The middle way to eating (intuitive eating)
I’ve not read the below book, but I like the way it’s talking about food, because although I’ve needed to change my diet in all sorts of radical ways during this healing process I find myself in, I actually do have a practice around food that looks much like what this quote from this book speaks to. I am actually quite flexible within the restrictions I have no choice but to impose while my body heals. I am not generally afraid of food and I routinely introduce new foods as I heal. It’s been an amazing and lovely learning journey in so many ways. When people have very real food intolerances finding one’s way back to moderation and flexibility can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. One thing I’ve needed to do is not care what others think. I have some very real intolerances and there really are foods I cannot eat for the time being. That is okay. It is real. We can still find what flexibility means for us even if that is the case with some foods for us.
How does the middle way apply to eating and food? It teaches that extremes are unskillful and will not bring the ease in life that we are looking for. It advises that rigid control and self-denial will not be healthy and will not lead to happiness. Neither will indulging our desires and always doing what is pleasurable. There is a middle way with food. It is not static, a fixed set of rules. To apply to the changing circumstances of a human life it must be dynamic, flexible.
This might seem difficult at first. It might seem easier to follow black-and-white rules such as “Never eat sugar” or “Always eat what you crave.” Sometimes sugar is appropriate to eat. Sometimes we shouldn’t eat what we feel like eating.
It takes a while to learn to navigate our way down the path of the middle way. We need a compass point toward health and happiness, a map of spiritual teachings, a group to support us, and a guide. Above all we need mindfulness. — Jan Chozen Bays, from Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food
Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here: Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet