Last week I introduced the concept of food energetics, and today I would like to explore this further. Most people think of food in terms of micro and macro nutrients, with some preferring to eat a diet high in fat and low carbohydrate or alternatively choosing to eat a paleo diet or any other diet trend. With food energetics however we are focused on nourishing ourselves.
Looking at the nutrient profile of a food is a relatively modern approach to determining it’s healthiness, and consuming the ‘right’ foods in order to get specific nutrients is not always the best approach, for instance drinking milk for calcium hardly outweighs the negatives of pasteurisation, homogenisation or lactose intolerance. Today nutrition is concerned more about the individual components that make up a food, rendering the food itself of little importance. You are more than just yur individual genes, and who you surround yourself with and the environment in which you live effect your energy, and it is the same with food. Foods work together synergistically and are dependent on each other for nutritional support and health / healing is only possible with balanced overall nutrition. Foods can activate our metabolism,or slow us down; some foods generate warmth others cool; some foods are moistening, some drying; some nourish our kidneys, others our liver or heart.
“When you take an active role in bringing different foods together – whether combined in one recipe or organised into a complete meal – you are the director of what will happen and how, on an energetic level.” Steve Gagne
Traditionally we knew how to balance food intuitively, combining activating foods with compliant foods so not to have an over stimulating meal.
Energetics of plants
Vegetable comes from the Latin word vegere, meaning to animate or enliven. Divided basically below into their parts for an overview of their energetics however each can be further subdivided, eg roots can be tubers such as sweet potato or irregular roots such as onion.
- Seeds – energetically correspond to the human nervous system
- Roots – selfless in their role they energetically increase the small intestines ability for absorption and assimilation.
- Leaves – energetically leaves embody light, reaching up and out, absorbing warmth from the sun. Leaves physically affect the lungs, heart and throat, encouraging rhythm, oxygenation, are slightly cooling and energetically stimulate the mental processes of imagination, openness, creativity and spiritual awareness.
- Flowers – embodying the beauty and magic of transformation edible flowers contribute to creativity.
An interesting look at the night shades
Night shades are unusual plants and have been considered poisonous. They are highly animated during the cool night hours, are not very social, doing best on their own away from other vegetables or among their own kind. All of these traits suggest interesting behavioural energetics if eaten. Excess can contribute to
- Physical & mental weakness ( they are weak and fragile plants without a central core)
- Premature ageing
- Gray complexion and sagging skin
- Physical & emotional coldness
- Poor circulation & joint stiffness
- A preference for late night activities
- A strong desire for flesh & blood (craving for animal foods) symbolically meaning the person craves attention often manifesting as emotional vampirism
Examples of night shades include the potato, which when overconsumed creates a sluggish, weak person with little spirit; the tomato, which contributes to arthritis, a dry cold constitution and thining of the skin.
Energetics of Meat
There are many different types of meat and each will effect your muscle tissue in a unique way when consumed. Beef will contribute to hotter, fuller, harder and denser tissue than chicken which contributes to a tight, dry, warm, spastic effect. Fish creates a weak, flaccid and cool tissue, apart from salmon and tuna which are warming. Neither type of meat is better or worse than the other, each provides benefit and drawbacks depending on the person, you decide what is best for your temperament. When choosing animal foods it is important to consider the hidden qualities that can’t be seen but can be known, which include all the experiences of each animal in its environment. These experiences are recorded in the nervous system and cells of the animal and contribute to the quality of the food. Supporting natural and pastural farming as much as possible and avoid the alternatives.
The more we are aware of our food, in relation to where it comes from and how it grows, the better we will be at understanding our food and the part it plays in our lives and health. In the words of Marc David, “For in changing the way we eat, we change the way we live. By focusing our attention while eating, we learn to focus our attention in any situation. By enjoying food, we begin to enjoy nourishment in all its forms. By loosening dietary restrictions, we learn to open up to life.”
Next time will look at the energetics of grain, sea creatures and dairy