What is it to be hungry? The body communicates its needs very clearly, and yet sometimes we miss the cues. To be hungry means that our stomach is empty and ready to be filled. Our body communicates through a tummy growl, a craving to eat or a loss of energy. When you feel hungry, it is the digestive fire in your belly indicating it is ready to transform food into fuel and nourish you. In that way, hunger is actually a very important indication that you have a healthy appetite. If your appetite feels low, drinking raw juice, herbal teas and plain lemon with warm water will give it a boost. When you listen to your body, you know when it is time to eat and when it isn’t.
Creating healthier habits isn’t just about plugging in knowledge and committing to the act of eating well. It is knowing yourself and listening to your body. The appetite is connected to all of you, not just your stomach. Your emotions play a great role. Take a moment to connect to who you are when in a state of high emotion. When you are stressed, are you able to connect to that fire in your belly or are you connecting more to your emotions? Some forgo food when feeling more emotional, while others eat endlessly to feed an appetite of a different sort.
It is not only what you eat, it is how you eat. Listen deeply to your body to understand the rhythm of your own hunger. Ask yourself, “What am I hungry for?” You may be surprised to learn that you hunger for more rest, more warmth, more joy, more love… When you can honor the varying needs of your appetite, you will learn how to feed your needs and create more balance.
Considerations on the “Art of Eating”
- Wait for your body to announce it is hungry. Listen for the digestive fire within to say, “I’m ready.” If you are eating when you are not truly hungry, your body won’t optimally digest whatever it receives.
- Eat when you are calm. Take a few moments to breathe and relax before you sit down for a meal. When our energy is scattered and stressed, it takes away from our ability to properly digest foods. If you are constantly on the go or eating when distracted, practice sitting down and making mealtime your meditation. Your body will be grateful.
- The first step to good digestion is properly chewing your food. Take smaller bites and chew well.
- Think ahead so that your food choices are good choices. If you are too busy to prepare healthy foods and find yourself in a moment of hunger, you’re more likely to eat anything.
- Everything you put in your body has the potential to promote or demote health. Opt for foods that are going to support your body. Healing foods are foods from the earth without processed ingredients, preservatives and artificial additives.
Food for Thought: One of the best things you can do for your health starting NOW is to listen to your body, recognize the root of your appetite, and come to the table with calm energy to revitalize your system with good quality food. Let these meal plans make it easier for you.