What to eat – or what not to eat?

© Glow images. Models used for illustrative purposes.

What to eat – or what not to eat? It’s a hot topic. All kinds of  TV programs are discussing it. There are your celebrity chefs such as Nigella and Jamie Oliver, plus travel, fishing, home and garden shows. Each one has a take on what we should cook, eat or grow. From the number of foodie segments being screened, it would seem that we all love to eat! And why not? Australia has such a wonderful variety of produce on offer. And thanks to our farmers, most of it is still locally grown and supplied.

Having said that, choosing what to eat can still be a tricky decision. We’ve all seen some foods move from the ‘good for you list’, to the ‘bad for you list’ then back to the ‘good for you list’. Following each ‘list’ can be frustrating, especially if it means re-stocking the pantry cupboard.

So why do we spend so much time deciding what to eat? Organizations such a Nutrition Australia, say it’s because food and lifestyle choices impact health. A next-door neighbor says he eats with a sense of balance in food selection, because it keeps him well. Then there are those who have a lurking fear that if they consume the wrong thing, good health may be jeopardized. So, is there a reliable way to make wise food choices, overcome fear, and maintain good health? Can spirituality help?

A relative of mine was forever scanning magazines to see which foods were recommended for losing weight. She tried every suggestion. Nothing worked for her. In the end, she became fearful about eating any kind of food. She tried starving herself – not a good idea. It was a very unpleasant experience.

At this point she received a copy of a ground-breaking book on the connection between spirituality and health. The book presented effective spiritual insights into food, diet, and body. These spiritually based ideas changed her thinking about food forever. Her fear that it could be harmful was removed. She found she could maintain balance in what she ate and in what she thought about the food she was eating.

There’s growing evidence that spirituality has something to offer. For instance, in America, scientists are researching the connection between spirituality and health. 75% of medical schools include spiritual teachings in their curricula. In Australia ,the same level of interest isn’t quite as apparent. And yet, according to the Australian Medical Journal, published research into the relationship between spirituality and health has increased in recent times.

My relative could confirm that relationship. There was no doubt in her mind that thinking that particular foods were detrimental to health, produced a corresponding effect. This was not because the food knew about the body or the body about the food, but because of her thought that food had the power to do so.

Spirituality is gradually being acknowledged as helpful in making wise food choices. Anyone can find that there is a divine power that cares for them and sustains their life and good health. Through spiritual thinking, it’s possible to achieve a normal balance in what is eaten, gain control over thought and body, be healthy, and enjoy eating good food.

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I'm a Melbourne based health writer who provides a perspective on the connection between spirituality, thought and health. As a keen blogger, my aim is to provide the public with a diversity of health content including research into the mind-body connection and how thought affects health.