Are you interested or committed to nourishing your body?
I was brought up with parents who were food lovers and Dad had the greenest of fingers when it came to vegetable growing. We never bought any veg - everything was from the garden - fresh where possible and then stored and frozen to tide us over the winter months. I have always been a lover of food - fresh food - the ceremony of buying, preparing, cooking and eating it.
I studied, what was then called, Domestic Science when I was at school. It was considered an easy subject and thought of as a filler when the teachers didn’t know what else to offer! I am so grateful for those classes. They have stood me in such good stead with nutrition as we learnt about the food properties - carbohydrates, enzymes, protein etc as well as how to cook them. And it is one of my biggest rants and frustrations that it is not taught as a compulsory subject from primary school upwards with it being a life skill. Rant over!
When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I went through sporadic periods of bulimia. I now understand the emotional connection to this distressing condition but at the time I was obsessed with my weight. I would binge on food when I was stressed or unhappy and then of course know that I could be in control to get the food out of my body.
Through the wide variety of trainings I have done over the years I have learnt to listen to my body and eat more intuitively. And I still get it wrong sometimes. One of the lasting and most powerful trainings that has stayed with me was a Kundalini Yoga training around the Addictive Personality with Carolyn Cowan. The course was over roughly a six month period and as we came to the end of the training Carolyn asked if anyone wanted to join her in giving up refined sugar, to not eat anything containing more than 3% natural sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol and no honey for 40 days. In Kundalini Yoga we often do challenges for 40 days as it breaks any negative habits that block us from the expansion of awareness to self. I decided to take part and it was extremely challenging at times - going into Starbucks I realised everything has sugar in it - I could smell sugar everywhere! The first few days were so hard with headaches and a general feeling of malaise …. and you might be wondering what was I doing in Starbucks but at the beginning I had some de-caf coffee to keep me going!!
The reason for writing about this though is because it totally changed my relationship with sugar and also brought to my attention how I feel when I have eaten something which contains refined sugar - my anxiety soars, I become less tolerant, my hands get clammy and I can’t sleep. Refined sugar is like poison to our systems and our amazing bodies do what they can to process it through. But it affects us on so many different levels.
Since doing that training in 2014 I have been so much more respectful towards food - what the food looks like, where it has been sourced, the energy around it, whether it energises me or makes me feel sluggish - and eating in this way feeds our body with respect and love too. And as I said earlier it doesn’t always go to plan. I believe it isn’t healthy to be too controlling with ourselves because then we crave what we can’t have which is why so many diets fail. But if we can have 80/20 consciousness about what we are ingesting and think about how our bodies break our food down and all that they do for us, we start to feel different. It’s incredible isn’t it?
I am always up for a challenge so if you want to try something like this let me know and I will join you as it most definitely helps to have support to keep us accountable.