It is becoming obvious that new approaches to nutrition are needed to remain healthy in our fast paced, instant lifestyles.
Many of us do not feel nourished by the food we eat because we are only feeding the physical by bolting down food as fuel. Degeneration of the physical occurs because we are not feeding all aspects of ourselves with the life force held within the food we eat, the fluids we drink and the air we breathe. With our high reliance on technology we are also losing connection with others, our environment and ourselves.
Science has now acknowledged that food can really affect our day-to-day lives with the discovery of what is termed the “second brain” in our digestive systems. This “second brain” has a complex nervous system (part of the enteric nervous system) that oversees the entire digestive process. The digestive system feeds the immune system (which is responsible for fighting off possible invaders like bacteria and viruses). Up to 90% of the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in the gut. This is important because we need serotonin to feel happy!
The enteric nervous system in the gut is very sensitive to emotional and psychological stresses, resulting in poor digestive ability creating the physical tiredness, lethargy and so on. We need pay special attention to the foods we eat at stressful times, as we can tend to make poor choices with what we consume.
Over-eating is endemic with the over-abundance of food in modern society and the cause of many health issues (well documented in oriental medical systems). Knowing “when we are full” eludes many of us for many reasons. We may not be able to recognise healthy satiation levels if we are disconnecting with ourselves (unconscious eating). We may continue to eat and drink well after being full because we need to suppress unpleasant feelings (emotional eating). Over-eating creates psychological disturbances because we feel “bad” afterwards and then over-eat to shut down the guilt, depression or hopelessness of our situation because we are stuck in a cycle of addiction.
When it comes to social situations we may consume food and beverages with the status quo (social eating), irrespective of our own needs. The more uncomfortable we are within ourselves, the more we tend to compromise our own needs. Food for thought…..Can we just be nourished by the company of others instead of constantly compromising our own balance?
Most people have food or substance addictions of some kind. Some beverages we take for granted like tea and coffee contain drugs (caffeine), making it all the more difficult when we try to regulate our intake. We are using the drug to do for us what we are no longer able to do naturally, like waking ourselves up (our kidneys may have become reliant on the artificial wake up to mask the damage from stress, late nights and the over-consumption of stimulants). We may rely on alcohol to give us “Dutch courage” when faced with difficult social situations because we never learned to deal with those fears naturally.
Maybe we are "health nuts” and have a rigid approach to eating that is based on a particular type of diet (intellectual eating). Our obsession with food cripples us and we become unstable. We are out of touch with the foods that our body is really needing. We no longer hear the messages our body is sending us because our minds are constantly over-riding those messages.