This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping run a retreat for some of the ladies I coach with Robyn. On Sunday, we had a special guest teacher come teach us all about adaptogens, a special class of healing plants that help balance, restore and protect the body. We learned about which of these superfoods are best for stress, which are good for your hormones and which support glowing skin. I've talked about some of these before, like maca and ashwaganda, and they are featured in many of my recipes like this Superfood Hot Cocoa and this Berry Avocado Beauty Smoothie.
However, my biggest takeaway from Jamie's talk was NOT that I needed more of these herbs in my life. I realized there was something else missing from my diet.
I needed more intention with my food.
What do I mean by that? Essentially I needed to more strongly believe that my food (and drinks!) is good for me and helping me feel my best.
As someone who's struggled with digestive issues, it can sometimes feel like food is the enemy. Is this going to make me bloated? Will I have a stomach ache after eating this? Will this give me heartburn?
Sure, food itself can be healing or harmful, but it's actually your thoughts that have more power to improve your health.
Does this feel a little too woo-woo for you? I hear you - I was a skeptic too. But it turns out there have been multiple experiments proving that our thoughts and feelings towards food can cause it to go bad faster.
This article does a good job of summarizing some of the most profound studies: I Said Mean Things to an Apple for a Week to See if it Rotted Faster.
"The bottom line: If this is what bad vibes can do... imagine what they are doing to our human bodies."
Basically, you can eat the same exact thing as someone else, but if you BELIEVE it will make you feel sick or bloated, it likely will. Luckily for us, the opposite is also true: if you think that your food is going to make you feel great, it will.
The cool part about adaptogens (and any food really) is that they each have different healing qualities, which means you can use them sort of like medicine. This gives you the opportunity to set an intention around your food.
Here's how I'm practicing this: Most mornings, I have some sort of tea or blended superfood latte. Instead of just throwing ALL the healthy ingredients into my Vitamix, I'm taking a minute to check in with how I feel and what I need. For example, do I want to feel more energized and focused today? Or more chill? Does my body need something that will lift my spirits, or soothe an troubled belly?
I'll then add the ingredients that support that feeling, and take a quick moment with each to think about what that specific ingredient can do for me. Then as I'm sipping my drink, I'll say to myself "This is my healing drink."
You can do this with superfoods or adapotgens, if you're into them, but also with your regular food. Take a breath and say a prayer, blessing or just a quick thank you before you dive in.
Believe that your food will heal you, and it will.
Do you set an intention with your food? What's your practice and how do you see it impact how you feel? I'd love to hear your experience - leave a comment below and let me know!