The Pleasure Principle
You are what you EAT?
enjoying the holidays yet? Tis the season and I’m in the middle of a whirlwind myself. My mantra Breathe Balance Believe bums thru my mind lately.
While we all strive to do our best this time of year. In order to accomplish our perceived goals, we may have more options as we personally evolve causing us to move at a quicker pace. If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone. There is another way. Yes you’ve heard this before. I challenge you to consider integrating just a few easy enhancements to everyday activities – eating and sex. While both of these activities are basically hardwired inside each of us, we all have a very unique and personal signature expression of these very powerful urges. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing when making choices.
Let’s start with the old adage “You are what you eat”. I like to think of it this way –
E – Enjoy
A – Attention
T – Thankfulness
This acronym for EAT helps me remember to slow down and actually become more mindful of the meal I’m about to enjoy. Seeing the food on the plate (or in your hand) and smelling the aroma enhances any meal. Secondly, and just as important is becoming mindful of any activity around me while eating. Notice any negativity from the environment for that energy will be consumed unconsciously which could raise issues not only with digestion, but metabolism as well. MINDFUL EATING is by far the easiest and most profound act of kindness you can offer yourself. Get rid of the ‘love handles’ by just paying attention on a consistent basis. In no time, you’ll begin to see the excess fat melting off your torso without any gimmicks. Last but not least, practicing gratitude at every meal – blessing those who planted the seeds, tended the livestock or shopped & prepared the meal is foundational to better digestion and overall wellness.
Recent studies have suggested we have an option every time we eat to increase (or decrease) the nutritional value in our food. Pleasurable eating can increase nutritional value in a meal by 30-40%!
Does this mean that you can eat that Hostess treat without guilt AND enjoy more nutritional benefit? Honestly, only to the nutritional extent that the sugary treat has to offer (zero to none). But it may be somewhat offset according to Emily Rosen. However, no one is promoting the delusion of fast food or slow food. Basically eating the best value of nutrients will give you the most bang for your buck. (More on Value Food Choices in another blog).
In an interview on The Spa Dr podcast, Emily Rosen spoke on the metabolic power of pleasure studies. These two discussed recent studies that focused on our innate hardwiring to seek pleasure and avoid pain. “Sex and food are both associated with pleasure, so by denying yourself pleasure in food, you will start to seek pleasure elsewhere. Emily emphasizes that eating should be a pleasurable experience. In fact, pleasure is a metabolic enhancer and studies have shown that when people eat food they enjoy, they absorb 30%-40% more nutrients. Pleasurable food also catalyzes a relaxation response, allowing you to digest your food better.”
Ironically it’s these simple pleasures that can be the driving force in our life. Eating and sex are innate pleasure powerhouses in our DNA as a matter of survival. Why not hone in on these inherent gifts to potentially increase not only our life satisfaction, but also enhance our health with simple mindful choices. The choice is, of course, up to you.