The Five Phases of Food

Each week in school we have several lectures. This week, one of our speakers was Annemarie Colbin, Phd. Annemarie is the founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the United StatesShe is internationally known for her work in the ways that food affects our health.

One of Annemarie’s topics was The Five Phases of Food. She discusses how foods must be balanced with each other to create balance within our bodies. Did you ever eat anything that didn’t set well with you, or made you feel bad, physically or emotionally? This typically happens when we haven’t balanced our meals properly to include foods from the Five Phases. Sometimes we have too many foods from one category, and this can cause imbalance. Often, people will feel mood changes or cravings when they haven’t properly balanced their food intake.

The Five Phases of Food are:

  • Tree/Wood
  • Fire
  • Soil/Earth
  • Metal
  • Water

It’s important to choose foods from each of the phases to create a balance in the body. For example, a meal with all the elements could be a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with tomato slices, cantaloupe for dessert, and decaf coffee to drink. The wheat is the Tree/Wood; the turkey is Metal. The tomato is Fire, cantaloupe is Soil/Earth, and decaf coffee is Water. This combination of foods will be well-received by your body and will help to balance your being. If you choose too many foods from one group, you will feel out of balance.

One of the things I would love to help people with is finding their balance in life. The concept of the Five Phases carries beyond proper combinations of foods into things like colors, seasons, energy, and areas of the body affected. They all work together to cause the body to work in rhythm. So, when we have a really productive day, or use tools like yoga to relax – all of these factor into the Five Phases. Our goal should be to seek balance in all areas of our life, and the Five Phases helps us see how our foods, activities, places we go, and times of day influence our health. This is just one of many ideas we discuss in my programs. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this.


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Posted in Healthy TIps

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