By Lana Turnbull
In this issue of Well-Being we touched on our relationship with food and whether we know how and where it was grown or whether we don’t. All too often, our lives are so busy that we grab the nearest fastest meal, not the most nourishing and healthy one. Because many of us have become so far removed from the origins of the food we eat, it has lost its significance in our lives. A meal is something to get through quickly and with as little time and effort as possible so we can move on to the “important things” we have to do.
So how does our relationship to food and our choice of foods affect our lives and our health? When we give our bodies the proper fuel it needs – fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and poultry, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, we have more energy, handle the stress of the day better, sleep better at night, and generally have a better outlook on life. When we are gulping down caffeine to stay focused and shoveling in fat and sugar-laden fast food on the run, skipping meals and regular exercise, we sleep less, we feel sluggish, have a lack of concentration, our mood is poor and our spirit suffers as well.
In fact, there is a direct relationship between a healthy body and a healthy spirit. When we look at it that way, what could possibly be more important than properly nourishing both body and soul. We all want to give our families our best. We want our children to have every opportunity for growth and expression. So what do we do? We pack their lives with activities that although they may be worthwhile individually, can often become too much when considered collectively. If dance lessons, soccer, piano, karate and band are keeping our kids from having the chance to sit down with us as a family for meals several times a week, are we creating well rounded, accomplished kids, or stressed out, poorly nourished individuals who are missing the stability and comfort they might find around the family table? And, what about us as parents? Can we possibly do our best at parenting, guiding, directing and nurturing when we are stressed out and “running on empty,” physically, mentally, emotionally and don’t forget spiritually?
As I try to put how we eat into perspective, I find what is probably the answer to almost every important question posed by mankind…Everything in moderation, for a balanced life. It sounds so simple but finding balance between work, play, sleep, school, activities that enrich the mind and pursuits that nourish the soul, and doing it all while eating a healthy, balanced diet is probably one of the hardest yet most rewarding endeavors of life.
I like something I read that was once said by, of all people, Doris Day:
“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”