"Foods are like Puzzles to the Stomach"
We all need food to survive.
Thus it is inevitable that we will all grab something to eat in order to fill the hunger.
But how much are we aware of the ways in which different kind of foods can affect our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being? In this article we will explore the answers to this question.
Food In Depth
Food has to be absorbed for it to work its magic
It can be easy to fall into the belief that by simply eating the most nutritious foods in the world one can become healthy. But realize this, if the body cannot absorb it in the first place, then it will simply go to waste. For instance, dead wood could be the most nutritious food for the white ant but to us we would not be able to digest it and assimilate it for use. For instance, milk could be nutritious to someone who could digest it, but not necessarily for a lactose-intolerant person. A piece of bread could be nutritious for one person, but someone with celiac disease would react to it negatively and so forth.
Thus when it comes to choosing what types of food to ingest for greater health, it is important to choose the food that one can properly digest.
And how do we develop such Knowing?
You can simply start out by eating only one type of food at a time and see how well you digest it i.e. if you experience gas or pain in the stomach or if you feel tired or any negative sensations then obviously the food is not digesting well.
Most of the time we can digest one type of food pretty well, it's only when we start mixing it up that is when problems can arise. So through trial and error, one can understand how their own digestive system works through experience.
To the body, digesting a piece of food is like solving a piece of puzzle. And as a general rule of thumb, the less processed the food is, the easier it will for the stomach to solve that puzzle to release and absorb the nutrients contained within.
Naturally, the body can easily solve the puzzle if the food is natural because natural foods are the ones that the stomach will find the easiest to understand, i.e. a piece of Banana, an apple, an orange.
These foods are familiar to the body because they are all from Mother Earth which is the same place from which all things have originated from. Poetically speaking, one can see the Sea as the water in the body, the Fire as the heat in the body, the Earth as the Skin of the Body, the Air which is the breath and life of the body and so forth.
Thus digesting raw fruits and vegetables will be a more straight forward process than digesting processed food, because eating these type of foods is natural to the body.
However, the more the food becomes processed the more layers there will be to that puzzle for the body to understand and solve.
Processed foods here is defined as food that do not occur naturally in nature, i.e. food that is chemically altered, cooked, or mixed with other things.
As processed foods do not occur in nature it will take a longer processing time for the stomach to figure out what it actually is and how to process them.
It is true that some Natural Foods require dicing and cooking before one can actually swallow it into their mouth, i.e. grains, potatoes and so forth. These foods are still nutritious, but will still take longer to process than the "raw foods" that do not require to be cooked.
Here the article is not saying that all processed foods are bad, rather it is to bring to one’s awareness of how much effort the stomach needs to digest different types of foods so that one can better use this knowledge to choose the right food for them. Knowing this can help those who have digestive problems.
Cooking often simply just add one more layer to the difficulty of the puzzle so the stomach usually will have no problem in digesting the foods which are processed in this way. However, when foods are overly-processed that is when the real problem will come. And generally it will require a young and healthy stomach to get through these kind of foods without suffering some kind of negative repercussion. An old or sick stomach simply will find it incredibly hard to take in processed foods.
What are overly-processed foods?
Think of a piece of bread. It is made of many ingredients, flour, water, yeast, salt, and most often with eggs, sugar and other chemicals to make it white, fluffy, pretty and storable. Then some people may become creative and add fruits in it, then some may even fry the whole thing and then drizzle sugar syrup on top of it.
Now when we take them into our body, think of the processes that the stomach wil have to go through to understand and break everything down for the body to understand to assimilate the nutrients it into our system. So the more processed the food, the more difficult it will be for the stomach to handle. This can not be so obvious when one is young and the body is strong, but as one ages the body will find it more and more difficult to digest more complex foods.
Another thing to consider is that if one eats too much, then it can also stress the digestive system because it simply means that there are more things to process. And thus over-eating regularly can often lead to some serious health problems.
So although the stomach can be intelligent and unravel even the most intricate puzzles, problems will arise when too much energy is expended in the process of solving the puzzle. That is when you can start to experience fatigue after eating a meal. Eating food is supposed to give you energy rather than make you tired.
Thus become aware of what you are eating.
Are you becoming tired after a meal?
Or are you gaining energy after a meal?
Naturally, we want to be in a state of feeling happier and feeling more energetic after a meal. But now it has become common to experience great fatigue after having a meal because of the work we force our stomach to go through digesting the complicated foods we put in our system – fried chips, doughnuts, cereals, candy bars, soda, smoking, beer and so forth. And why do we do this? Often it can be because of our cravings for tasty foods!
Help the stomach with the puzzles by eating more simple foods.
Importance Of Addressing Food
It is important to address the unsuitable food that we are taking in because we may be eating food that is depleting our energy and not knowing it.
Do you often feel tired after eating a meal?
Having an unsuitable diet can create fatigue and slow down the healing process of the body. It can also affect the mood in the negative way. When one has a lack of energy one will see all activities as "tiring" and "undesirable."
Much of our mood and happiness can be influenced by ways in which we eat. Eating too much or too little can affect our energy levels. Similarly, eating too much spicy / tasty stuff can also affect our mood and the desire for more stimulating activities in life.
The degree of happiness we experience in every moment can be determined quite a bit by our diet. Because a healthy diet will create a healthy gut. And a healthy gut will promote a lighter and happier mood. From a scientific perspective, most diseases originate from the gut so it's important to take care of our gut health.
Path Of Creator
Food In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The Path towards Happiness is a journey, and that journey can be accelerated if we feed ourselves the right food to provide us the energy and mentality to get there.
"What foods are best for us?"
As we turn our attention to Nature, what we will find is that all animals and even insects know instinctively what to eat and what not to eat. The cows and sheep know to eat the grass, the tigers know to eat meat, the birds even know what berries not to eat to avoid being poisoned.
Thus it is strange to wonder why that out of all the species, we being the most intelligent don't have the awareness of what is healthy and what is unhealthy for our bodies?
Naturally, our body is always communicating to the Self what it needs. The Self, when living in tune with Nature will be able to Know intuitively what to eat to survive and be healthy.
However, when we are bombarded, enticed, and become distracted by so many "delicious" choices of food that the world has to offer: mixed foods, processed foods and so forth we can end up eating out of our Desires rather eating out of what the body truly needs.
The body is intelligent and in every moment it is always communicating with us through body sensations telling us what we need to be healthy. But when we let our desirous thoughts drive our life we can lose that communication.
It is by developing the Knowing of The Self that one can re-connect with our senses and become aware of one's sensations in every moment so that one may know when one is truly thirsty, when one is truly hungry, and come to know the subtle sensations of what kind of food one truly needs.
So the destination is to reach a state of Knowing what the body needs. It's about rebuilding, reconnecting with our body so that we can feed it with what it needs rather than simply feeding it with what we want to eat.
"Knowing The Self Through Food"
We can use food to develop the Knowing of The Self.
For instance, we may be attracted to spicy food.
And in looking deeper for the cause of this, we may find that this is because Spicy Food embodies the Idea of "Excitement," “Strong Emotions” - Ideas which are resonating with our deeper desires.
Likewise, we may like flavourless foods because we prefer to have a more mundane life.
Everyone will always have a different Idea towards the same food. Thus the cause for everyone' s affinities to the same food will always be different. Thus through observing the foods that we like we can find clues as to why we like it, and then developing that knowing we may find the cause of it.
Likewise, by developing the knowing of why we "hate" i.e. "Have a Negative Reaction" towards a particular type of food, we can then find clues as to the nature of our own sufferings.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Ask yourselves the questions
"Did I gain energy from eating this food?"
"Did I lose energy from eating this food?"
Answering these questions will help you find which food is best for you.
And remember, everyone's body is different. See the Catalyst - Diet for more detail.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
When eating food it is best to be in a state of observation as one would be in The Creator’s Meditation because in this state one is not expending as much energy as a thinking / analyzing state.
It is important to be in this State of Stillness because to digest food requires a great amount of energy. Thus when one is in a Negative state such as Anger, Impatience, or in a Stimulating State and so forth there will be not enough energy / focus for the stomach to digest the food. This can result in poor absorption and over time this can lead to a lot of health problems.
Know and Transform The Self!
Use the 10 Day Self-Knowing Vipassana to develop awareness of the body and mind. This will help you to become aware of what food is good for you by becoming aware of how different types of food affect your body and mind.