Eating a balanced meal should not be as complicated as a chemistry experiment. Is it possible to live one’s life fully without being subject to the ever-changing theories and beliefs around what constitutes good eating? No question that it is important to nourish our body, but not at the expense of our mind, heart and spirit.
Famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh, had an innate craving for scientific discoveries and advancement in aviation and medicine. Later in life, he set his sights on a more metaphysical view, with this intriguing remark, “If his civilization is to continue, modern man must direct the material power of his science by the spiritual truths of his God.” [Lindbergh, A. Scott Berg p484] Lindbergh traveled the globe many times eating what was set before him and feeling enriched by those with whom he came into contact.
While Lindbergh would probably never have been described as a health or diet expert or, even less likely, a couch potato. He did have at least one interesting opportunity to be a poster boy for healthy eating. Just before his famous 1927 flight, he was approached by the president of the Vitamin Food Company, to fortify his body during his upcoming unprecedented flight with Vegex (apparently, the Marmite of Vegemite of the day). To get Lindbergh on board, he used words one might easily hear today about a number of food or supplemental products: “crossing will depend on your clear head, steady nerves and endurance.” [Lindbergh A. Scott Berg]
Unconvinced, Lindbergh, an ever practical and frugal Midwesterner, decided instead to pack only five sandwiches and a canteen of water. According to his journal entry, he downed his first sandwich at 4:15 a.m. the day he departed from New York. Incredibly, he wouldn’t have another sandwich until 30 hours later when he reached the coast of northern France. So much for theories about the importance of food – and certain foods in certain amounts – to maintain clarity, focus, stamina, etc.
As children, my mother let our diets be driven by the “spiritual truths of God” too. I remember well balanced meals; yes, even heartily enjoying TV dinners on special occasions. Without preaching, she instilled in me the biblical wisdom of “eat what is set before you.” Perhaps, when he shared this with his followers, Jesus understood that it was spiritual truths that really constituted the science of nutrition; of what sustains us.
I’ve found this to be true in my life. Only a few times while traveling overseas have I been anxious about what was set in front of me. I faced a plate of fresh bread and raw bacon during a sailing voyage across the Atlantic aboard a Ukrainian Tall Ship. Twelve westerners on this vessel looked down at raw bacon that morning.
Given the formidable health concerns about eating raw pork, we looked around the table at each other in disbelief. I soon decided that if it was good enough for Ukrainians, it was good enough for me.
This allowed me to nourish my heart, mind and soul by focusing on the gift of food from my hosts rather than worrying about or succumbing to human theories about nutrition and sickness. I would have three more opportunities to eat raw bacon on fresh Ukrainian bread with no ill effects during what was for me my own Lindbergh-like adventure of a lifetime.
So, not taking so much thought about what we eat appears to be a good, lifelong habit. Today’s food science, with its focus on [“eat this, don’t eat that, this will make you ill, that will make you strong, this will weaken your immune system, etc.”] limits our lives in so many ways. I’ve found that food science grounded in spiritual truths offers us lives of unlimited adventure and robust health.
Steve Drake is a health writer focusing on the leading edge of thought, consciousness, spirituality and health. He is also a liaison to the media and to the legislature for Christian Science in Missouri.