I cringe every time our dog, Max, pees on a fire hydrant on our nightly run at the park. I can’t stand cliché (probably because I see, or embody, it in some way every single day). I guess, in that respect, we are what we dislike?
We’re also what we eat. Ever hear THAT annoying cliché?
I’ve heard it all my life but never gave it much thought until a few years ago when I began to learn about the processes our “modern” western food diet (or nutritional zeitgeist) consists of.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been missing the love in my food. It’s like a spice that is added before, during, and at serving the meal.
Now let’s think about this for a minute. What is love? Love is respect for another person, place or thing. Love is also trust. It’s believing and trusting this other noun (proper or not) will not harm, but only help you.
So when you respect and believe somebody/something will help, not harm, it shows in the relationship; both beings will grow and be sustained in positive ways. We naturally want to be in the company of the people/things we love and shouldn’t wish to be in the company of people or things that disrespect us.
Do you have that kind of relationship with your food? Do you spend time on it? Do you respect it? Does it respect you? Does your food make your body work better or at peak performance? Or does it stall it out like bad oil in a vintage car engine?
EASY ISN’T LOVE
I feel like I sound like my parent’s parents with that heading as they tried to get their teenagers to abstain from sex and rock-n-roll.
At some point, food became too convenient and easy to come by. When that happened, I think we lost some respect for it. Now we don’t make time for it. We ignore where it comes from, we consume it and toss it. (In my head, this sounds like a 60’s warning film about putting out too soon).
I’m not jumping on the unreasonable-vegan wagon chastising meat or dairy eaters. I like meat, and I will likely eat meat again (though, I will be very selective about the source). No matter where your food comes from, it should be treated with respect every step of the way to your gullet. This also means we need to think about chemical sprays and other additives in the typical American vegan diet. Yes, organic is not only difficult to come by, but expensive when it is available, but what kind of relationship are you trying to have? One that will sustain you for life or the moment?
Christ spoke of teaching a man to fish versus giving him fish (another cliche’d story around the Corporate training workplace these days); however, the core concept is true of our diet regimin. If we put in the time and energy, we CAN feed ourselves and quite well. Get enough people on the food love/respect bandwagon, and the Capitalist-powers-that-be will respond in kind. We are always given what we indicate we want.
Don’t get me wrong. Fast food chains know exactly how to keep your relationship with their food new and exciting by introducing exotic new offerings dressed in fancy buns and sauces. Remember the inside is just as, if not more, important than the outside. You can also spice up your normal dishes with all kinds of things to keep that “new love” phase fresh in your diet. (Note: these tips are not only relevant to your kitchen, they may also work in the bedroom.)
Why do so many cultures pray over their food? It is to give thanks for the blessing it is. Now, If you find yourself praying over 99 cent quickie cheeseburgers and random smashed-up chicken parts on more days than not, you may wish to add other things to your diet like organic fruits/veggies gotten from nature or a farmer who has lovingly tended the crops every step of the way.
Blessings are given for those things we are grateful for, and we should be grateful for things that help, not harm, us. When we stop being grateful for something, it moves to a position where it no longer sustains us (physically, spiritually and emotionally). In some cases, the soured ungrateful relationship can even harm us.
Imagine if we went back to a society living with respect, trust and gratitude (i.e. love) toward our bodies and the bodies of others. it would mean a deep love and respect would permeate our planet. I believe THAT is a paradise all reasonable men and women could agree upon.