Principle One: Eat your food [Get your heart, brain, mind and body talking: The First Principles]

by maya on August 29, 2008

WHAT IT MEANS

You are what you eat. Make sure you eat. If you want to think and function, make sure you eat.

Is that all? That is pretty obvious, isn’t it? The truth is that I am yet to find a word as overloaded as “eat”. “Eat” here carries ALL of the following meanings:

  1. Eat ALL your meals
  2. Eat On Time
  3. Eat just how much you need – not more, not less.
  4. Enjoy your food while you eat it.
  5. Listen to your body – eat when you are hungry.
  6. Eat in moderation.
  7. Eat healthy
The food we eat is almost as critical to our minds and bodies as the air we breathe. Learning how to eat however, seems to be one of the hardest things. The incredibly busy lives we lead along with the variety of unhealthy choices we have for easy food makes it doubly hard to eat and/or eat right. And don’t even get me started on all the gazzilion diets out there.

 

WHY IT WORKS

Your mind/body is happy-active and your brain is a happy-thinker when you feed your tummy the right foods at the right time. Your cells are nourished and your blood is flowing. You do not really notice this when it works as much as you would when it does not work. The brain is “thinking” about the tummy and the “lack of brain” for other thinking causes plenty of issues. Numerous crazy things happen when we do not eat, starve or stuff ourselves such as reacting emotionally or violently to situations, not reacting when reactions are necessary and plain fatigue (this is mostly lack of hydration). At work, this translates into wasted time, unnecessary arguments and lack of passion (could cost you the growth of your career). Whining (unknowingly cause by “hunger”) at work is never a good thing. On the personal front, starving causes emotional issues, procrastination, inactivity and in extreme cases depression.

 

IN MY EXPERIENCE

When people talk to me about having had personal/professional issues that have lasted a while, the first thing I ask them is if they are getting “food” and “sleep”. I have suffered from my share of depression and eating disorders … (both years and years ago and I am proud to say that I have been free of both for a while) … but the key to keeping them away is recognizing a number of things including “eating right”. The signs are subtle and I have to constantly look out for them. I tend to be more short-tempered, grit my teeth and even pick at my skin(ugh!). Passion becomes a stranger and optimism is out the door (totally unlike me!). I stop having fun with the kids. I try to take a “recovery break”  as soon as I realize what is going on … get at least 6 hours of quality sleep and eat all my meals for at least a day. After years of practice, I am out of this downward spiraling cycle within days (after working on a a number of other things as well). Lucky for me, all the depression, pregnancy and childbirth put me through enough of crap and taught me to understand the body’s and mind’s subtle and convoluted requests for food. 

So the next time you are overwhelmed, freaked, stressed and exhausted ask yourself if you need to “eat some food and relax a little” …

 

 

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