Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Spiritual development, life forces in foods and will forces

Posted by Christy Korrow

My favorite breakfast lately has been a blueberry smoothie:

1 cup blueberries
High in antioxidants

1 cup brazil nut milk (we make our own)

1 TBS. hemp seeds (we buy Nutiva through our co-op)
Hemp seeds are high in omega three fatty acids and protein

1 TBS. raw cocoa powder (from Love Street Living Foods)
Raw cocoa contains all kind of antioxidants , read Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzi to learn all about the health benefits of raw cocoa

2 tsp. maple syrup

For supper lately, I will have a Giant cucumber salad, since we grow our own cucumbers, I leave the skin on, I go pick parsley (lots of trace minerals), basil and sometimes rosemary, chop lots of garlic and onion, and a couple of tomatoes. Drizzled with umboshi plum vinegar, olive oil and some salt and pepper, I will live on this for the rest of the summer. I can eat as much of this as I want, and be very full and satisfied.

I am the kind of person who can eat the same things over and over again, everyday for days, sometimes weeks at a time. So each morning, for the last several weeks, I’ve made the same smoothie. And each afternoon and evening for the last month, I’ve eaten the cucumber salad. (Disclaimer: I’ve eaten out a few times, and splurged on ice cream and other goodies). An extreme form of repeatedly eating the same food or foods is called mono-dieting, and has been used as a medicinal treatment for centuries, although controversial, there is documentation of results. (Read The Detox Mono Diet to learn more.)

Author and nutritional counselor Natalia Rose describes a breakfast/lunch of a nutrient-dense smoothie as modified fasting. As a routine way to maintain optimum health, it can be followed further in the day by what she calls a diet dominate in “Quick Exit Foods,” those that don’t bog down the body, or the mind. I eat what I eat because it feels good. I can gage my body’s reaction to a food when I notice things like: Do I have energy spikes and crashes? Do I feel sluggish? Am I craving sweets and breads? Or, Do I have sustained energy throughout the day? Do I feel light, and clear headed? What kinds of ideas am I having, are they original, interesting, and do I have easy access to my own creativity?

And, here is, to me, the most important question of all: Am I able to keep my thoughts aligned with my highest spiritual self, or am I quick to resort to annoyance, impatience, judgment, criticism, anxiety? This is what I find so interesting—to compare what I eat, with how I feel, physically and spiritually. Rudolf Steiner said to his colleague that our inability to maintain spiritual thoughts was a question of nutrition, and that foods no longer contain the nutrients and life forces required to support the will forces needed for spiritual development (Agriculture).

He suggested that eating foods with high levels of life-force energy activates and strengthens the will forces we need to develop the new habits of thought that he describes in so many of his lectures, so that we can actively and consciously move forward on our path of spirituality. For example, when a thought surfaces that doesn’t feel so good, there is that golden moment when we can notice this, and then have the will to shift to a new thought. Whether it be to look out at nature, to turn toward our mantra, to center ourselves through breath, or to shift from, for example, a critical or stressful thought, to a solution-oriented thought or one of reverence or appreciation—in that moment, it takes a great deal of discipline and effort to make the subtle shift. But with repeated practice we ultimately aquire new thought habits and we affect reality through consciousness, actively co-creating as we move through life.

By drinking nutrient dense smoothies each day, and eating nutrient rich meals, I am flooding my body with nutrients, not to mention continually detoxifying my cells, which, I believe correlates with detoxifying my thoughts also. Thus, eating light raw foods supports my mediative life.

Rudolf Steiner described in his lectures on nutrition (Nutrition and Stimulants) that a vegetarian diet supports spiritual development, and that he himself was a vegetarian for this reason. He went on to specifically describe how a raw, plant-based diet activates formerly latent forces which can be used specifically for development of our higher self (more than that, it is important that they be used, otherwise we might become egotistical). He also tempered the information he gave on nutrition with a cautionary instruction not to become fanatical about diet, and also that there was not one singular set of dietary instructions that could be recommended for everyone. I am not a vegetarian, but simply do what I feel is best for my body most of the time.