Science tells us that the stomach and the heart both have brains. Really? This indicates that these two vital organs can send a message to other parts of the body independent of the brain in our heads, the one on top, the one we think of as the center of our intelligence.
From my study of nutrition I know that food causes messenger hormones to be released; like leptin to tell us we are full and serotonin to make us feel good. Regardless of the point of entry, the mouth, the mind or the heart, all of the information we ingest carries the potential to affect our wellbeing. Realizing this, I had an epiphany.
Everything is Food.
Everything has the potential to affect our health, mind and body.
At this very moment you are consuming this news just like you do at 6 or 11pm on cable or network television.
We sign up for news “feeds”, we throw a hurt at someone and say, “eat your heart out”, and they do.
Bad news is hard to “swallow.” A person we find attractive may conjure the words “yummy” or “delicious.” So many food terms are used to convey emotions and ways of interpreting things. These words and metaphors represent that something is happening internally brought about by something completely external to us. Though internal cues are not without their powers.
Think about this for a moment. When you take something in, whether you read it, eat it as in food, or experience it in your energy field so that you feel the experience of it, it causes a reaction no different from and often more powerful than some foods.
You might be enjoying the company of your sweetie pie or praying for the gods to take you away from this speed date fruitcake. An exhausting relationship may make you sick to your stomach with the same ferocity as an old piece of chicken but you keep “eating” because on some level that relationship feeds a need in you even as you might starve for a bit of love. Your body is constantly receiving and processing chemical messages based on what you “eat.” Let’s look at all the levels of food we’ve discovered.
There is comestible food, ham, apple, cheese doodle, bread, all pretty obvious as you consider the effect each might have on your particular system.
Emotional food, like a hug, a judgment, or a chick flick with a mate is also pretty easy to accept as a concept. If you hug or request a hug it’s generally in a positive moment and will produce a positive result. With a judgment, either given or received, it might not be obvious why it counts as food but both can become a habit and as such you are feeding some need in you for the chemical or emotional payoff you get from it.
Everyday experiences like a comedy show or footage of the war, each will produce a physical reaction just like food. One show feeds you endorphins and a release the other, feelings of fear and repulsion—for most—which result in stress hormones. This can lead to feelings of despondency, sadness, helplessness and hopelessness. Your choice of course, your call, but just watch with an awareness that these “foods” produce hormonal signals that affect your well-being.
How does a toxic person or the need for struggle cause similar responses as food? Once again it’s a chemical response. The stomach brain sends signals when it isn’t happy with a situation or constant nagging thoughts say. At first the signal is loud and clear, the kind of loud and clear you get when you’ve eaten too much cookie dough. Ru roh. As the years go on the body/heart/mind still sends signals but we become less receptive to getting the message. Or the body/mind/heart may in time compensate for the offender and just weaken the signal. It doesn’t lessen the impact and “suddenly” one day after many, many days we wake up with an ulcer, or diabetes, or a broken heart—literally.
Once you have become aware of something that relates to you and your wellbeing you are never innocent of that idea again. Everything is food is an easy awareness tool.
You wouldn’t knowingly eat a rotten piece of meat but you’ll swallow whole the rotten lies you tell yourself about your body, how you don’t have what it takes reach your goals, or why you could never leave a significantly sickening spouse or job.
Now I want you to assess all of the people, messages, and food choices that cross your path looking for their value. “Does this add to my life, health, joy or growth?” you’ll ponder. If the answer isn’t a resounding “yes” then it’s time to reevaluate why it’s a choice at all.
You’ve heard “you are what you eat.” This idea takes that to a whole new level.
Everything is food and life should be delicious.