With the exception of air and water, food is the most crucial link between us and the natural web of life surrounding us. We ingest a whole bunch from the world around us every day. This includes media, electromagnetic frequencies, as well as thoughts, feelings, and projections from others. We like to convince ourselves that we have a tough skin, but we are actually quite receptive and sensitive to everything around us, environment is everything. We have a lot of choices and probably some of the most important ones revolve around the food we buy and ingest. These choices not only affect our personal health, they influence the health of our environment and community.

“Let medicine be thy food an let food be thy medicine.” — Hippocrates

There is a popular video going around social media called the organic effect (see video below). It’s about a family who switches to an all-organic diet and it shows the results on their health after only two weeks. Eating organic is not just about food, it is about supporting agriculture that doesn’t pollute our water or kill the bees with pesticides. Eating organic puts money in the pockets of farmers who have chosen not to support genetically modified organisms (GMO), which also demand copious amounts of toxic pesticides.

Buying local, like from a farmers market is important for many reasons. If we buy food that was grown hundreds of miles away, even if it is organic, there was a bunch of fossil fuels used to transport it. Buying at a farmers market also reduces packaging waste. We need to think in terms of life-cycle, it isn’t just about putting less plastic into our local landfills, we have to consider the pollution caused by manufacturing our packaging. A reusable bag, along with a stroll through a farmers market will also help you connect with your community, make new friends and if you are really lucky you can ride your bike to market!

Even better than buying local is to grow your own food. There are great resources like Native Seed Search that give you an endless variety of native and heirloom seeds for your summer garden. Being in the garden is relaxing and good for your health. Recent studies even show that getting dirt under your fingernails is good for your immune system. Even if you are not growing a garden, you can grow sprouts easily indoors throughout the winter!

“a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety.” –It’s in the Dirt, Healing Landscapes

Eat lots of fruit! Tony Wright, author of Left in the Dark, explains that fruit has played a major role in human evolution and neurological development below. His perspective that plants have a symbiotic relationship with humans is exciting as it reminds us that our lives are intertwined with all life around us. Increasing our sense of connections with our community which includes streams, plants, and animals, as well as humans leads to a deeper sense of well-being on our journey to enlightenment.

“Many people think of fruit as just “health food”, however, it is much more than that. Its extraordinary rich chemical composition shapes and determines the expanded growth of the human brain to fullest potential. In fact, our evolution is fully reliant upon the chemical compounds found in fruit.” Rawsome Beauty

We crave what we eat, so if we eat junk food that is what we will want. By slowly incorporating more live foods into a healthy diet we begin to crave them. The same is true for emotional patterns like joy, depression, inspiration. When we change patterns in our lifestyle choices, many things begin to shift in our moods and health as well. There is no “one size fits all” recipe, the important thing is to be mindful and make conscious choices knowing that our actions have an impact on ourselves as well as the world around us!

Everyone’s body is different and has different needs. Finding a diet that works for you will leave you feeling happier and healthier. Integrating food-related choices that invite us to embrace a new lifestyle is a whole lot of fun. A spiritual practice like daily yoga or meditation is only the beginning of the journey to enlightenment, we must bring our practice to action with lifestyle choices. Make an adjustment to your diet and slowly your lifestyle will also shift for the better also. Empower yourself with choices for positive change!

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Jacob Devaney

Jacob blogs for Huffington Post and others in addition to Culture Collective. He specializes in social media, and cross-platform (or trans-media) content and campaigns. Meditation, playing piano, exploring nature, seeing live music, and going to Hopi Dances are some of his passions. As a co-founder of unify.org, Jacob lives for community and believes that we are all interconnected with our own special gift to offer the world.

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