Thought for Food

by Frank Tybislawski,  Brisbane, Australia

I would like to share what I discovered through my recent sessions with a local Universal Medicine practitioner.

While I knew my diet was quite good, I had to admit that how I digested and reacted to the food was irregular. It seems like a simple process, one we have lived with (one way or another) since day one, yet food can be an issue throughout one’s whole life. I knew what tasted nice, I knew what didn’t taste nice, I knew what reacted with my body, so why then did I feel so up and down after eating? There had to be more to this and I needed to examine what that was, and why.

My practitioner and I discussed food and eating habits; most of our discussions centred on how certain foods felt when I ate them. For example, I already knew that a glass of milk caused severe pain, but I came to realise that other foods also had reactions in my body, perhaps in quite subtle ways which were easy to overlook. My focus throughout was to be very honest and feel each and every reaction to all the different foods I was eating. Another point discussed several times was that I often ate because it was that time of day, eg. breakfast time, so I must have breakfast. When I was asked if I was genuinely hungry on those occasions I had to say I was unsure – on some occasions I was, but on other occasions I definitely wasn’t.

The process then was one of self-reflection; firstly to be honest and ask myself, am I genuinely hungry? If the answer was no, then I had to determine why I was wanting to eat… was it to dull or override another feeling? If I was genuinely hungry it was then the time to consider exactly what I felt like eating, and how much I should prepare and eat.

Another factor also came to light; was I eating something just because it tasted nice and therefore made me feel nice? The unfortunate answer was sometimes yes, and I got to feel this quite strongly on one occasion. I knew I was genuinely hungry and was contemplating what to have for dinner. There were a few options available – a quick re-heat of some left-over chicken curry, I could steam some vegetables and have some fish, I could defrost some soup, and there were others. My first thought was the chicken curry (a typical dinner meal), quick and delicious, but that suddenly didn’t feel right. It then just came to me that what I really wanted was a green salad (a typical lunch meal); it would require more preparation, but it really felt like what my body was asking for. I made the salad like I have numerous times before with the same ingredients, but I have to say it felt more satisfying than it usually did, and I felt great after eating it. This was a pivotal moment, as I experienced an entirely different approach to the whole hunger/eating regime.

I haven’t got all the answers and I also know that this is an ongoing process which needs to be continually reviewed. Foods that suit me now may not in the future, and foods that I have dismissed previously may actually be beneficial now, or at some point in the future. What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.

1,033 thoughts on “Thought for Food

  1. “What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.” So true we don’t always take a moment to feel what we are eating and if it is still something that the body needs, especially when it tastes so good.

  2. Frank I found your blog really helpful in supporting me to ponder and reflect on my patterns, beliefs and momentums around the foods and drinks I give to my body. I realise while reading your article how I often nibble at food especially when it is freshly cooked or baked, in future when I find the urge to do this I will ask myself the question ‘am I genuinely hungry?’ if not I will know it is time for some self reflection.

  3. This is great Frank. We can make up so many rules when it comes to food but they are all false and used to avoid the responsibility of tuning in to the body.

  4. How long it will take to prepare seems to be a key question in many of the eating choices we have. Fast food home delivery businesses are booming, so that tells us… speed of availability of what we want is a primary consideration. The question is does that requirement support us to eat what our body really needs? What type of fuel it needs that day? The answer is most often no… and so we are left with a clue to true health. Our eating choices must come from what the body needs and what the mind demands.

  5. “…food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat!” When we look at it this way we can feel liberated by our power to choose in the moment what feels right for our body, rather than do the automatic thing just because we have done it a million times before.

  6. How many of us eat when we are not hungry?? Gosh I bet if we did this one simple thing and only ate when we were hungry and knew what this truly was we would see a lot of health benefits.

  7. We as a society are, in the main, programmed to believe that we need three meals a day and at those meals we eat certain things, depending on our culture, age etc. But nowhere in this programming did I ever find the advice to listen to my body before eating and to see if it actually wanted the food that I was about to feed it. If I had, I would have avoided many years of discomfort, digestive issues and often a lot of pain.

    1. Food is my instant go to when I want to dull myself and I don’t want to feel. This can simply be eating too much at meal times, even with the healthy stuff. Paying attention to what I want to avoid supports this. Ingrid, I agree that being supported, from the earliest of ages, to listen our bodies about what they actually need would be a gift in terms of living life well.

  8. I am so glad I came upon this blog today as my relationship with food needs a serious reviewing. You have reminded me that to be able to eat in the way that truly supports me requires me to be in connection first. It’s not about eating according to the image of what and how I should be eating, but it is a connection with my body where I learn to listen and respond.

  9. ‘…food is a daily choice…’ the simplicity and openness of this comment offers us the opportunity to break patterns and habits that do not necessarily serve and support us (fish fridays, roast on sundays, breakfast is king, 3 meals a day… the list is long) and build a listening and responsive relationship with our bodies’ and their feedback.

  10. What I am starting to be aware of more is not what I eat but HOW do I eat and came to the realisation just now that a lot of the time I eat instead of first connecting to how I am feeling. It is like if I have had a really busy non stop day I will get home cook my dinner and eat and although it is not rushed I am not allowing myself to first stop, be with me feel and digest my day first. Awesome that I am aware of this the next step is to change it!!!

  11. This blog is inspiring for us to all look at our relationship with food – a great one to ask, ‘am I truly hungry’ or ‘am I eating because of the time’? And secondly – to simply feel what supports us and honour our bodies.

  12. There are lots of schools of thought around what is and isn’t good for us, which can be confusing when they say conflicting things, but by bringing our awareness back to our body and how we are really feeling, we can learn a lot about which foods work for us, as well as the timing of when we eat, how much and the impact of emotions on the way that we cook, eat and digest…

  13. Our issues, behaviours and or obsession with food goes way beyond taste buds, nutritiousness, healthy or not. It is a very emotional and energetic matter that can relate to many aspects of life, whereby food is basically used to self-medicate. Developing a really supportive and healthy relationship with food requires awareness and healing of one´s inner state of being, so that food is no longer needed for emotional regulation.

  14. I am allowing my body to guide me what to eat, when to sleep, when to get up and when to rest and this is all a learning process.

  15. Eating food is something we all must do to live, but to begin to consider that we eat to maintain our body in a way that it can provide the optimum service to humanity possible completely changes how, when and what we eat.

  16. I wonder how many people ask the question, “am I genuinely hungry?” or just follow the automatic ritual of the generally accepted lifestyle? I know I did. Since asking that question my eating habits have greatly changed and I feel far healthier for it.

  17. “What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.” Realising this has brought a whole new dimension to the choice and preparation of what I eat and with that has come far more enjoyment and satisfaction, which has rippled out into all aspects my life.

  18. Thank you Frank, the level of detail you have shared around food offers an exquisite level of care. The body and what it needs definitely does change and move in cycles, and each person also has unique needs when it comes to diet. It’s very supportive to return to being aware of our body and what foods are nourishing for us personally.

  19. A great realisation Frank, it is important to understand our behaviour and relationship around food, and how we need to discern and feel exactly what our body is calling for to nourish and support it, and not to use food to relieve the tension we feel in our body, or to dull our awareness.

  20. “What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.” Food is either medicine or poison, as is the way we prepare our food and eat it. The choice is always ours.

  21. The WAY that we eat is important food for thought (or thought for food) too. How we organise our meals, converse at the dinner table and actually eat is so important and can have a huge impact on our body.

  22. I have read this blog while sitting down having my dinner. And it made me stop and feel what I was eating and why. Was it truly what my body wanted to have and the answer would be no but I am loving parsley at the moment! Also I definitely eat when I am not hungry, I think if I ate when I was ONLY hungry my meals/food intake would be halved.

  23. There are so many reasons why we eat other than being hungry. I really don’t think most of us in the west at least know what genuine hunger feels like. Last year I experimented with only eating once a day. I found I had lots of feelings in my tummy that I had previously taken for hunger but soon realised they were discomfort from a tight stomach, boredom etc. This was definitely an eye opener!

  24. It is interesting here when you write about food and time and how inter-related they can be. I had not really appreciated this before, but in the daily rhythms and cycles of life, there is a definite correlation between what time of day it is and therefore when one should eat – regardless of the body’s processes and where it is at with those at that time.

  25. The more I listen to my body the more I am guided as to knowing what truly supports by well-being, be it with food or otherwise. As being aware of the effect emotions have on my body and being has been very revealing and empowering, in that more often than not is what is behind our unloving food choices to begin with.

  26. We often only think about the taste and texture of food we have in our mouth for about 30 seconds and over ride the negative effects on our body which has to digest for the next day or so.

  27. It is a lovely thing also to consider how we can also come together to share a meal rather than the focus on being what is eaten even though consideration is given for what each feels supportive to eat.

  28. I feel that being distracted by what our head is telling us about what flavour, crunch, or spicy our food is, or simply if we are hungry when we have only finished eating a huge meal an hour or two before, or even the thoughts of pangs of hunger, can make us want to overeat.

  29. It’s quite clear to me that as a society we have a eating problem, to be honest when I was growing up there didn’t seem to be many over weight people. Now when I look around most people seem to be over weight to varying degrees; but then there’s more food available to buy, more restaurants, fast food outlets. We spend huge amounts of money on food and at the same time waste so much that I have to wonder why it has become such a must have commodity.

  30. It really raises the question of the purpose of why and what to eat. Sure we are hungry and need food to supply the body with nutrients and some energy but that is not all to us, not everything why we eat, what we eat for and what effect eating has on our state of being. Just opening ourselves up to these questions will unfold a lot of insights and answers, expand our awareness and will probably surprise us in many ways.

  31. “Foods that suit me now may not in the future, and foods that I have dismissed previously may actually be beneficial now, or at some point in the future” – how true , and I’m also finding this too Frank.. it makes sense because the body changes over time and hence so too do foods to support that change, or evolution.

  32. Yes, this is so interesting. I’ve recently did an experiment that allowed me to really see just how obsessed I was with food. I had no idea how owned I was by it. The thoughts about food were constant all day long, from when I was going to eat next, what I needed to prepare, when I was going to prepare, what I was going to buy etc etc. What I realised in my experiment was that I’m not actually hungry for most of the day at all, contrary to what my head might be telling me. It’s just thoughts running me that aren’t actually real.

  33. What a great realisation Frank . . . ” What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.” . . . yes we need to feel what is needed rather than eat for the sake of eating. And when we do feel what we need everything tastes better and digestion becomes easier.

  34. I can still fall into the trap of eating something quick and easy, rather then feeling into exactly what I need that will best support my body. When I do listen to my body, I do not tend to over eat because I feel a sense of being filled with love and not stuffed with food

    1. Which is the very thing we avoid doing; filling ourselves with love. This is a major turning point when it comes to food. The need to fill what is not full with food is non existent if we are already filled with love.

  35. This is one area of my life that I feel quite clueless or more true would be to say, one area that I avoid. Food can either heal or harm, to look deeper into how we choose to use it can be a touchy matter we would rather avoid.

    1. I feel many of us really avoid investigating further because we love the comfort of our food and we do not want to let go of food that we already know does not support us.

  36. “I made the salad like I have numerous times before with the same ingredients, but I have to say it felt more satisfying than it usually did, and I felt great after eating it” – i’ve experienced this too Frank with certain foods tasting different and not as yummy/nourishing when i’ve just followed routine and not felt what my body’s asking for. I also have that with the way vegetables are chopped too – sometimes i feel they are to be different shapes, sizes.. and then that detail extends to plates for exampled having the food on round, oblong, square, a bowl, and so on ha ha!

  37. Frank, this feels very true; ‘food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat’, reading this it makes me realise that I have set meals that I have and that this is not necessarily feeling what my body needs in that moment to support it.

  38. When we are ‘in love’ with ourselves our every gesture and behaviour honours this, including the food we eat to support our loving body.

  39. It’s a bit of a no-brainer when we start listening to our body. The problem seems to be the brain, as it gets in the way with things such as how much protein we need, that we should eat a variety of foods, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the (godforsaken) food pyramid and so on. No-brainers are always good, as it’s the body we need to listen to and not the brain.

  40. Food is such an interesting thing because really food is medicine but when we eat the wrong food for our bodies, overeat, eat when we are not requiring food etc it becomes a poison in the body. The way to avoid this is to simply listen to and honour what our body tells us.

  41. What is felt within the body when we nominate we are not so hungry is profound! Try it the next time you are going to the fridge? So simply when feeling hungry feel what is happening, is it our body or is it our head dictating what our body needs. At times our head over-rides what is required by the body so it is up to each of use to discern for ourself.

  42. When I ask myself “am I genuinely hungry?” on many occasions the answer is not really and I either continue to wander around the kitchen looking for something to eat, or I accept that feeling and the urge to eat passes. Doing this has surprised me as to how little food we genuinely need and from time to time I still push my beliefs about how much food we should eat and how often.

  43. That’s a hugely revealing question to answer Frank, one that gives us a lot of insight as to how our day is, or week has been, when answered honestly – “am I genuinely hungry?”

  44. Most of us were brought up on 3 meals a day, as well as morning tea and afternoon tea and we just went along with it thinking it was necessary. I only started questioning this way after I attended an Universal Medicine workshops where Serge Benhayon presented a simple truth which resonated with me, and that was to feel what to eat rather then eat what you feel. From this I started to feel when I needed to eat which led me to realize that I was eating way too much and cut back my food intake by over half. I save so much time as I no longer have to prepare and eat meals that do not even support me.

  45. “What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat, not just treat it as an automatic response to hunger.” Wow Frank I love what you have shared. Imagine if more people would live like this I am sure the obesity rate would not be so high as it would help to be more aware of what is really going on and why there is the need to eat.

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