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One of the main reasons I adore brown basmati rice so much is because of its wonderful perfume, an aroma which is said to be good to encourage house-buyers if you have a pot of basmati rice cooking when they look round. Yet this is not just an external, cosmetic thing. The aroma of something you eat doesn't go away once in your stomach. Although you yourself don't notice because you are bathed in it, the aroma you exude remains perceptible to others (animals are especially aware of it). People may not be consciously aware that, "Oh, he's had oranges for breakfast", or "Her stomach is in disarray", but their instinctive 'animal' nature will react. I believe this is why some people tend to 'clash' sometimes - their inner souls are in conflict, while their conscious minds just feel uneasy in the other's presence. This also explains why sharing a meal with someone is a great way to win their trust/kinship.

Perfume is not something taken too seriously in our culture, except in the lucrative (fake) world of body sprays, eau de toilette, aftershave and deodorants. Where these products aim to cover up the smell of the body, I would prefer that the body smell better in the the first place. This is only possible when digestion is working well.

For this reason I cannot bear to eat oats, peanuts, cashews, eggs, milk or chocolate, solely because of their aroma. They may smell and taste great, but once eaten, soon become repulsive (I don't know how or why, this is just my experience). Being repulsed by something inside you is not pleasant, and leads to low self-esteem. Besides, one cannot achieve contact with one's higher spirit unless one's physical body can provide a pleasant dwelling place.

We need to be in contact with our bodies. It is very important to listen to your body, to feel what your stomach wishes to eat, and to connect with any food before you ingest it.

All dietetic needs of our body thus announce themselves in a versatile language of their own, and he who has learned to interpret that language, nor willfully disregards its just appeals, may avoid all digestive disorders--not by fasting if he is hungry, or forcing food upon his protesting stomach, not by convulsing his bowels with nauseous drugs, but by quietly following the guidance of his instincts.

- Felix L. Oswald

Indeed, if conditions are not conducive to a happy atmosphere, then digestion will be adversely affected. Any stress you're feeling has the potential to upset your stomach, so don't eat unless you are relaxed. And take your time; savour each bite. Sit down and make each meal special; digestion doesn't work standing up or lying down. Concentrate on what you are ingesting; don't talk, read the paper or watch TV.

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© copyright Malcolm Smith 2002-04-10 - last updated 2003-02-25 - links verified 2004-02-01