I am currently three weeks into my nutrition course at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. One of the new insights I learned from the course material is that of the fours levels of eating. I found the information very insightful, and I want to share it with you here.
Level One: Eating for Pleasure
This level revolves around immediate gratification. An example of Level One eating is consuming coffee and doughnuts for breakfast. Fast, cheap and stimulating food or food products riddle this level. One might eat whatever is “there” or eat something just because you want to. It’s an unconscious way of fueling the body. Typical food choices are soft drinks, ice cream, refined flour products, and sweets. Often one seeks out comfort foods from childhood.
Level Two: Eating for Energy
This level is concerned with blood sugar regulation. Generally speaking, the goal here is to fill up and not have to eat for a while, say 3-4 hours. Many will ingest fast food on the fly. Quickly accessible foods like burgers, tacos, pizza, and chips. Level Two eaters give little thought to where the food has come from, how it is produced whether it is injected with antibiotics, coloring, or artificial flavors. It’s quantity over quality at this level.
Level Three: Eating for Recovery
The inevitable results from Level One and Level Two eating are poor body composition and function, as well as diminished energy, clarity and mood. When someone experiences reduced life quality, some will look for a quick fix; they may turn to diet books or the latest fad where “an expert” has given them advice about food. Sometimes it is only provided in the form of a few chapters, a leaflet, or a You Tube video. Suddenly foods are categorized as good or bad choices. I found this interesting because I have been on many diets, hoping to get the energy or the body I have always wanted often in as little time as possible. Although this way of eating is ok short term, it is not sustainable. Level Three Eating is a more mature approach to diet then Level One and Two, but it can become monotonous and subjective. This restriction may lead to short term improvements but over time can diminish health.
Level Four: Eating for Health®
This level is a lifestyle. Education around what is best for the individual and their local environment, not to mention the planet, is critical. Eating for Health® is a high vibrational way of looking at our nourishment. We naturally take into consideration our tastes, ethnicities, environment, and much more when Eating for Health®. We are on a never ending journey, one in which we embrace food as an instrument of personal healing, with a focus on sharing and growing community.
In the first few chapters of my reading, Dr Ed Bauman founder of the college, outlines the concept of S.O.U.L. food. At Level Four Eating for Health,® we embrace seasonal, organic, unadulterated, and local foods. Where ever you are on your journey to better health and vitality I hope by sharing the four levels of eating as well as the definition of soul food I can inspire you to be more mindful of what you purchase and put on your plate. It isn’t easy to navigate the grocery store these days. So maybe the bulk of our food purchases shouldn’t come from there? Maybe the farmers market should be seeing more of our business? When we consciously buy, prepare and consume our nutrients, it makes differents on so many levels.
“Eating for health is a way of life. It reflects a relationship to food based on consciousness, gratitude, sound science, and positive energy.”
– Dr. Ed Bauman
Bauman, E., Friedlander, J., Bryantsev, N. (2017). Foundations of Nutrition Textbook. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.