Eat. Real. Food.
Why? Because you are a real human being.
What do I mean by real food? Vegetables and fruit and nuts and, if you eat animals, ones that enjoyed a good life and a good death as far as you can tell. Animals that spent their days outside with plenty of fresh air and sunshine, eating real food like grass (for cows) and all of the other stuff (for chickens).
Shop around the perimeter of your grocery store. Eat loads of vegetables. It's true. They're good for you. If you've been eating "food products", colored and flavored with chemicals and highly processed sugar, vegetables will be an acquired taste. But give them a go. You'll adjust.
Vary your protein and remember the nuts, the beans. If you're eating red meat, try eating smaller quantities at fewer meals.
Organic was not a word that anyone used in relation to food when I was a child but my dad kept wheat germ, blackstrap molasses, honeycombs, and protein bread in the pantry, and ate half a grapefruit every morning. He set a good example when it came to eating and dragged me along to the Main Line Diet Shop long before "health food stores" were a thing.
Eat organic whenever possible. Why? Two good reasons. You will feel better because you'll receive higher nutritional value and fewer toxic chemicals and you will be helping to support people who work hard to preserve the natural ecosystems of the earth that you (and your children and their children, etcetera) need to live and feel good. I mean, I know that organic certification is a racket but go for it anyway. If you don't already, patronize your local farmers market. Meet your farmers! They're a fab bunch.
Here's one more reason to eat organic. Learn about the Dirty Dozen, memorize the list, and don't forget them.
That being said, don't become neurotic. If you rummage through a bag of Cheetos once in a while, it is not the end of the world. I just demolished a bowl of organic blue corn chips while writing this. I am not proud to admit this but it's true. They may be organic, but they're junky, calorie dense, salty, and just another way to go mildly unconscious.
Do drink water. I have been drinking filtered water for decades because, regardless of reports, I don't exactly know what is happening at the source of or in the pipes that carry my water to the kitchen faucet. I do not drink bottled water packaged in plastic because that plastic leaks into the water, creates more stupid plastic waste, and because the source of the water could easily be (and often is) some city water supply. Also, packaged fluids need to be transported which costs large amounts of oil and gas and and exhaust and rubber and road. The closer to you that your food is grown and your water is sourced, the better.
Speaking of water, the higher percentage of water your food contains, the less calories, and the more filling! Fun fact.
It's increasingly critical to think about your food. Where does it comes from? How does it impact the ecosystem? Is it produced humanely? How does it travel to your mouth? How does it travel through your system? Becoming more conscious of your food is a step on the road to developing your overall consciousness.
When I landed in an antique house in the first days of the pandemic shut down, I found cocoa powder, sugar, flour and butter on the shelves. I made brownies from scratch for the first time in my life, and discovered the ecstasy of dense, sugary calories. It was fun for a while but may I never be compelled to eat brownies for breakfast desert again.
We've been through a lot. We've found various ways of coping. One common way of coping, comforting and entertaining ourselves was (is) to eat. So many things. Now, perhaps, it's time to calm down around food. Not always the easiest thing to do. But hey, growing and evolving and climbing out of caves is not the easiest thing for everyone to do.
We are healing. Our bodies are designed to integrate with our home, Mother Earth where we are provided with all of the yummy nourishment and taste delights we need. Adjust. Eat an organic apple, a carrot or a stalk of celery and relish the experience. Eating real food is a part of the healing process.
Don’t forget to chew. Masticate, munch, chomp, crunch, savor. Chewing thoroughly is what your teeth and jaws and saliva are designed to do. The rest of your digestive system will thank you.
Oh, and one more thing. If you’ve gained that Quarantine 15, eating real food is a sure way back to your featherweight, or at least somewhere close. I’m headed in that direction, too. As soon as I finish that bag of chips.
"If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy. -Thich Nhat Hanh
©2021 Suzanne McDermott