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The Heart And Soul Of Food

Food is my last frontier. I’ve been a sugar addict all my life. I feel it’s a milder version of alcoholism. It takes over when I’m sad, depressed, angry, resentful or otherwise grumpy. When I changed my mind, energy and my outlook about food, I began to conquer the last frontier that stood in the way of my health and happiness.

Food is medicine. We have to treat it as such. The way we grow, buy, store, prepare and eat our food matters. Why? Because whole food, the stuff that grows, is energy, like us.

If you’ve been looking for an amazing book about the energy and soul of food, go pick up The Mystic Cookbook by Denise and Meadow Lynn. These amazing ladies teach us this: “Simply put, food is much more than, well, just food. It’s surprising, but it’s true; you really can eat your way to a deliciously enlightened life! When we think of a spiritual path, we often envision meditation, yoga, fasting, chanting, or prayer. We don’t usually consider our everyday meals as a potential gateway to mystical transformation. Yet the food you eat and your approach to it can be one of the most powerful pathways to spiritual renewal.”

I learned this first hand after attending a writing retreat in Montana, where all of our meals were prepared by someone who put this kind of love into them. Not only were the colors and flavors out of this world, the energy of the food was palpable. Every evening as we gathered for our dinner, we joined in a blessing that honored everything about the food we were about to eat from the people who grew it to the stores who sold it. I was so in love with this ritual that I brought it home to my otherwise grace-less dinner table and began to infuse my home with a new attitude.

Discovering the heart and soul of food takes a couple things. Slowing down is the first one. Unless we slow ourselves, our minds and our to do lists down and really reflect on our choices about the food we buy, prepare and eat, it will never feel good. It will feel rushed. A burden. Like something else we have to get done.

I realized that my awareness was what was changing everything for the better. Awareness was the key to feeling the energy associated with what I ate. When I really put my intention into this I know instantly if something is good or bad for me. And this focused awareness can be used for everything in life, not just food.

Without a mindful presence food becomes just another thing you must fit into your day to survive. With mindful presence food becomes a gift. Which would you rather have?

As soon as I realized that my awareness counted for food, just like it mattered when I was treating my clients or helping my kids with their homework, I knew that I had one of the answers to improving my health. I also had a tool to help my family improve theirs.

Here are 9 ways to slow down and make food a gift to your soul:

  1. Slow way down and use your senses. See, smell, and touch your food before you put it to your lips. Let yourself appreciate the nourishment that you are about to receive.
  2. Bite, sip and chew slowly. Not only is this practice super great for your digestion, it will allow you to actually taste and feel the flavors of your food.
  3. Sit down when you eat. Stop multitasking your meals. Pick one event – your meal – and focus on that and only that. If you can’t do that for all your meals during the day, at least do it for one.
  4. Practice gratitude. When you come at food with pure gratitude it changes the energy of your meal. Be thankful for the food you have, for where it came from, how it was grown, the work that went into harvesting it, and the energy it took to bring it to your plate. If someone else is preparing it for you, thank them.
  5. When you are preparing your food, do it with love. Your energy will effect your food. The care you put into mixing, chopping, kneading, baking or cooking matters. Notice how you feel when you are cooking. Observe the sensations, thoughts, feelings and emotions you are having as you cook. See what you notice.
  6. Use a food journal. When you write down what you eat and include other things like how you feel, what exercise you did that day, your mood, other events, you will quickly see where
    how food is effecting you. A journal can be a great awareness tool.
  7. Be aware of any negative beliefs you have about food. The Mystic Cookbook gals remind us that we may have many old, negative beliefs that come from family, friends, religion, heritage or popular culture. They ask us to be awake to our own beliefs and where they may have come from. And then we can ask the question, “Is this really true?”
  8. Pin ItBegin to look at food as a way to help you heal. When you see food as medicine you begin to realize just what it is doing to you, good or bad. It takes a lot of awareness to stop before the cookie reaches your mouth and ask yourself if you are going to benefit from that choice. But this kind of awareness is the only way to make a change. The awareness is the key.
  9. You know it, now do it. You can practice the fiercest awareness and still make choices that don’t serve your goals for health and wellness. So now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Start thinking, believing and especially acting in ways that serve your goals for peak health, wellness, energy and joy.

Table Of Contents

Katherine Hurst
By Laura Di Franco
Laura Di Franco, MPT is a holistic physical therapist, published author, poet, blogger and black belt with over two decades of experience in healing. Her transformational programs combine the empowering tools of body awareness and therapeutic writing to help you learn the language of your intuition and gain the clarity you crave for your life and business. Laura’s enthusiasm is contagious and the spark that’ll inspire you to make the change you’ve been afraid to make. She’s the sherpa you’ve been looking for!

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