Chakra Food Series: 6th Chakra

 

On to Big number 6.  This is one of the two higher chakras that are more involved with intuition and spirituality.  This is where the line between the physical and the spiritual world start to blur.  The best way to look at it is that the bottom 3 chakras primarily relate to the physical world.  The top 3 relate more to spiritual things.  The heart chakra binds the two together in the middle.

So what is the 6th chakra all about?  It is the center for your intuition.  The color is indigo.  The organs/glands related to this system are brain, pineal and other glands, ears, and nose.  Your “3rd eye.”  This center starts to use senses beyond the ordinary 5.  Things like the ability to sense energy, “knowing” when something is right or wrong for you, and really seeing what is real and not real in the world.  And i do NOT mean on an information level.  I mean beyond the mental thought patterns and learned behaviors, what is really real for you in your world.  This is an important area for a lot of people with health challenges.  There are so many “experts” out there that often we listen to all the information out there and get mixed up with what our own body is telling us.  Some people need more rest, some more exercise.  I may be exercising more and utilizing more animal foods than i was a month ago.  These are things that your 3rd eye will communicate with you.  The main problem is that most of us are taught to shut down this center.  “Dreams are not real, don’t trust your instincts, trust the facts, only experts know best,” are some of the things you may hear.  Children know that their dreams and intuition means a lot.  It is how they navigate the world.

So how do we energetically “feed” this center?  In short, we learn to get back in tune with our natural instincts.  How much fear do we have because we doubt ourselves?  We doubt our worth as people, we doubt our bodies ability to heal, we doubt that our job/relationship/school is going to work out.  We are not listening and TRUSTING our brow chakra.  If you start doing work with this center you will start to TRUST your own intuition again.  You will “know” that your relationship is on a good path.  You will “know” if a certain food you are eating is good or bad for you at a given time.  Sometimes this means giving up some of our favorite foods.  Other times, it may mean ending a relationship that you were forcing but just wasn’t right.  Ultimately, this means accepting what is true in your world.  This is not an easy thing to do.  Most of us want to look away from traumas, bad health, bad situations, whatever it is.  But honestly, how are we supposed to fix the problem if we refuse to look at it for what it really is?  The body can heal itself from ANYTHING in 99% of cases..  So you just need to figure out what is the block.

So energetic tips for this energy center are : dreamwork, listening to your inner voice, spending time in nature (a lion knows to eat meat, a giraffe knows to eat leaves.)  Also, giving yourself permission to drop the curtain of what you would like the world to be and to see it for how it really is.  Most of us filter life through a lens that allows us to see what we want to see but not always the truth.  It takes time to trust your own feelings so don’t feel bad if it takes a while.  It is a learned habit not to trust yourself, but i can promise you that it is not a “natural” habit.

So how do we feed it through food?  As I have noted, the higher up we go, the lighter the food gets.  Things that fuel this source are the more delicate fruits and liquids.

PLANT FOODS: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, red grapes, small amounts of red wine, plums. Lavender oil can also be good here.

ANIMAL FOODS: At this point in the totem, animal foods are not really necessary.  This is partly the reason that people on spiritual paths often fast or eat very plan, light food.  Now this does not mean animal food is bad.  The upper chakras are very sensitive and vibrate at a high rate.  If we are bogged down with heavy food, we can’t always see what is going on in our lives.  This is why many people emotionally eat or drink.  Think of the girl mowing down a tub of ice cream or the guy drinking pitchers of beer and pizzas after a hard break up.

So in simple terms, this center is all about using your higher order senses (which all of us have) and trusting in your own instincts.  This often means getting in touch with a higher power (7th chakra) and letting go of a lot of old programming that taught you to listen to “logic” and facts over intuition.  Personally, I feel that the best way to get this chakra moving is to get a really good relationship with God and nature.  You will see how things really work.  Also, just an ability to accept things as they are.  I know I used to spend a lot of time and energy running or hiding from what i really should have been looking at.  So lets all get in the habit of trusting ourselves again.  Trusting that we have the ability to be wise.  Trusting that we have the ability to know what’s best for us.  If something doesn’t vibe with what you “feel” to be correct, then don’t do it.  After a while, you will see that intuition can be one of the best possible guides =)

For the food of the day, I always love fresh blueberries and raspberries.  These are the foods I am eating today to feed this center.  Enjoy.

-Joe

 

 

 

 

 

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Chakra Food Series: 5th Chakra

 

On we go.  The 5th Chakra represents the throat and thyroid primarily.  The color for it is blue.  Organs and glands associated are primarily the thyroid, glands, neck, jaws, etc.  If you have problems in this area you may have issues with your thyroid or have some TMJ or stiff neck.

So now that we know a little bit about this, how do we feed it energetically?  The 5th chakra basically correlates with our ability/choice to express ourselves.  This is done through voice, singing, laughing, yelling, etc.  We have a lot of emotions in our bodies.  Maybe you get mad at somebody but you don’t speak up about it.  The energy will be suppressed.  Long-term suppression of things can lead to thyroid and other issues.  This also would represent other expressive arts.  Things like journaling, drawing, writing, playing music, sports, etc.  Anything that can be used as a creative outlet for what you are feeling on the inside will help this chakra.

So what about food?  One thing that you will notice is that as you go up the scale, food to fuel the energy centers gets lighter the higher up you go.  Fruit seems to resonate very well with this area.  However, not necessarily the super sweet fruits as the 2nd chakra did.  Tart fruits are also incorporated.  Also liquids are very helpful for this area.  Think fluidity, expression, sensitivity.

 

PLANT FOODS: apples, blueberries, plums, pears, peaches, kiwi, lemon, limes, asparagus

ANIMAL FOODS: light flaky fish.

 

So as a rule, heavier foods tend to somewhat overburden your upper energy centers if you can’t burn through them.  This is why you often hear not to eat too much meat or starch.  There is nothing wrong with them as far as food goes.  However, you want to be sure that you are not consuming in “excess” of what your body burns through on a regular basis.  You also don’t want to under-eat either =)  Tomorrow will be the 6th or Brow Chakra.  This center represents your “intuition” or ability to see things beyond the 5 senses.  I picked up some amazing peaches from the farmers market yesterday so that will be my 5th chakra food for the day.  Enjoy.

 

-Joe

 

Chakra Food Series: 4th Chakra

On we go.  The 4th chakra is linked with the color green and is representative of your “Heart.”  Some will argue this is the most powerful chakra.  Others, that it is just the key to opening up all the other chakras.  This is the center for love, forgiveness, compassion and caring.  This applies towards yourself, other people, and the larger world.  The glands related to this area obviously involve the heart, but also the immune system, lymph, and lungs.  Is it a coincidence that we have a lot of heart disease, immune system problems, lung disease, etc in America?  Sure it is caused to poor lifestyle choices also, but how many people do you know who are unconditionally loving and living honestly?  People that have dealt with their issues?

Ok, so how do we feed this chakra energetically?  As this spot represents love and forgiveness, these are the two main things we need to work on.  This means keeping an open and honest mind and heart, practicing kindness and compassion, and letting go of past hurts.  Now sometimes we need to go back in the past to heal the present and the future.  If you had a traumatic childhood, abusive relationship, bad divorce, or an unexpected death in the family, you may need to go back and face up to those events and the feelings involved so that you can move forward.  If you do not forgive (yourself, people, God) for what has happened in your life it will be very hard to move forward and to open up this chakra.  I think this is why a lot of people just end up “shut-down” emotionally, because they have been wounded in their heart chakra and have yet to open it back up again.  This chakra has the power to open up all the other chakras as “Love heals all.”  This does not mean it is not important to work on the others, it just means that sometimes there are blocks in other areas of your life that require unconditional love and an open heart to unlock.  Without that love and acceptance of whatever happened or is happening, you will not be able to fully change.

Ok, enough about that.  On to the Food.  This chakra is green and represents love.  How do we feed it?  The short answer is GREEN vegetables.  You know, the ones everyone says are good for you?  They are rich in chlorophyll and a fairly direct energy transfer from the sun.  This, more than any other category is probably deficient in the average American diet.

PLANT FOODS: All leafy green vegetables.  Spinach, kale, collard, dandelion, broccoli, brussels sprouts, zucchini, artichokes, peas, celery, and cabbage.  Spices may include basil, thyme, and sage.  More concentrated foods would be avocados, olives, and olive oil.  Green tea is also good here.

ANIMAL FOODS: Some may disagree but i find that some types of meat (mainly lightly cooked ret meat or liver) may feed this center too.  They can bring courage to face up to things that may be discouraging.

Another interesting aspect with heart chakra food would appear to be HOW it is prepared.  Everyone knows that good food tastes better when it was made by your mom or grandma.  Grilled food tastes better when your dad cooked it at your family home.  Love IS an energetic presence and it is spread into anything it touches.  If this happens to be food, then the vibrational rate of the food shows it.  Believe it or not, even the method of growing the food comes into play here.  Healthy gardens produced by caring people will create better food.  This applies to all foods, not just heart chakra foods.  And last but not least, HOW you eat really matters.  A lot of us try to be so “healthy” that we stop enjoying ourselves.  We start worrying about whether a certain food is good or not for us.  Food is meant to be enjoyed.  So create a good dish with some green vegetables.  Maybe bless it or say a prayer before you eat.  Leave the T.V. off.  Eat in silence or talk with a close family member or friend.  All of these things will nourish your heart center.

Today, I decided to create a bowl of steamed fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, and thyme.  A little olive oil or butter mixed in.  Tomorrow I will be going over the 5th chakra, representing your thyroid, throat, and center for expression and voice. Enjoy.

-Joe

Chakra Food Series: 3rd Chakra

This is #3 in a 7 part series discussing some of the foods you can use to fuel the different energy centers in your body.  In the future, I will do more about the functions of these chakras and how to utilize and heal them energetically.  But for now we will just go over the basics and the different foods you can use to bring energy to these systems.

So what is the 3rd chakra all about?  This is the center for self-esteem, perfection, sensitivity to criticism, personal power, and feeling comfortable with who you are.  It is damaged when we don’t accept ourselves for who we are or put too much credence to what other people think about us. It is also damaged when we feel powerless in our own lives or controlled by situations out of our control.  The 3rd chakra is the color yellow and is located in your solar plexus area of your stomach.  As such, it helps control digestion and metabolism.  This is why you see people crossing their arms over their stomach when they are feeling nervous or defensive.  This is obviously just an overview, now on to the food =)

Ok.  So now that we know a little bit about the 3rd chakra, what types of foods do we use to feed it?  Well continuing with the color yellow, these are some of the best foods for this chakra.  This is the “fire” center or sun type energy in the body.  So the foods we feed it have these similar qualities.  Yellow and energetic.  This is not a center for sugar but of starch or substance.

Foods included on this list would be squashes (especially yellow), olive oil, yellow onions, garlic, properly prepared grains (especially rice), cauliflower, parsnips and lemons. Animal foods would include egg yolks, butter, light turkey and chicken.  These are foods that will help feed your 3rd chakra.  During the course of this series I will be preparing a recipe that utilizes some of these.

Today was: Yellow squash with heirloom yellow cauliflower from the market.  This has a pat of homemade raw butter on it and a little sea salt.  Photo up top. Enjoy.

-Joe

Chakra Food Series: 2nd Chakra

The saga continues.  Today is about the 2nd chakra.

This is generally the center for emotions, feelings, and sensuality.  This area governs things such as emotional relationships, intimacy, opening up to others about what is really going on with you.  It also has to do with what I am beginning to call “the colors of life.”  This is about the sweetness in life.  Think about your 5 senses.  Taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing.  Most American’s have problems with this chakra as well.  We are out of touch with what is really going on inside ourselves a lot of the time.  The related color here is orange and some organs/glands related may include sex organs, bladder, spleen, and organs of elimination.  So how do we feed it?

On an energetic level we can feed our 2nd Chakra by being more open to receiving the sensory pleasures in life.  Try going to an art gallery or listening to a classic piece of music.  Make some really appetizing food that looks, smells, and tastes amazing.  Stop being so one-dimensional.  Get out of the “comfort bubble.”  If you wear grey and black all the time and that is it, get something red or yellow next time.  This center is all about embracing the “color” and “sweetness” in life.  We have energetically resigned to living out only a tiny fraction of life.  So create something new and exciting in your life to feed this area.  Also, make sure to feel gratitude for the simple things in your life that are colorful and sweet.  This might include just enjoying your family, friends, spouse, or soaking up some sun in your backyard.  Stop looking at what you DON’T have and start looking at what you DO have.

Ok, so enough about that, on to the food.  How do we nourish this energy center.  We need something colorful, fluid and sweet.  I bet some of you can already guess.

PLANT FOODS: FRUIT. Particularly orange and tropical fruits.  Oranges, peaches, papaya, bananas, mangos, coconut water is very good, water in general, berries. Vegetables might include carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. More dense options would include nuts or healthy oils.

ANIMAL FOODS: Animal foods are not particularly helpful here but things such as salmon, sardines, and other fish are good options.  Think of things living in the water or having a very fluid persona.

Now personally, I don’t do well with too much sweet fruits.  You have to see what your own body wants.  Obviously, don’t sit down to eat a whole bunch of bananas.  This is more about ENJOYING the sweetness and taste in your own life.  Fruits are some of nature’s tastiest snacks.  If you are sugar sensitive, try favoring berries, cherries, coconut meat and water.  Other than that, enjoy the color in your life and focus on what is exciting.  Life is too short not to open yourself up to the beauty all around. Enjoy.

-Joe

Chakra Food Series: 1st Chakra

The series continues with the 1st or “Root” Chakra.  This is your lowest chakra and is most related to the physical world.  This is our grounding, our connection to the planet.  This is the most basic stuff and the first to form.  The issues related here involve things having to do with our connection to our families, the birth process itself, how safe we feel in our environment, and our physical energy.  Related organs could include adrenal glands, spinal column, bones, and kidneys.  This chakra has the color red and is located near your tailbone.

So how do we feed and fuel this chakra?  Well you can feed it through food and you can feed it energetically.  Ultimately, the energetic work needs to be done to achieve lasting flow through this area but food can help a lot to get it moving.  So energetically, we need to work on our “grounding,” safety, security, finances, our ability to provide for ourselves and our families, and our relationship to our family and the Earth itself.  Techniques you may use to help aid you here are literally “grounding” yourself to the earth.  This just means walking barefoot or sitting with your feet in the grass.  This helps connect you physically to the electric energy of the planet.  If you stress out about money or food, really try to not spend money on things you don’t need.  This will create stress with you and your family.  Just try to make sure you live in a carefree, peaceful environment.  Also, work out any family conflicts or birth traumas that may have happened to you.  Basically, the whole point is to make your body, mind, and spirit feel safe and secure in the world so that your higher chakras can function.  You are not thinking about sex, God, love, or much of anything else when you are running for your life =)

So on to fun part.  How do we feed this chakra through food?

The “Root” chakra and the color red are the basics here.  So the foods to fuel this area include root vegetables and red foods.  Protein is also considered very grounding.  Think comfort food.  This is why people emotionally eat sometimes.  We like to “ground” ourselves out and feel more dense if something is wrong.  Here is a list of foods you might consume if you want to feel more grounded.

PLANT FOODS: Beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, rutabaga, winter squash, cherries and red apples.  Plant protein foods could include raw soaked nuts.  Things like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts are very dense and grounding.

ANIMAL FOODS: Red meat is especially grounding.  Bison, beef, lamb.  Also dark meat turkey, chicken and maybe eggs.  Light meat and fish is not as grounding as the heavier stuff.  Pork would be extremely grounding although I personally don’t believe pork is a very good food for most people.

So what did i pick to do today for the red stuff?  It is early summer where I live and I’m working on some detox right now so I decided to do some juiced beets, a little red apple, celery, and maybe some dandelion leaves.  All these will help with detoxification, especially the liver.  Photo up top. Enjoy.

-Joe

Mixed up FITNESS

Français : Force athlétique

 

Does running on a treadmill every day sound familiar?  How about bench pressing every day trying to squeeze out that extra rep.  It seems that the majority of us tend to fall into routines with our fitness just like everything else we do.  We find an exercise that we think is “comfortable” for us and we stick with it.  Now don’t get me wrong, if walking is the only exercise you will commit to regularly than by all means stick with it.  However, if you are trying to get fit or in shape, you may want to think about mixing it up a bit.  There are at least 10 parameters of fitness which I will not get into right now.  But some of the basics would include strength, power, endurance, stamina, flexibility, speed, agility, etc.  I’m sure by now you have heard of the term “body confusion.”  This is the new hype in workout programs and diet plans.  The reason is because it works.  If i do push ups and sit ups every single day my body will eventually get good at push ups and sit ups but not much else.  If i jog every day, that is what my body will adapt to.  I can jog every day and then get exhausted pretty quick on a bike ride.  Maybe i do calisthenics every day but then get hit real hard by a weight lifting session.  So what can we do here?  You don’t need to have a lot of fancy equipment or gym memberships to do this.  Here are some general ideas.

WARM UP- basic stretching, yoga, warm up stretching, massage, slow walking, qigong, or tai chi.  Sometimes if your feeling tired, this is good to do by itself.

CARDIO – jogging, brisk walking, bike riding, kayaking, swimming, sports, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, jump rope, and martial arts.

BODYWEIGHT – calisthenics, yoga, sports, push ups/pull ups.  There are at least 10 different ways to do push ups and pull ups.  Mix up your routine so you are doing different exercises every time you train.  Use objects such as chairs to make things more challenging.  Some light weights or kettlebells could be used here as well.

STRENGTH – Personally, i think this is the lease important area to work on.  I knew so many people who focused on trying to “get huge” but end up sluggish with a slow metabolism.  But things like lifting weights, sprinting, climbing ropes, pushing/pulling heavy objects, moving furniture, etc will do it.

The most important thing here is to always “mix it up.”  Not only will your body become a lot more rounded and strong, but you will be participating in a ton more activities than you were before on your “one track” fitness routine.  So lets stop playing it safe with what we know we can do and start changing things up a bit.

-Joe