Food for the Soul

Posted on December 21st, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Food is life. It not only provides nutrients for our bodies, but it can also bestow love and vitality—prana—to our entire being. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to offer our love to friends, family, and community by infusing the food we make and share with gratitude and good wishes (and to make Kripalu’s Pumpkin-Chocolate Pie!)

In many families, when we gather at the table we begin by saying grace, an expression of gratitude for the life our food provides, and a blessing that honors our guests. The practice of saying grace not only gives voice to our appreciation, but also offers us the chance to harmonize with others and with the food we eat. Pausing before we eat to experience our food through the senses supports digestion. This cephalic (meaning “in the head”) digestion actually triggers the flow of digestive juices and prepares the body to receive food.

As you move through your holiday this year, be it hosting a gathering for friends, cooking for family trying new recipes—such as our Coconut Yam Soup or Avocado, Grapefruit, and Pumpkin Seed Salad—or serving a meal to someone in need, remember that your offering of food is an offering of life: an expression of gratitude to those you love and the world itself.

Here are two traditional yogic blessings to grace your next gathering: 
• Sahanau bhunaktu: Let’s share a meal together.
• Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti: May peace prevail. (From Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, and Johnny Brannigan)

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About Annie B. Kay, MS, RD, RYT

Annie is an integrative dietitian, author, and certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She is a former director of the osteoporosis awareness program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For more than 10 years, Annie has advocated science-based mind-body health in the national media, at conferences and workshops, and through her book, Every Bite Is Divine.