#072 Finding the Sacred In Food
When it comes to the food we eat, I’ve shared a lot about the healing power of eating whole foods, plant centered, anti-inflammatory foods, gut health etc. but today I’d like to share a new lens to see this thing we all do everyday called eating. I invite you to explore with me this question: Can the food we eat be nourishing not just your body but equally on the soul level as well?
I believe understanding and conecting with the sanctity of the food we eat is huge missing piece in Western nutrition. By feeling into the sacred nature of food we can cultivate a deeply nourishing relationship with food and our bodies that can help cut through all the pseudo wellness gimmicks and diet culture. Finding the sacred in food is a key to personal iberation when it comes to the full healing potential of food.
In this solo epiosde, I share my top strategies for embodying this reality of food as sacred.
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you are so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.
Christine Okezie (22s):
Hello, hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for listening. So when it comes to the food we eat, I’ve shared much on the nutritional side, the healing power of eating whole foods, plant centered anti-inflammatory foods, gut health, et cetera, but on today’s show, I’d like to share some helpful thoughts on another way to see food, a new lens, to see this thing we all do every day called eating. I invite you to explore with me this question. Can the food we eat be nourishing, not just for the body, but equally on the soul level as well?
Christine Okezie (1m 3s):
So when I went to culinary school 10 years ago at the natural gourmet Institute for health and culinary arts in New York to become a natural food chef, I had a profound shift in my attitude toward food. I’d considered myself a pretty healthy eater, but this experience took eating to a whole new level. My daily menu of plan centered, eating exploded with so much more color taste and variety, but not only did my palette evolved during this time, but a whole new level of consciousness on food itself. For the first time I saw the food I was eating was not simply about consuming nutrients.
Christine Okezie (1m 43s):
I understood on a much deeper level how food was actually our most intimate connection to the earth we eat. What grows from the earth, the bounty that is generated from the tiniest microscopic organisms in our soil, all the way up the food chain, not to mention the Earth’s water and air. And somehow all this gets transformed miraculously into the substance of our bodies. I came to appreciate on a visceral level, how quite literally our bodies are made from the earth without the earth. We went on, have this life, furthermore, without this universe, we would not have this earth.
Christine Okezie (2m 24s):
So you see, I came to appreciate how the food we eat truly connects us to everything else. And it was this perspective that opened me up to see eating ultimately as a very sacred act, because when you boil it down, the food we eat connects us to all of life and its greater energies. Now, at least that’s how the relationship of sustaining ourselves with food was originally designed. Of course, modern day living is increasingly filled with non food substances that made for profit and entertainment rather than nourishment non-foods.
Christine Okezie (3m 5s):
That would be unrecognizable for instance, to our great grandparents’ generation. And that take a huge toll on our vitality. You know, how you feel when you eat junk physically and mentally dull weighed down while at a fundamental level, that’s our life force, energy being zapped. We’re living cutoff from that, which we need to thrive on that deeper soul level. The main source of prana, she, life force energy for our bodies actually comes from the food we eat. According to yoga science, the vibrational energy of food affects our minds and in-turn our thoughts and emotions.
Christine Okezie (3m 46s):
So by eating foods with high vibratory energy, i.e. High prana or high Qi, we can nourish ourselves at that deeper level of vitality, keeping the body and the mind strong, creating the internal conditions that support us to do the work of expressing our highest soul potential. You know, the difference when you’re eating whole real foods, you can feel the difference when you’re eating fresh food. That was grown in a way that is nourishing to the earth. It’s why I love shopping at my local farmer’s market. And thankfully there’s a growing shift today towards people wanting to eat more locally grown pesticide free foods.
Christine Okezie (4m 32s):
You may be one of them motivated perhaps by the nutritional science or the environmental sustainability, so important and so wonderful. But now I invite you to go even deeper and perhaps see how the element of the human soul is actually involved as well. I’ve come to see this growing desire to be more in harmony with nature is at its core, a spiritual phenomenon, whether that’s growing interest in the health of our planet, a passion for a food as medicine approach, a desire for deeper community connection by eating and growing our food locally, all these things are reflecting that part of ourselves that is moving towards feeling more interconnected with that basic essence of life.
Christine Okezie (5m 25s):
When we care about our food, where it comes from, how it’s made, what it’s doing for our bodies, we are honoring the earth. We are honoring the sacred feeling, gratitude and resonating with the elements of the soil, the water and the air, which we have all evolved. Now, all indigenous cultures throughout history have understood the sacred nature of food. They understood that food is life force, energy. They knew they were taking in energy of the plants and the animals they consumed. They understood that all food was sacred in the sense that the life of a plant or animal has been sacrificed to feed another being Ancient civilizations lived with great deference and respect for the natural environment because their survival was dependent on the kindness of nature.
Christine Okezie (6m 21s):
The sanctity of food played a central role in the culture. Now I believe that there’s something in our ancestral DNA that we can tap into that can elevate our relationship with food in this way, by embracing the sacredness of food and its origins, the less likely we’re going to be drawn to chemically laid in highly processed GMO foods that are destroying both personal and planetary health through this lens. Maybe we can let go of all the dogma that’s around us in the diet culture and pseudo wellness world. And instead, maybe connect to the sacred within us, the sacred, when that within us, that instinctively resonates with the sanctity of food by feeling into the sacred nature of food.
Christine Okezie (7m 13s):
I believe we can cultivate a deeply nourishing relationship with the food we eat and our bodies. We can begin viewing food and cooking as an act of reverence instead of obligation. Perhaps we can live more in the healing energies of gratitude and awe and wonder and stay connected to that greater intelligence in and around us. Now, how do we embody this reality of food as sacred? Well, here are a few strategies that definitely work for me and that I’d love to share. Number one, seek the highest quality food that you have access to be interested in, where your food comes from research sources for a whole organic sustainably sourced foods in your community, in your region, treat yourself well.
Christine Okezie (8m 9s):
When it comes to your food. As an act of reverence, you are worth the extra time money that you’re spending on sourcing high quality food for yourself and for your family. Remember, although a smoothie, a box of cereal, a frozen meal or protein bar may boast nutritive value. The very fact that it’s been sitting somewhere maybe packaged for months in terms of Prada makes these low vitality foods strategy. Number two, to embody the food is sacred. Mindfully plan your food, whether that’s making a simple nourishing home cooked meal or making plans to eat in places where they serve Holsten options on the menu, even packing healthy snacks.
Christine Okezie (8m 57s):
When you’re on the go is a way for you to honor the sanctity of food. It’s bringing conscious awareness to your meal preparation and your meal planning, reminding yourself how food’s job is to nourish your life force energy. So you can show up in the world and help nourish those around you strategy for three giving. Thanks. Just take a moment before you eat and appreciate all the people along the way who made the food you were about to eat possible. Think about sending gratitude to the farmers, the transporters, the distributors send some love and gratitude to the soil, to sun water, and all the plants and animals that sacrificed their energy, their lives to need you Next express your appreciation when you buy your food, whether that’s in person at the supermarket or the checkout stand at the farmer’s market.
Christine Okezie (9m 58s):
Even if you’re eating out, just say thanks to the waitstaff, send your compliments, the chef, another strategy to bring the sacred into the food and eating process. Slow down, eat with a calm mind, take a breath and enjoy eat with all your senses and allow the food to nourish you. And finally, another strategy would be volunteer at a local food bank or a soup kitchen. This helps you reconnect to the reality that food for way too many people is something hard.
Christine Okezie (10m 39s):
They come by this activity opens the heart, brings compassion, which I find neutralizes all that nutrition, dogma, and privileged stuff. When it comes to what we eat. I remember it just feels so amazing when we, for example, packing food boxes at that local pantry, just to think about the healing energy love that was being infused in the food boxes that we were packing, regardless of the actual food choices. I just appreciated being with all the folks who are all kind of in the same frequency of service and compassion, very, very healing way to understand the meaning of food.
Christine Okezie (11m 26s):
So the next time you are planning what to eat before you put something in your mouth. I hope that you’ll take a moment to feel into the sacred nature of food. It’s not just the micro and macro nutrients in the kale or in the apple, the food we eat, just like everything in the universe is energetically and spiritually so much more than the sum of its parts. And that more in yoga and Ayurveda, for example, refers to prana, which is life force energy. This is genuine holistic nutrition, the practice of whole ism when it comes to health and healing, look at the entire picture, whether it be the aspects of our human self, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional self or the food we eat.
Christine Okezie (12m 13s):
I believe understanding and connecting with the sanctity of food has been a huge missing piece in Western nutrition and therefore the key to liberation and wellbeing when it comes to unlocking the true healing potential of our relationship with food. So I hope this has been helpful, my friends, and if it has been, please feel free to leave a rating and review on apple podcast. And if you haven’t already hit the subscribe button, I’d be grateful. It helps me keep the podcast growing. So thanks again so Much for listening and bye for now.