I took my daughter to her friend’s birthday party and reconnected with parents I hadn’t seen during the summer months.  I ended up monopolizing one mother though.  I saw that she had tiny little needles in her ears and, having no respect for boundaries (at least when it comes to matters of style and beauty), I asked her about them.  She explained that she had been going to a holistic doctor initially to help her with her skin maladies.  The advice of the doctor was to change her diet, which inspired her to also get thinner and healthier.

She told me about special ingredients she was consuming to cleanse her system and her new attitude about food.  But what REALLY struck me was her claim that food responds to our mental states.  In other words, if we approach food with happiness, calmness and appreciation, it responds in a positive, more productive way once consumed. Translation: the appreciation for the banana I ate today may have led to greater absorption of the fruit’s vitamins and minerals into my body.

Huh?  I know.  It sounds like she downed the Holistic cool-aid (or antioxidant infused mango juice in this case).  But, still, I was intrigued.  Though I try to watch my weight and eat relatively unprocessed foods, I must admit I don’t have a very “zen” approach to food.  I often eat on the run or while engaged in three other activities at the same time.  My friend told me about a theory developed by Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto that water reacts in different ways to one’s emotions and then responds to those emotions at the cellular level.

You can imagine the criticism this theory has generated from the scientific community. The rational part of me says what a bunch of crap, but then I’m thinking is it so crazy that our relationship to the food we consume can affect the way it reacts to our bodies?  Isn’t this akin to the power of positive thinking like the well documented healing power of prayer?  I even read an article in this month’s Allure that stated, according to a Harvard study, you can improve your eyesight by changing your mind (Seeing More Clearly).  Maybe our minds can really change our bodies.

I may not have totally transformed my eating habits as a result of this discussion (Exhibit A: I’m eating my lunch as I write this post), but the power of positive thinking has had an impact on me.  I’m definitely going to make a concerted effort to approach food with gratitude and appreciate the positive role it can play in my life.

I’ll never look at a jelly bean the same way.

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