When we think about food, we usually think about how the food will affect our bodies, our weight, or our digestion. Food is also medicinal for our moods and energetic state. The latter may feel far more subtle.
Let me offer you some simple insights and suggestions addressing common feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger or feelings of apathy, listlessness, and depression.
Feeling/Energy in the Body: trapped, angry, anxious, stressed
Example: Coming home from a stressful day, standing in the kitchen pouring wine or opening a row of crackers eating/drinking on autopilot.
When the body is stressed, it often expresses this in the form of contraction. Our breathing is shallow and there is tension in our bodies. We become stressed about our stress, want it to go away, and can crave expansion and relaxation. When unconscious, this looks like reaching for sugar, alcohol, or processed carbohydrates. This makes total sense! These foods CAN expand us. But they can also dull us and create further imbalance. If you’ve ever had too much of these you know what I mean.
Remedy: Acknowledge the stress as well as the need for feelings of lightness and expansion. Nutritionally you can benefit from the energetic qualities of fruit, some raw food, greens, fresh juice, vegetable broth, miso soup, or drink some lemon water All can expand and alkalize the body. Note: Eating exclusively expansive foods can turn a person into a space cadet, never fully feeling their feet on the earth.
Feeling/Energy in the Body: spacey, apathetic, depressed
Example: Feeling depressed about one’s failures in weight loss, plopping on the couch, with chips and cheese
When we feel defeated, the body slumps, we might go into “freeze” mode (not fight or flight,) and feed our stuck energy or inertia with foods that contract our bodies in an effort to re-balance. We intuitively know we need a boost, and employ the energetic qualities of salt, cheese, or fried food. This makes total sense! These foods are very stimulating to the taste buds but are a false positive. In the end, we still feel the same.
Remedy: Acknowledge the lull and accept the need for feelings of groundedness, focus, or inspiration. Depending on what you need, you might prepare salmon and vegetables to ground and balance your energy, especially if you have been eating a lot of carbohydrates and sugar lately. Protein is generally more contractive, grounding, and supportive for focusing. Note: Eating exclusively contractive foods can lead to stubborn, angry energy, and a congested body.
This is an exercise in noticing the energy in your body and learning how to feel it and course correct if desired.
Whether in food or in life, asking the questions, “How do I feel? What do I need?” will not lead you astray if you take the time to listen or find a supportive mentor that can help you listen to your body’s wisdom. Our relationship with food can shift as we become intimate with language of the body.
P.S.I truly believe that there is powerful force behind a healed, less distracted relationship with food. I’ve got some great things coming down the line that I know you are going to love that addresses this and much, much more. Stay tuned for the March newsletters for the full scoop.