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The Metaphysical Meal and Practicing Food Peace - what to do instead of eating

What’s a metaphysical meal?  The first time I heard that term, I was very curious and wanted to dig deeper.  Once I discovered what it is, I felt like I had to share it with you because the concept encompasses much of how I think a healthy relationship with food should be, focusing more on nourishing ourselves than on the food we are consuming.

Whether you are intermittent fasting or you find yourself eating when you’re not really hungry, like for emotional reasons or out of boredom, having a metaphysical meal, rather than actual food, is the perfect solution to resisting the urge to eat when you really shouldn’t.

Having a metaphysical meal is about taking time out for yourself to focus on yourself.  Away from electronics and lifestyle demands.  For those of you new to intermittent fasting, this would be a time when you would normally eat something and need to fill your time with something else to keep your mind off of food.  Rather than scrolling through social media or something else non-empowering, nourish your mind and soul instead.

The ritual of a meal has less to do with the food than you may think. If you are an emotional eater or eat out of boredom, taking 10-15 minutes to step away from the distractions and getting in touch with your inner self can take the cravings away.  This can be a relaxed or active time, such as a short walk.

What do you do during a metaphysical meal?  You can do a number of things and it just depends on your preferences.  It can include, but not limited to:

  • A meditation

  • Journaling

  • Some kind of art or craft, if that’s calms you

  • Light exercise - yoga, a walk, etc.

During this time, some things you can reflect on are:

  • What do I really need to feel good?

  • What is my body really trying to tell me?

  • Am I really hungry, or am I just bored, stressed or just used to eating at X time?

  • How can I give myself space and reconnect with an eating style that’s more in line with how my body was designed to function in the first place?

Taking the time to have a metaphysical meal gives you the ability to sit with yourself and examine your relationship with food mindfully, on an emotional level.

Another term I love is “food peace.”  Food peace is when you can eat food without restricting or punishing yourself and being at peace with it.  This includes eating only when you’re hungry and being intuitive enough with your body to stop eating when your body is nourished and has had enough.

Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner, established principles to help achieve food peace. I want to share those principles here:

Flexiblity: Learn which foods your body loves and makes you feel great, not being rigid, but embracing and evolving with curiosity.

Lightness: Allow thoughts and emotions around food and wellness to pass through you instead of holding on to them.  If something doesn’t work for you, let it go.

Awareness: Eating more mindfully you learn which foods make you feel great and which ones don’t: avoiding foods that make you inflamed, bloated, fatigued and anything yucky isn’t restrictive, it’s self respect.  Focus on foods that make you feel great.

Think of it this way, eliminating foods that make you feel like crap isn’t a punishment, but a way of honoring, respecting and loving your body.

Grace: If you do eat a food that didn’t make you feel great and it was worth it, quit shaming yourself; give yourself some grace and move on.  Shame is worse than the junk food itself.  If it wasn’t worth it, you will learn for the next time.  You will learn to love feeling great more than you want that food that will make you feel bad. 

I think grace is the most important of all.  I saw it so many times when working with clients, and even with myself before I knew better, where one mess up would lead down the wrong rabbit hole.  I would always tell my clients, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the right path again.  It’s how you deal with the mess ups that count in the long run.  

Another expression I heard, not related to food, but it can apply anywhere, is “so what, now what?”  Yes, that was f***d up, or I f***d up, but now what will happen next?  It’s really up to you how you choose to handle it and move on. Practicing food peace will help you stay on the right path.  

Achieving food peace is about approaching wellness and nutrition from a place of self love, not a need to keep a perfect diet or lifestyle. Wellness isn’t just about eating your three square meals, but also what you are serving your head or your heart.  

Develop rituals that you can nourish yourself with instead of food. When you do eat, eat consciously. Instead of scrolling social media or being on electronics, take the time to reflect, slow down and be insightful.  You deserve the break in your day anyway!

To close, I would like to leave you with some suggestions from Dr. Will Cole on what to do during your Metaphysical Meal.  I hope they help you tune in to your body and get you on the path towards food peace!

Metaphysical Mealtime is a great opportunity to reflect on healing your relationship with food and your body. If that’s a relationship you’d like to explore, try these prompts: 

  • What food peace means to you.

  • Patterns you’ve noticed when it comes to your emotional health and food.

  • Adjectives you associate with food, fasting and mealtimes.

15 minute Metaphysical Meal Practice:

Stillness: Spend 5 minutes checking in with your body, thoughts and emotions. Try a body scan or breathing exercise to get into the present moment.  If you are new to this, start with just watching your belly rise and fall as you breathe.

Sweetening Judgement: As you achieve this stillness, feel compassion for yourself, your loved ones and the world.  As you keep doing this, you can move towards finding compassion for those who you may have to forgive.  Harboring resentment is toxic for yourself, take this time to let those feelings pass by and if they come up, don’t judge, just let it go.

Intentions: An intention is like a goal, you can set a goal for the next few minutes, the next hours, the day or longer.  It can even be for others. You can write it down in a journal to make it more concrete.

Sealing your meal: Finish off by taking a moment to express gratitude - to God, the universe or whatever makes you feel connected to something greater than yourself.

Metaphysical Meal Journal Prompts:

  • 10 things you’re grateful for

  • Things that make you feel nourished that have nothing to do with food

  • 10 things you’re looking forward to, be specific

  • Things you want to let go of

  • Something you want to manifest


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