The Spirituality of Healthy Eating

In a previous post, we discussed the four human dimensions: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Let’s examine the fundamental human activity of eating through these dimensions.

At its root, eating is fundamentally a physical activity. We need food to survive, it gives us great physical pleasure and we instinctually have the need to eat. Unless we are sick, it’s rare that we need to be told that we need to eat. Our natural hunger signal kicks in and from there, the desire for more physical pleasure keeps us at the feeding trough.
For humans, there is also a tremendous emotional component in eating. We have our comfort foods that nourish us emotionally and on tough days we often feel that we’ve earned the right to eat improperly. In addition, the shared meal is one of the most bonding of human experiences.

Our mind is often involved in the eating process. We try to figure out when is the best time to eat, what are the best food combinations and how we can trick our body into eating properly. When we think of all the intellectual energy that goes into inventing and following diets, it’s truly staggering.

However, it’s in the spiritual dimension that we find our greatest ability to control our eating. Regardless of what our physical, emotional and intellectual drives tell us, healthy food is good for us and overeating and junk food is not. When we frame our eating in terms of “the good choice to eat smart”, we elevate ourselves to the realm of the spirituality of healthy eating where those decisions not only change the way we eat but also form the building blocks for greater overall growth.