Are you what you eat?

Energetics of foodI just saw Simply Theatre‘s excellent production of Oliver Twist yesterday and couldn’t help but notice the role food plays in the story (yes, I know I am a little obsessed with food!). In the opening scene, the orphans dream about ‘Food, glorious food’ instead of gruel, a thin porridge, they are fed daily. Later on, Oliver is accused of being mad by Mr Bumble because he has eaten meat.

Meat at the time was seen as cultivating soul and spirit which was not fitting of the working class.

Food has never just been fuel for humans and throughout history, we have noticed the effect it can have on us.

Meat and animal products in general tend to be grounding and strengthening, helping us feel relaxed and down to earth as do beans, root vegetables like potatoes and sweet vegetables like beet roots.

Leafy greens, fruits, chocolate and raw foods in general help lift us up, making us feel lighter and more creative.

In this season of Lent, avoiding certain foods like animal products in the Greek Orthodox tradition, is meant to elevate us, making us less of the earth and more spiritual.

And perhaps you have noticed that eating from your own garden or shopping at your local market leaves you feeling more connected to your home or local community?

I am sure you have already experienced this: You feel different when you eat different foods.

Another great illustration of the energetics of food is a scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey where the dwarves are invited to eat in Rivendell, the Elven outpost in Middle Earth. The Dwarves reaction to the Elves’ food of leafy greens is very revealing: ‘I don’t eat anything green’ & ‘Where’s the meat?’

The Elves’ leafy greens are linked to being light, creative and flexible while the Dwarves staple of meat is related to being grounded and relaxed.

Doesn’t this fit the characters perfectly?

So next time you are craving something, ask yourself what energy you are seeking from the food. Perhaps your sugar cravings are a message from your body that it needs some lightness? Or maybe your sudden love of beans is actually a search for more stability in your life?

Tapping into the energetics of food might just provide a whole new interpretation to the old adage that you are what you eat.

Where's The Meat


The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein

Food Energetics: The Spiritual, Emotional, and Nutritional Power of What We Eat by Steve Gagné