The Egg and the Orange ~ The Natural Wisdom of the Body

I can pinpoint the exact moment when the seed of my interest in nutrition was planted.

When I was in my early teens I noticed that when I ate a boiled egg, I always felt like eating an orange afterwards. Other than noting this, I didn’t think too much of it until years later when I discovered that when we eat iron rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, dried fruits and eggs in the same meal as vitamin C rich foods such as kale, kiwi fruits and red peppers, a wonderfully clever biochemical action occurs – the amount of iron that we can absorb in the gut actually goes up. Iron and vitamin C make a prefect partnership…..and my body actually already knew this without me having to rationalise it!

My second eureka moment came a few years ago when I gave up working in the way that I had been for many years and took some time out. Without the imposition of the socially structured norm of breakfast, lunch and dinner slotted around the working day, my true hunger patterns began to emerge. I discovered that actually, I wasn’t really hungry until around 11am and that often I only needed two meals a day rather than three, I found that my digestion was happier when I ate less grain based carbohydrates and swapped cow’s cheese for goat’s or sheep’s. It was as if a light had been turned on and so I began to listen to other clues that my body was giving me. Soon I began to feel in tune with my body in a new way – as if we were talking at last, and that in turn brought me a new sense of wellbeing. Yogi Bhajan observed:

When you do not consciously relate to your body, your mind does not relate consciously to you.”

Somewhere along the line our relationship with our bodies has become fractured, we have become strangers to ourselves. We no longer hear the messages that our bodies are sending us or we choose to over-ride them. Yogi Bhajan had strong words to say about what will become of us if we continue to ignore our innate natural wisdom.

“It’s not that we don’t know good food, we do know. We don’t eat to be healthy, we don’t eat to live, we eat for taste. We love junk and then we end up being junk. Don’t make your body a junkyard or a graveyard.”

So we are back to the whole idea of conscious eating. In a lecture in 1992, Yogi Bhajan taught a special kriya called Bhoj Kriya, which he prescribed to bring greater awareness to the experience of eating and our relationship to food.
In his thought provoking book ‘The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets & Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self’, Charles Eisenstein talks about shifting trust away from an outside authority and introducing oneself to a higher authority aka: your own body. It’s not always easy when we are busy and rushing around to keep that connection intact, but if we can just keep our ears open a little way we may hear the body’s call to balance and harmony.

When we begin to explore the relationship between our whole health and what eat and the manner in which we eat it, we may discover a new response to our needs around food that is more intuitive and individualised and therefore more nutritious and nourishing on all levels. It’s a journey well worth embarking on.

YOGIC NUTRITION is a  new regular feature written by Anna Ranprem Kaur, a Kundalini Yoga teacher with more than eight years of experience, now also in her second year of a diploma in Nutrition Therapy and Naturopathy. In this monthly blog, Anna will share knowledge and explorations as she moves forward on her journey in nutrition.