We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.”  What does this really mean?  Basically, everything that we take in impacts us – both physically and mentally.

Food can be used as medicine and it can also that which requires us to seek out the correct medicine.  Food supplies essential nutrients to our body and these nutrients circulate in the bloodstream and nourish our tissues.  If we eat improperly and ingest food that is days old, difficult to digest, heavy, full of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fat and sugars, then our body has to operate under stress.  Our body has a difficult time performing its normal functions.  Our organs eventually operate at their maximum capacity and then wear out.  Thereafter, medical or even surgical intervention is required.

There is much that we can do daily to help reduce the chance of medical problems. We can begin by being mindful of what we are ingesting.  Eat freshly prepared, organic food as much as possible.  You can usually locate some family owned produce stores that sell organic produce at reasonable prices.  The farmers’ market is another wonderful alternative.  There are local farms that deliver organic produce to your neighborhood or doorstep.  All the hormones in our meat and dairy have an destabilizing influence on our health and cause abnormalities, especially in children.  Kids can become overweight, girls reach puberty and begin menstruation well before their teens; they develop hormonal disorders and more.  Avoid BGH (bovine growth hormone) and look for such labels in your dairy.

Start reading labels.  See what’s in everything that you are buying.  Look at calories, fat content, sugars, preservatives, etc.   Avoid trans-fats, genetically modified (GMO) or genetically engineered products.  See if the product has hydrogenated oils, enriched flours, white flour, malt syrup, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or the preservative MSG (mono-sodium glutamate).  Ask your favorite Thai or Chinese restaurant if they use MSG in their food.  If they do, ask the restaurant to make the dish without it.

According to the Ayurvedic texts, cooked honey clogs the channels and cannot be removed.  It’s amazing when you start reading labels, you will discover that honey is in your baked goods, bread, crackers, and spaghetti sauce.

Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s.  Aluminum is often found in a lot of the stainless steel cookware.  There are also reports that non-stick cookware is linked to health problems.

Microwaves kill the prana/chi/life force of the food and alter the molecular composition of the food.  If you are what you eat and you are eating dead food, then how does that help us with our health?  Yes, they’re convenient.   There are alternatives for the workplace: a hot plate, stainless steel “tiffin” cans from your local Indian grocery store, a thermos for your soup, and stay-warm insulated containers.

What’s your state of mind when you are cooking? What about the person who prepared your food? Was the person in a mindful mood or an angry mood?  Have you ever had a simple meal which was prepared with a lot of love, and that tasted better than any top rated restaurant which you’ve visited?

We don’t just ingest food; we also ingest the information that is on the billboards, the music we hear, the noise, pollution, the conversations in which we partake, all the information we read, everything on the news…the list goes on.  Your brain has to process that information, just as your body has to process whatever it consumes.  Unresolved, unprocessed information can result in mental toxins which lead to anxiety, nervousness, ticks, spasms, tremors, anger, or depression.  It’s not uncommon for young kids to see something scary on tv and then wet their beds or have nightmares.  Adults are no different, but the results manifest differently for them.  Our bodies can never be totally at peace if our minds are not at rest.  They go hand in hand.

 We can make wise, informed choices about what we take in and take charge of our health accordingly.  It’s about making a change in your lifestyle, if you are willing.  Make gradual changes and notice what happens