When you are restoring your brain and body from the damage of intense abuse from alcohol, food and drugs, you want to understand how to eat to best support your recovery.
What you eat in recovery can make the process towards thriving again in your body a lot easier.
If you want to cure the underlying imbalance, it is essential to understand the dynamics that make for addiction - whether that be food, drugs, alcohol or disordered eating behaviors.
What is interesting to me, is that these self-abusive behaviors all have that in common, that the energetics are out of whack in a similar fashion. For those of you who prefer neuroscientific terms - the brain chemistry component; particular serotonin and dopamine.
This means that we will benefit from adhering to a strategy that helps to re-align that imbalanced energy in our body, that literally makes our skin crawl and go after self-destruction, self-distraction and acting out.
Different foods have different signature energetics.
Often we are so focused on what science has proven regarding nutrient and antioxidant value that we are blind to the fact, that foods have a lot more value than simply antioxidant value and glycemic index. If you follow either of these two strategies, you will be eliminating a lot of nourishing foods, ironically. It is not uncommon for doctors or self-proclaimed health gurus to recommend only eating foods above a certain nutrient score or glycemic index.
What does this mean in reality?
Well, if you are eating food focused on only nutrient score, you will be drowning in leafy greens and avoiding meat, fish, eggs and actually also many vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds. Mind you, potatoes sit at the top of the Satiety Index. Meaning they help us to feel satisfied - but ohno, we can't eat them, because we are focused on antioxidants.
Yet we find ourselves hungry, cranky - and eventually binging at the end of the day.
Now tell me, how does that make any sense?
When we only focus on nutrient score and green juices, our body is constantly detoxing. We are not getting enough building blocks to balance hormones and cells to develop a stress threshold for modern living.
We need to understand that what we eat needs to match our lifestyle demands.
When we eat meat, we take on the energetics of that food; i.e. drive, strength and resilience - both because it helps to balance cortisol, but also because we literally are what we eat.
Food is energy. Different foods have different energetics. Not calories - but spiritual, emotional and nutritional energy.
Now, if we are living in the Himalayas, meditating hours a day, gazing at nature and encountering very little EMF, stress and modern day living demands, then we do not want grounding foods such as meat. We want to eat to expand our meditation experience - we want to eat to feel light. And we can eat and thrive this way, because there are no stressors taxing our central nervous system or wiping out our adrenal glands. This is a recipe for a disaster, however, if you are living in a concrete jungle and need to function at a high pace; except for temporary detoxification needs. And this also explains exactly why we have proponents in both vegan and paleo diet camps: The diets have very different energetics to them, and those of us who live a life where we need that type of "energy", will find ourselves thriving on either or, and think this is the key to health. It may be for us - it may be at that time, but as our life changes, so will our body's needs for other "food energetics". If we are stuck in a food religion, we will find it very difficult to listen to our body's changing needs.
Your lifestyle demands determines what foods your body needs to develop resilience in that environment.
If we are following low glycemic index, we will shy away from dates, bananas, rice, potatoes, raisins, cooked carrots and anything "sweet". These foods are time-tested Eastern medicine remedies to calm an aggravated central nervous system. Yet, what we call "science" in the West is very young, just a couple decades often. Yes, all those "safe" prescription medicine we take, have only been tested on often less than a hundred people and only assessed for a couple years, before they are released like candy in the name of healthcare. It is really quite horrific. there is not a single prescription drug out there, that doesn't deplete the body of b-vitamins, imbalance gut health and contribute to leaky gut. Leaky gut is something everybody should be concerned about - we just do not know that we have compromised gut integrity - but this is the key to a lot of chronic diseases, and even just everyday health distress.
All the current Western scientific findings have only shown to prove what Eastern medicine has been practicing for thousands of years. And yet we call Western medicine "cutting-edge" and health-breakthroughs". It is a bit mind boggling to say the least.
How do you think your body feels without anything sweet in its life?
It feels deprived, restricted, stressed out and unable to feel calm and grounded - nourished. Sweetness is nature's way of telling us that something is edible - I am talking about whole foods, not chemically altered processed stuff.
We know that sweet taste has a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Mother's milk is pretty sweet and this helps calm the baby. It feels protected, safe and nurtured.
From a scientific perspective, sweetness helps to balance serotonin - our natural balancer and mood regulator.
Most of us know this intuitively.
On a hot summer day, nothing feels as refreshing and calming as a sweet lemonade or slice of watermelon. No one wants to be eating dry flax crackers on a hot summer day. It just doesn't feel good. Your body instantly determines the nutrient contents and the energetics of what we eat faster than I can get a lab feedback on what is really going on at a biochemically in your body.
Your body is providing you this feedback all the time, and you can learn how to decode it with conscious mindful practice and evaluation of current biochemical setpoint and compare that to how you feel on different foods. Often we ignore this as being non-sense because we have no faith in that our body is smart. Yet, when we understand that foods do indeed have different signature energetics, it becomes obvious why we sometimes feel awesome and other days not so good. If you are already hot, angry and stressed out - how do you think your body will feel by eating hot chili-peppers? However, if you are cold, depressed and weak, nothing would feel as good as a spicy hot Thai soup. this has nothing to do with the nutrient value, but everything to do with food energetics - and understanding how to match that to your current state of being - your energy.
It is about how to eat for our unique needs, and not some one-size-diet-fits-all.
When we allow ourselves to listen to our body, we tap into and immense inner wisdom that can naturally activate our self-healing potential.
Unfortunately, most of us are at war with our body.
We think we need to control, manipulate and force it. Living in the flow is about listening to everything - environment, other people and our own body.
When we choose to disconnect, we live a life in desperation, frustration, self-hate and restlessness.
You can download A Food Diary and write notes next to each meal as to begin to understand the different energetics of foods and how you respond to them.
This week, I encourage you to explore how different foods affect you - how does it feel to ask your body what it needs and honor that?