Thursday, August 20, 2009

Your Body Is a Temple ~ Or, You Are What You Eat

Your body is a temple.

("...of the Holy Spirit", in the Catholic genre.)


I never got that as a kid, and I heard it all the time in the context of Catechism classes. That was back in the fifties when I was devouring chocolate Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies. My grandmother kept harping that Coke would turn a penny green, but I didn’t think much about that either.

I took my cue from what was served up at our dinner table, and we had desserts most nights of the week. My parents put sugar in their coffee, we dumped sugar in our Kool-aid, and allowance went for candy bars and comic books.

No wonder that whole “your body is a temple” concept was tough to grasp. When we were older and reached middle school, (“junior high” then) we decided that adage mostly had to do with avoiding heavy petting, or foreplay, in today’s vernacular. Few adolescents in that day were having intercourse.

Now the ancient teachings are starting to make sense ~ no matter if they’re Buddhist, Jewish or Christian. We’re now coming to understand that rituals like Lenten fasts and Hanukkah observances promote spiritual health because they also promote physical health. They offer our digestive tracts ~ our bodies ~ a break from the toxic stuff we ingest all year. They provide a cleansing for the cells ~ which turns out to be a cleansing of the soul.

But this "temple" connection isn't miraculous ~ it’s science.

If we overload our systems with fat, salt, sugar and chemicals, we create a toxic sludge that parks in our body parts to ferment into a costly diagnosis later. It also affects our ability to think clearly, to concentrate, to relax, and to generally feel happy.

Some would argue that the link between nutrition and illness is not evidenced based.

It’s actually beyond that because we believe the anecdotal accounts of people who've eat well and gotten better.

That's not rocket science. We’re an energetic field, made up of atoms and molecules that are constantly rearranging themselves. It's probably in sixth grade text books.

We can feel better tomorrow based on we eat today. That checks out by experience. We may still battle the same medical conditions, but fueling our bodies with energy rich fruits and vegetables gives us a little more leverage in regaining our health. The more often you make those kinds of choices, the better what's going on at a cellular level.

You’re outlook on life is a view from that temple. Be mindful of what you eat, because you’re feeding both body and soul!

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I completely agree. We are what we eat!

I can tell when I am eating healthy nutritious foods and also when I've slipped a bit and added in some "extras" that may taste good, but aren't great for fueling my body.

My temple is made up of a combination of the nutrients I eat, how I treat my body (sleep, exercise, rest, etc.), the thoughts I have in my head, the people I surround myself with, my faith and spiritual practice....and so many other factors.

It is when I am actively, consciously focusing on my impact on all of these areas that I am most aware of taking care of my temple and how this helps to create my world.