Last week was a tough week. However, much of the fracas with the week could have been spared had we slowed sooner by choice, rather than by necessity. One of the calamities was my coming down with “shingles.” It’s everything that has been said about it.  I chose to go with holistic treatment. That was the right choice for me and has been effective.

One thing that can trigger shingles (or any disease) is stress. I manage stress fairly well, but in this instance, too much at once took its toll. As I was forced to slow down, I had time to think about the relationship of food to our emotions and overall health. We hear much about stress eating and “comfort” foods. We also hear about eating colorful foods to manage our health. Do you know the two ideas are quite well related?

Let me take you back to physics for a moment where we learned energy is the basis for everything. Everything. It cannot be destroyed or created; it can only be transformed. Human bodies are made of cells, which are made of atoms, which are made of particles which are vibrating energy. Food also is made of vibrating energy.  So when we eat, we transform food into energy. Eating the right food allows us to maintain a healthy status – or support our chakras.

There are different energy therapies for balancing chakras. Out of balance chakras can present symptoms such as heart disease or cancer; feeling overwhelmed, or trouble navigating relationships. Balance can keep these in check.

What are chakras? They are spinning wheels of light or “energy centers” in the human body and considered spiritual centers. Each has a different relationship in our body. When not nourished, they can’t flow freely. Colorful food is one way of providing nourishment to the first five which connect us to the earth.

The first chakra is at the base of our spine and grounds us to the world. Symptoms may be feeling stressed or unsafe. In the food world, root vegetables make sense to eat to keep this chakra balanced, as they grow directly in the ground. There are so many to choose from! Beets, parsnips, turnips, carrots, potatoes are a few. Remind us of comfort foods, right? Instead of reaching for a fried or overcooked version, try raw, steamed or roasted. Red is this chakra’s color so combine these foods with red foods such as meat or apples, or red cherries.

The second is just below our navel and rules sexuality and emotions. Its color is orange, so food suggestions are oranges, peppers, carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe. Use spices such as turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon or curry.

The third, the solar plexus can be the hardest to heal. This is where our power, our self-esteem is housed and is located just above our navel and extends up to our breastbone. Its color is yellow, like the sun and is the center of our body for converting energy. Stay away from processed, complex carbs and icy beverages that slow it down. Reach for whole grains; yellow peppers; yellow corn, apples, curry or lentils; pineapple; lemons as suggestions. Keeping this chakra in balance can end food cravings. Eat small meals, drink warm or room temperature beverages. Water is essential to its health, including, clear, uncomplicated broths and fruit or vegetable beverages which are best consumed between meals. A cup of warm water with lemon juice in the morning is an excellent choice before we consume anything else. Eating small meals is thought to keep Angi replenished. Spiritually, Angi is the Hindu God of fire and protector of the home. Our digestive system is the home for all proper functioning of our bodies, so it’s essential to keep it fired up!

The fourth is the heart! Its color is green so eat lots of green fruits and vegetables. Raw, steamed, roasted, juiced, and smoothies are all great options. Season with green herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, or rosemary.

The fifth is the throat chakra, known as communication central and its color is blue. To keep this chakra healthy, eat blue or black foods. Try blueberries, plums, eggplant, blackberries, purple potatoes or carrots

These colorful food choices work together to maintain overall health. When there’s an unhealthy area of our lives, we can search out the best foods to heal those areas.

Making meals colorful and fun in symphony with other healthy lifestyle choices keeps our lives in harmony and balance.