Physical and Spiritual Nutrition: two halves of a whole

-By Elisheva Maline

Sure, people think life revolves around finding the ultimate diet. For some, eating can become another religion where the cardinal rule is “thou shall have faith in crash dieting." Perhaps they're trying to avoid becoming the potential "Biggest Loser" contestants who ended up on the show because they never quite managed to quit the “See food diet?” There are those among these impulse eaters who still consider the ability to eat anything 'not nailed to the ground' a gift.
No one wants to be caught with chocolate smears all over his/her face from three quarters of a chocolate cake Aunt Sarah was saving for her daughter’s birthday. Although, I don’t believe in the mantra, ‘you are what you eat’ I do like the words ‘you are why you eat.’ Do you live to eat or do you eat to live?
The Food Pyramid is a great place to begin looking for perspective. Start building a system in which you write down the range of foods you need in your system and how frequently you should eat them; for instance, introduce vegetables to every meal. A little exercise and a trip to a your local nutritionist never went amiss either. Here are some examples of foods that contain the essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that one's system needs to consume daily: 
1. Protein which is needed for growth can be found in turkey as well as different kinds of fish.
2. Iron which is needed for spreading oxygen throughout the body can be found in nuts, meat, fruits and vegetables, even dark chocolate...
3. Magnesium is needed for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function among other things and can be found in dark leafy greens, beans, legumes as well as nuts and seeds.
I’d also like to point out the great need for spiritual nutrition. In Judaism we have a different blessing a.k.a. way for saying ‘thank you g-d’ to go with every food group. "The world, and everything in it, is G-d's" (Psalms 24:1). Therefore, by saying a blessing of thanks before eating one is continuously reminded of this truth. It imbues the mundane act of eating with a spiritual awareness - awareness of the true Source of our sustenance, and of the purpose of eating.These are the order of the Brachot (blessings) in general (***to get a better grasp on the Jewish laws pertaining to brachot click on the link above)
1. Hamotzie lechem min ha’aretz - Who brings forth bread from the land
2. Borai minai mezonot - Who creates all kinds of sustenance
3. Borai piri hagefen - Who creates the fruit of the vine
4. Borai piri haetz - Who creates the fruit of the tree
5. Borai piri ha’adama - Who creates the fruit of the earth
6. Shehakol ni’heeya bid’va’ro - By Whose word all things came to be
We are not only thanking G-d for the food we are about to eat, we are announcing 'blessed are You,' G-d is the source of all blessing. Hakaras hatov, recognizing the good in one's life is the key ingredient for building happiness. Joy, in its own way, is one of the best nutrients a person can add to healthy living. I guarantee it will tack years onto your life.   

1 comment:

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