Just wanted to share with you a book that you all could benefit by reading: Nutritional Wisdom by Marc David. I think we all fundamentally realize that eating is much more than a rote physical task where macronutrients get digested, absorbed and ultimately eliminated. However, very few of us pay much attention at all to the equally important roles that emotion and spirituality play in the daily act of feeding ourselves. “Food is meant to nourish us, not merely provide nutrients”.
In the past, I have talked about how we tend to look outside ourselves for answers to our questions – including how to properly nourish ourselves. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t consult experts in their respective fields when we need good advice, but especially when it comes to something as individual as diet, we need to step up and become our own experts by listening to our bodies and the information it tries to impart to us. “The body is a superior source of nutritional information for one simple reason: IT DOES NOT LIE”. This (among many others) is one of my favorite quotes from Marc David’s book. “Once you have decided to eat, consciously choose what to eat. In fact, go to an authority for advice: your body.” Instead, we search out the “perfect diet” to TELL US what to eat – but I’m sorry to tell you, it just doesn’t exist.
As a future holistic nutrition practitioner, I view my role as one important tool in toolbox of resources available to people. I will be able to offer helpful advice, source and provide sound scientific research to back my recommendations, work with a clients wants and needs (based upon their individual requirements), and even impart insight into body system connections that clients are unaware of. (This is why I am going to school)! But at the end of the day, I intend to empower my clients to really start listening to their own bodies.
Taking this a bit further, I wanted to discuss another quote from Marc’s book that made me almost want to cry. You guys, one thing that taking this holistic nutrition course has reminded me of, is that OUR BODIES ARE FREAKING AMAZING -- even if you don’t like the way yours looks. It’s just incredible what our bodies do for us everyday, despite all the disrespecting we do to it. Our bodies are these amazing machines which we 100% take for granted. Every. Single. Day. And when I read this one thing, it made me so incredibly sad: “When the mind continually commands the body to act against the body’s wisdom, the body desensitizes itself to the fundamental biological messages that inform us about our well being”. Our bodies, which are so incredibly smart and know exactly what they need, are constantly being “vetoed” by what our minds want. This includes overeating (“I am full “says the body), smoking (“that makes me sick” says the body), doing anything in unhealthy excess (“that’s enough” says the body) not slowing down (“I need a break” says the body), not listening (“hello, is anybody hearing what I am trying to tell you?” says the body)….I could go on and on L And you know what our bodies do? They tolerate it…until they can’t.
So imagine this scenario in which our own bodies keep trying to tell us things like “stop eating” but we don’t listen, and instead we gain weight and then end up hating our bodies because we believe them to be imperfect and separate from us. How ridiculous is this??? Do you guys find this as seriously sad as I do or is it just me???
Of course, this is such a complicated subject, which is why I encourage you to read this great book. It’s easy to read, and at the end of every chapter, Marc reviews key lessons and offers reflections in the form of personal questions to bring about more awareness. Towards the end of the book, Marc lists 20 Principals of Ordered Eating and 5 Steps to Whole Body Eating. If you have ever struggled with food, you need to read this book. Please let me know what you think once you’ve read it.
I will leave you with this final quote (all quotes in this post are from the book):
“The inability to release food is at the root of our most challenging eating habits. Even though we have finished a meal, the eating has not really ended. The mind may continue to munch on thoughts of food, dieting, body image or optimal nutrition. Do you realize the tremendous amount of energy spent holding on to these things?”