There is a reminder in the beginning pages of Cooking at Home with Pedatha by Jigyasa Girithat we are all made of food and will return to food in this life. It is a quote from the Taittiriya Upanishad, one of the beautiful scriptures of Hinduism.
While dwelling on this may seem macabre to some, the absolute in-our-face truth of this is a not-so-subtle reminder that our bodies, those vehicles that carry us in this life, are finite. That life is cyclic. We come into this life, and we leave it. When we leave we will be fortunate enough to provide food for other creatures so that they may live their life in the way that it should be lived, that they can live out their dharma and fulfill their karma.
From food all creatures are produced. And all creatures that dwell on earth, by food they live and into food they finally pass. Food is the chief amongst beings. Truly he obtains all good who worships the Divine as food. — Taittiriya Upanishad
And finally it reminds us of the sacredness of food and our obligation to eat well, eat sacredly, eat mindfully, and really know what is good for us, our bodies in this lifetime. Not food fashions, not even food science followed obsessively. But through knowledge and through close observation of our own being through seasons, stresses, life stages, and how it reacts to different foods can we choose what is needed.
A small example. Some times of the year I cannot tolerate apples. They are too cold-producing for me, I feel uncomfortable after eating them. At other times, later in the season, they are wonderful, and the juice made with other seasonal fruits and veg is great. My body is telling me what is right for my body and my constitution at those times. Also with ghee – when I have it in my diet, my body feels good, healthy, energetic. When I am not eating ghee, my body feels dry, stuck, tamasic. For me, ghee is a good thing.
If I have a week where I can’t cook and am eating less healthy food, I feel it in my body. If I eat too much chocolate, drink alcohol, or eat a bag of chips (my real food failing – I love good salty chips), I feel it for a day or two afterwards. My body is dull and lethargic and has a sense of illness about it.
What things do you notice about food and your body? Not just tastes that you can’t stand but changes in your body when you have certain food.