In Eastern Medicine, foods are known to have energetic qualities. They are described using temperatures, tastes, and actions they have on the body, rather than by nutritional content, fat, protein, or calories. So for instance, if a person is “hot” in nature they need to be consuming “cooling” foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, yogurt. When somebody has a cold coming on and they are feverish it is recommended to eat foods that promote sweating to open the pores and cool the body that way. Foods such as scallions, ginger, garlic. This is why you often find regions that are very hot, the food consumed is spicy!
There are a few bits of advice that we feel are important for everyone:
1. Eat foods that are whole, in season, and local when possible.
-This means, stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store and shop the outer rim. You want to avoid packaged foods. We want our foods to be alive with energy to nourish us.
- Foods that are currently being harvested are the foods that your body needs to self regulate. It is no surprise that Watermelon is best in the summer because it aids in keeping your body temperature cool.
-Find foods that are growing locally. Not only are the foods grown in your area traveling and aging less but they are more likely what your body energetically needs because you are IN that environment. Nature provides us with what we need. We have foods shipped from all over the world, its no wonder our bodies are confused. Try to find local farmers market or join a CSA like GoFarm.
2. Be mindful when you eat
-Don’t watch tv or look at your phone while eating. Try to slow down, chew slowly, smell your foods, taste your foods and this will open your body up to receiving the food and deriving the most nutritional value out of it. Check in with your posture, are you relaxed? Are you chewing your food enough so that your stomach doesn’t have to expend all its energy churning up big bites that your saliva and teeth were supposed to have already worked on breaking down.
-Try to be aware if you are full. You don’t want to eat so much that all you think about is laying down after your meal.
-Meal time is just that, a time for eating. Avoid drinking too much because it slows digestion down. Try sipping on warm tea if needed.
3. Enjoy your food
-Enjoy the process. Try to make time for cooking so that you can get into the art of it.
-Feed your senses. Make your food visibly appealing, mix in different colors, textures and tastes. Ever wonder why fine dining restaurants are so big on presentation. It is an art form and we are energetically nourished by our food through our senses.
-Don’t force yourself to eat something because it is “healthy”. Our body will reject it if our minds and senses are rejecting it.
-Eating healthy is a lifestyle change. We will come and go in our discipline and this is ok. Flexibility and self-love is important in this process.
-If you decide one day you really want that slice of chocolate cake and you don’t have any major sensitivities to it, by all means EAT THE CAKE. Life is to enjoy, food is to enjoy. One slice of cake isn’t going to cause illness in general. It’s the cumulative choices we make that add up to a big picture that we want to look good. Not one choice. If that chocolate cake slice nourishes your soul and its not going to set you back then it is a good choice for you. Our spirit needs to be nourished too.
Food truly is the number one way we feed our bodies. If we want to achieve health, then it is important that we eat healthy! So remember eat REAL foods, be mindful, Enjoy the process and moderation is key.