When I was in high school, my parents threw a dinner party where you order each course of your meal by choosing 5 numbers from 1-20 without knowing what each number represented. The results were hilarious in that you might end up with 1.) a Fork, 2.) Jell-O, 3.) Ketchup, 4.) Broccoli, and 5.) a Straw. It was the most unusual four-course meal ever! As random as it was, we did get a balanced meal in the end even if we had to eat Jell-O with a fork.
Sometimes, what we choose to eat and how to eat it may seem just as random, but there is Feng Shui a play, eating can be a reflection of ourselves and following a few simple steps, we can Feng Shui our food and kitchen for better health!
Eating the Feng Shui Five Elements
We all know the ideal meal has a variety of colors. Not only is a monochrome meal boring to look at, it doesn’t provide the variety of nutrients that our bodies need.
Feng Shui and Chinese Medicine are closely linked. And I asked my friend and Chinese Medicine Expert, Srinika Narayan, to tell us more about how Chinese Medicine uses the 5 Elements with foods. “The Five Elements are associated with seasons and organs and when you eat foods according to the season, it will help balance the corresponding organ.”
For example: the Metal Element is associated with the color white, the season of Autumn, and the body organ of the lungs. So incorporating pungent white foods, such as those in the onion family, are useful for dispelling mucous and common colds that often occur during this time of year.
The Five Elements on Your Plate
- Metal – White – Autumn – Lungs – pungent white foods such as onions.
- Water – Black – Winter – Kidneys – dark, salty foods such as seaweed or miso soup.
- Wood – Green – Spring – Liver – leafy vegetables and sour flavors such as lime or vinegar.
- Fire – Red – Summer – Heart – As the heart is already quite active in summer, choose bitter foods such as burdock root or sprouts to reduce excess fire and clean out the cardiovascular system.
- Earth – Yellow – Late Summer – Spleen-Pancreas – sweet potatoes, yams, and squash.
She goes on to say, “A well balanced plate will promote the health of each of the major organs, but eat more of the flavor and color of foods that correspond to each season for best health.”
Yin & Yang Foods
The goal of Feng Shui is to create harmony and one of the ways we do that is to create a balance between Yin and Yang, the active and the passive. With food, we can do this as well as all food falls on a continuum of Yang to Yin.
In fact, you can anticipate how you will feel after a meal based on what kinds of foods you eat! Want to feel more energized? Eat Yang! Want to feel more relaxed and mellow? Eat Yin!
Yang foods are more energetic, they are warming foods that stimulate movement, progress and activity. These foods include meat and eggs, and hard cheeses. Yin foods are cooling and promote relaxation and reflection, such as liquids, fruit, sour foods and vegetables.
Cooking with Heart – Feng Shui Food Preparation
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Like Water for Chocolate was the one in which she prepares the meal while completely depressed and when the guests come to eat, they all begin inexplicably crying! It’s Feng Shui food preparation at its most elemental!
Everything you do around the process of your food preparation and dining gets absorbed right into the food and then into your body. This is why we strive to create a kitchen that is clean, bright, and happy! Sometimes, just playing some favorite music or taking a moment to dance in between washing and chopping can add some zip to your meal and to your body!
And bring out the best! You deserve to eat on the your best dishes! In fact, toss out the chipped, broken and cracked dish ware and bent forks and give yourself the royal treatment.
Where you eat maters as well. If you’re accustomed to eating in front of the TV, try out your dining room table! And one tip for romance: sit next to your partner during the meal instead of across from each other. Your energies can mingle more and so can you!
Feng Shui Dining Out!
A last note on Feng Shui and Food is to consider how the atmosphere of the restaurant you are dining in is going to affect your health and energy. There’s a reason restaurants lower the lights during the dinner hour! Bright, open, loud places are great for increasing your energy at lunch or before going out on the town. And softly lit, cozy, quiet places provide the perfect setting to wind down and prepare yourself for drifting off to blissful sleep. Confuse the two and you may well fall asleep at work or stay up all night!
Wishing you all the best in food and health!