Perhaps you’ve been working on small pieces of yourself—like your diet, or becoming more aware of your body, or maybe you’ve been exploring your spirituality. I have noticed that many people are hungry for a spiritual connection with something greater than themselves. Their souls wander a path of longing and questioning. Similarly, others struggle with the needs of their physical bodies. They are in continual search for the ultimate understanding of why they remain unsatisfied with their appearance or why they have numbing pain. Still others are confused about how to eat. Their minds are swirling in all the diet information that bombards us on a daily basis. And most of us, if presented with the choice, would want to have it all: how to bring our bodies and souls to a higher, more contented spot and park there indefinitely.
Of course, we cannot live without the body or the soul, as both are wrapped into one—it’s a package deal. As you will read in the following pages, nutrition, body, and spirituality form a solid, inseparable triangular relationship. The mission of this book is to help you understand your relationship to food and eating so that you may bridge together body and soul, to be and feel complete, whole, and full of love. Of course, food and eating present powerful options to unite body and soul; however, keep in mind that they represent one path into the whole of your being. To fully support your growth and evolution, it is also essential to shift not only your eating, but your whole way of life, including your thoughts, actions, activities, and beliefs. Changing your eating is an important step in that process.
To help you arrive at the “sweet spot” of unifying all aspects of the self using the conduit of food, I have blended a dash of science and generous amounts of intuition and training into a foundation of spirituality. The spiritual template I use is one based on the ancient system of chakras established by East Indian yogis, which is cultivated through the art of yoga and threaded through timeless Vedic texts.
Choosing the chakras to combine with foods and eating became an obvious choice to me as a nutritionist who practices yoga and has studied the chakras through books and experientially. And, most of all, it worked! I noticed in my consultations with individuals that many imbalances in the chakras coincided Chakra Foods for Optimum Health with food issues. For example, several people with solar plexus chakra deficiency, who felt stressed and worn out by their environment, also revealed to me that they had issues with sugar. Indeed, I discovered with my blended intuitive and physiological perspectives that these two seemingly disparate presenting complaints were actually interrelated and woven into each other. The nutritional advice I was accustomed to giving individuals extended not to only food advice but also tips on living life in a balanced way for that particular chakra. Each instructional piece strengthened the other.
When I tell many people about the relationship between chakras and foods, they understand immediately. It’s a logical fit. After all, chakras are energy centers in the entire being, and food provides energy to feed these aspects of ourselves. Chakra Foods gently walks you through the journey of your energetic landscape and gives you creative tools and insight as to how foods and ways you eat can heal, brighten, balance, and strengthen parts of you that need not only physical, but spiritual nourishment. Every chapter of Chakra Foods dives into a single chakra, its physical correlates, and all of its energetic intricacies that manifest in our lives as emotional tumult or physical breakdown. With this information, you will be equipped to create a healing path to this part of yourself, with specific foods resonant with that chakra and even ways to eat to tune into that chakra.
There is no one diet that will work for an entire population of people. That would be too easy. We are all so incredibly unique from a biochemical perspective. Our multifaceted chakra network provides an additional overlay of complexity that interacts with our diverse biology. Therefore, we shortchange ourselves when we stuff our beautiful diversity and complexity into a stifling, static “diet,” or path. It is like wearing a dress that does not fit. It is uncomfortable, looks terrible, and we just want out! No “one” ultimate solution exists. If we could piece apart the body and soul aspects of ourselves and deal with the parts of our being as if they were in silos, our lives might be radically different. However, we are a uniform whole; all of the aspects of our being are equally important and must be recognized.
For optimal wellness, the gap between our earthly body and ethereal soul must be closed, integrating throughout in harmony. We evolve over the course of our lifetimes, dealing with different emotional states and situations, all intricately interplaying with our physiology, making us need different foods at specific times. Even Buddha was said to have been worn out from a diet of root vegetables over an extended period of time. No one food (or diet) fits one soul Preface or one body. We must be continually in tune with our changing and cascading needs. Chakra Foods opens up the doorway to making sense of the complexity of who you are, being able to “read” this complexity through your eating patterns and through the chakra imprints.
Why food? The one premise that I believe most professionals and laypeople would agree upon and that has remained consistent is that food has an amazingly potent effect on the emotions, body, mind, and spirit, and, conversely, our food choices affect these parts of us as well. By hitting the internal “reset button” to arrive at our inherent, intuitive baseline, we can eat in harmony with who we are as unified body and soul. When we function as an optimally resonating collective, we can be grounded and creative in the present moment. We can focus on tasks at hand, helping us to feel a sense of accomplishment. We are able to take better care of ourselves when we know what we need moment to moment. Therefore, we will have more radiant bodies—we will be our perfect weight, shine forth our radiance through clear eyes and skin, speak our truth without the layering of lies and deceit to others and ourselves, harness a wealth of energy so we are not dragging throughout our days, and be able to connect creatively with elements at hand to tap into the universe of opportunities available to us at all times.
One of the ways to come to this place of balance is to get in touch with the soul needs; this can be done through working with the chakra system. Foods can take us to the realm of heightened energy, glowing health, and vibrancy by feeding the energetic layers of the chakras.
The food-spirit connection is what Chakra Foods is about. It takes you to the other side of the spectrum by giving you the tools to fuse the connection between body and soul through the physical and vibratory qualities of food and in how we approach foods and eating.
I am grateful to be able to provide you with this approach to add to your palette of choices for achieving wellness. For some of you, it may simply be a stepping-stone on your way to your truth; and for others, it may change your life dramatically. Either way, I wish you the simple, perfect, shining health we are endowed with and always have access to, and must find again if we are feeling lost.
Deanna M. Minich, Ph.D., C.N.
Port Orchard, Washington