For thousands of years our ancestors lived on simple whole foods and the need for those foods is built into our bodies as well. While I am grateful for many of the things modern medicine has to offer and believe it has its place, I believe we can hold on to the good of the past while still embracing the good of the present.
Over the past few years I have been on a journey towards whole foods, local foods, organic foods and traditionally prepared foods. I can attest that the closer I come to nature with my diet, the better my body seems to function. When I eat a bone broth soup rich with fresh, wholesome vegetables and herbs I can feel the nourishment pouring into my body and the beautiful colors, smells and flavors nourishing my soul.
It's easy to underestimate how many artificial ingredients we are taking in when we ingest commercially prepared foods. It has surprised me how pervasive they are and my goal has become to buy whole, unprepared food items almost exclusively and prepare them myself, saving a few, special, commercially prepared food items for a rare treat. Doing this has been surprisingly difficult and yet at the same time surprisingly inspirational and nourishing to my soul as well as my body. I know not everyone has the time to cook exclusively from scratch but we can all examine our diets with care and move towards whole foods as much as possible.
I believe nourishment of the soul is as vital to health as nourishment of the body. We need the nourishment of community---the love and acceptance of at least a few close friends and/or family. We need the nourishment of beauty, whatever that may mean for us. For me it is the sound of running water and the cooing of a dove, the verdant leaves of plants in spring, the vibrant colors of flowers and Oklahoma sunsets and even the simplicity of the soft yellow walls of my living room and the scent of the rose geranium by my bed. We need the nourishment of creative expression---of song, of story, of painting or even computer programming---whatever appeals to us and allows us to express ourselves. We need the nourishment of a spiritual connection. These things help give our lives meaning and give our souls a sense of well-being.
I hope you will think about how you can nourish yourself today in both soul and body. May you be nourished, may you be whole.
(If you want to explore the nutritional aspect of this subject further I suggest reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I don't necessarily agree with her on all points and many of the recipes could be improved upon but I believe her approach to nutrition is sound.)