FOOD AND HEALTH
The word recipe comes from the Latin recipere meaning to receive. In past times the word referred to a prescription from the apothecary. The archaic symbol for recipe is the one used even today by pharmacists for medications:
Currently the word recipe is used to designate a list of ingredients with instructions to be mixed together in the kitchen to be consumed as food. How this reference has changed over time is not so mysterious as we might think. There are recipes for skin care, hot bath soaks and poultices. Healers have always been herbalists who gather plants to be blended together for healthy results. A good cook is frequently also a good gardener who grows fresh produce and herbs.
Ayurvedic medicine uses barks of trees, spices, herbs and roots for medicinal effects as do the curanderos of Central and South America. The tradition of blending natural ingredients together for a better quality of life has been with Homo Sapiens for thousands of years. Mixing roots and leaves to alleviate discomfort, pain and disease is the most important identifier of evolution. What a brilliant idea to mix these ingredients in a way to be consumed as a pleasurable experience.
Good nutrition is as important today as it has always been for health, alertness, vitality and longevity. With the advent of modern travel and transport, the basic ingredients of exotic foods from almost anywhere in the world can be experienced in our own homes. The Chinese always think ‘health’ when the cook is in the kitchen. A balanced meal must contain complementary foods for appeal, taste, harmony, and well being.
In the present times, special care should be taken to read labels of products which could contain chemicals and ingredients harmful over the long term if consumed repeatedly. Many cause allergies and complications in the digestive tract, as well as a deficiency in mental clarity needed for learning and good judgment decisions. Some have been linked to behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Laboratory food preservatives may be difficult to break down in the body causing stress for organs or simply be indigestible, meaning the food is passed out of the body without nourishment value.
Learning the Science of good cooking means being sensitive to body functions and needs for nourishment. The Art of cooking is about serving healthy ingredients in a fashion that is pleasant to the palate and the eye. Digestion is best when the ambience is relaxing, uplifting, and happy. Meditation between preparation and presentation is frequently helpful.
So we see that the person who selects the food and cooks in the household has a very vital and important position. This person is actually a healer, because food when combined and presented properly serves as medicine in a most fundamental way. If care is not taken, the family suffers; disharmony, sickness, and even long term inherited vulnerabilities can develop.
As a healer, the cook should take care to be sensitive to allergies and different requirements of individuals. The changing conditions and attitudes of the people she serves should be taken into consideration. A perfectly wonderful meal could be wasted when other people don’t feel like consuming what is presented. Rather than taking offense at rejection, consider the needs of others and be flexible. Variety at the table is always welcome. The kitchen ‘maven’ should be conscientious, happy, and healthy. The meaning of the proverbial chicken soup becomes multidimensional as food for the soul, comfort for the heart and nourishment for the body.
Organic ingredients are recommended whenever available; fresh rather that canned or frozen is preferable for taste and nutritive value. The quality of life is precious and while being thrifty is important, health must be the primary focus. Remember, the cook is the guardian of health in the household.
THE FOOD PYRAMID is a graphic representation of what is considered to be a global standard for human beings as a healthy food intake guideline.
Each food group is designated on a layer of the pyramid, which suggests a proportion relative to other types of food consumed daily. In order to maintain optimum productivity in the physical body with the highest quality brain function, a balance of water, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and proteins must be ingested regularly. For the organism to function adequately, these should be consumed on a daily basis at regular intervals. Not every food group needs to be consumed at every meal; in a day, some of each is recommended.
The physical body is the vessel through which the soular entity manifests expression. The body must be nourished to perform tasks required for survival and to ultimately complete the planetary assignment on Earth. To maintain the physical form throughout the lifespan is the responsibility of each incarnated soul.
The quality of water is paramount. Water is a rare commodity in the universe and on many planets is non existent. Water is what makes lifeforms possible on Earth and therefore should be revered above all else. At this time on planet Earth, the developing homo sapiens species have contaminated food sources through industrialization and the misuse of chemical elements. This has been done out of ignorance.
Care should be taken regarding the sources of food and water supply. Organically cultivated and harvested foods are recommended. In ‘refined’ foods, the essential vitamins and minerals are frequently leached out. Chemical additives made in laboratories are harsh concentrates which strain the body systems and can not be easily assimilated. These can not take the place of naturally evolved combinations occurring in the environment.
The human body responds well to existing natural forms of edible supplies. Fortunately, most come in beautiful natural packaging which is either also edible or serviceable in multiple ways for existence on Earth. If properly cultivated, and managed, this wide variety of edible lifeforms can be sustained forever as renewable resources. The options are boundless on Earth and some acceptable alternative in every category to fulfill nutritional requirements, can be found on every continent.
Depending on latitude and continent, species in each food group can be found. For strength and optimal productivity, locally grown foods are recommended. Needs change with seasons and the Food Pyramid is a guideline only. The type of occupation also may change the perimeters of nutrients required. Persons with maintenance or medical problems may need to reduce or increase the proportion of any given category temporarily. This should be done under the guidance of a person trained in the field of nutrition and health.
The blessing of food is always appropriate and an expression of gratitude for the bounty bestowed is a practice which has sustained humanity down through the ages. This alone does not compensate for harmful substances ingested. Therefore precautions to maintain purity and quality of food supplies must be taken.
Those human beings so motivated should pursue training and acquire skills required to ensure the quality of life by acting out roles which will maintain the food supply for future generations incarnating here on Earth.