Raison d’être

Everyone and everything has a raison d’être ( french for reason of being/existing or purpose). Raison d’être is something that we all should reckon with. Mostly it’s about being happy. What makes you happy and gives a deep sense of satisfaction is your raison d’etre. Not too difficult to understand but the trick is how many of us have gone within ourselves to find out about our Raison d’être ?

The raison d’être of food is simply to nourish our bodies. What about pleasure of the palette, you may be thinking. Well, that is totally up to you , isn’t it? Because some like it hot, some cold, some juicy and some overcooked. For example there are various ways to have tea but which one you like is totally dependent upon how you have developed your palette in turn depending upon experiences, circumstances and the amount of time you have been exposed to a particular tea.

Therefore the cause of all food is the need of our bodies for nutrition.Not that I am saying we should eat bland and unpalatable food for the sake of health( well sometimes that too) because the pleasures of eating good food lead the way to loving our bodies and ultimately ourselves. That cannot be underestimated for the wellbeing of the whole society I must say. Pure pleasure and happiness are quite distinct from each other. One being an emotion and the other rather a state of being. Temporary pleasures are quite the work of our senses and the more control we have over them, the better the chances of our being happy.

Food is meant to nourish us.

Food is meant to nourish us, not kill us ( the way we eat sometimes and the food that we get these days). It needs to make us healthy. Exercise can make us fit by building on strength , flexibility, balance , endurance and stamina. But food is the fuel that we put in our bodies, its role to nourish it whether in health or sickness. The types of food we intake need to vary according to sickness, activity, weather and time of day. That’s it. No emotional eating , which means not eating for pleasure or pain. So what do we eat for? Just hunger?Well, yes and no. Yes because that is our body’s natural signal to eat and no because that sense of hunger has been damaged….most of us are not in tune with it anymore. Also,we can’t get clinical about this as we are humans and not animals. Although, there is a catch here. By using our better sense of judgement we need to strike a balance between emotions and getting too clinical. The only way to do that is to eat good, real whole some food instead of insulin spiking food. Nature did not intend for abundance of simple carbohydrates, fats , alcohol or sugar. Once we end this vicious circle , we balance our needs and our wants to a state of natural beauty and free ourselves of emotional eating. Yes, it also means no one can stop us from enjoying what we eat. A spiritual connect to our food has been known to reduce food cravings and unwarranted binge moments. If we care to remember faces of hungry human beings existing in the same world as ours, without food and compare that to us when we devour feasts for no particular reason of hunger (just desire) we may need to hang our heads in shame.
Half of this world is obese and the other half is hungry. Thus, we need to understand that sense of balance, harmony with nature and faith in our Creator. This Source where we have all come from and where we are all going to go is the guiding force towards this great fuel for our bodies with no scope whatsoever of linking its consumption to any form of desire, be it for reasons of pleasure or pain. But, yes, always enjoying what you eat with a sense of gratitude gives far more satisfaction than repeated cravings which have a characteristic of being endless in nature.
Food is our need but our raison d’être is probably deeper than just to eat it.

About Shaloo Dogra

Shaloo Dogra is a wellness coach and director at Epicurean Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd. in Gurgaon, India. She has been part of the hospitality industry for almost 20 years providing food solutions to industries, institutions and for events. She is dedicated to structured consultation for individuals for fitness, nutrition, intermediate level yoga and meditation. For more on this, please see her website: www.shaloodogra.com She is married to Rajat Dogra and has two wonderful boys aged 16 and 13.
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