Who among us has time to eat AND meditate? What if the simple act of procuring, preparing and eating food became the perfect medium for spiritual growth? Here are 9 ways you can use food to launch your new journey:

1. Purity: Clean food leads to a clean body. Simple food creates simple health. Wholesomeness of food helps the body to function smoothly, effortlessly, and easily in action, thought or being. Fresh and raw foods have high energetic vibrations which become you.

2. Nature: How magnificent is it that a power greater than ourselves helps food to grow out of the Earth, utilize and harness the sun for energy and interact with atmospheric & geographical elements? How wondrous is it that a small seed can grow into a plant to eat and creates more seeds for future plants? The miracle of life is in everything we eat.

Serve Gratitude

Serve Gratitude

3. Mindfulness: The ritual of shopping for or growing food, the ceremony of preparation, the act of feeding oneself and others, and the privilege of cleaning up all are opportunities for active meditation. The colors, textures, smells, tastes, and orderliness can all be delights for the senses & opportunities for focus.

4. Ahimsa: One of Patanjali’s Eight-Limbed Ashtanga yoga principles is that of non-violence. How can each meal become the least harmful to living creatures, including ourselves, to the planet, to field workers and to the collective soul? Can meals feature fewer chemicals, less plastic and packaging, reduced waste and minimize excess? Take only what you need and need only what you take.

5. Gratitude: How lucky are most of us to live within a short walk or drive of new food? How amazing is it that we can turn on a faucet and out comes clean water? We have pantries, refrigerators and freezers with extra food. So fortunate are we! Consider the last time you truly starved at the table in your kitchen under a roof.

6. Service: Share your bounty with a friend, a soup kitchen, a food bank or a homeless individual. Reduce waste knowing that not everyone gets to eat every day. Choose foods lower on the food chain to create food for a greater number of people. Give back to nature with compost.

7. Love: Fall in love with your food as a way of reverence and admiration. Look at it. Really look at it. Know that today’s food becomes your tomorrow body. Show it love. Make each meal a positive, nourishing experience for your body & heart. Infuse your meals with love: dining companions, music, food, time, lighting.

8. Beauty: How gorgeous is food? The smooth yellows, the shiny reds, the curly greens, the round blues, the prickly oranges….endless textures, shapes and colors. Arrange fruit in artful ways in bowls and meals on plates. Take in the beauty and make it part of an effervescent you.

Beautiful Food

Beautiful Food

9. Daily: You eat every day, probably several times. Eating is the perfect medium for spiritual practice. Give thanks for the food. Be calm. Let eating become the most serene part of your day. Or fast: go without. Notice the contrast in the body when daily food is not present. Be thankful for both sensations knowing that they enhance each other. If you don’t yet make time to meditate, use the daily ritual of eating to help you become more kind, gentle and loving. All is one….eat accordingly.

Article Originally Published on Carla Golden Wellness.

Carla Golden, a massage therapist and spiritual nutritionist, teaches those who are healing how to use food as a platform for spiritual growth. Those who are healing from physical or emotional trauma can use Carla’s unique high-fruit plan to bring their body and soul into greater vibration, health, happiness, and peace. The Healers Diet™ and Fruit Til Five™ are her signature programs.