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Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do we eat?

Why do we eat?
Let's see, it seems to me that this planet called Earth can produce all the plants, animals and water that we need to live a healthy nourished life. So why do we choose to eat lifeless chemicals called "food" that are not nutrient dense and causes more harm to our bodies than the glorious, delicious, fresh whole foods we produce naturally?

When you sit down to eat do you think about nourishing your body, filling that hungry hole or satisfying a desire that comes from an emotional need to eat?

When we eat for nourishment we look for the freshest whole foods we can find. We tend to prepare them minimally to keep the nutrients intact and keep the food as nutrient dense as possible. When we eat these nutrient dense foods we are able to eat large quantities without harmful consequences as our body uses the nutrients without having to store excess fat or carbohydrates. We feel lighter and healthier, we are better able to move and find the joy in life because that is what we have gained from the food we nourish our bodies with.

When we eat to fill that hungry hole we will often reach for the easiest, most accessible food available regardless of the nutritional quality or benefit. That might mean reaching for an apple but more times than not it means picking up some sort of processed food that is prepackaged and filled with lots of chemical and preservatives. More times than not we neglect to limit the portion size because we are so hungry and continue to eat until we feel that overfull feeling.

If we are eating to fill that emotional hole we primarily reach for foods that are high fat, high salt and high calorie that we call comfort food. It is usually food that has been processed from potato chips to ice cream or big pasta dishes and the results are always the same. Too many calories, too much fat followed by guilt and shame from our food choices. Now the advertisers who are trying to sell us the processed foods are targeting those weak moments when we are feeling deprived, neglected or in need of some comfort. We are led to believe that eating the comfort foods will make us feel better or make us better people when in truth they make us feel terrible and full of shame and guilt. The high fat, high calorie (also read high salt and sugar) foods do things like cause obesity, depression, diabetes and the list can go on and on but never once do they improve our health or our mental or emotional condition either.

So let me ask the question again. Why do we eat?

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