There is no lack of ironies in our relationship with food in our civilization… for instance, a good number of people across the world starve because they have limited access to food, while others are malnourished from eating large quantities of not especially nutritious foods.

Yet, it can be so simple, and so obvious. Here are some of the guidelines that work for me…

  • Drink lots of water (pale to blank urine… this is by far what is most important for my own system, the whole body-mind feels congested if I don’t)
  • Eat foods with multiple benefits… good for the body, enjoyable to the mind, gentle on the pocket book, and (as much as possible) good for the local and global ecological and social systems
  • Eat fresh (local and in season when possible), colorful, varied and less processed foods
  • Eat mostly low on the food chain, with some meat (also good for our ecosystems)
  • Eat at least some raw foods at each meal (fresh and more nutritions)
  • Eat with the seasons, not only in terms of what is available but also in how it is prepared (I eat more raw foods in the summer, and more cooked in the winter)
  • Eat the main meal mid-day when possible, and avoid eating in the evening and especially late at night (a big meal mid-day gives me energy for the rest of the day, and I feel congested and have weird dreams if I eat too late…!)
  • Cook on low heat
  • Eat fermented foods (pre-digested, extra nutrients)
  • Eat with others when possible, and slow down when eating (chew each bite well, and take time to really taste it)
  • Use it as an opportunity for appreciation and gratitude, and as a reminder of the radical interconnectedness of all that is.
  • Leave some space in the stomach, don’t fill it all the way up (again, I feel congested if I eat too much)
  • Don’t take any food guidelines as anything more than a general guideline (food is too important to be absolutist about)
  • Listen to the body, and adjust when and what you eat depending on what the body tells you – which will change over time depending on time of day, seasons, health, age, and so on (I eat dairy, wheat and sugar in only limited – or often no – amounts, because my body-mind does not do well on those)
  • Don’t stray too far away from what your ancestors ate (it is a good general guideline, but our ancestors ate quite different foods at different times – raw further back and cooked later on – so it is not fool proof)

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