You Are What You Eat

These days I am trying to get my daughters to eat better food than the usual kid fare of mac ‘n’ cheese, hotdogs, and chicken nuggets.  I’ve been mindful of how many carbohydrates they eat, how much protein, the variety of vitamin-rich foods, and so on.

Not long ago I took my older daughter to a talk given by a nutritionist, sponsored by the local girls’ running group.  She said something that has stuck with me as I’ve been planning our meals: if you don’t get the food your body needs, you’ll crave the wrong things like sugar and salt and fat.  Eat right, she said, and the cravings will disappear.  (I’ve started testing that theory in real life.  So far, fewer tantrums, sugar highs and crashes, better sleeping, and so on.  And yes, I’m talking about myself.)

In light of all this, I have approached the Solemnity of Corpus Christi with new eyes. The Eucharist is our food for eternal life.  I think of this not as something out there in the distant future, but rather as a way of living in the here and now.  Lacking this food, our spirit reaches out for wrong cravings: power and wealth and honors and all the rest.  With this food, we become more and more capable of living eternal life.  We become what we eat, though in the way opposite to eating.  Instead of the food becoming part of us, we become part of the Body of Christ.  We become what we eat.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rawlings through Flickr.  Used under a Creative Commons License.


  1. That is very Ignatian! Didn’t he start out with imaginative ‘junk food’ and end up by feeding his mind with more lasting and generative imagery?


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