“A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
You’ve probably heard of eating for your blood type or your body type. There are so many different ways to eat contained in the plethora of bestselling diet books that are overflowing on shelves. But, how does one make sense of it all? Or, to put it simply, how do you really know how to eat?
In all my years as a nutritionist, I believe the key is to figure out how to eat for you. Eating is personal. Not every food is for every body at all times. It is refreshing to see that personalized nutrition, or matching our genes to our food choices, is now at the frontier of western medicine. As an adjunct to the genes which map closely to our physical body, I propose that we need to eat for our subtle body and all the parts of us we don’t see outright, but have their energetic imprint in our physical manifestations.
Our subtle energy is constantly sculpting in every moment which calls into question the validity of following a plain, prescriptive diet for a lifetime. If we are a dynamic being, shouldn’t our eating be as fluid and flexible? Subtle energy moves faster than matter and sets the template of the physical body. What if we were to consciously redefine our physical body by assessing our subtle energy needs? One of the ways we might venture to do this is through one of our internal subtle energy gauges: our chakras, or the portals in our being that align to the seven major endocrine glands. “Chakra” is an ancient Sanskrit term that means “wheel.” Essentially, these gateways are moving spirals of energy exchange. But they are more than that literal meaning; they can also be interpreted symbolically, aligning to the seven aspects of the self:
• The root chakra, which is associated with the adrenal glands, corresponds to instinct and survival;
• The sacral chakra (ovaries and testes) to emotions and creativity;
• The solar plexus chakra (pancreas) to empowerment and transformation;
• The heart chakra (heart and thymus) to love and gratitude;
• The throat chakra (thyroid) to truth and authenticity;
• The third eye chakra (pituitary) to wisdom and intuition;
• The crown chakra (pineal gland) to interconnection and spirituality.
If chakras are associated with a spectrum of vibration, from the denser vibration of the body to the finer vibration of the spirit, it would seem that the frequency carried by individual foods could impact our energy. We might find that we need multiple different vibrations to balance the various parts of us; perhaps we need some grounding in the root, some expansion in the heart, and a bit of opening in our sense of connection with others and divinity. Might food be able to help us? Could heavy protein help us to ground and feel more present? What about leafy green vegetables assisting us in unfolding our heart and circulation? And could intentional eating help us to see the mystery of life on every plate?
In my background as a scientist as much as I am a spiritual truth-seeker, I have seen the two seemingly disparate worlds of subtle and physical energy merge beautifully within the chakra system. You don’t have to use the “c” word (for “chakras”) to understand; you only have to recognize that foods have their unique energetic signature that can enhance, deplete or neutralize our own energy. And, maybe they can enhance one day, one hour, and radically deplete the next. This is, in essence, quantum physics applied to the nature of food and our bodies.
Perhaps the world of diets hasn’t been as successful in the long-term because they are only touting the physical nature of our bodies rather than the completeness of our being, including the realm of our subtle selves. If we can tap into our energy, determine our chakra type, and assess whether we need balancing, we may begin to tailor the energy of food to what our subtle body requires for vibrancy.
All this talk about chakras and food may pique your interest because it is a different way to relate to food and requires another level of engagement and awareness with your body, mind, and spirit. In my book, Whole Detox, I provide a questionnaire that will jumpstart you into assessing what your chakra needs may be; are you missing a sense of rootedness from the root chakra, too much emotion swirling in your sacral chakra, or a blazing fire of burn-out in your solar plexus chakra? After you have your chakra deficiency and sufficiency areas, I talk about the food prescriptions for the chakras, and if you need supplements to food to balance your energy, I cover this topic in my other book, Quantum Supplements.