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In the Spotlight

Feed Your True Self

Authors Cyndi Dale and Dana Childs teach readers to nourish their core beings with foods that support the body's chakras.

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Fad diets—just like the 20 or so pounds they may momentarily eradicate—come and go. But a breakthrough approach to “feeding your true self” is poised to nourish our core beings in part by tailoring nutrition to our body’s subtle energy centers, or chakras, and helping us find our functional weight while giving new meaning to the phrase “soul food.”

Internationally renowned author and professor of energy medicine Cyndi Dale has spent decades helping clients identify their primary chakra type using her proprietary 12-chakra system. Now, she and fellow intuitive energy healer and coauthor Dana Childs are showing readers how to optimize health and happiness by identifying and feeding their key chakra types and their corresponding endocrine glands.

“Our endocrine glands are everything,” Dale says, pointing to the emerging science of endocrine nutrition. “They assist with metabolism, immune function, reproduction, cellular regulation, sleep, blood pressure, mood, and so much more. Each endocrine gland requires general and specific nutritional supports. Now let’s put that together with the age-old use of analyzing personality based on a primary chakra. Decades ago, I researched the work of Harish Johari, a now-deceased chakra expert. He suggested that each chakra links to an endocrine gland. This means that when you nourish that chakra with the foods related to its gland, you’re enhancing your soul and true personality. Isn’t happiness about being all of who you really are?”

Energetic and physical transformation go hand in hand in Chakras, Food, and You: Tap Your Individual Energy System for Health, Healing, and Harmonious Weight. “The entire book is a healing book,” says Childs. “Most of all, we encourage readers to release the shame and toxic ‘should’ around eating. Instead, embrace your true self and stop trying make eating choices on par with your neighbor or loved ones. Our theme is that every person is unique, and the processes in this book offer a path to identify and live from that place. When we let go of what we think we should be doing and do what is best for us, we reclaim power. And that’s the ultimate healing.

“To support the becoming-of-self, we offer practical, doable tips that allow for optimal relaxation and quality sleep, along with forms of exercise and spiritual practices that enable individuality. After all, how healing is it to know that you don’t have to meditate sitting in silence if it’s not your thing, or that you can eat carbs if going for the most suitable ones?”

BN: What’s an example of a primary chakra and its endocrine-specific nutritional focus?

DC: Let’s take a look at the sixth chakra, the Visualizer. This energy center is also called the Third Eye, and that exactly depicts the type. Pictorial, aesthetic, strategic, clairvoyant, and perceptive, this is the person who doesn’t want the gravy getting unruly in their veggies. That’s ugly! The related gland is the pituitary, which is the master hormone gland in the body. It pumps out lots of necessary hormones assisting the entire body. Optimizing that gland nutritionally means making lots of mineral-rich, healthy food choices; pairing a protein with a carb (and, by the way, a lot of lean proteins); hydration; and balanced blood sugar, among other choices. When the Visualizer feeds their pituitary, their self-image is self-loving and they’ll express their inner nature.

BN: Why don’t three square meals a day work for the Thinker type?

DC: Hello, pancreas! Rise and shine, blood sugar issues! The pancreas makes insulin. Individuals who don’t feed their pancreas right are vulnerable to problems from diabetes to hypoglycemia. The latter means low blood sugar and it sets us up for cravings. Hit a low and open mouth. We’ll instinctively reach for junk food like comfort carbs, sugar, bubbly sodas, and instant anything to get our blood sugar galloping—only to have it quickly plummet again. We’ll feel depressed and bad about ourselves, but that won’t keep the Thinker from reaching for more unhealthy foods. Eating the three squares leaves us with digestive juices working really hard, only to fall off. That yo-yo just sets us up for more blood sugar challenges and cravings. The solution, especially easy for the structured, organized, schedule-oriented Thinker? Eat several small meals that combine healthy fats, proteins, and carbs. This will balance blood sugar and keep that Thinker thinking smartly.

BN: What is “harmonious weight”?

DC: The weight that allows your body to function as needed and allows you to feel peace and ease. Our point in this is that there is no perfect set weight—no specific goal to achieve other than health. We seek to take the shame away from those reading the book and instead encourage comfort in the body. I was profoundly moved by Mary Pipher’s book Reviving Ophelia, in which she discusses adolescent girls’ relationships with their bodies and that these relationships are healthier when girls focus on function over aesthetic. So we make the point that what’s important is how your body serves you, rather than how you look in the mirror or what the number on the scale reads.

BN: Which practical eating tips apply to all chakra types?

DC: The patterns that are clear are pretty obvious. It’s best for every type to eat organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free. That’s just being kind to your body. And the other more disappointing tip is that sugar just isn’t great for you. Not the white stuff, nor the brown, nor the exotic. It creates far too much inflammation. All chakra types also benefit from mindful eating instead of fast eating—a little planning goes a long way for all types to create their healthiest meals. Know, too, that fats don’t make you fat! It’s important to eat healthy fats, though, not the kind in junk food.

BN: What are some subtle energy qualities of key vitamins and minerals?

DC: I love focusing on subtle qualities, believing that using intention to energetically boost a vitamin or mineral can exponentially increase its benefit. For instance, I take a lot of vitamin C every day, which cleanses the physical body but also enhances relationships. I talk with clients and chat with friends all day long. The energy of the C sustains these interactions.

In a nutshell, these are the qualities inherent in vitamins and minerals. Take vitamin A to support your desire to perceive truth, and go for the Bs to keep your goals on track. Vitamin C? I shared already—intimacy! Vitamin D lets you embrace anything that occurs in your life—yup, bad with the good—while vitamin E is all about releasing old patterns and others’ energies. (Come on, you don’t need that stuff anyway.) Vitamin K, often partnered with calcium, decreases negative mental chatter and boosts your personal power.

Minerals, too, are imperative to every life function. Start with calcium, which gives you a framework for wellbeing, and then energetically use iron to push through stress—and get to the top of the mountain, no matter what “avalanches” are burying you. (Who isn’t overwhelmed these days?) Magnesium is important physically and invites your Higher Power into your daily life, while potassium opens and shuts the doorway to the heavens. Sodium is perfectly paired with potassium, actually. While potassium opens the heavenly portals, sodium lets you reach for the stars.