In more than forty years of providing health and nutrition guidance, to people with issues great and small, I have seen that one’s attitude is what drives behavior and determines health outcomes. Keeping a positive, purposeful, and loving attitude is an inner awareness with a feeling and flavor to it that I would aim to encourage you to cultivate and express.
What is aging, but the refinement of our essence, and ability to navigate personal and societal issues with grace and perspective?
We have all witnessed people who eat whole, fresh, so-called healing food who are not in gratitude when they are eating it. This not only compromises their enjoyment, it also negatively affects others. A person who is sitting with anger, resentment, judgment, despair, or narcissism during a meal may not even be aware of it, but he or she is energetically bringing other people down. It is preferable to eat alone than be around someone who is negative and toxic. For similar reasons, I suggest you turn off the TV and refrain from listening to music that distracts your attention from the meal and social situation at hand.
To eat for wellness is to develop consistent, conscious eating habits. They can take some time to cultivate, since we are conditioned to eat mindlessly and on the run. There may come a time when we don’t have as much quality food to eat due to world shortages or other factors beyond our control. That would make us realize that each bite counts, but we can wake up and change our habits now instead of later. As we slow down, we begin to notice the subtle textures, aromas and flavors in the food. What a treat!
When we eat more slowly and consciously, we also greatly enhance our digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in the foods.
Sadly, our culture is very wasteful in the growing, marketing, purchasing, and consuming of food, and most of our food supply is of pretty poor quality. A massive mis-education campaign, funded by food manufacturers and purveyors of fast food, has seduced our young people into eating convenience foods loaded with calories and artificial chemicals, flavors, and preservatives. I have found that many people have to break their addictions to the flavors of disease: sugar, rancid fat, excess salt, and both “natural” and artificial flavors.
Immature eaters find these tastes exciting and delicious while more mature and better informed consumers know that such choices undermine our well-being now and especially later in life.
All people have an intrinsic love of life somewhere in their gene pool. True SOUL food will appeal to them if they don’t have a conditioned aversion to it. In this case, SOUL stands for seasonal, organic, unprocessed, and local. I have seen children who have never eaten a fresh vegetable be curiously skeptical of a raw green bean or slice of fresh red pepper, then dunk it in a pleasant dip, take a bite, and say, “I like it!” This gives me hope. All of us deserve and require fresh, healthy foods so we can become intelligent, resourceful, and peaceful human beings.
Those who learn to Eat for Health™ will be well fortified to deal with the demands of aging, pollution, stress, insecurity, and inevitable change.
In my work with clients, I strive to instill an appetite for great food and improved energy, one of the great rewards for eating well. Taking nutritional supplements is no substitute for improving one’s diet. Hundreds of my clients with moderate to major health issues have taken excellent dietary supplements while continuing to eat a mediocre diet, over-consume alcohol and recreational drugs, and go through life with a lousy attitude. Often, I can remind them that they need to make the time to make the meals that support true health. Doctors, therapists, spouses, and friends cannot “fix” their problems when they are unable or unwilling to do the work of eating and living in a more healthy way.
7 keys to health, happiness, and longevity follow. Which ones do you want to work on? To
- Make conscious choices about what to eat at each meal; avoid dogma
- Dial in and maintain a positive attitude, come what may
- Stretch, move, and breathe deeply throughout the day
- Connect with your own true self
- Communicate with kindred souls
- Connect with the source of creation through gratitude, service, and kindness
- Let each day bring real challenges and wonderful opportunities.
The first step on a positive new path is always the hardest. Picking up the Flavors of Health cookbook is that first step, and now it’s up to you to take the second one by picking out a recipe and making a single dish. Once you realize that it is fun and not too complicated to cook for wellness, you can invite others to share a meal that you’ve made.
Some risk involved. What if they don’t like the food? It’s okay. Most people appreciate homemade food, and all of the recipes in this book are yummy. The important thing to remember is that you will be nourishing your loved ones not just with the meal, but with the positive energy you put into making it. Putting on your apron, honing a knife, and cooking a dinner with creative joy and awareness will lead to many good things.
As you Eat for Health, you feel and look better, create health, alter disease progression, gain confidence, have fun, and nurture positive healthy relationships, with other people and with the earth – while improving your own well-being.