A quick exploration of food:
It can be quite simple. Here are some of the guidelines I tend to follow for myself: Eat (a) what works with my body, the food I notice makes me feel and function well, and (b) aligned with how my ancestors ate.
This includes (a) moderate amounts, “just enough” (end the meal before feeling full), (b) diverse foods and as much as possible in season (seasonal eating provides variety over time), (c) unprocessed food, made from “scratch”, (d) low on the food chain (less meat), (e) local and organic if possible (also supports local farmers and organic food production), (f) aligned with traditional foods of my near ancestors (Norway, northern Europe) and my more distant pre-civilization ancestors (fruit, berries, nuts, vegetables, a bit of meat and fish now and then), and (g) not taking any of these guidelines too seriously (I’ll for instance have burgers and milk shake occasionally). All of this is good for me, and eating local, organic and lower on the food chain is also good for the ecosystems and future generations.
Since I have a tendency to food intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome, I also have a quite reduced intake of sugar, dairy and wheat. And I also take a generous amount of ginger and cloves (powder in capsules) with each meal. Without ginger and cloves, almost any food tends to feel like a stone in my belly and I feel drained of energy and vitality. And with ginger and cloves, I feel nurtured and supported by the meal. I also find that food cooked in a slow cooker, especially with bones (bone broth), feels deeply nurturing.
Similarly, if I don’t drink enough water I tend to feel “clogged up” at all levels – physical, energetic, emotional and cognitive. And with enough water – usually in the forms of herbal or spice teas – there is a sense of flow (also literally, of course). A good guideline is to drink enough so the urine is pale or clear. And I also find that drinking more water seems to make me more sensitive to the cues of even slight dehydration, which then becomes a reminder to drink some more.
This sensitivity is also there in terms of food. Being in the habit of eating “just enough”, stopping before I feel full, it’s uncomfortable to even think of eating to the point of being full or over eating. And there is also an experience of tasting with the whole body (rather than just the nose and tongue). When I contemplate eating certain foods, I experience the effect of it in my whole body, and this makes it easier to chose.
It’s also interesting to explore some beliefs about food which I see in myself (now or in the past) or imagine in others (which, of course, are really mine):
I know what’s best for others. (I had this at the beginning of my strict phase as a vegetarian, in my teens).
I need to follow this diet. Others know what’s best for me. It’s not enough to listen to my own body.
And in terms of over eating or draw to processed foods (sugar etc.):
I am unlovable. I am unloved. I am not OK. There is something wrong with me. (It may be helpful to find a specific situation, perhaps the earliest memory of having these thoughts, and write a full worksheet.)
This situation/experience is overwhelming. This experience (fear, pain) means something is wrong.
And as with so much else, it can be very helpful to do inquiry on mother, father, sister and brother, on the most painful and stressful memories from childhood. Again, it’s helpful to take each situation and person, and write a full worksheet from there.
As a side note, I find it interesting to explore the relationship between neurogenic tremors (TRE) and food. It seems that TRE helps the body/mind reorganize and function in a more healthy way in general. And specifically, TRE may release tension and stress fueling eating for comfort, and it’s also a good work-out and regular shaking burns a good amount of energy.
– beliefs: I know what’s best for others
– can be quite simple: eat (a) unprocessed foods, (b) low on the food chain, (c) local and organic if possible, (e) pleasurable and satisfying, (f) moderate amounts, (g) diverse, (h) allowing anything now and then, in moderate amounts (meat, processed etc.) (e.g. some form of paleo diet with mostly non-meat foods, or just the traditional preindustrial diet wherever you live or are from)
– a bit further: inquiry on mother/father + tre (shake out tension/trauma + exercise) + i am unlovable/unloved, i am not ok, there is something wrong with me