Food Energetics: What It Is + Why You Should Care
Suppose I told you that choosing foods for their physical nutritional benefits, although important, is just the beginning. Call me crazy, but I'd like you to consider the idea that what you eat can affect you on a spiritual and emotional level. Have you ever experienced an afternoon slump and then felt re-energized from a fresh green juice? Have you ever had a long, stressful day but felt comforted by a hearty and warm vegetable stew? If so, you've had some direct experience with the energetic power of food.
As a health and life transformation coach, my clients are often concerned about food quality. I'm often asked questions like "Should I be eating organic?" or "Where do I get high-quality meat and dairy?" These are great questions but only part of the bigger equation. I guide clients to establishing their own definition of what is healthy for them—something that requires conscious, careful observation.
Once you begin to exercise your body awareness muscle, you'll connect the way you feel with the food you eat and begin to notice changes in your mental, emotional, and spiritual states.
Let's go beyond physical nutrition.
Steve Gagne writes in his book that, "Food energetics is about true knowledge, the knowledge that foods impart to you when you eat and experience them. Not the information and data of lab analysis or nutrition textbooks, but the core experience of food, no fads and no nonsense." I can relate to this knowledge and have directly experienced it within my own body, mind, and spirit while experimenting with different foods. I've found that the foods I desire (and ultimately choose) depend on my mood, current physical health, environment, culture, values, personality, and reaction to fear. A cycle is created as the foods I choose affect my mood, current physical health, emotional state and spiritual connection, which in turn, affect my food choices in the next moment.
As Steve Gagne goes on to say in his book, "Food affects the quality of your blood, which in turn affects your nervous system, which affects your brain—the organ that manifests thinking and records your reality." In short, food can affect every aspect of your being.
Understanding the energy of food requires you to be present.
According to the theory of food energetics, all types of food have their own energy or vibration and it just takes a little thoughtfulness and attention to see the connection. It also helps to look at the food in its' natural state. Take carrots for example. They grow into the ground and thus can bring a sense of stability into your energy field and your body. I've noticed that when I'm anxious I often crave root vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, and carrots as my body is craving balance and calm. Another example is beans or legumes, which have the ability to store for long periods of time (once dried); they can impart a calm, relaxed, and balanced energetic quality to the eater.
I've seen how incorporating the concept of food energetics into my dietary habits and daily life has enhanced my health and overall well-being. Below, I've outlined five ways you can use food energetics to balance your body and your mind:
Five ways to use food energetic to balance your body and mind:
1. Look for quality.
No matter what you eat, choose the best quality that you can. Choose natural, unprocessed, organic, and biodynamic foods.
2. Connect with where your food comes from.
If you can, eat foods you grow yourself. If you don't have a garden, try visiting a farm or farmers market and see the food you eat in the ground.
3. Pay attention to your body.
Experiment with a variety of different foods and notice how your body feels afterward. Track your thoughts and sensations in a food diary to learn what foods work for your body.
4. Mix up your routine.
Mix up your dietary regimen often and keep a wide variety of vegetables, proteins, fats, and oils in your daily diet.
5. Eat foods in their natural state.
Ensure that most of your diet consists of natural, traditional foods, or foods that are in their natural state. Reduce all "substitute foods" or processed, food-like substances from your diet (think anything with a label).