Sometimes we get too busy to eat, eat for the wrong reasons, or in the wrong way.
For example, in the clinic I see busy professional women who only have time for a quick bite on the run, often from the nearest fast food place and eaten in the car or standing up.
I see people who are depressed and unhappy eating out of control as a way to fill the void in their lives.
I also see joyless clients who restrict their diets to within an inch of their lives — no carbs, no fats, no sugar, no this, no that.
Clearly, there has to be a better way…
Your Attitude Towards the Food You Eat
The Chinese view food differently — more as medicine that you get to eat three times a day.
Food can nourish, heal, and give you energy.
This may sound simple, but can be a problem if you are trying to…
- lose weight
- maintain your weight
- cut out the carbs
- ditch the fats
- eat in a hurry
- or limit your diet in ways that are unhealthy.
If this is the case, then at times you may feel that food is a little bit like the enemy.
This adversarial relationship with food is unfortunate, because I believe that how you approach food and eating is a mirror to how you approach life.
While food fuels your body, it also feeds your soul.
Foods in Chinese Medicine
In Chinese medicine, your heart is the home to your Shen, which is equivalent to your mind, and governs functions such as memory and consciousness, as well as your providing a home for your spirit.
While these activities are attributed to your brain in Western medicine, we intuitively know that your heart is also an organ of feeling and spirituality.
In fact, much of our language about the heart refers to it as an organ of feeling.
Terms such as someone “tugging on your heartstrings”, “knowing things in your heart”, or having a “broken heart” are speaking about an emotional and spiritual organ.
So, how can you eat in a way that not only feeds your body, but nourishes your spirit as well?
Some possibilities include:
Preparing a meal with love.
It’s not so much about the ingredients, but the care of preparation. However, choosing tasty recipes and fresh ingredients are also part of that process.
Sharing with others.
Your Chinese heart is all about connection — to the divine (however you perceive it), to yourself, and to loved ones. Sitting down and sharing a meal with people that you love is heart-nourishing.
Eat for the right reasons.
There are many positive reasons to eat a healthy meal. Eating food out of hunger, celebration, love, or sharing nourishes more than your body.
Turning to food out of boredom or stress.
Eat red foods.
In Chinese medicine, the color red is associated with your heart (think Valentines!).
Red wine and cooked tomatoes have actually been shown to benefit your physical heart. Also good to eat are berries, red peppers, and apples.
Celebrating the seasons.
Celebrating the seasons through food is also heart nourishing.
The freshest foods of summer eaten outdoors or sitting down to a heart winter stew by a crackling fire are ways of connecting with food, loved ones, and creation.
Avoid processed food.
While ingredients are secondary to feeding your heart, there are foods that are not life-sustaining.
These are “dead” foods that have been overly processed and contain chemicals that your body doesn’t recognize as nutrients. Avoid them like the plague.
Eat with Joy.
Finally, the emotion related to your Chinese heart is joy. And when you eat with joy, you will live your life with joy.
Would you like to learn more about Chinese medicine?
You can leave a comment here, or visit my website by clicking the links below. I look forward to hearing from you…