Living Foods: Add Life-Force to Your Diet for Better Health
What is a Living Food? (No, I’m not talking about what you find at the back of the refrigerator!) The simplest definition is that it has a high vibrational quality. If we were able to measure the potential energy (on a subtle level) of a Living Food, it would be full of life-force energy ready to be easily absorbed by the consumer.
Over ten years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Living Books through the work of Charlotte Mason, an early 20th century British educator. Her philosophies completely changed my approach to homeschooling and how I used books. I have discovered many parallels between feeding our minds on Living Books and feeding our bodies with a healthy diet of Living Foods.
Mason defined a Living Book as a “whole” book that feeds the spirit on many levels. Much of classic literature fits this category as well as books of scripture from all traditions. The hallmark of a Living Book is that it can be read again and again and there is always something more to be gained or learned.
Mason termed books that are a waste of time–that do not feed the soul–as “twaddle.” Kind of like a junk-food version of books. Also, few textbooks can pass as Living Books because they are often stripped of their story, leaving just selected points that are recognized as being important.
Living Foods, like Living Books, are whole. Whole foods have not been stripped of their nutrition through excessive processing or by separating out selected parts and discarding the rest. Just as Living Books have not been stripped of their humanity—their story—and aren’t abridged or dumbed down. All of the parts of the whole work together synergystically to createsomething greater.
Living Foods are pleasing to the palate, nose, eyes and even to the ears (think of the sizzle of stir frying vegetables or steaks on a grill). If you don’t enjoy eating it, you don’t absorb the nutritional value of the food well. (If you don’t believe this, check out this fascinating study: Leif Hallberg, E.Bjorn-Rasmussen, et al., “Iron Absorption from Southeast Asian Diets. II. Role of Various Factors That Might Explain Low Absorption,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 30 (1977): 539-48.)
Living Foods are not “twaddle” or junk. Junk foods are usually created just to be appealing and don’t have any real nutritional value. Junk foods are often subjected to intense industrial processing that destroys most of the nutritients. These usually come in a flashy box or bag and are heavily advertised. You know what they are.
In some cases, Living Foods are literally alive. They contain probiotics (beneficial “live and active” bacteria) that promote a healthy digestive system. Also, we refer to enzymes in foods as being “live” although they are actually just specialized protein molecules. Enzymes are destroyed or “killed” in foods that have been heated to high temperatures.
Culturing or fermenting foods increases the probiotic, vitamin and enzyme levels and decreases the levels of antinutrients, such as phytic acid and enzyme-inhibitors making the nutrients more readily absorbed. Examples of this include yogurt, kefir, some cheeses, traditional sauerkraut and pickles, and sourdough breads.
Unlike the words from books, which can last indefinitely, most foods will deteriorate and lose vital energy over time. Fermentation (where another living organism is added to the food to culture it) can greatly prolong and enhance the life-force energy of the food. For example, naturally made (lactofermented) sauerkraut contains 50% more vitamin C than raw cabbage!
In a Living Book, the energy of the writer is carried through to the reader in the written words. Living Foods have been created or prepared with love and purpose. They are infused with the energy of their creator (and the energy of the earth and its Creator). Think about this when you buy your food.
Before you eat, consider where your food has come from. In gratitude, bless the food and those who prepared it for you. Remember to find Living Foods that you enjoy and make them a part of every meal.