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Listening To Your Body: Engaging with Food in a Conscious Way

Last week we took a step back to engage with the concept of food as sacred, examining traditions from the ancient age right up to modern times. This week we’re taking a step forward: we’re demonstrating how you can apply these concepts to your life in a very real way, with a simple process that puts you in control. This may be the most important feature in our Food Is Sacred series…it really gets to the core of what we feel Loving Earth is all about. 

Nowadays we’re bombarded with a vast array of miracle diets and stress-free programmes. There’s an endless parade of gimmicks out there in terms of health and food, with experts and gurus constantly telling us how to achieve our end goal: feeling good. We believe that the best way is to be found within yourself - through listening to your body and learning to trust your instincts. This is the core of our project: consciousness. If people are engaging with things consciously, they’re going to be healthy, they’re going to be ethical, and they’re going to be vibrant. That’s the foundation, and that’s what we want: empowerment. 



Difference is Beautiful

Many traditions from the Chinese to the Ayurvedic have much to tell us in regard to such matters, learnt by examining different peoples’ constitutions, body types, environments and so on. Common to these philosophies is the belief that different people respond differently to different things. This may seem obvious: we all have friends who eat exactly what they feel like, but never appear to put on any weight. Meanwhile, others seem to gain a kilo every time they even look at a cake!

We’re all different, and here’s an interesting example of just how this can have a profound impact upon our lives, often without us ever realising. Just this last weekend, Scott met an old friend who, after many years of not being able to sleep at night, decided to consult an allergist about her problem. What they proposed to do was to really simplify her diet, which this woman did vigilantly. She added one thing at a time and closely studied her reaction. Over a period of twelve months, she discovered a couple of interesting things. One was that preservatives kept her awake at night, making her mind very active. Now, this is kind of an obvious one: as we know, there are all sorts of issues going on with preservatives. The second thing, however, the really fascinating thing, is that she gradually discovered that spinach was making her tired! This is quite puzzling, since spinach is a great source of iron and chronic fatigue is often due to a deficiency of iron. We just keep getting confirmation that we are all so different. Chinese medicine has one take on food and the body, Ayurvedic culture has another; raw foodists, vegans and a whole host of other philosophies similarly provide an infinite variety of viewpoints on what people need to do. These traditions are wonderful, and there’s a lot of wisdom in them. Yet at the same time, by engaging consciously with food and listening carefully to our bodies, we can find out more about ourselves than anyone else is ever going to be able to tell us.


Experiments With Truth

The route which Scott’s friend took may seem an extreme one to some, but there’s a much less time-consuming way to discover similar facts about yourself. Anyone who’s read Gandhi’s autobiography, The Story of My Experiments With Truth, will be familiar with how the great man came to literally approach life as an experiment. This book was an important influence on the formation of Loving Earth, and part of Gandhi’s approach involved using the empirical method. This means coming up with a hypothesis or prediction based on certain research and theory, and then testing it. If Gandhi was going to try a particular type of food or diet, he would study it and make a prediction based on what he’d found out. He’d then go and try it, recording the results: How did I feel? What was my mental state? How were my energy levels? He would evaluate his hypothesis against those results, finally coming to conclusions. The basic principle of what Gandhi was doing is engaging with food in a conscious way. He listened to his body and developed a systematic way of doing that successfully. What we at Loving Earth are looking for is a conscious engagement with what we’re doing: the principle is conscious engagement. For us this approach is very empowering, because people can individually discover what’s best for their own unique body.

How can you make this really apply to you? The whole idea of listening to the body started to make itself really apparent back when we used to have our chocolate parties. We’d invite people to taste-test our products and help us to improve them. At the end of each session we’d give people homework: we’d ask everyone to keep a food diary for a month. This is what we want you to do.




Experiments at Home!

A tangible way to begin this process and engage with it is to buy yourself a nice blank diary. Fill it in three times a day. In the morning when you get up, write down what you eat and how you feel. Do it again at lunch and once more at dinner. Continue for a month. As you’re doing this, you’ll start to look back at certain points and see how you felt being affected by what you ate a day or two before…patterns begin to emerge. This can be a very powerful exercise and there are many levels of individual detail that can be included, but even if you spend just 10 minutes a day on it you’ll soon have produced a considerable body of knowledge. Just over a month from now we’ll be publishing a follow-up article to this, and we’d love to hear from you. What we’re offering to the first 50 people who respond with a 500-word summary of their findings is:

  • 1x 100g bag of Raw Organic Maqui Berry Powder
  • 1x bar of Raw Organic Orange & Gubinge Dark Chocolate
  • 1x bag of Yellow Kale Chips
  • 1x 500g bag of Deluxe Buckinis

All you need to do is email this to us at info(a) before Thursday 8th December with “Eating Consciously” as the subject line. Remember to include your name and address and you’ll soon be chomping on our choc and reaping the benefits of our Maqui!

The real theme here is empowerment. Empowering people to take control of their own diet, their own health and their own relationship with food…we’re extremely curious to see how you respond, so don’t leave us hanging! Next week we’ll be looking at alternative sweeteners…get a start on that diary and we’ll see you then!

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