An inspiring new book offers practical advice to revolutionize your eating habits
Susan Teton Campbell has been on quite the journey as she searched for answers to the diet-related health issues plaguing millions of Americans, and now she offers those answers and lots of practical, inspirational advice in the pages of her new book Eating as a Spiritual Practice. : Discover your purpose while nourishing your body, mind and soul.
Think of Eating as a spiritual practice as a two-for-one deal. First you get the amazing story of Susan’s life journey, then you get a plethora of delicious and healthy recipes. But perhaps most importantly, both of these sections contain tons of great advice and eye-opening information about the value of good nutrition and the dangers of processed and junk foods.
Susan’s journey to focus on what we eat really began when she realized her son’s body had an intolerance to sugar and how, despite her best efforts, when it got out of control, it also caused her. left open to addiction to far worse substances. Susan embarked on a lifelong mission to find out how to reverse her son’s health issues and in the process, she became aware of the severe malnutrition many of us experience from processed and packaged foods. that we eat.
Rather than just reading about nutrition and changing her and her son’s diet, Susan became heavily involved in revolutionizing people’s relationship to food. She participated in retreats and spiritual organizations that believed in the cultivation of body and soul. One organization she became involved with was EarthSave International, founded by John Robbins, the author of Diet for a New America. Part of his involvement with this group was leading a program to ensure healthier food was served in schools. Soon Susan was visiting principals and cooking lunches for them, and she discovered that the café-style lunch menus in our school districts practiced the exact opposite of the good nutrition that school health classes preached.
Susan also bares her soul in these pages as she discusses her many efforts to eat well and overcome temptation, and most difficult of all, how she learned to set boundaries and let go with her son, Aaron, when he refused to play by the rules. or doing what was best for him, but instead turned into years of addiction. Ultimately, the trip made Susan stronger because her son gave her lessons she desperately needed to learn about herself, and her situation fueled her motivation to help others. At one point, Susan describes how she found herself judging people for what they ate, and then came to a deep realization:
“From that point on, my work became about sharing, rather than having an agenda that forced others to change. I had learned with Aaron that I couldn’t change it, and having an agenda to do so also didn’t empower him. So a new evolved me – one that would simply share what I knew to be true for me. The depth of this change and how much lighter I felt is beyond my ability to put words, but they changed me, softened me.
Susan continued to teach cooking classes and constantly received requests to write a cookbook, but she didn’t want to write just a cookbook – she wanted to share her philosophy and deep understanding of our relationship to food and of its sanctity. The result: Eating as a Spiritual Practice, a book that doesn’t try to sell us a specific diet, or tell us we should pray for our food. Instead, it’s a book filled with common sense, a back-to-basics approach, and a reminder to think about what we put in our mouths and the effects it will have on our bodies. As Susan points out in the introduction to the book:
“(Y)ou will be inspired to look at food, your body, your life and the Earth in a new light – a light full of purpose, gratitude and promise. Why? Because it is absolutely vital that we all become part of creating a just and sustainable food system for ourselves, our children and the state of our air, water and soil. The deeper motivation, which is alive in me and many “Other people I know are, at their core, spiritual. Perhaps, like me, you are a spiritual seeker with a food practice that extends far beyond the table.”
Susan clarifies that we can no longer eat healthy foods as part of a temporary diet or just to lose weight. It should be part of our daily practice, just like exercising or brushing our teeth. It should be integrated as a daily discipline in our lives that is “fueled by love and respect”.
Instead of counting calories or trying to reduce our portions, we need to focus on nutritious choices that not only heal and maintain our bodies, but also nourish our minds. The abilities of our body and soul to function fully are deeply connected to what we eat, and it’s time for us to pay attention to this connection and do all we can to nurture all aspects of ourselves. . Susan learned how to do that, and in these pages she will help you learn how to do the same.