Food can bring people together making them feel either welcome or alienated. If you want to know what someone is really like, share a meal with them. Many of us are able to hide behind carefully chosen words or rehearsed facial gestures; but the proverb, you are what you eat, expresses a basic truth about human nature.
First, food choices contain the ingredients of core values – soul food. Second, food and mood correlate highly. Third, changing what you eat, can transform habits in other activities of daily living.
For example, if one drinks excessive amounts of coffee throughout the day, he/she jolts their energy levels beyond normal capacity. It overloads circuits with an ever-increasing to-do list – a state of “chronic fatigue” to over-ride. Caffeine also elevates one’s mood, fueling these excesses. Reducing caffeine intake would bring energy levels back to reality. One might have to shed a task or two from the to-do list and stabilize work/life balance. One would get re-acquainted with rest and fun and might actually start accomplishing for the self – no longer last on the list.
Balanced people tend to eat balanced meals, organizing their day around good health. Currently, medical research points to the superior qualities of a Mediterranean diet for those eager to go the distance in life physically (heart smart and brain smart) and emotionally .
Here are some, “getting to really know you questions” to help you observe the link between food and core values. Also, you might look at these questions to help you introspect about your own life by discovering clues in your food – from yearning to dislike:
- Do you crave carbs to boost your mood or reduce stress?
- Core: What is the root cause?
- Do you prefer fish or red meat?
- Are you craving brain food or strength?
- Are you obsessed with healthy eating?
- Is your inflexibility a sign of orthorexia or other issues?
- Do you enjoy spicy or bland foods?
- Are you open to the exotic or intensely loyal to family/national origins?
- Do you drink coffee or tea?
- Are you Type A or actively calm?
- Do you alternate between binges and strict diets?
- Do you seek immediate gratification/fast results, are you all or nothing?
- What’s your favorite meal – breakfast or dinner?
- Are you a lark or owl in your energy levels?
- Do you send food back or make do with what is served at restaurants?
- Are you a people pleaser or angry critic?