It’s very important to understand how we view certain types of food. Think back to the moment in your life that you ate your first piece of candy. How was it introduced to you?
The only reason that I’m calling candy food is because you put it in your mouth and you eat it. But make no mistake: Candy cannot be defined as food because it does not have nutritional value. A nutrient is anything that enhances the chemistry of the body, and a toxin is anything that harms or interrupts the processes of the chemistry of the body. Candy is toxic. It deteriorates our health both in the moment we eat it and over the long term.
The first harmful thing that it does is pervert the tongues of young children. We are born with a perfectly pure pallet and came from consuming the most nutrient-rich foods in the world (while in the womb). We then begin eating foods that were not healthy, candy being the most harmful of any of them. To an innocent young body, candy is at once nothing less than addictive. Chemical responses to it make a child feel euphoric.
Candy and sweets are given as a reward in most households. Freshly baked pies and cakes and cookies usually surround us during family gatherings, birthday parties, and even at funerals. And when they are served, we are also usually encouraged to eat them without concern for what we are doing to our bodies
Most people have memories of heavy, rich foods like perfectly cooked turkeys with lots of mashed potatoes, stuffing and heavy, thick sauces. We were often given that kind of food when we were young. If we ate this way when all the family was gathered and everyone was happy, our associations with this kind of food were sometimes, sadly, the only associations that we had with pleasure.
It is very difficult to reverse this way of thinking. There is a tremendous pool of these kinds of foods; they are ubiquitous in every country. Once a person eats these foods and becomes seduced by them, the pattern is laid down for the way we look at all foods, possibly for the rest of our lives.
Does that mean that human beings should not get enjoyment out of eating? Absolutely not. Human beings are highly intelligent creatures. We think about every aspect of our lives and everything we do. For example, even going to the bathroom to alleviate your waste material is a pleasurable experience if you are not constipated or you’re not in pain. A person should be present and able to think or say ‘Wow, hallelujah, I can eliminate.’ The same thing holds true regarding the intake of food: We should always be in a state of mind of being grateful for sustenance and nourishment.
But there’s a line that should not be crossed. If we are eating too much in trying to create a state of happiness, or trying to compensate for lack of happiness in other areas of life, we are crossing that line. We’re also crossing the line when we eat out of compulsion.
Food, exercise, rest, sex, and learning, these and many other things are all pleasurable aspects of life. And we should enjoy them. One of the great purposes in life, besides the act of simply living it, is to find some enjoyment in the process. But there should not be overuse, underuse, or unintended perversions of any one or more of those things. Instead, there must be balance.
Balance is a relative concept. For me, balance means no candy and no processed junk food. For someone else it might mean only one piece of candy per day. But we all should strive to let go of all things that are superfluous and potentially harmful.
Your chemistry at any point in time will determine what your balance should be. For example, if you have a debilitating illness, you may need to practice complete abstinence from quite a number of things.
But the path to attaining proper balance is different for each one of us.