When I asked Dr. Chopra about this, his response was immediate: “Prana is the vital life force of the universe, the cosmic force . . . and it goes into you, into me, with food. When you cook with love, you transfer the love into the food and it is metabolized . . . In former days (based on the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita), the tradition was for the mother to cook the food with love and then feed it to the children; only then would she eat.”
Food and love. The thought wouldn’t let go. My thinking: if Hindus believe that loving awareness is somehow transmuted into food—and that we “ingest” this vital force when we eat— then possibly other spiritual traditions would have discovered this too. As a nutrition researcher, I was fascinated by the possibility that consciousness could alter the food we eat. And, I wondered, might it also influence the metabolism of food and in turn health and healing? To find out, I began what I call my “nutrition journey around the world.”
An Ancient Food Wisdom Odyssey: Moving Forward by Looking Back
For millennia prior to the birth of nutritional science in the twentieth century, humankind turned to the wisdom traditions—world religions, cultural traditions, and Eastern healing systems—for guidelines about what and how to eat. Given this, my quest led me to unearth and unravel cross-cultural food and nutrition guidelines, beliefs, and rituals from both the East and West. These include the following:
1. Major world religions (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism)
2. Cultural traditions (i.e., yogic nutrition, African-American soul food, Native American beliefs, the Japanese Way of Tea, Chinese food folklore)
3. Eastern healing systems that include food and nutrition guidelines (i.e., traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Tibetan medicine)
4. Nutritional science studies (from research scientists worldwide)
Results from my research, which also includes interviews with more than fifty scientists, religionists, and spiritual experts, were published in my first book, Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul.
An Old-New View: 6 Principles, 4 Facets of Food
When Larry and I stepped back to make sense of the enormous amount of ancient food wisdom we had amassed, we realized it encompasses six perennial principles that in turn comprise four facets of food. In other words, ancient food wisdom provides guidelines for 1) biological (what to eat for physical health), 2) psychological (how food affects feelings), 3) spiritual (the life-giving meaning in meals), 4) and social (dining with others) nourishment: ergo, Whole Person Integrative Eating.
Here’s how the six cohesive guidelines look from the perspective of the four facets:
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
FIGHTING STRESS with probiotics IS ALL IN THE MIND (and the gut)
Stress is an unavoidable part of life that can manifest in a myriad of situations, be it a ride on a roller coaster or working under a difficult deadline.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN STAMINA AND A HEALTHY HEART
We all have a general idea of what stamina means, but it would be helpful to start by defining stamina just so we have a consistent understanding of the term.
The Mindful Quintessence
The practice of mindfulness calls for open receptivity and awareness of all stimulation. It helps you not only to make up for lost time by performing more efficiently, but you will also see problems as they are—not what you have, till now, imagined them to be. Not that mindfulness will take you on a great journey where difficult situations just disappear at the proverbial drop of a ‘thought.'
Other help Keep You YOUNGER LONGER
When we think about how we can put the brakes on aging, what’s usually top of mind is how well we take care of our bodies with food, movement, exercise, rest — the physical essentials.
5 FOOD that promote a better nights sleep naturally
Whether you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are many strategies one can take to help improve one’s night sleep. Many choose to opt for sleeping aids, melatonin, essential oils, and more. But did you know that food can actually play a huge role in your night's sleep?
Ginseng the “ALL-HEALING MAN ROOT.”
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs worldwide. It has been used as an herbal remedy in Asia for more than 5000 years. In many countries, it has been used in traditional medicine. and as a nutritional supplement that improves the well-being and quality of life and promotes longevity. In TCM it is renowned for restoring the yin and yang. There are over 8000 studies concerning Korean Red Ginseng in PubMed, indicating the significant interest it has generated.
HEALTHY GUT FUNCTION CAN BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Healthy gut function can help improve and boost your immune system. It is your gut that helps to improve your body’s ability to fight infections. Our localized immune system is where 80% of your immune system is.
HOW SOCIAL DISTANCING Has Become the “Silent Pandemic”
We’ve been living in the wake of COVID-19 for nearly a year, and enduring a number of unfamiliar stressors that are causing anxieties to stay elevated. Whether you’re fearful of catching the virus; missing out on upcoming activities and milestones; or struggling with the economic toll the pandemic has had on us both individually and collectively, there are things you can proactively do to make life better.
Discovering Whole Person INTEGRATIVE EATING
The idea to explore a multidimensional, ancient-food-wisdom approach to food and eating had its genesis in New Delhi, India, where my co-author and husband, behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., had been invited to present at the First International Conference on Lifestyle and Health. While there, I had the opportunity to interview clinical cardiologist Dr. K. L. Chopra—father and mentor of Deepak Chopra, M.D., who is an integrative medicine and personal-transformation pioneer—about a magazine article I was intending to write on yoga and diet.
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.