Remember to get sunshine and rain water on your face, as well as feeling the earth with your bare feet whenever you can. Connect to the wisdom of the intelligent system that is nature, the earth and let its wisdom go into all areas of your life, your relationship with your body and food included.

Many blessings!

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My thoughts on Juice Fasting

juice fasting
When referring to fasting, I mean drinking just lemon or coconut water or a combination of both for your chosen duration of time. Another way of fasting or ‘feasting’, as many raw peeps would call it, is drinking only fresh, raw green juices. No solid food.
Fasting is a powerful tool, which can be beneficial in a number of ways. The first useful element of fasting is when, let’s say, you have been suffering from a number of ailments for quite some time and want to get better, but don’t know where to start. You are not sure whether you have allergies/intolerances to food and environment and your general state of health is poor. The first thing to say that if you think that you might have intolerances, you probably have, as trusting your instincts is important and I encourage that. So, if you are lost amongst medication, information, tips and supplements thrown at you forget it all and do a fast for a few days. Give your system a chance to say ‘enough’, ‘stop’, let me rest. It can then consolidate a message for you, which will hopefully encourage a more permanent change. At that moment when your system might be heavily overloaded with medication, processed foods, you body is so tired and confused it is very slow at giving you messages, if at all, so help the body to help you by allowing it freedom to regenerate some energy. My own personal journey to raw started with a fast and I never looked back.

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From conscious eating to conscious living

The Spiritual Path

Eating RAW opened up more avenues into healing and consciousness than anything else previously encountered by me in my entire life. The power of a clean body and mind created a space for healing and explanding my spirit. Eating consciously made me pause, contemplate, free up time to observe my emotions and thoughts and ponder on what else is possible. I felt vibrant, still, peacefull and calm for the first time in my life. That is the truth. It started with healing the body and eliminating all symptoms of any illness and conditions I was suffering from for years in a very short period of time. The deeper emotional healing followed and my awareness woke up and started to sharpen. The best thing that ever happened to me! Eating and living consciously is a wonderful way of being where everything and anything is gently observed with no judgement or control and it turned out to be a wonderful navigational tool to my own ‘darker’ places, which needed attention and healing. What followed was the deep connection with other beings on this Earth, animals, birds, plants, water, soil, rain – all things NATURE. It was the opening into my religion, which is nature in all its glory, mystery, wisdom and magical healing and guiding abilities.

I encourage you to start your journey towards living consciously starting with foods you choose to put in your body, which is a beautiful vessel,  a carrier of your precious soul and all of its gifts.

Choose consciousness, choose a different life, a life that you are meant to live.

Try Raw food eating for 30 days and see if you feel any different. Grow in health, grow in consciousness.

Raw Food Recipes