Question: My mother is always asking me "Have you eaten today? Have you eaten healthy food?"

Sri Chinmoy: "Have you eaten?" is the right question! The right question is not, "Have you eaten healthy food?" To the end of my life, I will speak ill of so-called healthy food that has no sugar, no salt, no oil and no taste. Too much sugar is not good, I agree. But food also has to give the mind joy.

The mind plays an important role in our physical well-being. People today are turning towards a vegetarian diet because animals eat so much rubbish. But when we eat vegetables, the mind has to feel that we are eating something very solid and nourishing. The mind has to feel that the vegetables have some strength in them. As soon as we think of cauliflower or potato, for example, the mind gets a sense of something solid. But if we think of a leafy vegetable like spinach or cabbage, at that time the mind does not get a feeling of strength. When we think of the leaf-consciousness, all our strength goes away.

The term 'salad', for example, will never give us the feeling of strength, but today everybody is eating salad. The fat man eats salad to lose weight and the thin man eats salad in order not to get fat. Unfortunately, the fat man is still gaining weight! If we want to get the utmost nourishment from salad, immediately from the word itself the idea has to enter into our mind that it is all-nourishing, that it is like a medicine that will cure all diseases.

Even the term 'bread' has real strength in it because down through the centuries bread has represented something very solid to the mind. The same is true of rice. If we say the word 'rice', immediately our whole being is satisfied. When we say 'bread' or 'rice', from head to foot we get some satisfaction. From the soles of our feet to the crown of our head, like an electric current there is the feeling that we are really eating something good. When we say 'bread and butter', the word 'butter' is not adding anything; it adds only fatness! But as soon as we say 'bread', our whole being is immediately nurtured.