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Eating For Your Subtle Body

October 13, 2011

Before I get into the heart of this post, I wanted to thank all of you that have linked to and/or tried out the Women’s Energetics e-book. I so appreciate it, and hope it will reach whomever it is meant to reach. Since I first posted I have fixed some typos and made it available on Smashwords in many e-reader formats, including Nook, Kindle, Ibooks, etc. Also, I am working on fixing the static that comes through in some of the accompanying podcasts.

Now for that most loaded of subjects – for some of us anyway (especially women) – food. Food is energy, and so of course it makes sense to approach food vibrationally – not only in terms of nutrition or calories. I have been working with this myself for some time, and it has been truly helpful.

Since I work with the chakras, one of my primary reference points is the work of nutritionist and energy healer Deanna Minnich, author of the book Chakra Foods for Optimum Health. Although I can’t possibly incorporate all this great book discusses here, in general, here are the foods that support the function of each chakra energetically:

Root/First Chakra – proteins, root vegetables, red fruits and vegetables

Second/Sacral Chakra – water, essential fatty acids/Omega-3s, tropical fruits, orange fruits and vegetables

Third/Navel/Solar Plexus Chakra – whole grains, high-fiber foods, low-glycemic carbs, yellow/tan foods

Fourth/Heart Chakra – cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, sprouts, raw foods

Fifth/Throat Chakra – sea plants, soups, high-water fruits like melons, juices

Sixth/Third Eye -caffeine, chocolate, spices, alcohol (particularly red wine), purple-red berries and grapes

Seventh/Crown Chakra – pure foods of all types, sunlight, clean/pure air and water

Just like with nutrients, it’s important to approach eating for our chakras holistically, with an eye to overall balance. But we can also use chakra eating to better understand and address common eating challenges or poor eating habits. I find this is especially true for individuals that are very sensitive energetically, and/or intuitive (one or both of which you probably are if you are interested in the topics of this blog!)

Working with this system, problems arise when we feel a lack or need related to the energetic function of a particular chakra, and instead of eating foods that support that chakra, we reach for something else that gives us a fake or temporary boost in that area. This is very similar to what most of us call ‘emotional eating’ – eating too many carbs, sweets, or other comfort foods in response to stress, depression, anger, or to reward ourselves.

In this case, instead of ‘emotional eating’, we engage in ‘imbalanced energy eating’ – eating in response to different energetic forces or deficiencies. Getting in touch with our energetic cycles and needs can positively impact our eating patterns, just as working through emotional eating issues can. For those of us that are energetically sensitive, a common problem that can arise is eating incorrectly to ground ourselves, or to shield ourselves.

If you are naturally a very upper chakra person, you may at times be prone to feeling spacey, unfocused, floaty, or in short, ungrounded. This can cause you to be drawn to heavy, rich foods – usually refined flour carbs and high-fat dairy. These do temporarily bring you back to earth, but they don’t truly help you ground. A better choice for grounding is to focus on foods that support your root chakra – primarily protein. Although any protein is grounding, the denser the protein, the more the grounding, i.e. meat is more grounding than legumes (although both will work.) Incorporating more root chakra foods into your diet on a regular basis – root vegetables, red foods – will also help support the grounding function of this chakra.

Eating to shield yourself might also be an issue – eating in response to psychic/energetic overload, such as being in a crowd or being involved in an angry or otherwise difficult energetic interaction. The root and navel chakras are both heavily involved in our ability to shield ourselves energetically – our ability to create and maintain healthy energetic boundaries. Eating the foods that support these chakras on a regular basis – proteins, fibers, low-glycemic carbs, red and yellow/tan foods – will help support these boundaries (in addition to visualization and self-awareness work to develop them.)

Craving sweets can be a sign of a few different things. It might indicate that you need more second/sacral chakra energy in your life – joy, passion, creativity, sensuality, and yes sex (did you know increasing the amount of sex you have is highly correlated with losing weight?) If that’s the case, eating second chakra foods – those with essential fatty acids/Omega-3s, tropical fruits, orange fruits and vegetables – will help reduce the cravings. Sweet cravings can also be a sign you need more third/navel/solar plexus strength – that you are seeking a quick-fix way to shield yourself from energetic pain or over-stimulation, and in fact need better energetic boundaries.

As a woman, another thing to consider is where you are in your monthly cycle and/or energetic life phase. We are already more energetically absorbent in general, and are particularly sensitive in the days leading up to menstruation, and during perimenopause. This means that eating to shield ourselves – supporting our root and navel chakras – is especially important during these times.

I think another issue that can arise for intuitive people is eating foods that stimulate the third eye to an unhealthy degree. Obviously the foods that support the third eye are fun foods for most of us – coffee, tea, chocolate, wine, berries – fun:-) But any of these in excess is problematic. In addition to the physical problems, it can overstimulate our third eye, causing too much energetic data to flood in, resulting in a vicious cycle of craving heavy carbs or sweets as a quick-fix way to shield ourselves. I know for myself I realized at one point that when my energetic boundaries were weak, I would feel unfocused or out of touch with my intuition, and thus impulsively overdo it on third eye foods – particularly coffee and chocolate – in an attempt to reconnect with my intuition, when what I really needed was foods to support my root and navel chakras to ground and shield myself.

One thing that eating for your subtle body really highlights is that you may need different foods from an energetic perspective depending on your situation. For example, on days you are surrounded by lots of people, or face a difficult commute or meeting, grounding and shielding foods may be more important, while when you are on a spiritual retreat, eating heart and third eye foods might be exactly what you need.

Mindful eating is also essential for getting in tune with how foods impact your unique energy body. We are each different, and although the list above provides a general guide, you may notice other patterns for yourself if you really focus on how you feel before and after you eat different foods.

Another thing that has been quite helpful to me is a tantric approach to food. In tantra, distinctions between good and bad, pure and impure, are discarded, and the focus is instead on working with all experiences energetically on a deep level, and to find Source/Light at the root of all these energies. So for me, tantric eating means 1) focusing on the pleasurable aspects of eating, and 2) focusing on my ability to absorb what I need from foods energetically and urging my body to discard the rest. This means that while I do attempt to eat pure, healthy foods, when I have or choose not to, I can energetically draw what I need from the foods, and release the rest.

I’d love to hear ways that you eat for your subtle or energy body, or ways that you feel you might engage in ‘imbalanced energy eating’ (in the present or past.) Namaste-

26 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2011 11:54 pm

    Great post~ I find myself eating very mixed which is not good for me. For the past five years, since my daughter was deployed to Iraq, I have kept about 45 extra pounds on my body. Too keep me grounded? Possibly. To shield me from unwanted attention? I think so. When I am my normal weight of 150, ( I am 5’11″) I feel at my best. Yet, my wild side seems to get more energy at this weight which I have been trying to balance out with my mild side. I put things in my body that do not feel good after I eat them, or even while I am eating them really. I am aware, but I do not stop myself. I think my spirit wants me this weight so I can focus on other things.

  2. October 14, 2011 3:07 am

    Hi Alphasiren, It’s interesting what you say about your spirit wanting you at this weight. For me, that clashes with your other statements, that your body does not feel good after eating certain things, because I think generally when we are in alignment with our spirit, it feels good for our body too. On the other hand, I do trust people’s own intuitions about themselves, so I’m not trying to undermine that – I just wonder if there are maybe more layers to it. Your sense that the weight is enabling you to express certain aspects of yourself did remind me of the view in certain shamanic traditions that we can hold power in body fat – literally can store personal power there, just as we store food energy. Of course from a medical science/health perspective, that is not supported, but I wonder if perhaps this is something you have intuitively tapped into and are using your weight this way? And I also wonder if there might not be another way to tap into it and store that same power, that feels better for your body too? Just a thought.

    Anyway, very interesting sharing, thanks! – Lisa

  3. October 14, 2011 9:19 am

    I can’t explain how much I loved this. I’m checking out the book right now on Amazon.
    As an emotional eater, I have read countless articles and books on food and emotions, etc etc. I’ve never come across looking it energetically like this. So clearly, which you know my Virgo Mercury loves. :)
    I have vaguely considered the concept of dense foods being grounding, and stimulants being psychically stimulating.But never this precise. And certainly not the method of dealing with a deficiency, either in food or life. Such as reaching for carbs because I’m wanting grounding.
    Thanks so much Lisa!

  4. October 14, 2011 4:32 pm

    Hi Mon, I’m glad it resonated. She has a lot of free articles on her Food and Spirit website too, if you want to check those out. Focusing on my first and second chakras in particular has really helped me, although I’ve gotten the most help from keeping more of those foods in my regular diet all the time, as opposed to just eating them when I feel the cravings. It also reinforced for me that being a vegetarian right now is not a great option for me, although it may be again in the future. Although I don’t eat a lot of meat, I need the density sometimes. Although I also work with other methods of strengthening my lower chakras, i.e. time in nature, especially around earth and water (the element of the first chakra is earth, and the element of the 2nd chakra is water.) It is interesting how it all maps out astrologically too, because I have very little earth in my chart, so have to compensate there. On the other hand, I have a ton of water, but have still found that lots of 2nd chakra foods are essential to me. I am thinking it is because I use that chakra so much in my energetic work – that it is a particular source of power for me. So I have to feed it a lot. I keep a lot of high-Omega3 nuts and orange fruits around these days (eating walnuts and orange juice as I write this!!)

  5. October 14, 2011 5:30 pm

    Lisa, I am very excited about your new “work” here. I am copying this off and spending some “real time: with it this weekend. It is perfectly timed as I recently recommitted to restoring my “yogini” body who was so much more mindful about her health and well-being. At 58, I am really feeling the strains of not honoring my body as well as I could and I have a strong sense that your articles and e book will help. Thank you for this excellent instruction! With metta for you, Jan

  6. October 14, 2011 7:45 pm

    Very true. There are so much more to foods than modern science has uncovered in terms of nutrition. Hence the danger of dogmatic belief that certain way of eating is “healthy” or “spiritual”.

    I had an interesting experience recently. I moved back to Portland area, and since then, I feel so much better. Even though Portland is more crowded than Eugene, and so the air is probably more polluted, and there are probably more stresses here (at least in the official sense). My sugar problem practically evaporated — not that I don’t eat them at all, it’s that even when I eat some sweets, I feel normal and it doesn’t control me.

    This may be 2nd chakra issue. My townhouse in Eugene was built on a hill and the bedroom was downstairs. There were no crawl space — it was built directly on the earth, like a basement. They call it “sun basement” — it looks almost like a regular 1st floor, with large windows. But I felt it was still chilly and a bit damp — even though there were no mold problems.

    That, along with the sense of isolation and boredom, was no good to me. Now I go to my local Starbucks almost every morning just to feel the vibes of the crowd. Somehow, it’s working for me. :)

  7. October 14, 2011 7:50 pm

    Jan, thanks for the encouragement; yes, it all feels very right, I am feeling a flow right now. And I understand what you mean about needing some restoration time, I go through cycles like that, where I don’t honor my body as well as I would like, and then cycle back to it. You have been working hard, helping others, back to yourself:-)

  8. October 14, 2011 7:53 pm

    Akemi, so wonderful to see you again in my comment queu!! That is fascinating about your experience with Portland. That is another whole post I think – how location impacts us. Isn’t Portland closer to the ocean? Perhaps you need that? And I completely agree about not getting caught up in dogmatic beliefs about what is healthy or spiritual eating, it is very individual for each person, and at different times in our lives.

  9. Amy M permalink
    October 15, 2011 3:44 am

    This was a wonderful post, LIsa! Thank you. I will have to get back in the habit of following my reader so I can catch your posts again. And I want to check out your ebook. Also, I am enjoying the book you left me here as well, right now. But, back to this post in particular, perhaps this is why I have been so all over the place with food lately. After being pretty committed to vegan eating and avoiding most gluten and sugar for over a year, I am back to eating everything at various times. Some of which is merely for comforts sake right now, but some of which is an intense craving for animal protein that I feel deep in my body. Depending on how my stomach is feeling I roam between vegan and serious carnivore throughout each cycle. I have to read more of this book you recommend. Thank you so much for the intro. Take care! XO – Amy

  10. October 15, 2011 9:54 pm

    Hi Amy, I’m glad this was interesting to you. Yes, in your situation it’s no wonder your body would be swinging around a bit in terms of what it needs. The root chakra has to do with overall strength including immunity so I do think fortifying that is important. And the 2nd chakra has alot to do with rejuvenation/recovery (in lots of traditional energy healing cultures healers would be celibate to preserve their 2nd chakra power for healing) so that one is particularly important too. Sweet potatoes/yams are a great option because they nurture both the 1st/2nd chakra, as a root vegetable and orange. But yes, you may really need the density of animal protein right now vibrationally. Take care-

  11. October 15, 2011 11:55 pm

    The mother ocean is 100 miles away, about the same distance from Portland or Eugene. And in both locations, my place are on the hill.
    It’s been only a month since I moved back to Portland area, so perhaps too early to say anything definitive, but for me, the big difference is 1) not sleeping in the sun basement — too close to earth for me 2) there are more people here. Somehow I feel more vibrant and balanced in a large city.

  12. October 15, 2011 11:56 pm

    Btw I never missed your posts :) Just have been too busy to write comments for the last few weeks. (Plus my own blog is in semi retirement) Glad to see you again online.

  13. October 17, 2011 5:38 pm

    That’s great, Lisa. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year feeling the energy of food. After my trip to France last year, I began to tune into the vibration of food and find myself drawn to organic food stores and restaurants that only serve organic food or food cooked with integrity. This post helps me sort it out even more according to chakra and that is really interesting. My spirit guide talked about eating orange foods for the sacral chakra but I never looked any further into that. Very cool. I will try printing out this list and doing more personal research on what works for me. The third eye chakra and its relation to tea/chocolate rings very true for me. Plus, looking over the past year and seeing the changes in my food choices for me and my family is very interesting in regards to the chakras. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!!!!

  14. October 18, 2011 6:39 pm

    Hi Akemi, that is fascinating. As much as I love nature, and find it essential to be in for me, I have always been an urban-dweller as well, although now I am on the outskirts of LA, which is perfect. I get the people thing – we are relational beings, not hermits (at least in this lifetime!)

  15. October 18, 2011 6:41 pm

    Hi Melinda, thanks I’m glad it made sense for you. The third eye chocolate thing is fascinating – it comes up over and over in various spiritual/occult traditions. I have heard that Incam shamans used some cocoa-bean concoction as a vision quest stimulant. And of course in the Harry Potter books, chocolate is what helps them recover whenever they have an encounter with dark forces. I am all for chocolate (good chocolate, in the right quantities anyway.)

  16. October 19, 2011 1:38 am

    Wow. Super wow. I have been stuck in some eating patterns for about a year now that have caused a 20 pound weight gain, after loosing enough to get to a healthy weight 6 years ago. I know I eat to “ground,” and recently noticed that when I have been in a group for several hours, usually leading it or teaching it, afterwards I immediately reach for the crappiest foods I can find. I have changed my schedule radically over the past 3 years so I have more time alone or working with people one on one, because I am extremely sensitive and psychically tuned. Anyway, thanks for some concrete things to try.

  17. October 19, 2011 6:32 pm

    Cate, yes, I have had many of the same challenges with group teaching, for the same reasons, although I really love it, so am trying to work through it. Working with food has been a big help (as well as finetuning my exercise regime to make sure I am properly cleared out from the energies I pick up.) Supporting all three lower chakras is particularly important for me in teaching – the 1st for grounding, the 3rd for shielding, and the 2nd/sacral because I have realized I draw on it a lot in guided meditations. Not everyone does, it is just my particularly proclivity – a kind of ‘womb of the world’ thing, which is very Tantric. It took some time to dope this out. My favorite pre-teaching food is fish and sweet potatoes, lol – protein/root vegetable/omega 3/orange. I eat alot of whole grains in general, so usually my 3rd chakra is covered already. I do often have a bit of chocolate or coffee before or after, and that seems to stem the craving instinct too.

  18. October 29, 2011 11:20 pm

    Lisa this is fascinating and really appeals to me greatly. As someone who is studying clinical nutrition, I’m also greatly interested in the energetic nature of food and how it interacts with and affects us on this level. It’s a wonderfully intuitive approach. But what I find equally compelling is the inclusiveness of this idea – that it doesn’t demonise food but explore the energetic qualities. Thanks for an excellent post. I was just about to share a link to your e-book, but now I have to share this one as well! Too good to miss!

  19. October 30, 2011 5:29 am

    Hi Lisa! So great to read your posts again! Having never “juiced” before, as I started up this new school this fall, I had an overwhelming urge to begin. I pulled my husband’s juicer off the high shelf, Googled juice recipes and came upon one that had carrots, celery, apple, cucumber, and spinach, and I’ve been drinking that same one (somewhat) regularly since school began. So we have roots, orange, (does the red from apple peel count as a red fruit?) for 1st and 2nd chakras, spinach or kale for the 4th, and then juice, in general, for the 5th.

    I’ve had the sense that this was a subtle energetic boost for me in some way, and now it’s clear. My 3rd chakra is always on high beams, anyway, and between morning coffee and afternoon chocolate, I have the 6th covered. This makes a lot of sense, and now I’m more motivated than ever to cut up those veggies the night before so I can enjoy this juice daily. Thanks!

  20. October 30, 2011 7:55 pm

    Antoinette – thank you, I’m glad you like it. That’s what I like too – the inclusiveness. I know you and I have talked before about how diet may be very individual, there is no one size fits all approach, in terms of genetics and energetic makeup and lifestyle, there are so many different factors. So for me this really provided a foundation for working with my diet that clicked.

  21. October 30, 2011 7:57 pm

    Alexis, Wow, what a juice, both energetically and nutritionally. Yes, with all you are doing right now, you probably need that full chakra support. I have to be careful with juices, I can only do them in small doses, they seem to overwhelm my digestive system, but I am working on finding the right combos, because they are such a great way to combining lots of different energetic and nutritional benefits. I am so looking forward to hearing about your latest venture:-)

  22. November 1, 2011 3:11 am

    I love the words in the title of this article — eating, subtle, body. Energy and subtle are the same here. Eating is such a primal thing. A prisoner, a monk, and a hermit each have bodies and food and not much more. Our bodies are such elegant things. Subtle elegance fits what you’ve written here. The subtle energy that surrounds and infuses our bodies, the seven chakras, being mindful of what foods fit each chakra. Thanks for the helpful reminders.

  23. November 2, 2011 8:36 pm

    Hi Brenda, good to see you here. Yes, I’m glad you mentioned eating being primal, because that is why I like chakra/energetic work I think – it connects the spiritual and primal. Too often spiritual topics are approached as being the polar opposite of our primal instincts/experiences, but it’s all one big wide spectrum. And I think approaching things vibrationally helps connect it all.

  24. August 7, 2012 3:07 am

    This is such an old post so I don’t know if you’ll read this but . . .

    This post was a revelation to me! I found it because I was googling “how to heal the second chakra” – I pinched a sacral nerve doing very gentle yoga and my chiropractor said it was from stress. Secretly I knew it was second chakra issues so I was trying to find more info.

    I have never heard that coffee/tea/chocolate is stimulating to the third eye! I am a very intuitive and sensitive person since childhood and have poor energetic boundaries (I absorb other people’s feelings too easily) – when I have even the smallest amount of caffeine I am incredibly overstimulated and my mind races with millions of ideas and inspiration. To have one cup of coffee is the equivalent of taking lots of cocaine. Even green tea will zing me for hours.

    Recently – knowing NOTHING about this third eye framework – I decided to give up all caffeine foods entirely and only use them for ritual purposes. I could find nothing about “coffee sacred rituals” on google, but I imagined keeping a small bag of the best coffee beans and ritually grinding/preparing one cup of coffee to be drunk only in a ritual designed around conceiving new ideas for my writing and artistic projects. I intuitively made the connection that caffeine is a third-eye drug.

    I can’t thank you enough for this fantastic site.

  25. August 7, 2012 5:27 pm

    EH – that is fascinating about your third-eye coffee ritual! I have read that some East African cultures used coffee in religious rituals, and have often felt that perhaps the Mayans or cultures related to them might have also. Deanna Minich’s book, mentioned in this post, has a lot more great info re: chakras and food. I assume you also saw the 2nd chakra posts that I have here, since you are looking for sacral healing. The sacral and third eyes are very linked in a lot of women, gifts in these areas often mark classic intuitives, which it sounds like you are. The sacral absorbs a lot of other’s emotions, so working on boundaries, particularly through the first and third chakra, are very important to protect it, and filter what you take in. Ideally the third eye helps process the energetic ‘data’ received, but as you noted, when it’s overstimulated, our whole being just gets hyperactive instead. Good luck with your healing, feel free to email me questions if any come up. – Lisa

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