What does food mean to you? Do you live to eat or eat to live?
To me, it means finding the right food that will nourish your physical body (down to the cellular level), your mind (food that takes care of our emotions) and soul (vibrations and energies of food).
Hmmm… that sounds rather deep. But don’t worry, we will cover these areas in more detail below.
So, let’s tackle a few questions before we proceed.
How was your meal today? Did you enjoy it? Do you remember what you ate, its taste and texture?
Could you feel the effort taken by the chefs preparing your meal for you? The love that they put in?
Perhaps you have answers, perhaps you may not. It doesn’t matter too much at this point in time. Let’s move on.
Food and our physical body
We usually only take note of the physical attributes of Nutrition and how it feeds our body. Addressing our hunger pangs, making sure we have our Proteins to build our muscles, Carbohydrates to fuel our day, good Fats to maximise our brain functions and all the vitamins and minerals that help our body function more effectively.
How many of you like to go “Food Hunting”? or do an occasional foodie road trip? I love a good food trip too! I can let you in on my favourite haunts for seafood, hokkien mee and Yau Cha Kwai. But that is a conversation for another day.
These are the part of food that fulfils our physical need (feeding the body).
In our daily run to meet our physical needs, we tend to forsake the emotional and spiritual attributes that Nutrition has for us.
So what is this emotional and spiritual attribute that we are talking about?
Food and our emotional body
Take a moment and think about this – “How you experience food is how you experience life”
Have you ever noticed how your mood directs your food?
- When you feel sad or lonely, do you wolf down a slab of chocolate or yearn for that rich chocolate cake? Don’t you feel much more lifted after thoroughly enjoying it?
- Did you know that the craving for potato chips has a meaning? It could be a cry of validation. With every crunch, it’s a cry of “hey, look at me!” or perhaps, Frustration – we are angry and want to “snap” back at someone, but feel restrained so we crunch away instead.
Go back and observe these cravings.
Our food cravings are usually signs/messages from our intuition communicating to us that our basic emotional needs are not being met. Perhaps it’s a need for comfort, touch, love, support, validation and connections. These messages relate to whether we are forsaking our emotions.
How do we address them?
Sit down, listen to yourself and uncover what you are needing and then filling these emotions yourself or reaching out to someone for support.
Once you start to nourish yourself emotionally, you will find the food cravings will drop off.
When you start listening to yourself, it is the first step to being aware.
Food and your spiritual body
How are you feeling after your lunch? Energized? Tired?
Every living thing on earth obtains its energy from the Universe – sun, moon, earth, water, air. Plants from sun, moon, earth, water and air. Animals from sun, water, air, plants and/or other animals. Humans – well, you get the picture.
When we consume food, we are consuming the energies that the Universe has blessed us.
So, we have a choice when we consume food. Are we consuming the food that gives us energies that nourishes us or are we eating low energy food.
What is low energy/prana food and what is nourishing food?
Low energy foods are low quality food or food that has gone through high volumes of processing.
Nourishing food or high prana are are fresh, whole foods. Foods that are grown or raised and are unprocessed. Noodles is a lot different than wheat. Similarly, peanut butter vs peanuts.
Another interesting thing about prana is that there is a correlation between the quality of the food and when it’s grown and processed. Soil rich in microbes, that’s left on the plant until it’s ripe, that’s picked by loving hands and transported safely will have more prana than a fruit that’s been grown in poor soil, picked when it’s still green and shipped and stored for a month under refrigeration.
In this way, protecting our prana is about protecting the environment. Nurturing our positive energy relies on us nurturing the positive energy in the world around us. Something we can all learn from.
Another practice that we can apply is the practice of gratitude. Many cultures practice giving thanks for the food on the table, this practice is to allow us to practice gratitude for the blessings (in the form of food) that we receive.
Homo sapiens were mostly fruits and vegetable scavengers and had very little opportunity to eat meat. In that rare occasion that meat was available, homo sapiens were noted to have given thanks to the animal for giving up its life to nurture the homo sapiens.
This is a practice that follows closely to the circle of life, where everyone and everything works in harmony to nurture each other. Therefore, it is also a good practice for us to give thanks for the food that we are served with and for the animal that have given up its life for us.
Food and our 5 senses
How in tune are we to our sense of taste? Do we take time, slow down, and just be, just enjoy the food that is present before us. To take in all the wonders of the food and how it sustains our physical needs, our emotional needs and our spiritual needs.
Let’s do an exercise. Follow the instructions and observe.
- Grab a glass of water and hold it with both hands
- In your heart or saying it out softly. Lovingly and wholeheartedly say these words “Thank you for purifying and cleansing my body and working for my highest good and the highest good of all.”Feel the energy of your words get lovingly transformed to the water.
- Now, be aware of the sensations in your mouth. Feel every part of your mouth tingle as you sensitize your senses. Can you feel the flow of your saliva? Is it dry?
- Now bring the glass of water closer to you.
- Observe how the water fills the cup.
- Smell the water, what do you feel? How does it affect you? Do you feel any small changes to your body, your mouth, your throat? Take a few deep breaths to feel it.
- Now, when you are ready, drink a gulp of water. Leave it in your mouth, roll it inside your mouth and feel the water fill every corner of your mouth, drenching your tongue and the walls of your mouth. Do you feel the water flowing across your teeth?
- When you are ready, you can now swallow the water. As you swallow, feel the water slide down your throat, can you feel its temperature, how does it feel as it goes to your tummy. Drink a feel more times to feel the sensations. Listen to your body, can you feel the cells from the center of your body fill up with the freshness of the water…. Does it feel that your thirst has been quenched.
- Now take a moment and observe. You may repeat the process to get better clarity.
How did you find the exercise? Let me know your comments.
Now, this exercise you can practice it on the food you eat too. Tonight, as you go for your next meal, remember, take time to give thanks to the food before you, be aware of the food that you eat and
feel/taste the food that you eat. You will notice the difference in the experience and the impact of how food affects you daily.
Blog post courtesy of Jeannie Lee