so i'm reading this book that has been highly recommended to me from my acupuncturist/herbalist, jordan hoffman of L.A.. his practice is based off of the premise of food heals all - which is my philosophy as well. whatever we put into our body, is ultimately what we're going to get out of it. that being said, sometimes we need a little extra help in assimilating/digesting what we take in - physically, emotionally and mentally.
he approaches his healing techniques first by instructing that his patients do a food-mood journal for a week prior to their first appointment.
there are no rules - just letting our own personal intuition guide us as to what type of relationship we have with food - what we crave, why we crave it and how we feel prior or post meal. as you've probably surmised, there's more to it than the actual food on the plate.
i've been journaling about it now for the last month and it has opened up a whole can of beans! (no pun...yes pun). i dove into the deep end with this exploration and am now trying to get my bearings on my own relationship with food. check out his website @ www.jordanhoffmanacupuncture.com
food is essential to our existence next to breathing, sleeping and water. think about it. it is something we all need, and we all do every single day, and we all have varied relationships with it. it is the one thing we can always count on to be a topic of conversation - a friend is on a new diet, a celebrity is grossly thin, or has gained 50 lbs, there are starving people in africa, there's a new recipe or holiday meal being planned or cooked, the list goes on and on....often times, we are at lunch talking about where we're going for dinner. what did you do on vacation? oh we ate amazing food, etc. etc, etc....
but when do you actually check in with your body to see where your hunger stems from?
in this book that i'm reading called, 'mindful eating' by jan chozen bays, MD, i am blown away by all the different layers of hunger - according to her, there are 7.
we all have eye, nose, mouth, mind, heart, stomach and cellular hunger.
she recommends taking a breath before eating and asking yourself (quietly if you're with others), 'who in there is hungry?' are your eyes yearning for some sense of beauty? maybe colors, textures, shapes, etc. or is it craving a sweet or savory scent? anything aromatic?
did you know that your tongue only tastes sweet, savory, sour or bitter? think about when you're sick and your nose is stuffed up - you can't taste your food well, can you? that's because most of what you taste comes from what you're smelling.
as for your mouth, well we're all looking for that 'party in your mouth' sensation, aren't we? we are mouth hunger junkies...always searching for the next fix.
as for the mind, well that's a tricky one. the mind never stops with the 'shoulds' and the 'should nots'....
the heart is another tricky one - wanting to be soothed, comforted and happy.
the stomach is more obvious, as it talks to us when it's ready for more food - but it can be trained, can't it? if you do a juice cleanse for a few days, for example, notice that the first day your stomach is constantly talking to you, and by the third, it has quieted down. that's because your stomach is on a schedule, and if its off, it doesn't know what to do...
as for cellular hunger, this is your body's own intuition as to what you need. maybe you're craving protein for whatever reason, or salt...this may be your body telling you that it needs something...
it sounds exhausting, but it can't hurt to be aware of these basic, fundamentals of life. when we are mindful/aware, we tap into the present tense for just a brief moment in time. our minds are always actively thinking or worrying about the past or the future, when all we have is right here and now. don't take this power of awareness lightly - just by merely observing ourselves, we can shift our whole livelihood!
if we stop and think for just one second before we eat, we can tune into our own intuition, and open up a whole new approach to life, really. do we have the urge to snack because our heart is hungry? well then pick up the phone and call a loved one.
are our eyes hungry because we've been staring at a computer all day? well, get outside and go for a walk and take in the beauty of nature to satisfy that hunger.
or maybe our mouth is being a junky? try sipping something to drink (not guzzling - swish it around) or if you do decide to chew, do it with awareness so that you're fully engaged in the different textures....
you see, you can satisfy your whole self just by checking in when it comes to food. this will ultimately allow you to be kinder and more compassionate with yourself, and in turn, allow you to love yourself more so that you can love others and allow the beautiful flow of life's energy to circulate.
just a little food for thought...
check out the book!