Health: Dietary Guidelines for Physical & Spiritual Well-Being
By Edwin Harkness Spina
When many people hear the term "mystic," they immediately
up an image of someone with his head in the clouds, too busy contemplating
spiritual concepts to be concerned with earthly matters. For a
true mystic, nothing could be further from the truth.
By definition, mystics are practical, pragmatic people. While
a mystic's goal is direct communion with God, the primary purpose
of this attunement is to bring this higher wisdom to earth and
apply it. A healthy body makes this possible.
Mystics regard the body as the "temple of the soul." Many
and illnesses have their basis outside of the physical body. To
help heal people that suffer from these maladies, mystics study
techniques such as psychic healing, energy healing or absent healing.
While these spiritual practices can heal many physical problems,
to maximize their effectiveness, the physical causes of diseases
should also be eliminated.
A body polluted with toxins or parasites is the primary cause
of most illness. Filling your body with junk food and toxins depletes
you of energy that you could put to better use, even if you are
not sick. Just as you wouldn't try to run a race with a ball and
chain tied to your ankle, neither should you allow your body to
become a burden to your spiritual development.
Today, there are as many diets circulating with conflicting guidelines,
as there are authors of diet books. Low-carb, low-fat, high protein,
vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free are some of the more popular.
Based on your age, sex, level of fitness, weight, blood type,
demeanor and your goals, any one diet might be better than another.
From a mystic perspective, there are a few basics that are universally
Your body needs food, water and oxygen to operate effectively.
The human body has evolved over thousands of years. Common sense
would tell you, it is unlikely that a chemist working in the lab
of a multinational food corporation will design a food that is
better for your body than Mother Nature. Scientific evidence bears
this out. You should avoid man-made foods such as:
Artificial sweeteners: aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), saccharin
(Sweet & Low) and sucralose (Splenda). Over 75% of the complaints
received by the FDA concern aspartame. A simple Google search
for "adverse effects of aspartame" will shock you and
never drink another diet soda in your life.
Fat-substitutes: Olean, Olestra and Benefat.
If you read the labels of products containing these fat substitutes
you'll see such distressing potential side effects as "anal
try to trick your body by eating an indigestible fat in order
to lose weight — the side effects are not worth it, plus the
long-term effects are unknown.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated
oils, also known as "fake
fats" or "trans fats." These artificial fats are
by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils and are found in margarine
and processed foods. They can increase your chances of heart
disease and disrupt your metabolism. Many European countries
ban or limit the amount of trans fatty acids in foods. Beginning
January 1, 2006, US manufacturers are now required to list trans
fats on the nutrition label, so you can avoid these fake foods.
In his book, The Hidden Messages in Water, Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated
how thoughts and emotions affect the structure of water. Since
are bodies are mostly water, it's clear your mental and emotional
outlook will affect your health. Before you can even begin to
worry about these effects, however, you need to make sure you
have enough water in your body. Water is essential to flushing
out toxins. Lack of water diminishes athletic, mental and spiritual
performance. While moderate use of caffeine and alcohol is acceptable,
remember that both will dehydrate your body, requiring you drink
even more water.
Most people do not get enough oxygen because they don't breathe
properly. Shallow breathing, using only the top of your lungs
is not only inefficient, it allows a buildup of carbon dioxide,
which is the primary waste product from the respiratory process.
You should start each day with a few deep breaths that fully fill
your lungs, followed by exhalations that completely empty them.
If you have a respiratory ailment, this deep breathing may cause
you to cough, which is exactly what you should be doing to eliminate
the mucus surrounding the toxins in your lungs. When you are fatigued,
deep breathing can invigorate you.
Caring for your body with these simple, common sense guidelines
will not only help your physical wellbeing, but also make it easier
to attune with God and aid in your spiritual development. •