In a world of unlimited options, how do you know which choices to make? There's no end to the variety and quality of the choices we have at our fingertips. Will you have a salad for lunch today or a burger? Did you do your morning yoga or skip it?
Every choice we make (and don't make) expresses the larger truth of who we are. I always say that how we eat is how we live and how we live is how we eat. If we love and respect our bodies, we are more likely to make healthy eating choices. If we harbor deep pain or engage in self-criticizing thoughts, we may make very different choices.
Here are some “Truth Tips" on how to more clearly connect to your choices on food and eating:
Know your eating truths.
At the beginning of every inner journey is awareness. Cultivate exploration of your inner terrain through contemplation and meditation, especially when it comes to your body's need for food. Ask your body what it truly needs at a deep level. Since the layers of our being are interconnected, knowing your bodily truths will illuminate your emotional, mental, and spiritual truths.
When you're in alignment with knowledge of your eating truths, you can establish them more comfortably in the presence of others. You can express what you can and can't eat with more conviction and courage. Encourage yourself to dig deeply into your own personal truth. Define it and put your stake in the ground. Knowing it is only the first step. Living it requires discipline and pure intention.
Face your eating truths.
Once you've realized your truths, it isn't possible to ignore them. They will stand front and center before everything else in your life. You may begin asking yourself a multitude of cascading questions: Why do I crave certain foods? Why do I eat while working? How does food give me energy?
Make a list of how your eating truths come to you throughout the day. Be ready to face them, own them, and work with them one by one. Once we know the truth of what is and isn't healthy for us in the moment within the context of our eating truths, the next natural step is evaluating and acting on our choices. Make them visible and discuss them with your close communities.
Eat your truths.
Recent research shows that healthy food choices increase when people form an intention to eat healthy. Yet forming an intention alone isn't enough. Intention by itself is powerful, however, like the beautiful dance of yin and yang, we require action to facilitate the healing process. Saying one thing and eating another creates a rift in our authenticity.
Another study showed that people feel worse when they tell part of the truth compared to coming completely clean. Put yourself on a “truth diet" and “eat all your truths." Notice how different you feel when you only tell the truth and make wise and thoughtful word choices. Examine the truth about how certain foods make you feel. If you eat something that creates a negative physical or emotional reaction, don't ignore or dismiss what your body is trying to communicate to you. Listen to your truth as often as you speak it.
Let your truth enlighten your whole self — motivating you to make the changes necessary to express your inner potential.
Deanna Minich, Ph.D., IFMCP is a nutrition professional and functional medicine doctor. She has a master's in human nutrition and metabolism from the University of Illinois at Chicago and doctorate in medical science and nutrition from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She has a wide range of experiences in the health field, including working in clinical practice, with food and lifestyle medicine, at dietary supplement companies, and teaching at universities and health institutes.
She has written four books on healing, food, and personal growth. She created the Food & Spirit program, to radically shift people’s relationship with food, eating, and living, and the Certified Food & Spirit Practitioner Program, to equip practitioners with a structured framework for bringing together the rainbow-colored seven aspects of the self in the therapeutic encounter for optimal healing.