Simply Homeopathy: Exploring Further

Some ideas on Nutrition: Live to Eat or Eat to Live?

There is a plethora of information in the media about what we should or should not eat. Scientists decide which foods are the today's “must eat” and these soon become tomorrow’s poison. The hapless individual is left increasingly confused. This article will attempt to provide some sound principles to help you decide what to eat, always bearing in mind the value of a good dollop of common sense.

The word diet comes from the Greek meaning “manner of living” and this etymology implies it is more than merely what we eat and digest. In the broadest sense of the word, it implies what we nourish and support ourselves with, what we take from the outside world to sustain life and nurture. This definition is not solely concerned with the digestive level. It might be helpful to try and identify what it is in our lives that we surround ourselves with, as part of our life support and contact network – not only in terms of food and drink, but also in terms of our friends, social activities, hobbies and interests.

The act of eating is essentially an act of transformation – we take something that is not us, which comes to us from the outside and during its passage through the digestive system, it becomes akin to us. We transform it into something that the Vital Force will recognise and be able to use to sustain growth and life and nurture and nourish us.

Perhaps therefore one idea to help us decide what is “good” for us to eat or not is to eat food which wants to be eaten by us, eat food that likes you, that supports your health. In other words, when you eat a particular food, does it sit well in the digestive system and is its transformation into the building blocks of life smooth and symptom free?

Our relationship to food can be healthy and positive or quite the opposite, just as our relationships with other people and the world around us. It depends on whether we control the food or it controls us. A few examples may serve to clarify this. We see 3 people eating a slice of chocolate cake. Is this healthy or unhealthy? The answer for each person will be different because the question of health does not reside in the cake, but in the person. Person A eats the cake, enjoys it and does not suffer any adverse effects afterwards. Person B eats the cake, regrets it all day and spends hours in the gym working off the calories. Person C eats the cake, immediately feels sick and vomits.

What is the relationship of these 3 people to the cake? For person A, the eating of the cake is nourishing because her relationship to the cake is healthy. The cake is neither good nor bad, fattening nor slimming; the cake is just the cake. Person B is not quite so healthy; she can eat the cake but must have a strategy to compensate for the guilt which the eating of the cake has produced. The person’s health has diminished, so the influence on her of the cake has increased. Person C can eat the cake but suffers. The only compensation she has is to vomit. She is less healthy and so the negative effect of the cake has further increased. There is, however, a fourth example. Person D longs to eat the cake but will not. She spends all day dreaming of the cake. She is the least healthy of the 4 examples and thus the cake rules her. This illustrates that it is the overall health of the person that determines the ability to digest the cake, but we can equally apply this principle in all aspects of life.

The importance of diet is, of course, nothing new. Hahnemann, in the Organon of Medicine, places considerable importance on ascertaining the details of the patient’s diet. He counsels a diet that is “strictly regulated; it should be as much as possible destitute of spices, of a purely nutritious and simple character” (Organon, paragraph 125). How much more important this advice is now, in the 21st century, with ever increasing levels of contaminants in the food we eat and the emphasis on sensory stimulation on all levels in selecting our food.

There is also the question of dietary supplements, which are commonly used as drugs to make up for an apparent deficiency. It needs to be borne in mind that by giving these substances to an already suffering body, the natural ability of the body to cleanse is therefore further reduced and these supplements thus act in a suppressive manner. They are not conducive to greater health and freedom but work to further mask or alter the true nature of the person’s condition.

We should also remember that the amount of vitamin C, for example, occurring naturally in an orange is a fraction of what is to be found in a vitamin C tablet – something around 15-20 oranges. Imagine the time and effort it would take to buy, store, peel and consume that quantity of oranges daily. The vitamins that are found in the orange occur in combination with a range of other trace elements. By taking the tablets we are side stepping the natural product and overloading the system with an unrealistic quantity of one isolated element, to say nothing of its potentially suppressive effect.

We can leave the last word to Hahnemann who, in Chronic Disease, offers the wisest counsel: “moderation in all things, even in harmless ones, is the chief duty of chronic patients”.

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