You Are What You Eat…and Think, Feel, Hear, See, Do and Believe

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Many of us have heard the saying, “we are what we eat.” Basically this means that if our diets are made up of fast food, takeout, foods high in sugar, high in fat, if we drink too much or if we consider our children’s leftovers a decent meal, we can’t really be surprised if our body doesn’t look or feel it’s best. To sum it up; eat bad, look and feel bad. Well, not only are we what we eat, but we’re also what we feel, think, hear, see, do and believe.

Let’s start with what you think. If you think you’re unlovable, unworthy or incapable, and these are the thoughts that play continuously in your mind, can you really be surprised if these thoughts encourage you to act or carry yourself a certain way? Maybe they’ll prevent you from feeling deserving of a loving relationship, because you too feel unworthy of something fabulous or incapable of achieving a goal or dream. If these or similar thoughts are playing in a negative tape loop you’ve created, take a look at how they’re showing themselves within your life.

Moving on to “we are what we feel.” If you feel overweight, unattractive or ill-equipped in some way, take a look at the way you dress, the way you carry yourself, what you do (or don’t do) and the relationships you have. Notice how these feelings show themselves in the clothes you choose, the opportunities you may be avoiding and what you’re willing to tolerate in a coworker, friend or partner. Now identify how different things would be if you didn’t feel this way about yourself.

“We are what we hear.” Think about it – if you’re listening to people who are negative, critical, pessimistic and judgmental, can you be surprised when you feel deflated, depleted and uninspired? Of course you’re trying to be a good listener, you may even be the “go-to person” when someone wants to gossip, needs to vent or complain. Notice however, how you feel once this negativity is dumped on you.

Let’s take a look at “we are what we see.” If you’re watching programs filled with misery, pain, violence or vulgarity, are you surprised if that has an effect on you? Take TV news for example. Sure, you may be up-to-date on the latest tragedies in the areas of crime, the recession, drugs or disease but how do these visuals resonate with you? After seeing them, do you feel calm, serene and comfortable or nervous, vulnerable and afraid?

Next, let’s look at “we are what we do.” If you’re doing little more than chores or tasks when you’re home, errands and an unfulfilling job when you’re out, can you be surprised if you’re not excited about your life? Think about it. Take a look at your typical day and see what it’s made of. If it’s crammed with tasks leaving no room for self care, healthy eating, exercise, down time and fun, can you see how this may be showing itself in how you look, feel and live?

Lastly, let’s look at “we are what we believe.” Our belief system is created by the repetition of an idea from someone we trust. For example, let’s say you were constantly told “you can be, do or have anything.” This was said to you enough times and it became your belief system as well. But, let’s say you were on the receiving end of someone with limited beliefs themselves. They may have told you that you were not meant to be wealthy, happy, thin, carefree, etc. They may have believed that “life is a struggle, everyone in our family has a fiery temper, is prone to heart disease, has these thighs,” etc. When this was said to you enough times, it became your belief system as well. Are you surprised then when you go into your adult life, carrying this belief system and living within these limits?

Not only are we what we eat, but we’re also what we think, feel, hear, see, do and believe. It’s all of these factors that contribute to who we are and how we live our lives as a result. The best part about it is that with awareness and a desire to change, whatever area doesn’t work well for you anymore can slowly and steadily be changed so that it does. The choice is ours.

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
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    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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September 2010
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