Want To Deepen Your Meditation Practice? Here's What You Should Eat First
As a certified functional medicine health coach, a student of Ayurveda and the psychology of eating, I've always been a fan of different ways to fuel up. And recently, I've been especially interested in what types of foods can fuel my meditation practice so I can have deeper, more-meaningful meditations.
The goal for premeditation eating is to consume foods that enable a connection to a calm mind. Every bite is an opportunity for you to connect more deeply to yourself, your current human experience, and those around you. The food you eat should nourish your mind, body, and soul, and it should deeply marry the three in a contemplative practice. Below, you'll find a few meal ideas for you to consume before intentional meditation or sacred ceremony. The key is to keep it light, local, and connected to highest good for yourself and the energy around you.
First things first: Fasting is essential for a still morning meditation practice. When you consume foods, your metabolism wakes up and starts its work breaking down the eats to nourish the body. This takes great energy away from the actual meditation practice. When we meditate in a fasted state, the mind is relaxed, simply greeting the day light, still and quiet. If you wake up hungry, try having a couple sips of room-temperature water with lemon or a swig of low-sugar kombucha.
If you absolutely feel the need to eat before morning meditation, here are some super-simple go-to recipe ideas.
Meditative green smoothie.
Combine three pitted dates with parsley, spinach, and blueberries in a blender with a cup of unsweetened almond milk and a cup of water. This light anti-inflammation smoothie awakens the digestive system just enough to welcome a meaningful morning meditation. This smoothie is best before yoga or a more active meditation routine. Leave about 30-60 minutes in between consumption of the smoothie and your meditation.
Divine fem red juice.
In a juicer, combine a handful of beets, a sliver of ginger, one carrot and one honey crisp (or sweet) apple. This healing red juice honors the feminine, helping us step into our nourishing (possibly archetypal mother or wild woman) pre-meditation. You can consume this right before the meditation practice.
What I do in the morning, especially while traveling, is take a turmeric shot before my morning meditation. I have stocked up on turmeric from my travels, and purchasing this antioxidant brain booster is affordable all over the world. Pour yourself a glass of water, throw in a half tablespoon of turmeric, and swish it back. Cheers!
My naturopathic doctor, Dr. Stacie Han, offers further insight: “I would suggest eating mainly plant-based foods and avoiding kapha foods: Refined sugar, fried foods that can drag down energy and promote wanting to take a nap instead. Warming soups and stews, vegetable-centered dishes would be ideal.” Especially if you live in a cold place, warm yourself inside out with hot foods. More of an evening meditator? Here are some ideas for you.
Soak lentils for three to six hours in full-fat coconut milk. When soft, boil the lentils and add a spoonful of turmeric, coconut oil and/or ghee. I also add zatar (a Middle Eastern spice). This grounding meal is something I enjoy before a deeply contemplative meditation, perhaps with a candle gazing or other mindfulness practice.
In a blender, combine two handfuls of basil (I use Gotham Greens) and half cup of walnuts, two to three cups of spinach and four juicy garlic cloves. Add a splash of almond or oat milk plus a half cup of water to add thickness. Add sea salt to taste. I typically eat this pesto with cauliflower rice or with ancient harvest noodles. This meal is best for an evening meditation when preparing for rest and relaxation.
When it comes to nourishment in both spiritual practices, all religions and in positive psychology, we share gratitude for our food. May this mantra and meditation below serve you. Embody the feeling of gratitude. Sit in this grateful state and recite these words at least once.
Mantra: This food nourishes me.
For more information on how to meditate, read up on these 13 really good reasons to meditate every single day.