November 29, 2019
This morning, while enjoying a beautiful breakfast with my wife at a local Kneeders, we got into a discussion surrounding the topic of FOOD. This conversation was sparked after she observed a couple hurriedly scarfing down their meal, far too quickly to enjoy it, while looking angrily at one another, obviously stressed out about something. Food is one of our favorite pleasures in this life, and we agreed that it is also one of the most important and empowering tools of this life, if used properly.
How we learn to consistently practice using food, the mood we choose to be in while we consume it, and the quality of the food we ingest, are some of the most important things to remember.
I asked my wife this question: If you could have changed or altered your moods or your body, chemically and hormonally, especially during “that time of the month,” but also at ANY time in your life, what do you think would have helped the most?
Her answer? NUTRITION.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, anxiety disorders, and severe depression, in 1999. I was told that I would suffer from this disability, and suffer, for the rest of my life. I was put on mood stabilizers and tried over 20 antidepressants, during the next 15 years. I was told that if I were to ever stop taking them, I would most likely cause harm to myself or others. I chose to believe the doctors, believing that they knew better than me. I trusted them and their knowledge. Finally, in 2014, after numerous suicide attempts, and an extremely difficult life, I began a new kind of journey, learning about brain health and nutrition. I stopped taking all medications, against my many doctors orders, and began to stabilize my moods by stabilizing my nutritional levels, through diet alone. As long as I stay away from sugars and carbohydrates, my moods are completely stable. All symptoms of the Bipolar Disorder, anxiety, and extreme depression I was diagnosed with, all those years ago, only threaten to return when I stray away from what I have learned is best for me.
The lesson that this cemented into my mind was this:
Experiment with EVERYTHING. Question EVERYTHING. Don’t believe everything you hear, and don’t believe everything you think. Find what works for you, and stick to THAT, leaving behind, or abandoning, everything that DOESN’T work. Stop seeking out what you think might be true, and instead, seek out what is USEFUL and EFFECTIVE in optimization of your life, in EVERY way!
My wife told me a story of when she was much younger, and she used to help teach some of the kids at the church she attended. She explained how, on one occasion, the teachers of the class brought different foods for the kids to try. They asked them to try each of the different kinds of food while their eyes were closed, or after being blind-folded, after which they asked them questions. They were only allowed one bite at a time, and instructed to enjoy, and savor, every bite, to the very fullest. They were then asked to describe what they thought it tasted like, what they thought the ingredients might be, and what it made them think of, while they savored and enjoyed each bite, taking as long as they needed or wanted to. This empowered them to remain in the present moment.
One of the children smiled as they slowly savored the delicious taste of the warm mac-and-cheese they had just been given. “It tastes like a big hug!”
They were taught that, in life, just like in this food experiment, they were capable of taking the time to savor and enjoy each moment, one at a time, just as they savored and enjoyed each bite of the food.
This little experiment is a great reminder to practice being present in the here and now, enjoying and savoring each and every moment that life has to offer. I love this teaching from Neale Donald Walsch:
TIME is actually your GREATEST gift.
It is better than money.
Therefore, invest it wisely.
The next time you pick up your fork or spoon, and begin to use it, take only one bite, then put down your utensil, and savor and enjoy the bite to the fullest. Close your eyes. Become acutely aware of what ingredients were added to create the bite of food you just put into your mouth. What does this one bite make you think of? What feelings does this one bite of food result in? Are there any memories attached to the tastes?
Reminder to self:
Rather than shoveling food down your throat, eat slowly. Savor and enjoy each and every bite. IT’S ABOUT NUTRITION AND HEALING. When we eat slowly, calmly, and intentionally, our bodies automatically only intake what is needed, thereby not needing quite as much as we usually eat when we are in a hurry. We feel filled more quickly. Our bodies are resting and relaxing, and better capable of digesting the nutrients properly, using the most optimal chemicals and hormones to break down the food to a sub-cellular level, and utilize ALL of it to the benefit and healing of our physical bodies. When we are stressed, angry, or in a hurry, we tend to eat more quickly, automatically eating much more food than necessary, and because we are in a fight or flight mode, the chemicals and hormones within our bodies digesting, and breaking down, the food we are eating during those times, are quite different. THESE chemicals and hormones don’t break the food down in such an optimal and beneficial way. Our gut health, or microbiome, isn’t benefited in the same way as when we are in a relaxed, enjoyable, neurochemically beneficial state.
WHAT WE EAT MATTERS,
BUT HOW WE EAT,
MATTERS JUST AS MUCH.
For anyone planning on returning to the gym, or doing ANYTHING that will add muscle:
Remember to STAY AWAY from the scale, for AT LEAST three months!!! DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF! While replacing OLD, healthier habits with NEW ones, remember that you are displacing unhealthy, dangerous, disgusting OLD fat with high quality NEW muscle. During this process, NUTRITION will be KEY. The quality of food you choose to consume will ABSOLUTELY determine the quality of muscle you create!
EVERY BITE WE EAT IS INFORMATION TELLING THE BODY HOW TO HEAL.
The most impactful, empowering, educational information I have come across in my life, so far, regarding food and nutrition, has been through the incredible YouTube show, HEALTH THEORY.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SHOW AS A TOOL FOR LIFE OPTIMIZATION.
The content shared on this show can, AND WILL, make ANYONE younger, healthier, and more capable of enjoying a HIGH QUALITY lifestyle.