You know those days when everything comes together in a cohesive, integrated way and you begin to trust that there are no coincidences in life, simply events that align, once we open up to the possibility of alignment?
Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about food recently, about how much I think about sourcing food, preparing and cooking it, sharing and eating it. About how food that we take in becomes part of our consciousness, literally in our cells. And how we have to become more connected to the source of our food, i.e. nature, natural cycles in order to allow the food we eat to intuitively and positively feed our health.
So I thought I would write a post on how we can eat in a way that creates more joy and less anxiety around food, using some insights from Yoga and Ayurveda.
I had just begun writing this post, when I turned on the radio to hear a summary of a new report released by the global medical journal Lancet which calls for a radical change in food production — or, as one of the authors put it: “Nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.”
The goal of the report is huge. To achieve planetary health diets for 10 billion people by 2050 and it emphasizes that the futures of the climate and human health are deeply intertwined. In order to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize the climate, the world needs a “comprehensive shift” in its diet, the authors say.
I am so excited to read the entire report from start to finish. I love that the authors – nutritionists and researchers from around the planet – are connecting what we eat to the health of our planet. I love that they are extolling the benefits of eating more plants, not only plants, but more plants while reducing the consumption of meat and animal foods significantly, because my issue with western diets in general, outside the bubble of our yoga community is that people over consume meat, dairy and sugar to a degree that we don’t need especially in our more sedentary and comfort filled modern lives.
In a sense they are finally getting what the ancient wisdom science of Ayurveda has known for thousands of years – that if we recognize that our food comes from Nature, that Nature is the source of it all, then we have to harmonize that connection in order to live harmoniously and in connection with our environment.
It is so simple, yet we complicate things so much and get so so heady around food.
I remember when I first spent a year in a small town in the midwest. I had never eaten anything that emerged out of a box or that was frozen (I grew up in India, in a home where my mother made everything from scratch, including our daily flat bread and yoghurt). I was offered a fillet of white fish that I knew had come out of a box in the freezer and no doubt it was shipped or flown across miles to get here. I remember politely eating it, but it didn’t taste like fish from the ocean. It tasted like cardboard to me. That year prompted my decade long dive into eating more plants and in search of real tasting (organic foods).
If we don’t know that what we eat is directly connected to our local environment we should.
One of the tests in our family is to check how much food we dump into our compost bin each week. Our goal is always to up the amount of compost and minimize all recycling and garbage. And each time we fill the compost bin I love knowing that the scraps of all our veggies and fruits will soon turn into the topsoil that we and others in our city can use in our gardens.
I’m not sure what the far reaching impact of this report will be. But I am so glad that what we eat, and how we source it and distribute it is finally being seen as an essential key to our health, behavior and wellbeing.
For today, simply do this.
- Bless your food.
- Light a candle before you eat.
- Eat slowly and without distractions. (no smart phones at the table).
- Taste what you are eating.
- Enjoy it fully.
More on food, mindfulness and joy soon.
Until then, check out that report. Peace.