Awaken Your Intuitive Relationship to Food
If you’re ready to give your relationship to food a spiritual makeover, these tips can help you start today.
In today’s food-obsessed culture we’re inundated with people talking about the benefits of going vegan, eating gluten-free, removing sugar from our diets and more. While all these choices might be excellent health options, oftentimes they’re presented in the form of “guilt marketing.” This is where you’re left feeling guilty and shameful for not eating how someone else thinks you should eat instead of feeling inspired and motivated to eat what feels right to you and leave the rest.
Assessing new food information is an opportunity to become more connected to your intuitive relationship to food. If you’re left thinking thoughts like, “I’m so confused. What lifestyle is right for me?” then this is exactly the right time for you to explore that question. What often comes along with guilt and shame is a nasty case of perfectionism. We tend to distrust the process of trial and error and our curious nature because we’re so afraid of getting it wrong. Ironically, though, the key to finding a way of eating that works best for you is through trial and error and a hefty dose of curiosity. These are the touchstones to awakening your intuitive relationship to food. If you’re ready to give your relationship to food a spiritual makeover, these tips can help you start right away.
Be mindful of the energy you bring to your meal
Let’s be real; life is hard. We’re all so busy and have so many commitments. Add technology into the mix and you sometimes feel like you barely have time to breathe, right? And what is one of the first things to go out the window when you get busy? Self care. While it can be really hard to prioritize self care, taking the time to simply be mindful of the energy you bring to your meals is paramount.
We live in an anxious society. This anxious energy brought to your meal times causes you to rush through your meals and feel uncomfortable afterwards because you haven’t given your body the time it needs to digest the food. Not to mention that you aren’t able to actually enjoy the meal itself because you are plowing through it so quickly! The energy that you bring to a meal while you prepare it is the energy that you’ll mirror as you eat it.
Tip: Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel as I prepare my meal? How do I want to feel while I eat my meal? How do I want to feel after I eat my meal?” Take some time to think on this, write those feelings down, and make a conscious effort to bring them into your life. So, for example, if you want to feel calm as you prepare your meal, put on some relaxing music while you chop your veggies. Set yourself up to create a loving atmosphere for you to eat in.
Make meal-time intentions a habit
Many spiritual and religious traditions engage in the practice of setting an intention before they eat. This ritual reminds you to recall a sense of reverence for the food and for your body. This isn’t anything new, but in this crazy-busy world that we live in, it’s something we’ve neglected and put to the side. Taking the time to slow down and set an intention eating can help you to eat more slowly and feel more connected to your body. And it only takes 10 seconds! This simple practice can help you to develop a deep respect for the food you eat and for how your body deserves to receive that food.
Tip: Before you eat, set yourself up for success by setting an intention over your meal. Try this one: “I bless my food. I bless my body. I bless what this food can do for my body.”
Make room for pleasure
We sometimes forget that you don’t just eat food for health. You also eat it for pleasure! Feeling pleasure about what you eat is crucial, yet so often neglected, especially by women. We both experienced this first hand. When we started our careers as healthy living bloggers, we both felt a responsibility to only eat healthy foods. When we did want to enjoy something like frozen yogurt or French fries, we felt guilty about it. We might have been physically satisfied, but we weren’t spiritually satisfied by what we ate.
Your soul is constantly communicating to you through your body. When we challenged ourselves to become conscious of shifting our thoughts from guilt to pleasure and allowed ourselves to enjoy foods that gave us pleasure regardless of whether they were healthy, we craved them far less often and created a naturally balanced relationship with them.
Tip: Choose seven foods that bring you pleasure. They can be healthy or unhealthy. No rules here! For the next week, allow yourself to eat one of those foods every day. Practice feeling pleasure at your meal. When you notice guilt come up, become conscious that it’s there, but don’t judge it. Witness it and repeat this mantra: “I deserve to receive this pleasure.” Watch the shifts that will happen in just one week!
Heather Waxman and Kasey Arena are the Amazon best-selling authors of BODYpeace. Through her work as a spiritual life coach, writer, and inspirational singer-songwriter, Heather Waxman helps sensitive, creative soul unbox themselves and fearlessly live the life their soul wants them to live. Kasey Arena, a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, helps women shift their perceptions of fitness and food. You can find Heather at http://heatherwaxman.com and Kasey at http://kaseyarena.com.