The taste of sweet is central in nature in that it is a primary taste in almost all major food groups. Sweet has the quality of a heavy, steadiness, that is deeply satisfying and delightful to our bodies. In ayurveda, a balanced diet is when a meal contains all 6 tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the 6 tastes balances our bodies in different ways, and, if we re-gain effective understanding, we will hear our bodies communicate which taste it needs most for greater balance. This isn’t so much an intuitive or esoteric type of communication. Rather, it is the communication that is already taking place everyday for all of us right before we decide, “Today, I want to order this dish from the menu”. There are ways that we can help ourselves to better listen and understand what our body is telling us and why we make some of the food choices we do. Two ways i’ll elaborate on below are decreasing the static noise in our bodies that makes it hard to hear signals from the body, and responding with simple and clear choices to the signals we hear.
Simple, self-nurturing acts have an amazing ability to increase our ability to hear our bodies communication. Effective activities such as massage, meditation, yoga, or peaceful walks in nature, can leave us with feeling like layers of stress, agitation, and chaotic energy have been peeled off. With the removal of these layers of stress and agitation, you no longer feel that the signals your body sends you have to go through this maze of static noise. You find you can hear your body’s natural, what now seems to be amplified, signals for specific tastes or qualities of food that will balance you. You begin to understand when something sweet will actually nourish and balance you, versus when the craving is more to satisfy the desire for the imbalanced state of a sugar rush or an emotional craving.
Another way to increase the fluency of our body’s language is to use simple and clear food choices. We often disrupt the cycle of clear communication when our body speaks up that it wants the tastes and qualities of orange juice, for example, and we feed it something that has been boiled and reconstituted into an orange-ish liquid that may not resemble anything like the actual juice from an orange our body initially desired. Or, we disrupt a cycle of clear communication when our body wants something salty and we feed it salty, processed foods made with numerous other preservatives and additives our body wants to reject at the same time. A last example is when wanting the qualities and taste of sweet, we feed ourselves processed sugars that have lost most of their balancing qualities of sweetness. At these times, our bodies become confused and the pathways of clear communication become distorted and jumbled. Our bodies become conditioned to not expect to be fully nurtured and balanced, and we are thus more susceptible to make those dreadful, imbalancing, non- nurturing choices.
Peeling away the layers of tension, and making clear food choices for our bodies, are two excellent actions that can go a long way towards regaining a conscious, balancing diet.