“You Are What You Eat”: Why This is One Saying You Should Take Seriously
We are not merely physical bodies. What we decide to do every day—whether we choose to vitalize our souls through art, scroll through our phones, bask in our loved ones’ presence, or stay curled up in solitude—affects not only our body but also our energy and happiness. Not moderating what we do on a daily basis—such as working more than resting—can easily cause an imbalance that blocks your road to physical and spiritual happiness.
This logic also includes what we decide to eat. Food is the key to unlocking a greater awareness of ourselves and how we can better sustain our holistic health. In other words: you truly are what you eat. Here’s more on the importance of taking this saying seriously—and how to start doing so for yourself.
Why you are what you eat: how food affects your well-being
The importance of food is not new knowledge. Many cultures have been celebrating the act of eating for centuries, from the Native Americans’ spiritual ceremonies for salmon to the Islamic practice of Iftar—where Muslims break their Ramadan fast by eating three dates. However, such knowledge is often lost when one forgets the unity between body and soul. It helps to remind yourself of that connection. By paying attention to your hunger and how you satisfy it, you can unlock important aspects of yourself. Our cravings tell us what we need to nourish ourselves physically—and, in turn, spiritually. Your food choices have meanings.
When the pandemic began, for example, salty comfort foods became increasingly popular due to their ability to provide emotional relief during such uncertain times. Eating certain foods can also improve mental health and emotional stability. In fact, the 2020 literature review “Mediterranean Diet and its Benefits on Health and Mental Health” finds that adhering to a Mediterranean diet—consisting of whole-grain food, seafood, and nuts—can lower your risk of developing anxiety and depression. You have the opportunity to explore how food affects your whole self and eat accordingly. Here’s how you can begin.
How to eat for improved energy and happiness
Bring balance to your plate
Your body and all its components demand nourishment, and that demands balance. Eat from all food groups: vegetables and fruits, protein, whole grains, healthy oils, and water. Keeping this equilibrium helps you sustain your body and mind. It can even correct past imbalances, like weight gain accrued from unhealthy eating habits. In fact, the most sustainable weight loss programs shun fad diets like juice cleanses and carnivore diets, which promote nutritional deprivation through the imbalanced consumption of some food groups and not others. Instead, these programs recommend listening to your body and giving it what it needs. Eat from various food groups. At the same time, listen to your heart and indulge in your favorite foods every now and then. Remember that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” foods—only “nutritious” and “less nutritious.”
Savor meals with your loved ones
How often have you absentmindedly lunched while watching a Netflix show? Perhaps you are in the practice of working while you eat. This is called mindless eating—and it’s strongly linked to both anxiety and weight gain. When you eat like this, you are not properly honoring your food or yourself. Combat this by practicing mindful eating. Put away all distractions and focus your senses on the meal in front of you, including its smells, textures, and tastes. Remember that your body hungered for this food and that either you or a loved one thoughtfully procured it as an act of care. Sharing a meal with family and friends can also enhance the eating experience. Enjoying food as a community is an age-old human tradition that allows you to appreciate your food and those around you.
Food is essential for all the different parts of you. You are what you eat. Ensuring that your meals are wholesome, healthy, and wholly savored allows you to honor yourself in turn. We hope this article has been useful and will help you.
Your CCI TEAM