Feeding The Chakras
Eating is a powerful act filled with the potential for healing or harm. After all, we eat several thousands of pounds every year and interface with food and eating on an average of 200 times per day. There are probably not too many activities more integral to our survival than eating and, as a result, it says a lot about who we are. Even as a nutritionist that has been trained to look at food as calories and to put people on “diets,” I have discovered that foods and eating are conduits to our personal growth at our innermost core. Knowing what someone eats tells me volumes of information about what needs healing in their lives.
One way to access our healing needs is to use the ancient Vedic chakra system, which supports the idea that we are composed of a multitude of vibrations. These vibrations are found within the body and correlate to various aspects of life. Since these are subtle energy centers, they can be impacted both by the vibrations of food and by the spirit of eating. We may be choosing certain foods to heal these centers or those that throw our energy off balance.
Root Chakra (Keyword: Survival, Color: Red)
If you’d like to release a fear around eating or feelings of distrust, the root chakra is the place to be. In fact, eating issues stem from the need to protect oneself. Under- or over-eating may cause you to feel scattered or flighty, but the root chakra helps you to feel grounded and in your body so that you can be in the present moment. Assist your root chakra by eating with others in community and honoring your body’s instinct on what to eat by dialoguing with your body on food choices. Foods for grounding and protection: Protein, minerals, root vegetables, edible and medicinal mushrooms, red-colored foods.
The root chakra is the place to release fear of eating and feelings of distrust. Nourishing your root chakra will help you feel grounded and release your strewn or flighty feelings. Protein, Minerals, Root Vegetables, Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms, red-colored foods. Base of Spine. Body. Survival Instinct. Protection. Grounding.
Sacral Chakra (Keyword: Emotions, Color: Orange)
Whereas the root chakra likes to keep us stable and planted, the sacral chakra opens us up to flow and movement. Difficulty expressing emotions, creativity, or having fun are all indicators that you are not “going with the flow.” Consequently, you may become prone to overeating and stuffing yourself with food to keep your emotions down, but when you unleash your emotions, it gives your spirit the energy to create and enjoy! Allow your sacral chakra to swim freely by spending time creating meals and by paying attention to your senses when eating. Foods for flow and feelings: Fats and oils (especially omega-3s), fish, tropical fruits, seeds, nuts, orange-colored foods.
Solar Plexus Chakra (Keyword: Power, Color: Yellow)
The solar plexus chakra gives us the spark we need to get things done and keeps that flame burning bright within to transform our energy inside and out. Problems here can arise when we are set on fire, go into overdrive, and lose our power. However, you can harness your energy and power to transform by looking at what foods you give yourself over to—do you deplete your body with sugars, soft drinks, and artificial sweeteners? Step into your power once again by eating more frequently through the day and by eating foods that sustain your energy, like low glycemic complex carbohydrates. Foods for power and transformation: Complex carbohydrates, fiber, whole grains, legumes, yellow-colored foods.
Heart Chakra (Keyword: Love, Color: Green)
The heart chakra encompasses our ability to give and receive love. When this is area is not in balance, it can leave your heart energy dry and lackluster. Through the process of sharing foods with others in a mutual exchange, you can practice giving and receiving love in a healthy way. The heart chakra blossoms when we express gratitude for eating, donate to food banks, and infuse love into our food and water. Foods for love and compassion: Vegetables, sprouts, raw foods, foods rich in chlorophyll, any green-colored foods.
Throat Chakra (Keyword: Truth, Color: Aquamarine)
The throat chakra illuminates our truth, authenticity, and choices. It is also the portal of entry for foods and a center of high activity (e.g. swallowing, chewing, talking, and breathing). When we do not speak authentically about our desired foods choices (e.g. saying “yes” when we really mean “no”), we create an imbalance in the throat chakra. Uphold your throat chakra’s personal truth by honoring your body’s choices, eating mindfully, chewing carefully, and communicating focus. Foods for communication and truth: Sea plants, soups, sauces, juices, fruits.
Third Eye Chakra (Keyword: Insight, Color: Indigo)
The many “I”s of the third eye chakra include intuition, insight, imagination, and inspiration. When we listen to our intuition, we nourish this center. Sometimes we allow our intuition to be overridden by the intellect, and in doing so, we lose sight of our highest path. Several foods that stimulate the intuitive center, such as coffee, alcohol, and dark chocolate, keep your mind and moods on overdrive. Respect your third eye chakra by avoiding these external substances and enable your intuition to be heard. Foods for intuition and insight: Herbal tea, blackberries, blueberries.
Crown Chakra (Keyword: Unity, Color: Lavender)
The crown chakra is the part of us that connects us to all of life. If you feel severed from something larger—the cosmos, the planet, the human race, or your community—or you are longing for deeper meaning in life, choosing to see the act of eating as an event of interconnection may be very satisfying. In essence, eating is a divine act that connects you with the lineage of every form of life that was involved in the creation of the food. By using foods as a symbol of connection, you can connect to that which is sacred and deep. Foods for unification and interconnection: Sun- and moon-light, clean air, unconditional love.