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Change Your Mind about Food

Our food becomes us, in that its components are the building blocks that make up our bodies and… our minds. Yes, our minds too. Subtle energies in our foods interact with and influence our minds. Therefore, our food choices are capable of directing our lives to a great extent. To take back control of that direction is the aim of eating for happiness. 

Happiness Through Spirituality

Watch the interfaith philosophy behind happiness.

Written by Natasha Subbiah, BEng.


To eat for happiness is to nourish our bodies whilst making sensible choices to help reduce mental tendencies that block focused attention on the Spirit and that block love, thereby blocking happiness. The mind is not just the control panel at which all our decisions are made, it is also the place from which we have a part in creating the world. Our thoughts have the power to create. This is true of every thought we think, not just selected ones. And if our inputs are influencing our minds to produce thoughts that are creating negative situations, then we can help address this by being more selective about the inputs that feed the mind. One of these inputs is food. The kind of food, the way in which it is prepared, the freshness of the food, and by whom it is prepared, all influence the characteristics imparted by food. The other inputs that influence the mind are what we take in through the other senses, including what we watch, what music we engage with, or what we read. 


To be able to make input choices that lead to our happiness, we need to employ the following tool: awareness.


With the deluge of often contradictory advice available, how to improve our inputs can be confusing. To solve the mystery, we need to have awareness of our bodies and minds and awareness of what our food or other inputs are made up of. Our bodies give us signals to guide us into making better decisions. Our minds too respond to inputs, noticeable in our feelings and moods, our mental clarity and mental energy, and even in our dreams. These serve as clues in the treasure hunt toward full contentedness. Being aware of our bodies, and our moods after inputs are consumed gives us an idea of whether we should have indulged in those inputs or not, or if we have indulged in excess. There may be other times when we lack a certain input, such as a certain nutrient, and by increasing the knowledge of how our bodies and minds work, we can help to create an optimum balance in our inputs.


Symptoms differ from person to person and can vary in severity, and therefore we have to do much of this trouble-shooting ourselves. Similarly, positive signals can tell us when we are doing the right things. Therefore awareness of our bodies and changes experienced in it, help us make educated decisions about our intakes. In this process of analysing the effects of inputs, one should be aware that factors such as exercise, sun exposure, stress, sleep habits, water quality, hydration, use of nervous system stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine, smoking, as well as exposure to environmental pollutants all also contribute as inputs and must be factored into your analysis.



Similarly, with viewing, listening, singing, and reading material, we should be aware of what feelings these inputs induce within us so that we can adjust their choice to include more of what makes us happy, inspired, growing, peaceful, and calm and less of what makes us angry, scared, sad, and depressed. In these inputs, words matter. These words mirror the nutrients offered by food. We want to therefore choose healthy, positive, encouraging words over toxic, depressive, negative, judgemental, violent, and angry words or scenes. 



Sadly, children are not exempt from health conditions, or unhappiness. Therefore, we should similarly observe our children’s inputs and reactions to inputs. 


It may seem like a daunting task to understand our bodies and minds and the effects of inputs, but we can call on wisdom from God in this process, and in this leaning on Him, we can be relieved of the stress of it, as He guides us one step at a time, in this path. 



Acknowledging that choices and inputs influence our happiness, takes us a long way to helping us choose the ultimate happiness; but we know that practically speaking, identifying positive and negative inputs is not the same as having the strength to change old habits and replace them with new ones. 


Most of us have deeply ingrained habits when it comes to eating. These habits often block us from asking ourselves: "Will this meal adequately address my family's nutritional needs?”, or “Will this movie, or news article contribute more happiness than sadness, more peace than distress, in my life?” or, “Is this food produced compassionately?”


You could break the boundaries and restrictions of a lifetime of habits and start afresh today by loving yourself enough to ask yourself these important questions. And when you do love yourself enough to choose happiness, your inner wisdom and strength will shine through eventually, and overcome the darkness of any addiction and habit, replaced with a silent peace and a joy that comes from within.


When planning your meals, remind yourself to replace old habitual thought patterns with new ones that have better outcomes. If you initiate a meal with the thought, "What am I feeling for?" it is likely to produce the same result as usual. Try starting with, "What can I do with these healthy and compassionately produced foods?" and then, "How can I balance this meal?". Using these fundamental questions, you could revolutionise your way of cooking, stumble upon some healthy recipes of your own, and possibly turn your kitchen into an oasis of endless potential and spring of vitality. Therefore, changing habits does not need to be a dull affair, but an exciting time of experimentation and fun.


Removing toxic foods or entertainment material may not be enough to break the habits completely and for good. By replacing toxic food or entertainment with wholesome alternatives, entertainment, or pastimes that encourage growth and peacefulness, we could do more than twice as well. Spiritual disciplines, such as chanting and devotional singing also count as powerful positive inputs that we can add to our positive “diet”, remembering that the intention, focus, and intensity in which you conduct these count towards their potency. 


Top tip: Make a list of foods you would like to reduce and for each food have a healthier replacement food.


Praying before a meal can help you remove  or reduce the influence of negative attributes input into foods that you do not have control over, such as in the growth, production, manufacturing, sale and transport processes. Ask God to enable you to progress and assist others in whatever way required, through the meal you are about to consume.


Although food and the other various inputs cannot by themselves, take us all the way to the final gate, they can help us in our journey toward it. It is love and compassion that will be what takes us all the way there. Therefore inputs selected with love and compassion, towards ourselves, our families, and animals are in line with the goal of becoming Spirit-centred and eternally and completely happy, and must therefore assist us in our evolutionary journey. When we finally possess the clarity and love needed to realise that we are not our bodies, then all these inputs will no longer sway us or affect us in any way. But until such time, we can use our selection in inputs to become masters over ourselves in our efforts to regain the peace and happiness that is our natural state. 

To give you a deeper understanding of who you are and what you are made up of, beyond body and mind, watch the interfaith philosophy, Happiness Through Spirituality here.

Happiness Through Spirituality

When you need to make sense of your world and how you fit into it, when your happiness becomes your priority, Unity Mama can assist you with a philosophy that stitches together the pieces of the puzzle, from several major religions of our world - to map the highest path to the highest goal - happiness!

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