The Dance of Life and the Energetics of Food
Rose DeDan, a local shaman and healer, wrote a wonderful article today on her blog, The Dance of Life, The endless cycle of birth, death and our relationship to the food we consume. It give new meaning to the saying “you are what you eat.” She talks about the energetics of our food and how the way animals are raised can affect our health. We are all energetic beings and just as we take on the energy of those around us, we can also take on the energy of the animals we consume. If they have been treated well and fairly we end up with nutritious food, if they have not been it can lead to many health problems for us.
The Chinese take this one step further. They also look at the normal energetic characteristics of the animals we eat in determining a proper diet. Many of my clients who have asked about diet for their animals have seen this in action. For example for a flighty nervous dog I would never suggest rabbit or deer because both are nervous animals. An anxious dog would do best on beef or bison which are both large and grounded creatures. On the flip side a very sluggish dog may do better on something light and energetic like a deer or rabbit.
Food also has a temperature and other characteristics in Chinese Medicine. Trout is the hottest meat and a dog who is always cold would do well on it. Seaweed and Cucumber are considered cold and can cool a dog with excess heat. Sweet potato and pumpkin are sweet and help with digestion. Beef is good at tonifying the blood and helping with weakness. Carrots and other root vegetables are very grounding and help an animal be more connected to the earth.
There are many great books on this subject!
For further reading
My favorite book on this subject (although written for people) Prince Wen Hui’s Cook: Chinese Dietary Therapy
Another good book although with more information then the average person needs Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
One of my favorite books on Chinese Medicine with a great food section in back Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine