From Gluttony to Meditation

Food is a primary requirement. Hunger is the basic instinct that drives all living beings. Nothing can survive without the right nourishment.

We who pride ourselves on being the most developed among all creatures, have long left our natural food and invented the process of cooking. With it, we effectively opened a door of possibilities for satisfying our palate.

Nowadays, food is available in unimaginable forms. People relish all kinds of tastes and indulge in overeating. The food industry is exponentially growing. But the question remains: are we eating right?

Pandora’s Box

Our insatiable hunger has opened up a Pandora’s box of diseases. More and more people are being categorized as obese. Heart diseases, diabetics, cancer and hypertension is ubiquity in our generation. Though many of them are not the direct result of eating habit, it cannot be omitted from the list of suspects.

In this scenario, we have to rethink our food and come up with a solution to the problem.

Why do we eat?

The greatest problem we are facing is not the food per se but the attitude behind eating. Unlike other animals who eat out of hunger, humans eat for many reasons; hunger just one of them.

Some people eat to fill a psychological need. When they are feeling blue, they cannot help but eat. It gives them a way out of their misery.

Many eat for satisfying their palate. They are drawn towards some foods and cannot resist the temptation to eat, even though they are full.

Some others eat because it is meal time. They never skip a meal and depend on the clock rather than listening to their internal biological clock.

A few have no rules when it comes to food. They just eat whatever and whenever they want.

Importance of the right food.

We know that food is the fuel that drives our body. The eaten materials are broken down into energy and are used for physical activities and cellular regeneration. In fact, it is food that turns into new cells and the chemical reactions within.

When we fill ourselves with negative food, our body emits negative energy. We feel lethargic and depressed. Our physical and mental processes are affected due to the wrong choice of food.

Many admirable movements such as veganism has evolved recently which prompts a rethinking of our food habits. It won’t hurt to keep an open ear to such new philosophies and try them if it suits us.

Resisting temptation

We give so much emphasis on food like never before. Social media is full of selfies of foodies with something they are trying for the first time. New restaurants pop up in the streets boasting a festival of taste. The options are so varied that it becomes difficult to choose whether we need Thai, Italian, Indian, Chinese or Mexican on Friday night.

Though food-adventures are exciting, it is better to stick to a good diet. Do not fall for temptations.

Choosing the right diet

Our diet should be fresh and as natural as possible to aid our health and well being. Including more greens in the plate will indeed make the diet a lot better. Make sure to eat more fruits and nuts too.

Another factor is the quantity. Be sure not to overeat. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of treatment, advices to fill half the stomach with food, one-fourth with water and to leave the other one-fourth empty. This is the optimum quantity.

Moreover, we do not really need so much carbohydrates in our diet as most of us are leading a sedentary life. So cut those carbs too.

Respect

Remembering those who toiled hard to bring the food to the table may sound old fashioned and too religious. But being grateful to all those from farmer to the cook will open a new perspective.

Such gratefulness will make us respect and enjoy the food on the plate.  

Relishing each morsel

We have a tendency to mindlessly gulp down our food rather than enjoying it. I believe it is a crime not to relish each morsel.

All our senses should be stimulated by the food we eat. Sound of cooking should be music to the ear, well-served food should be a treat for the eye, the texture should be felt through touch and the smell should stimulate the palate. Taste only comes last, but it becomes heightened when it follows other senses.  

A Meditation

With such awareness, eating becomes enriching and meditative. I believe that such an approach will put an end to food wastage and subsequently its shortage in poor countries.

Let us eat what we are supposed to eat, in the way it was meant to be eaten; respectfully, enjoyably and meditatively. Food then becomes a medicine rather than a poison.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you. Please post your opinions in the comment box below

13 comments

  1. Gluttony is a long forgotten sin. We indulge in over eating without any heed to it. Nice post Manu!

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