A new friend who is incarcerated wrote to me the other day about her body: “I don’t love everything about my body,” she told me, “but I do what I can to keep my temple intact.” I wrote back, “I love that you refer to your body as your ‘temple.’ I do, too. I believe it is my responsibility to honor and care for my body as best I can, which also means balance and acceptance of all that is and all that it is.”
My grandma is 95 and told me the other day that she’s no longer eating corn because “it is a carb.” Every week, she has a new rule about what she’s eating or not eating based on what she heard on The View.
Many of us have sworn off bread—not Wonder Bread but real bread—flour, water, and heat—in the carb craze, too, not realizing that bread, as archaeologists have recently discovered, existed before the era of agriculture—meaning our paleolithic friends likely ate unleavened breads and cereal plants, too.
In fact, bread appears often in the Bible as our physical and spiritual fuel: “This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” Or “The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” And in the Bible, bread represents our oneness: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
My point is this: we have allowed a diet industry, rooted in our detachment, to rule us: to tell us how to eat and what to eat and to tell us how we should look—how we should treat our temple. And we have become so disconnected that we have forgotten the original rules, implanted within us: fill your body with the foods of the earth. Honor the earth. Honor yourself. Share in these foods. Let eating together be sacred time—communion and community.
You can eat corn or not eat corn, eat bread or not eat bread. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that you listen to your temple and don’t allow anyone else to speak over its voice.
The earth itself provides the bounty we need and strengthens us in its seasonal diversity: sweet and salty, savory, sour, sun-kissed, and smooth. Indulge in it as you desire.