Sometimes, there's so much focus on the 'physical' aspects of the food we eat, and the water we drink, and the other things that we ingest and take in from our environment, that it's very easy for us to lose the bigger picture behind it all.
The bigger picture, especially for a Jew, is that the world, and everything in it, is made up of Divine Energy. We eat things in order to release the energy inherent in that food, or drink, or whatever it is, which in turn gives us the renewed energy we need to get on with our day and our lives.
Each food's energy has its own particular vibration. An apple, for example, will resonate with and complement most people's own energy patterns pretty well. A Big Mac, for example, will disrupt and upset most people's own energy patterns pretty drastically.
That's why most 'healthy' foods give most people a good feeling and more energy, and why most 'unhealthy' foods do the exact opposite. So far so good, and the natural eating people have been telling us all this for years.
But as Jews, there's another, even more important facet to the 'food/energy' equation, and that's called 'making a blessing'. (Clearly, I'm making the assumption that we're talking about kosher food here. If the food isn't kosher, its energy simply won't resonate properly with a Jewish neshama, however 'healthy' it may be in every other way.)
Let me quote you something from Connections, a great book on Jewish psychology by Efim Svirsky, in a chapter called 'Food as a means for changing the world': "If a person's body lacks some ferment that helps him to digest certain foods, then his food will pass through his digestive tract and not provide him with any nutritional value…The same thing happens with spiritual energy: If we only consume the food, we just receive the physical energy from it and not the spiritual…
"To activate the spiritual energy present in food, we need to say the appropriate blessing before eating it."
Along the same lines, a friend of mine told that she'd just read that if a person ate a food that wasn't so good for them, health-wise, they could undo a lot of the damage, simply by making the appropriate blessing after the food.
I'm sure I'll come back to this topic again in the future (and again and again and again) - but it's such an important point, it bears repeating: so many of us get 'stuck' on the physical aspects of our food, and of our environment, that we lose sight of the fact that energy is all there is.
A Jew who is fastidiously eating their sprouts and chanting their mantras and drinking their very rare filtered water from a Tibetan spring is still receiving zero spiritual energy from their diet, if they aren't making the appropriate blessings on the food, and elevating its spiritual energy back to the Source, namely, G-d.
Sooner or later, a soul that's starved of spiritual energy will wither away and dry up, causing that person all sorts of spiritual, mental and physical problems, G-d forbid.
To make the same point in a different way, let me tell you about another conversation I was having with another friend, who's been on a gluten-free diet for a year now, and is feeling much more energetic, as a result. They were telling me about this family they know, the latest link in a chain of many unbroken generations of sincere, G-d fearing, emuna-dik Jews.
The spiritual energy in this family is incredibly strong, and has been sustained for centuries. But their diet is terrible - non-stop pizza, coke, falafel and chips. Yet the whole family, even the grown-ups, are still in the best of health, and still have tremendous energy, verve and 'zip'.
One answer could well be that when a Jew has inherited a lot of spiritual energy, and is maintaining that energy in their own lives, the physical energy they get from their diets really doesn't matter that much. It really doesn't affect them.
I don't have that spiritual advantage, so I have to be much more careful about the physical food that I eat. But it makes the point very clearly that for a Jew, what we eat is really only half the story. How we eat it - with blessings, with gratitude, with self-love and a healthy attitude - will also go a very long way to determining how much energy that food will really give us, how 'healthy' it really will be for us, long-term, and whether it really will be a blessing for us, or not.