The challenges of eating are not simply a phenomenon of modern times. As there is historical evidence of this challenge, there is also historical and scientific evidence that learning our real food needs and bringing the tendency to overeat under control has great health benefits.
There are many historical personalities whose longevity was attributed to their sparse eating habits, one of the most famous of whom was the nobleman Luigi Cornaro. He was born in Venice in 1464 and died in 1566.
He suffered life threatening health problems caused by overeating, and when he learned Essene principles from Father Benedict and implemented better habits, he had full recovery and lived to be 102 years old!
He became dedicated to teaching these principles, and his teachings have been summed up into two statements. “The less I ate, the better I felt,” and “Not to satiate oneself with food is the science of health.”
The healthiest and longest-lived people on the earth, such as the Hunzas of Pakistan and the Russians of Abkhasia, eat about 50% of the calories and protein that is present in the typical American diet.
Extensive research since the 1930s has shown repeatedly that animals fed a calorie-restricted diet have more than twice the lifespan of the control group. In fact, restriction of caloric intake is the only thing that science has shown to consistently slow the aging process and increase overall health, youthfulness, and vitality in all animals, including mammals.
Ayurveda, the ancient Sanskrit medical scripture, explains that whatever foodstuff is not digested turns to toxins, or ama, in the body. These toxins themselves can create diseases, digestive disturbances, sluggishness, fatigue, brain fog, and the desire to eat even more foodstuffs to try to get energy.
It becomes an uncomfortable cycle. Energy is not simply a result of calorie intake. It is a result of the inherent life force of the food consumed, its nutritional constituents, and the ability of the body to receive this nutrition.
It is natural that the need for excessive caloric intake will reduce when the quality of the food is good. On a live food diet, the nutrition available is twice that of cooked foods, so calories automatically would be restricted.
Improper eating habits themselves lead to unhealthy food cravings. Denatured foods are so bereft of nutrients, vitality, and life energy that we may be forced to overeat to try to get the goodness from the foods that our bodies need. Denatured foods also leach nutrients from the body in the digestive process, as these foods do not contain the enzymes and other factors necessary for their own digestion.
A deficiency of calcium, for example, caused by the use of refined foods such as white sugar and white flour, can create problems with the bones and joints, and also with the circulatory structures and the menstrual cycle.
Menstrual blood has been shown to be about 40 times higher in calcium than other blood. It takes calcium to make a healthy cycle, and calcium to restore the body after the period. Many cases of painful periods have to do with calcium levels.
It may seem difficult, or even unapproachable for us, to apply these principles that are theoretically attractive and logically and scientifically true. There are some simple steps that can be gradually taken to bring the unhealthy spiral of overeating under control.
At first, some discipline must be there, but as the body’s wisdom becomes allowed to manifest, and as the vitality improves, healthy eating will become a cherished habit.
There are special challenges for women that may make it more complicated to follow a formula or adapt the excellent principles that are contained in many healthy-eating literatures.
It is important to come to know what is right for you, and this will vary by the time of the month, different phases of life, and the daily stresses and duties that come with womanhood. These steps will start to put you in touch with the body’s messages about what you really require.
You will likely find yourself moving away from flesh foods towards a diet of organic, live foods that are healthful and capable of rebuilding the body. You will find that eating becomes a fulfilling, exciting experience. Foods will “speak” to you.
Although there are some basic guidelines, no one diet is right for everyone. There is a deep constitutional individuality that must be discovered and honored. A strong foundation of healthy eating must be built upon which any specific program for optimum health can be constructed.
There are some basic food supplements that are appropriate for almost everyone and have qualities that will balance endocrine functions, are excellent sources of trace minerals and other nutrients, and work to cleanse the entire system.
These are freshly ground flaxseeds, bee pollen, sea vegetables, cereal grasses, Klamath Lake blue-green algae, and Hawaiian spirulina. A good probiotic, especially one based on soil organisms, will improve digestive integrity and clear toxic debris from the digestive tract.
The benefits of improving our eating habits are many. There will likely be a reduction in medical and other health related expenses. Nutritional and herbal supplementation and other health programs will become more focused, long lasting, and effective.
There is great potential for health, vitality, and outlook on life to improve, and weight to optimize. Food utilization will be better with less potential for systemic toxicity. We will feel lighter and more energetic, and take pleasure not only from what we eat but also from the little joys that surround us daily that we tend to ignore.
Our conscious awareness will increase. And we may find that the problems for which we initially consulted a health care or medical professional may no longer trouble us!