Its New Year’s Day. Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter are drowning in ads and posts about weight loss, fat loss, resolutions, firm booty, tight abs.
You stand in your kitchen with the fridge door wide open…hmmmm, raw broccoli, carrots, red pepper and hummus? Or that shiny luscious piece of cheesecake?
Do these thoughts sound familiar…”I’ve been eating like a pig since December 24th. How many calories are in a glass (um, bottle) of red wine, again? The trip to Mexico is in 3 weeks. If I eat the cheesecake it means two extra 60-minute sessions at the gym this week so I can work off the cake plus the 5 pounds I gained over the holidays. Sigh. Raw veggies it is. But at least the scale won’t go up and I won’t look like a jiggly elephant.”
And so, the decision about what to eat is based on numbers, weights and measures, and relative sizes.
But what if deciding what to eat had nothing to do with science lab nutrition facts, calorie counts, protein/fat/carb ratios, your mass measured in pounds, or how your outsides compare to the outsides of a girl in a magazine?
When it comes to deciding what to eat, what if is the question is not, “How will this food make me look?” But instead its, “How will this food make me feel?”
And when I say feel, I’m not talking about guilt, or shame, or humiliation, or pride, or ego. I’m talking about how we feel physically and on a soul-level.
What if the decisions we made about what to eat were not determined by outside authorities, but came from deep inside our own beings?
What if you align your eating with your soul, your mission, and your higher purpose?
What do you want for yourself? How do you want to feel in your life?
Do you want to feel logy, fatigued, unmotivated, drained, moody, edgy, and empty?
Or do you want to feel light, easy, radiant, energized, whole, vital, and nourished?
Yoga philosophy recognizes that everything in the universe is energy. We are energy. Food is energy.
When we eat, the energies of the foods interact with our own energies when they are ingested and digested. Then these blended energies manifest themselves in our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, and our physical health.
Food has the potential to improve our quality of life on mental, physical, and spiritual levels. Eating is not about a bikini body. Its not about toned abs. Its not about being a size 2. So no more rigid diet, weight loss, calorie counting, no more portion measuring.
Eating is not merely about a reaction that occurs in the body that is disconnected and separate from mind and soul. Food not only affects the body but our minds and our spirits as well.
Think about how different you feel after eating a meal of a sticky gooey cheeseburger, French fries loaded with gravy, and a milkshake versus how you feel after eating a salad of mixed baby greens with nuts, lentil soup with vegetables, and chunks of fresh fruit.
Results from meal #1: heavy, tired, logy, slothful, droopy, and lacking motivation.
Results from meal #2: lightness, ease, energy, radiance, and motivation.
The feelings we experience from foods tell us how they are affecting our beings in the short-term and the long term.
You can come to know whether you are eating the foods that are right for you by tuning into how they affect you on all levels.
So the idea is to ingest the foods that contain the energies that you want to take in.
Choose foods with the highest amount of vital life force.
In yoga, the name for this is Prana.
Remember that food is what gives you life. Food is a carrier and a container of prana – vital life force. .
Prana refers to that which nourishes living things. Prana is nutrition to our beings.
Foods that have the most Prana are:
- Organic foods
- Fresh foods
- Foods high in nutrients
- Foods that are in their most whole and natural form (not processed, stripped, chemically modified, reduced, or have doused in chemicals)
- Foods that are high in energy sourced from the earth, sun, and water
Foods that fulfill all those criteria include: vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.
The foods that are lowest in Prana are:
- Leftovers, old, and stale food
- Anything containing pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, preservatives, artificial colorings – the life has either been sucked out of it or it is covered in so much toxin that it becomes poisonous
- Foods that are over-processed
- Freezer-burned foods
- Anything molded, manufactured, synthesized, and packaged in a factory
- Alcohol, soft drinks, deep fried foods, intoxicants
- Overly sweetened and salted foods
- Microwaved foods – reduces prana
What we take in becomes assimilated into our beings. By eating foods that are rich in Prana we become infused with the vitality and life force contained within these foods. Our cells do not become bogged down by rubbish and we can flourish and thrive.