Eating is a grand experience. Today’s food choices weren’t imaginable a century ago. The variety and flavors of foods are countless. With this seemingly endless food evolution, how did we become psychologically separated from the foods we consume?One truth points to our spiritual connection to the eating process. Tasting food, for example, is only part of eating. Furthermore, eating is only part of the divine process of nourishment.Our bodies are dependent not on food, but on nourishment. I love to say, “Our body is an amazing place to spend a lifetime!” To recognize the spirituality of nourishment, we must affirm that our bodies are great places.Dietitian and food expert Dr. Mary Kaye Sawyer-Morse describes the ancient cultural view of food as “a tool for spiritual growth and healthy living.” Food is a powerful tool. By becoming more conscious of food, we discover wellness.All cultures and religions make eating traditions. These traditions focus on several spiritual principles, such as the creation process, and bountiful harvests from the Earth. They appreciate the harvest, and those who prepare it. They greet the connection between our physical bodies and spiritual soulfulness.If your destination is highest health, consider implementing the follow practices at each meal. Sawyer-Morse suggests becoming more mindful of all our daily activities, including the selection, preparation, serving, and eating of food.Before purchasing and consuming a food, consider its nature. Was it grown with love and attention, or with harsh chemicals in flaccid ground? Just as we talk lovingly to our household plants, we can act lovingly to plants we consume. I enjoy the selection process at the grocery store; I enjoy choosing colorful vegetables, crunchy nuts and grains, and herbal tea.If you think you can eat fast food on a regular basis and maintain good health, you are fooling no one. The evidence that processed, deep-fried foods cause obesity and disease is overwhelming. You know it. Your healthcare providers know it. The only way to health is through conscious purchasing.To physically embody greatness, establish your own traditions around eating. Sawyer-Morse suggests that we focus, visualize and plan, prepare, and savor. Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV. Snub the phone. See the process unfolding. Envision who your meal will nourish. Sense textures and aromas. Savor each bite, chewing slowly and completely. Notice your mood and thoughts while you eat.Lastly, observe your digestion and elimination. Does each meal pass through your body comfortably? Do you feel energized after a meal?Remember: the missing ingredient in your recipe for great health may be your “consciousness kitchen!”Nina Schnipper is a nationally-certified fitness trainer and medical massage therapist. To attend the upcoming “Nourish Your Spirit” Herbal Retreat, in Basalt, call Nina at 948-0179.
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