Nourishment goes beyond obtaining the optimal levels of nutrients in food. As Lisa Rankin (2011) so eloquently points out in her video, The Shocking Truth About Your Health, nourishment is about insuring all aspects of your being are fully nourished.
The “Whole Health Cairn” includes physical health, mental health, financial health, environmental health, creativity, sexual health, spiritual health, work/life purpose health, relationship health, and having an inner pilot to guide you.
Also, the “Whole Health Cairn” includes gratitude, pleasure, and love. When we “create a prescription for ourselves,” as Lisa states, then we can fully nourish our bodies to the core.
Addressing all the areas of the “Whole Health Cairn” allow us to fulfill our need to be filled or nourished. Minich (2009) further supports this idea by stating, “…real nourishment comes not from food but from our spirituality – our connection to God” (p.183)(italics added for emphasis). Rankin and Minich both acknowledge spirituality is an essential component of being fully nourished.
How does acknowledging the interconnection of life in a meal provide nourishment?
The interconnection of life in a meal can be acknowledged with recognition that we are part of a “web of creation” (Minich, 2009). There is interdependence in life as we all are dependent on the earth and each other for survival.
By treating the earth as a provider of nurturance and life, we acknowledge the interconnection of life. By choosing to place our hard-earned dollars toward companies that respect the earth by not flooding it with harmful chemicals and to farmers who are committed treating animals humanely, we acknowledge an interconnection of life.
Finally, by giving gratitude for all the sacrifices made for a meal to arrive at our table is an acknowledgment of the interconnection of life and, thus, deeply nourishes us from within.
How do we see a meal as a miracle, as sacred, and our body as temple?
A meal can be a miracle and sacred with a prayer of gratitude. Minich (2009) also states, “Prayer protects and transforms our meal into one of sacredness.” I really like Ms. Minich’s discussion of the Shamanic tradition of using a “Spirit Plate” where a small plate of food is offered as gratitude to the spirit and then disposed of at the end of the meal. This both makes the meal sacred and acknowledges the interconnection of life.
By choosing foods that nourish us rather than harm us, we will choose to treat our bodies as a temple. This does not imply rigidity, but simply focuses on recognizing there are limits to everything. Extremism in any form is never a healthy route.
If we truly treat our bodies as temples, we will use love, compassion and nurturance from our higher self (or inner pilot as Rankin  refers to) to navigate the world of choices we live in.
My Own Prescription for Nourishment
For me, my soul never feels more nourished than roaming in the outdoors by a roaring waterfall, deep in a wooded forest with a ray of light peaking through the towering majestic trees, or atop a glorious mountain peak with a view that seems to never end. These views remind me of the grandiosity of the world we live in and connects me to my sacred nature.
I also love the simple pleasures of hearing my daughter laugh, seeing the joy in my poodle’s eyes when I return home, or the welcome hug from a loved one. There are multiple ways to renew our spirit and nourish our souls. I’d love to hear your favorite way to nourish yourself. We can all learn from each other!
Minich, D. (2009). San Francisco, CA: Canari Press.
TedxTalks (2011, December 5). The shocking truth about your health: Lisa Rankin at TEDxFiDiWomen. Retrieved from http://muih.learninghouse.com/mod/page/view.php?id=26005