Food For The Mind, Body & Soul
Choosing what we eat on a day to day basis can be one of the most effective ways in which we can profoundly influence our health, wellbeing and attitude towards living. When we take care of our physical bodies through good foods, exercise and rest this can help nourish the soul, improve our self-esteem and our outlook on life.
The health of the body can affect the health of the mind and vice versa, so what we eat can affect the quality and function of our minds and dictate whether our minds are noisy and irritated or calm and peaceful. A cleaner, whole food diet can often help us have clearer vision in what we want to achieve or change in our lives and let us know what we love doing – what resonates with our spirit. Our food choices can reflect our state of harmony with ourselves, the world and the Divine. Also when we are happy, joyful and at peace it is easier for use to make positive foods choices.
There are many types of food and Nutrition choices from Macrobiotic, Raw Foods, Vegetarian, Vegan, diets with meat and fish etc. As a Nutritional Therapist I do not dictate if someone should be vegetarian or not but it is important for each of us to eat whatever resonates with our being (but not lots of chocolate bars!) – What feels good for us, what gives us energy, what foods make us feel light?
During our lifetime we may go through different eating patterns and practices such as vegetarian, eating fish and meat, increasing raw foods in our diet and so on. It is important to try to listen to what your body is telling you. Many people on a spiritual path find they can become intolerant to some foods, feel repelled by some foods or more sensitive to some foods such as alcohol and chemicals in foods.
We can often eat foods we are allergic or intolerant to or that are toxic to our bodies and these can give us mental symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, fear, panic , reduced concentration and low mood, as well as physical symptoms. When this happens it is less likely for our minds and spirit to be still and at peace. Also hypoglycaemia – where there is blood sugar highs and lows can dramatically affect the ability of the brain and nervous system to function resulting in again anxiety, panic, reduced concentration and mood to name a few. So good blood sugar control can then make it easier for us to meditate, be at peace and connect with the spirit / Divine.
It is also important to take our nourishment with awareness and gratitude, cook with love and appreciate what we have. Take time to just sit and be and eat. Being calm when we are eating aids digestion, whilst stress and rushing about impair digestion and nutrient uptake.
Eating light foods which are whole and natural and high in minerals should be centred on plenty of fruit and vegetables supplemented with nuts, seeds whole grains such as brown rice, oats, barley and buckwheat, beans, lentils, fish and lean meats, goats and sheep’s dairy produce and occasional eggs.
Eat organic as much as your budget allows as there are more nutrients and much less toxins and chemicals. Also drink plenty water to keep us fluid and flowing, removing wastes and taking nutrients to cells in our body. This will all help with energy flow in the body and keep us light and healthy and more able to connect with the Universal energy.
Avoid or limit as much as possible heavy and congesting foods such as fatty meats, deep fried foods, junk foods, excess alcohol, processed and chemically altered foods, high fat dairy products, excess tea and coffee, sugar and white refined carbohydrates. These foods will congest our bodies and stagnate energy flow, becoming heavy on our bodies, mind and soul. They can make us feel heavy, irritable, toxic and lacking in energy. Many people do a spring time detox to help the body off load toxins that have built up throughout the year.
The Rainbow Diet has an interesting concept where each colour of food links to a different chakra. The natural colours in foods are nature’s way of telling us what nutrients foods have, many of which are called phytonutrients which help prevent disease. You could say that we need to eat the Rainbow diet of all 7 colours to have maximum health. For instance the base chakra relates to red and the Adrenal (stress) glands. If someone wanted more physical energy red foods, of course not in isolation could help. Protein rich foods including meat, fish beans and eggs all fall into the red ray. We also need to balance this with carbohydrates, good fats and green, orange and yellow vegetables.
The earth and our bodies are made from minerals which are catalysts for enzymic reactions in cells and organs of our bodies. Junk and processed foods are devoid of minerals and most people today are mineral deficient. A marked deficiency results in disease and unease. “Minerals are frequencies of light, information and creation for the material world in the Universe in which we live”. Gabriel Cousins – Spiritual Nutrition.
People who improve in both personal awareness and nutrition and who are adequately active are more likely to harmonize emotions efficiently. Also the greater awareness one has, helps break the emotional attachments to food.
Think of the body as a temple for the soul / spirit. Nourish it well to keep our mind clear.
Anne Cross, Nutritional Therapist
BSc Nutritional Medicine
Member BANT (British Association of Nutritional Therapists)
Anne studied Nutritional Medicine for 4 years with the Plaskett Nutritional College / Thames Valley University.
She enjoys seeing clients on a 1:1 basis, writing about Nutrition, doing small workshops and also enjoys supervising student clinics at the College of Natural Medicine in Edinburgh.
Anne also believes that one of the main aspects of Nutritional Therapy is education and empowerment of her clients to help them take control of their own health and wellbeing.
Today to keep up with demands of 21st Century living we need to pay more attention to keep our bodies, minds and spirits well. Our Natural Balance can be disturbed by poor diet, stress, lack of nutrients, infection and negative thoughts etc. Nutritional Therapy is one way we can begin to get this balance back.