The Power of Food

I was mildly depressed for a while this morning. This isn’t like me; I am usually pretty happy, so I was a bit confused about why I was in such a low mood. Here are some things I was thinking/feeling:

  • I wanted to have coffee. I have been “off coffee” for quite a while, because I don’t like how jittery it makes me feel. Now, of all mornings, I was wanting someā€¦
  • I wanted to watch a “comfort show” on TV. I have a show — okay, I’ll admit, it’s Star Trek: The Next Generation — that I like to watch, just to kill time and “to keep me company.” What was odd today is that I never want to watch anything so early in the day. Usually, the Star Trek bug hits in mid-afternoon.
  • I kept thinking about events of yesterday. Yesterday was a good day overall, but there were a few things that I would have liked to go differently. I was rehashing those things and starting to feel really cruddy.
  • In general, I was dissatisfied and discontent. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like knitting or reading anything, which are often things I do in the morning when I’m not too busy. On the whole, I felt like “self-medicating” in some way — I wanted to distract myself with TV, get zipped up with coffee and forget yesterday. I might have even been tempted by booze if there was some around!

Suddenly, I realized what was going on: I was hungry. I hadn’t eaten much for breakfast (unusual for me) and my blood sugar was low. All I’d had was a half a grapefruit and a cup of green tea, which is an okay start to breakfast, but not breakfast, at least not for me. That’s all it was — I wasn’t suffering from depression, there wasn’t anything “wrong with my life,” and I didn’t need anything to “cope.” All I needed was some healthy food and my mood improved greatly.

I share this story in case you ever feel the same! Please, take care of yourself and eat good, healthy food — whatever that means for you, I’m not going to give specifics and say you should never eat this and always eat that. I find I feel the best when I stick to less-processed food, but you eat whatever makes you feel good.

Why Food is so Important

Why does food make such a big difference in our moods? It’s because of how our bodies work. We need energy, in the form of sugar, to think and for our muscles to work. When we don’t have enough sugar in our blood stream, our body releases chemicals, such as the hormone adrenaline, that help to free up stored sugar, but those chemicals don’t make us feel very good. In a way, they are a warning sign for us to go and eat. Adrenaline is meant to give us a boost of superhuman strength for stressful situations, and when we aren’t active, such as when we’re just sitting at a desk, all that energy doesn’t have an outlet. Being active by getting more exercise or playing sports helps (in so many ways), but the root cause is what we are feeding our bodies.

I have a naturopath friend who uses the 100-year rule. She simply asks herself “did they eat this 100 years ago?” If not, then she doesn’t eat it. Fruit roll-ups? Nope. Granola bars? Nope. Oatmeal? Yes. Eggs? Yes. This helps her eliminate a lot of processed foods (granola bars are some of the worst). Another tip is to glance at the ingredients. If most of them are chemicals too long to pronounce, don’t buy it — if you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it!

Our bodies are incredible — we can eat almost nothing and go all day. In an emergency, we can survive for days on just water. Be kind to yourself and eat healthy foods, starting with a good breakfast — and as your day unfolds, don’t let yourself to get too hungry/grumpy. If you don’t feel like being kind to yourself, then take a little time to look inside yourself and see if you know why. Are you punishing yourself for something you did? Are you judging yourself harshly? Are you mad about something? Harboring unforgiveness? You may want to re-read chapters 13 – 20 (in Love Your Skeletons) and refocus on gratitude, self-acceptance, and positive things.

Energy Beings

We are Energy Beings.

We live on more than just food. We live on energy. It’s simpler to think of our bodies just as chemcial-food-energy factories that convert chemical energy from food into energy for use in our bodies, either as motion, heat or building blocks for cells. That is true, and what you tell yourself about the food you eat is one part of the equation of health. If you think that the food you are eating is bad for you, it will be (no matter what its actual content). If you think that the food you’re eating is good for you, that will be true for you!

Tell Yourself This: Everything I eat contributes to my healthy body. Everything I eat comprises the building blocks for perfectly healthy cells.

Although this is true, there is so much more to it than that. We absorb other types of energy too. Have you ever noticed the “mood of a room” change when a new person walks in? Have you ever felt tired and frustrated one minute and then perky and happy the next, because a friend called you or you started doing something you enjoy? Your thoughts are a form of energy and your body benefits or suffers based on the type of energy that you are creating with your thoughts.

The next time you feel tired or mildly depressed, rather than eating something, why not try feeding your energy body another way? Read some jokes or look at cartoons (Savage Chickens is one of my favourites). Remind yourself that life is supposed to be fun — put on a playful attitude. Sit quietly and breathe deeply. Remind yourself that everything is working out perfectly. You are a good person, and good things happen to you. Put your feet up and focus on your breathing. Imagine that you are reaching upward, tapping into a higher energy (literally and metaphorically). Think of someone who inspires you and imagine that you are entering his/her energy-space… you can tap into the place their higher self lives. Keep breathing!

Tell Yourself This: I am an energy being. I am in a healthy, happy energy field right now. I am “recharging my batteries” right now with pure, loving, abundant, expansive, boundless energy.

Your energy body can be described further by chakras, but for now, just realize that there is more to it than food. Sometimes when I am vaguely hungry but I don’t know why, I just sit and have a short meditation and then I feel better, centered. I am no longer hungry (although I am still sometimes thirsty). I wonder how different your body would be if every time you ate, you also topped up your spiritual batteries? Would you feel like eating less, because your spiritual body has also been consciously fed? Would your digestion be better? Would the food-chemical building blocks be used more perfectly? Leave a comment and let me know how this works for you!