Here in the United States, we have heard for decades that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It was in the early 1900s that food manufacturing companies convinced doctors to promote breakfast. Foods such as cereal and bacon were marketed as breakfast foods. Since that time, breakfast has become more and more popular. It was known to be the most important meal of the day.
This prompted me to ponder on the idea of “meals” that we take on a daily basis and what their purpose are. Put it simply, a meal gives us nutrition. The food that we take nourishes our bodies so we can be strong and do things we want to do. Looking at it this way, though, it seems like there is more to meals than just that. Can’t we redefine the word ‘meal’ to mean any moment or event that feeds us or sustains us?
Food is not the sole thing that nourishes us and helps us become stronger and more aligned. There are other activities and things that feed our mind, body, and soul. These are the 4 most important meals you need every day. Let’s call it physical, emotional, spiritual, and social meals.
There is no doubt that our bodies need physical nutrition and activity, but we also need rest. In other words, sleep. It matters more than you think. One way to get sleep better is to take a break from the stimulation of screens – TV, phones, tablets, or computers – in the two hours before bedtime. Could it be that sleep might be one of the most important meals of your day? Or night?
An emotional meal can help you become and stay centered, making it one of the most important meals of the day. You should pay attention to your emotions more. Listen to an uplifting song to make you feel calm. Squeeze a stress ball to help you feel centered. Take a walk in nature and enjoy the sights and sounds of the trees. Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently. Experiment to find what works best for you. Find your favorite emotional meal to start your day.
Find purpose and meaning to feed yourself spiritually. This is different for everyone. You might try one or more of these…
Find work that makes you feel useful. Attend a church or find a group that shares your beliefs or philosophy. Volunteer to help others and discover how enriched your life is. Discover how and where you feel fed in a deeply spiritual manner. This will soon become the most important meal of your day.
Phone calls and social networks have their place, but few things can beat the stress-busting, mood-boosting power of quality, face-to-face time with other people. Talk to a friendly face. In-person social interaction with someone who cares is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. Feed yourself with social time. During the pandemic, we have had to visit online rather than in person. But we know that developing a strong relationships with others and having social connections are vital. Social hour is one of the most valuable meals we can experience each day.
Now that you know the Four Important Meals you need every day, feed yourself well – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. We need these things to help us in our quest to live well with Lipedema!