Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Soul Food

Let yourself be silently drawn by the silent pull of what you really love.
- Rumi

Soul Food

Think for a moment of a food from your past, of one that makes you feel great when you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones, or pancakes. For me it is my Mom's Parisien-stuffing served at Thanksgiving (read: not healthy!).  Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain may not find it highly nutritious.   

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can re-connect us to precious memories, like childhood play times, first dates, holidays, our grandmother's cooking, or of our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember food from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youth-ening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food's biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month, when we celebrate loves and relationships, it's important to notice that we each have a relationship with food - and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food attempting to control our weight. We treat food as the enemy. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before even tasting it. 

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved - with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect, and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt. Enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

Food Focus: Beans


Beans, or legumes, including peas and lentils, are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Beans are found in most traditional cultures as a staple food, offering grounding and strengthening properties that promote endurance. They offer a highly usable, highly absorbable, source of calcium for the body. A very inexpensive source of high nutrition, beans can be rich, delicious, and satisfying.

Lack of sexual energy is often due to overtaxed adrenal glands and kidneys. Beans are known for strengthening these organs (ever notice the shape of a bean?) and can help restore vital energy as well as sexual energy.

Beans have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but that is typically because they have been undercooked or not properly prepared. To help reduce gas-causing properties, soak beans overnight prior to cooking, increase cooking time, add spices like bay leaf, oregano or cumin, or add kombu (a sea vegetable) when cooking.   

Recipe of the Month: Easy Beans and Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 - 3 servings

1 can black beans (or pinto, red kidney - your choice)
1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach - your choice)
Your favorite toppings such as salsa, avocado, or guacamole and sour cream

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat drained beans.
  2. Fill a separate medium saucepan with with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Wash and chop greens (you can use the stem too) and add to boiling water.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and tender. Drain water.
  5. On a plate, arrange a portion of the greens, top with a portion of the beans and finish with a portion of the toppings of your choice.
What is your Soul Food???

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.

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