Do you live to eat or eat to live? While some people regard food as a mere means of sustenance, others have passion for good food and regard themselves as ‘foodies’. No matter which group you belong to, you will agree that food has a vital role to play in our lives as a person’s diet is linked closely to good health and well being.
While the consumption of foods such as blueberries and chia seeds referred to as ‘super’ foods is considered to be beneficial, the consumption of other foods, for example, sugary food is thought to detrimental to good health. As new diseases and illness are discovered every day, people who seem to relatively healthy are considered to be fortunate or ‘lucky.' This perception thus gives rise to the question is there connection between food and good luck?
The science of Feng Shui states that the flow of Chi energy we live and work with affects various components of our lives including love and marriage, health, wealth and general well-being amongst others. Since there exists a link between the food we eat and our inner health and energy, we can safely conclude that dietary practices and the foods we eat fall within the realm of Feng Shui. We sit down with Hong Kong’s famed Feng Shui master, Jill Lander of Golden Elements to learn more about this vital connection between food and Feng Shui.
Jill, how do you determine which foods are beneficial for you? Is there a Feng Shui Explanation for the best foods you should consume in to enjoy good health and luck?
[Jill Lander] To enjoy good health that directly impacts our ‘man (earth) luck’ (Feng Shui) is to create and maintain ‘balance’ which personally suits your energy. This balance is determined by your personal ‘elemental structure’ formed by your entire birth data, most importantly your day and season of birth.
Once you are aware of your personal elemental structure, you will know what elements are supportive and which elements are best avoided. These elements are related to food and elemental temperature. For example, some people who have a lot of ‘fire’ in their chart will suffer from internal heat especially during the summer months. Therefore, they will benefit from ‘cooling; foods to create inner balance. Likewise, the reverse a person with a lot of water in their chart and as such considered to have a ‘damp’ structure will benefit from foods such as buckwheat and grain that help to absorb the excess internal water. At this stage, I would like to mention that this concept, although comes under the umbrella of well being it, has no connection to the compass school of Feng Shui metaphysics. This concept is more aligned to Chinese astrology based on the Five Elemental formula.
You often hear advice that your diet should feature a balance of acidic and alkaline foods or even a balance of proteins and carbohydrates. Does Feng Shui help to achieve this balance?
[Jill Lander] Classical and authentic Feng Shui relates to using the compass and complex formulas that are thousands of years old based on the orientation and the ‘age’ of a property. So really as mentioned has little to do with food-related issues, this is based on the study of the five elements and a person’s elemental structure.
In Feng Shui, we frequently mention the role of colors. Do the colors of food have a role to play in our food choices?
[Jill Lander] Colors hold vibrations and can have a direct impact on our well-being over a specific time, season or even an individual day – again this comes more under the Five Elemental theory, therefore personally I do not advocate food colors to be determined as any part of Feng Shui practice.
Odorous foods like stinky tofu, durian, and even curry are appealing to some people while repugnant to others. How do food aromas affect us and is there a link between food aromas and Feng Shui?
[Jill Lander] Not really aromas are just that, and like oils and perfumes we all have our personal favorites.
Jill, what about storing and preparing food? Do Feng Shui principles advise on the best ways to do so?
[Jill Lander] Feng Shui principles focus on the location and orientation of the kitchen therefore, if your kitchen is conducive to enjoying the benefits of good Feng Shui, you and your loved ones can benefit by enjoying overall better health.
Since we are on the topic of food and Feng Shui, we naturally need to talk about the nerve center of a home, the kitchen. How would you describe a kitchen that fosters good Feng Shui?
[Jill Lander] The kitchen is regarded as vital to the health and welfare of the family and indeed it can even be regarded as sacred as this is where we base our responsibility for nourishing the family. Cooking is undoubtedly one of the highest expressions of love and, therefore, a space to create good health. From an overall perspective, we benefit from having a focus without distractions.Therefore, an ideal position for a cooker is away from the door, while at the same time when we are cooking as in any other practice of Feng Shui we require a fundamental sense of security so that they can see the door.
For practical purposes, if this is not possible, it is possible to install a mirror on the backsplash behind the cooker, angled in such a direction so that we can see the door on reflection. Remember, Chi energy not only enters through windows and doors but also dissipates. Try to avoid placing a cooker directly underneath a skylight and or directly in front of a window - just to the side is perfect.
Check your kitchen layout from an overall perspective to avoid sharp edges directed at the mid body stomach area from the kitchen table or other units as over a period of time I have discovered some clients suffer from stomach cramps and after so much time and patience in preparing a meal cannot sit down to enjoy the ‘fruits of their labor’! Another potential source of energy loss is the cooker hood or extractor unit that is often at head level or higher which over a period can cause severe headaches, so before you prepare your next dinner party do a visual check to see if you have anything that could be reducing your kitchen energy.
There is also the strong possibility of an elemental clash within the kitchen - namely Fire and Water. From a Feng Shui perspective, it is considered unwise to position water either opposite the cooker or adjacent to it. In this context, water is naturally the sink but can also include the fridge, the deep freeze, the dishwasher or a washing machine. However, the first three are the most important.
If this is the case, then the obvious solution is to re-site one of the elements or if they are adjacent to one another, and it is impractical, then place the mitigating element of wood such as a chopping board or a plant (if practical) between the two features.
Thank you Jill for such an interesting perspective.