You Are What You Eat
A Phrase That Is Driving A Journey
Growing up I would hear this phrase "You are what you eat," or the question "Do you eat to live, or do you live to eat?" LOL, that question used to confuse an over-thinker like myself, and I used to think "Why is my mother trying to confuse me?" LOL! There wasn't much conversation about the topic though, just some words dropped here and there to stir up thoughts about my relationship to food.
I have had a pretty good relationship with food through my life and I haven't been a slave to it, but my turn to veganism and my study of food has given me broader view and understanding of what "You are what you eat" means.
This vegan journey I am on has made me realize a lot more that I am not separate from life around me. Our bodies are a small ecosystem that lives within a larger ecosystem, the earth. Our bodies are made of the substances of the earth, and it needs those same substances to maintain itself. It also needs those substances in a certain ratio, or our bodies are thrown out of sync. And don't you know it, the plant life around us is made up of those delicate balances.
Ours bodies are living organisms and they need metals to survive. Shouldn't metals just be in cars and buildings? (smile) Our bodies are carbon-based but they need trace metal elements to survive. We need to consume metals like iron, copper, zinc, and calcium. Yes, calcium is a gray alkaline earth metal and is essential for healthy bones and teeth. The natural life that grows from the earth absorbs these elements and other compounds from the soil of the earth and grows from it. Various seeds with their different genetic makeup use these elements and compounds it comes in contact with, and develops in a unique and balanced way by its genetic code.
This life giving vegetation and its fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds develop in a balanced way. We then eat these naturally occurring and sustaining substances and we absorb their naturally developed balanced compounds. Since our bodies themselves are composed of these balanced compounds, the body recognizes and welcomes these balanced compounds in rejuvenating itself.
Though I am vegan, I have to say that I think it is not bad if people who eat meat, eat meats that are raised humanely and are fed unprocessed foods that they would normally find in nature. The thing it that if you are not eating organic meats, you are eating meats from animals that are fed growth-promoting hormones, antibiotics, foods that don't normally occur in their diet such as other ground-up meats, and they are kept in unnatural settings that confine them, and cause stress and illness. The growth-hormones are used to make the animals bigger and in combination with the animals living in confined areas, they don't exercise probably and maintain excess fat, which again cause illness for which more antibiotics are needed.
So now we have gone from eating foods that are naturally balanced to support our bodies, to eating foods that are unbalanced and contain growth-hormones, antibiotics, bacteria, foreign chemical substances, and illness. We are what we eat, so we now build our bodies from these unnatural and unbalanced substances which throw our bodies out of sync and interfere with the flow of our natural life energy.
Not only are these poorly raised animals bad for our health, the abundance of processed foods and candies are just as bad. There are so many different chemicals, additives and preservatives that are added to our foods that don't exist in ratios or combinations naturally in nature. So they have an adverse affect on our bodies that are built to accept naturally occurring compounds that we get from the life the earth produces for us.
Now on my vegan journey I have decided to eat alkaline or alkaline producing vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and grains. Most of these substances are naturally occurring as alkaline or alkaline producing substances. The blood of our bodies should be at 7.4 on the pH scale for optimal health. 7.4 is slightly alkaline and eating a mostly alkaline diet will help keep the blood and fluids of the body at the optimal pH level. Eating naturally growing vegetation, fruits, nuts, and legumes not only provide our bodies with compounds/nutrients in ratios that life supporting and healing, they also alkalize the body to maintain an optimal pH level in the body. When the pH in the body is to low or to high, it produces an environment that supports disease in the body.
I also stay away from foods that cause mucus in the body and foods that cause chronic inflammation. The herbalist, Dr. Sebi, point of view is that disease is caused where there is a compromise of the mucus membrane in a particular area of the body. Excess amounts of chemically saturated dairy we eat aids in developing a mucoid substance that compromises the mucus membrane in our bodies. Chronic inflammation happens when the good acute inflammation responses to trauma, infection, or allergies is not turned off, and the pro-inflammatory immune cells then begin to damage our bodies.
Tough I am vegan, I don't believe that a person has to be vegan to be healthy. I do believe that eating a balanced vegan diet that supplies all the amino acids (vegetable protein), vitamins, and minerals the body needs is the easiest way to do it, and this is not difficult to do.
I feel that eating a balanced diet of 80-70% alkaline foods (dark green vegetables, nuts, legumes, alkaline grains, and seeds) and a maximum of 30-20% acidic foods (organically grown meat) can sustain good health.
The knowledge I have gained through this vegan journey of mine has given me a deeper understanding of what "you are what you eat" means.