“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” – Adelle Davis
Eating is an act that no human being can truly escape. We eat throughout the day, many times per day, taking in thousands of pounds of food on every year. One way to view eating is simply an act that provides the body with energy to do work. Another aspect is what we eat and how we eat is anchored more deeply into providing insight as to what in our lives needs healing. Even though I am a nutritionist that has been trained to look at food as calories, what I have discovered is that foods and eating are doorways to our personal growth. When someone tells me about their eating, I immediately see the connection to the rest of their lives.
This concept may seem far-fetched, but let me give you some examples:
- Jean eats convenient foods and can’t find time to prepare meals. A common theme in her life is that she is always on the run. She never has time for anything she really wants to do, including looking after herself. Her healing process involved taking a look at what she was running from – and asking the question: where does my focus need to be, and what do I need to make time for?
- Jim binges on sweet foods. He also talks about how his life feels lackluster and that he never quite “gets around” to having some joy and fun? Looking from the outside in, maybe his life doesn’t seem so “sweet” so he needs to get it from other places like donuts and candy. He also feels that he can never make sweetness last in his life – something always stands in the way – ultimately leading him to binge.
Since we eat so often, it becomes only logical that our food choices and eating practices start to intermingle with our lives. Therefore, to get some insight on your life, you can begin by looking at how and what you eat. There are 7 Systems of Health that may require healing which correlate to the foods we choose and how we eat:
(1) ROOT: Do you have some “fear” around eating – whether not wanting to eat because you don’t know what to eat, or distrusting your bodies’ messages about eating? Do you have difficulty with family traditions around eating and struggle to eat in the presence of a community? By letting go of protecting ourselves with food or of any fear of eating, we open up our ability to trust and feel safe. Eating with others in community is healing for this part of us. Foods for grounding and protection: Protein, minerals, root vegetables, edible and medicinal mushrooms, red-colored foods (apples, pomegranates, etc.)
(2) FLOW: It has been estimated that most people overeat for emotional reasons. Have you found that it is more comfortable to stuff your emotions with food rather than expressing them? Emotions are the juice of creativity so when we let our emotions flow, our creativity moves through us. By taking time to create meals, we allow for more movement within, which can ultimately spark our emotional strings. Making meals and sharing with another person can also help to restore flow. Try these foods for flow and feelings: Fats and oils (especially omega-3s), fish, tropical fruits, seeds, nuts, orange-colored foods (oranges, tangerines, carrots, etc.)
(3) FIRE: Where do we put our energy? Do we give it away to foods that have power over us? Do we deplete our physical bodies by ingesting anti-nutrition (foods that take away and don’t “give” anything) like soft drinks and artificial sweeteners? We can reclaim our power and energy by eating more frequently through the day, and eating foods that sustain our energy like low glycemic carbohydrates. Foods for power and transformation include: Complex carbohydrates, fiber, whole grains, legumes, yellow-colored foods (yellow sweet peppers, yellow lentils, corn, etc.)
(4) LOVE: Rather than allowing love to flow from our hearts in an unconditional way, do we substitute by feeding others food? Do we use food as the only way of showing love? Are we able to give and receive love in a healthy way? We can embrace love in our lives by sharing our food with others, being grateful for foods, donating to food banks, and infusing love into our food and water. Add in these foods for love and compassion: Vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and leafy greens), sprouts, raw foods, foods rich in chlorophyll, any green-colored foods
(5) TRUTH: Do you convey mixed messages about foods – saying yes when you mean no? Do you become a victim to your environment when it comes to eating, unable to stand up for what you need? Do you find yourself gulping your food down or talking while eating? We can uphold truth in our lives by honoring our bodies’ choices at a deep level. By eating mindfully, we communicate to our bodies that we give it the utmost attention. Great foods for communication and truth include: Seaplants, soups, sauces, juices, fruits
(6) INSIGHT: How do you listen to your intuition? If you have a strong sense that you need to eat foods or exercise, do you act or do you let something else stand in the way? Do you keep your mind and moods on overdrive with foods like caffeine and alcohol? We can heed our internal insight by taking time to listen deeply within. Respecting your mind by taking care not to push its limit with external substances is one way to enable your intuition to be heard. Include these foods for intuition and insight in your diet: Spices, tea, purple-red foods (purple potatoes, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, etc.)
(7) SPIRIT: Do you feel interconnected with all of life? Or do you feel that you are longing for deeper meaning and connection with others and nature? Do you feel severed from something greater than yourself? One way to repair your connection with life is by seeing eating as a divine act that connects you with the lineage of field, farmer, grocer, and cook. Using foods as a symbol of connection can help us to connect to that which is sacred and deep. Test out these “foods” for unification and interconnection: Sunlight, air, love.
Topic: Whole Detox: How to Cleanse, Nourish, and Thrive in a Colorful Life
Date: Friday, March 18th
Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Book Signing: Friday, March 18th @ 3:30 PM