When was the last time you ate some “cheerful” food? Something that made you smile and feel good inside? With our culture’s emphasis on dieting, we tend to think of foods in terms of good or bad, fat grams and calories, vitamins and minerals. But there is another powerful element to food—how it makes us feel.
Why is it that in the summer we crave sweet, juicy fruit? Not only does fruit’s cooling properties help us feel refreshed, but the energetics of fruit is also very uplifting. Many fruits grow high up on trees close to the sun, soaking up the rays all day long. When we eat them, it’s like taking a bite of sunshine. Compare that with taking a vitamin C tablet. The tablet was created in a laboratory and produced in a factory. The energy in a tablet isn’t alive the way the energy in an orange is. The orange spent its lifetime absorbing the sun during the day and the moon and stars at night. It contains rain, fresh air, and the humming of bees. When we eat an orange, we absorb all those elements. This is not to say that taking vitamins is not healthy, or helpful; it is just pointing out that there is an energetic difference between tablets and growing food.
Let’s take another example—an oatmeal raisin cookie. You could eat an oatmeal raisin cookie sold in a gas station. Or you could eat an oatmeal raisin cookie made at home by your grandmother. What is the difference between these two? The motivation behind creating the gas station cookie was to make profit. The makers of that cookie thought about how to make the cookie cheaply and efficiently, with a taste that would appeal to the general public. They used marketing schemes and product placement to increase sales and spent a lot of money on packaging and distribution. Probably they used the cheapest ingredients they could get away with and mass-produced the cookies in a factory. Is there love in that food?
A cookie made for you by your grandmother has a totally different energy in it. Your grandmother loves you and thought of you while she was making the cookies by hand. As she mixed the batter and stirred in the raisins, she hoped that by sharing these cookies with you, it would bring a smile to your face. Maybe it was a recipe handed down from her grandmother. Maybe she was making those cookies because she knew they were your favorite. There is a loving and caring energy in the food, as well as human warmth and connection. Even though scientifically a cookie might not be considered the most healthy thing, we’ve all experienced the “love” elements in food that nourish us, despite their nutritional profile.
When people slow down to become aware of the energy in their food, they often notice that they feel ugly or fat after eating a cheap, processed food. Sometimes the feeling is so uncomfortable they reach for more of the same food, trying to derive the pleasure from it that God meant for us to experience when we are eating. They report that they don’t feel the same way after eating a home-cooked food. Have you ever experienced this?
For the next few weeks, notice the energy that is coming from your food. Make a conscious choice about whether that energy is something you want to take in and make a part of you. As one interesting quote goes, “We are walking food.”
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Mango Blueberry Sorbet
- 1 bag frozen mango
- 1 bag frozen blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon agave syrup or honey
- 1 cup apple juice
1. Put all ingredients into a blender.
2. Blend until creamy, about one minute. You may have to scrape down the sides of the machine a few times.
3. Serve immediately.
Place the rest in a Tupperware container in the freezer to enjoy later.
• You can use any frozen fruit you like or freeze fresh fruit such as bananas and strawberries.
• Use almond, soy, or dairy milk instead of apple juice to make sherbet.
Written by ChiYun Breland, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a certified Holistic Health Counselor. She has also completed a course at the French Culinary Institute in Culinary Techniques.