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.

1,114 thoughts on “Thought for Food

  1. 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.

  2. “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!

    1. Because food is part of our everyday functionality we don’t view it with enough spatial awareness to see that food has a major effect on how we feel and conversely how we feel has a major effect on the food that we eat. For many of us food has become something that we just do.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?”

  10. 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.

  11. “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.

  12. We can’t heal our relationship to food or change disregarding eating patterns unless we’re open to seeing the ‘WHY’ behind them.. Discipline and going on immediate strict diets are shown to be ineffective in the long term, but healing what’s underneath the need for certain foods can change our relationship altogether.

  13. Thanks, Frank. My relationship with eating is not so much about the foods I am eating, although this is always being reviewed and refined, but more now about how I am eating. Until recently, even if it was something very healthy, I could still eat in a manner where I disconnected from my body. It was like an energy took over and I lost myself in the process. Now that this has shifted, it is super important for me to make sure that I eat with connection to myself and others.

    1. Well said Janet for how and where we eat also must have an important influence on how we digest our food. For example when we eat on the run, does that also rush the food through our digestive system so we don’t digest properly and maximize on the nutritional value on offer?

  14. Our relationship with ourselves and our food is a marriage that will never have a sell by date. I love what you are offering here and bringing it all to the table. This awareness is one to be appreciated and all in all it is only us that can do this for ourselves. Particularly when we are the ones feeling the outcome of our choices every single time in the body.

  15. This article offers an inspiring invitation to explore our relationship with food; to respectfully review how we approach preparing meals and how much is habit or responding to what our bodies are calling for. I am learning all the time and my relationship with food and my body provides great insight into other aspects of my life… body image, self care and approach to work, for example.

  16. The awareness of food, our bodies and the impacts on us, is something so much needed in the world with an honesty and real understanding using and listening to our body as our guide. Universal Medicine and its teachings is showing us another way to all the beliefs out there and how we use food to hide what we truly feel and know. Our way forward with food is something to address as a humanity and a new way forward and livingness is existing.

  17. The more we say yes to the call of evolution the more responsibility there is to constantly fine-tune our relationship with food, as when we eat according to the light within our bodies simple food can be deeply nourishing and truly flavoursome.

  18. “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” – agree Frank, and i love it when one prepares a meal the body is asking for.. it always tastes really great and feels so nourishing. Is funny too as I’ve made the ‘mistake’ of repeating a delicious recipe yet clocking the taste as quite different, same ingredients etc., but because i was different in my body and in myself at that (repeating) time, the same meal was also different and however tasty it was not required (!)

  19. Thank you Frank for your sharing. Food choices are always a matter of getting out of my head and feeling into my body and listening to the truth of what it needs to nourish it.

    1. And what is brilliant about listening to our bodies is that we get to understand that there is no diet that suits all; that our diets need to respond to our lives and this understanding has a beautiful side effect of building a relationship with our bodies that supports in many other areas of our lives (exercise, career choices, approach to sleep, for example).

  20. Am I genuinely hungry is a common question I ask myself, and more often than not the answer is no? And what I find is that often there is a tension around a situation or self-worth feeling that needs to be addressed.

  21. I notice that my obsession and fantasy affair with food will get very strong when I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in, or don’t feel that great about myself – or in fact when I’m feeling really great and finding it all a bit too much! All of a sudden I’ll have hunger pangs that weren’t there before. So I’ve been learning to discern when that call to munch and eat is simply a medication technique and when it’s actually because I am truly hungry. Funnily enough, it’s more often than not the former rather than the latter….

  22. Its a great point that what we eat each day really depends on what our body needs nutritionally, and that turns the diet industry on its head. Our body knows the way if we can listen.

  23. I agree food is a daily choice to be considered every time we decide to eat. Being discerning on what we are actually feeling in our body is key so that we truly nourish ourselves and not eat to numb ourselves or bury our feelings.

  24. It is easy to override the body and dismiss its wisdom around food and what to eat. I know I will often wish I had listened to my body when I have a reaction to certain foods.

  25. Yes thinking about what we eat can become an obsession if we let it. Choosing to eat when we are not hungry is a big issue, one that we do all the time, to distract and to not feel what is truly going on.

  26. A big shift happened in my diet when I realised that what I was choosing to eat based on taste was agony in my body. The more I allowed myself to feel that, the easier it became to select foods based on how my body responded, rather than what my transient emotional whims desired.

  27. And what is telling us that we are hungry … it truly our body, or another part of us looking for comfort, relief or distraction?

  28. It takes loving discipline to commit to nourishing the body rather than buying into the food consciousness that postulates that we are to eat because it’s mealtime; who says? And who says what kind of meal is appropriate at what time of day? Where do these quasi regulations really come from?

  29. I always reflect on the metaphor of my body being like a glass of clear water. If I drop some dirt in it (say chocolate), it is very obvious. Years ago my body was not so clear and dropping dirt into it didn’t make that much of an obvious difference as it was so dirty already. The clearer my body becomes, the less it will tolerate the dirt.

  30. ” What I now realise is that food is a daily choice which I actually need to consider every time I decide to eat ”
    I have found the same when eating . The body is at a different place so to speak as we move on in time and therefore requires different levels of food as a result.

  31. Despite having to let go of gluten and diary because of ill health, there are still certain foods that affect me. It is a working progress and discerning the signals the body is presenting every day.

    Foods have many memories, and we go to those that give us comfort, make us feel at home, tastes nice, for special occasions, the list could be endless. And I found as I listen to my body more, those memories and reasons come through more and more. I also found there are no set rules that suit all, it is for each individual to discover for themselves and ready to make those choices.

  32. You raise a cool point which is that foods that suit you now may not suit you in the future. What I am finding fascinating about my relationship with food is how it is always changing. And I observe this too through my young daughter – who stopped breast milk and has never looked back, who stopped blended food and has never looked back – she teaches me so much in the natural process of evolution.

  33. Food is definitely a refining process, in the past I would be quite disciplined in a strict way and there for I would be very tensed around food. I now am much more surrendered and am learning to eat what my body truly needs and not from what I think I should be eating. Sometimes I feel like something, a vegetable or so, that I haven’t eaten in ages and that than apparently has what my body needs. This is then for one meal and after that I don’t feel like it anymore. It is really about surrendering and not controlling it so much.

  34. Sometimes, rather than another snack, a drink of water is all that is needed – we often eat when we really need hydrating.

  35. There is eating, and then there is eating and understanding food, ourselves and a way of life that is digested. I’ve noticed my relationship with food changes based on what is being processed during the day.

  36. Food is a continual refinement of what the body needs. I know I often crave a certain food but it is not what I need to eat. I am learning to listen to my body and feel what food will truly nourish my body and not just simply satisfy my taste buds.

  37. Having awareness of what and why we eat is a vital part of unravelling ourselves back to the clarity and connection we are capable of. Food is and has always been one of our greatest sources of distraction and dulling from all it is we do not want to feel and address in life.

  38. It’s a big one you could say, isn’t it, food. I remember growing up there was a big focus on it from a family point, we were never meant to be hungry. If you weren’t hungry then it was seen as you were being well provided for. I still love eating and being around people with food, I love the feeling, company and conversations. More and more food isn’t the focus but it’s just a part of the whole relationship and I guess that is what the article is saying. There needs to be a letting go of food and I am not saying don’t eat but more how we tend to put food at the front and not just see it as a part of the whole setting or thing. Whenever we hold something at the front as a focus it tends to block our view from everything else, food, naturally a PART of life.

    1. I agree Ray, when we make food the focus at dinner we can miss out on connecting with the people we are dinning with. I notice this in the aged care place I am working, the elderly are so intent on their food, they are all in there isolated bubble of a world, not even noticing that there are 4 other people at their table.

      1. It’s funny and I use to think every situation was the same and yet now I can see there maybe an overall similarity but we need to read each moment to clearly see what is going on and not just assume we know. Like with say people all sitting around the table eating together, each maybe there doing what appears to be the same thing but when you truly read each one you can see that are literally bringing their own unique part to the table. When we see this it may support them to see more as well. Whether we are sitting at the table or not it doesn’t mean there is not some part of us to play in supporting what is going on.

  39. I love this awareness and consideration that there are no hard and fast rules about what we should and shouldn’t eat; that it is much simpler than that and that we have our guide and support with us at all times… our bodies. When I listen in respectfully to my body it is simple and clear what will or won’t support me on any given day.

  40. It feels inspiring to be listening to the body and not just be controlled by whether we are hungry or not hungry. My question is always why are you not feeling hungry? As when I rely on the sensation of hunger, I can simply not eat for a long time. But what feels to be tension to me is, why is my life controlled by food? Whether I eat or not eat, if food is the issue that I constantly think about it is controlling me, and that feels super uncomfortable. So could this be a distraction for me in committing to life? As when I experiment with committing more with life, there is a flow which takes care of everything and nothing needs to be focused on separately as our life is one life.

  41. And hunger can be also something else than what we think it is. What I saw as hunger was often and emptiness coming up, and when I kept breathing gently, this hunger just disappeared. Magic? Now just love replacing emptiness.

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