Why you need to take care of your body…no one else will

In our society, especially in the United States, we are constantly being told that we need to eat healthy. We are constantly being bombarded with commercials for different types of food, all of which claim to be the best for us. Sometimes, these foods could be considered delicacies, especially in some countries.

For instance, you have probably heard that beef is considered to be a meat that is not common at all in Japan and something that isn’t eaten often. Ergo, it is considered a delicacy. Also, deserts usually carry this label because of the richness of the ingredients (often sugars).

In most cases, these foods are not good for us. They are filled with unhealthy ingredients and additives that can do more harm than good. Instead, we should focus on eating healthy foods that are good for our bodies. Not suggesting that beef is necessarily bad, but a lot of it can be hard on our bodies to digest.

This may seem a little counter-intuitive, and I am by no means a health care expert or a personal trainer (for that talk to my wife Kylie Ransom or my trainer friend Steve Baric) but I do know, if we are constantly eating certain types of food, we end up craving them. Especially if they are loaded in sugars.

What I found about 8 years ago was that I was craving sugars because I was eating a lot of sugars. I thought I was eating “good food” because it wasn’t obviously bad to me. I mean I wasn’t eating desert pizzas for breakfast, so I’m good right?

Not so fast. I wasn’t healthy at all and didn’t feel good most of the time either. I was in pursuit of the wrong things. I discovered a truth: We only get one body, so don’t waste it.

Dokkōdō Principle #13: mi hitotsu ni bishoku o konomazu (身一つに美食お好まず) English interpretation: Do not pursue the taste of good food

Musashi when writing to his students was trying to convey a few things with this princple, even though it is quite short in terms of words.  Some implied things we learn when we study this is he used the word konomazu which can be interpreted as “do not love” when referring to the food that we are eating. (go back to the post Dokkōdō Principle #10 to learn more about love)

He also uses the word bishoku which can be interpreted as a delicacy. Which in this context adds some more meaning here. He was basically telling them not to pursue these delicacies because it would likely mean that their bodies could suffer as a result.

His instructions were saying basically, do not allow oneself to be drawn by the taste of a good dish, but rather focus on nourishment. Daily life was a preparation for war, keeping oneself in condition to deal with war became an ethical matter. Also could be interpreted to not focus on sophisticated cuisine but rather the simple food that doesn’t require fussy preparation.

Put this into our world now, we shouldn’t be chasing food that can be thought of as delicacies because usually they end up being extremely rich and can be quite hard on our bodies to digest. 

Also, these types of food end up carrying with them an elevated price tag that most people, even if they have the means, shouldn’t indulge often. And even if we decide to make them at home they come with a lot of preparation usually and in my opinion our time is one of our most prized resources.

There is no question that good food is worth the time and money it takes to find and prepare. However, there are ways to enjoy good food without breaking the bank or spending all your free time in the kitchen.

Food is the way to one’s heart, the saying goes, and it can be such a personal thing to us. We all have our own likes and dislikes and we all enjoy different flavors and cuisines. But in chasing the taste of good food, we will often lose sight of our authentic self. It’s important to stay true to who we are and what we believe in, even when it’s hard. Staying true to your authentic self will help you find happiness and fulfillment.

I think about ikigai in a way that helps me to support this personal food journey I am on. I eat in order for myself to be able to participate in the things that bring joy into my life not just I can feel good in the moment. If you’d like to learn more about how you can discover your ikigai, send me a PM.

#ikigai #eatfornourishment #healthyliving #weonlygetonebody

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