Healing is intrinsic to this human form. Our bodies naturally heal constantly. The challenge is to get out of the way of this process. We can heal through body, mind and spirit. The fastest way is to consciously utilize all three.
Because the focus of this column is food, I urge you to find spirit and mind in your relationship to food. While energy work is powerful in and of itself, our body is God in the physical. We create these bodies by our very choices. We must fully live in ourselves in all that we are. That’s a tall order when you don’t feel well.
Food is the fuel that gives our muscles and all our cells the energy they need to function. Our choices determine how well they can.
Everything is relative, too. Einstein said, “When you ask a man to sit with a beautiful woman for an hour, it seems like a second. Ask the same man to sit on a hot stove for an hour and it seems like an eternity. This is a perfect example of relativism.” So it goes with food. What will heal the most quickly is relative and individual.
Healing foods are whole, unprocessed, ultimately nourishing, giving our bodies the fuel it needs for strong cells. This, in turn, allows for a strong emotional state and a peaceful spiritual state. Food affects our emotional system. A good way to figure out what is going on within is by paying attention to our behavior and feelings. Much like a good night’s sleep can give us a more grounded attitude, a nourishing meal can improve our entire outlook on life.
When we rest, our body heals. The breathing slows and the inactivity allows systems to do what they naturally do. When our digestive system is constantly dealing with fried foods or overly salty foods, for example, it uses all its healing energy to address the current crisis.
When we nurture ourselves with foods that support and nourish, the body is able to cleanse itself at other levels. I asked a friend what the first thing was that came to mind when I said healing and food. The reply was “Green and white.” In shear terms of color, green is the color of healing and white of pure light. In terms of food, green foods are amazingly healing, as are white foods (save the excessively refined ones).
“For nutritional contribution, the high-protein dark green vegetables reign supreme. This group is a nutritional powerhouse. Even the dairy group can’t match ‘super-veggies’ in key nutrients like folacin and magnesium. For plant foods, these vegetables are surprisingly good sources of protein, too; one stalk of broccoli, for instance, provides approximately 5 grams of good quality protein.” — Laurel’s Kitchen
The white healing foods would be garlic, onions, daikon (it breaks down excess fat), cauliflower (all the crucifers are powerful anti-oxidants), grains and beans. All foods can be healing — which leads us back to relativism.
When we are clean enough, our body will take what’s good and dump the rest. This isn’t an excuse to eat poorly. We have to start at ground zero to attain this state by removing offensive and overly hard to digest foods from our diet, replacing them with fresh wholesome foods. We can fast, cleanse or simply make the steady transition to healthier choices. You can’t make wise food choices when you are plugged up with bad food. So it begins with the commitment to nourish and nurture this physical self with good physical food.
At the same time, we mustn’t allow our choices to make us inflexible and closed to the experience of living. It is entirely appropriate to eat things we know are less than optimum when they are offered in love and connect us to a greater system. Take our families, for example. As the only one of 10 in my natal family devoted to consciously applying food to healing, being exactly as I am has had a profoundly positive influence on my parents, siblings and their families. It also creates some separation.
To lessen this separation, I often eat foods I wouldn’t choose on my own when I am with them. It says, “I accept you as you are and can share with you.” I can heal whatever is created by those choices quietly on my own without alienating those I love. It’s okay to not eat some of the things they might — like meat. That keeps me living fully in my own principles. If you have a bad day, it is a mere instant and we can always choose to have a better now or tomorrow. It is through practice and commitment to improving that we can effect a way of being that is healthful, joyful and allows us to be what we are — purely natural.
So instead of asking a man to sit on your stove for an hour, try this recipe. It takes less than an eternity.
- Green and White Quinoa Pilaf
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 1 3/4 Cups boiling water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic-minced
- small yellow onion-diced
- 1 Cup cubed daikon (peel to lessen hot flavor)
- 1 bunch greens (collards, kale, beet tops, chard, etc.)-chopped
- 1/4 Cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1/4 Cup walnuts-roasted
- 1/4 bunch parsley-chopped
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse quinoa (keen-wa) in a fine mesh strainer with cold water. This removes the outer layer — bitter tasting saponin. Rinse until water no longer foams. Let it drain as you prepare veggies.
Heat oil and saute garlic and onion until tender. Add salt, daikon, greens, water chestnuts, quinoa and boiling water. Return to boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes or so.
While the pilaf cooks, roast walnuts on an ungreased tray at 350 for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Test grain for doneness.
There should be little rings like sliver moons and grain should be tender. Add water if needed.
Stir in walnuts, parsley and pepper. Cover and allow pilaf to rest 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!