Aisling Daly looks at how an old Chinese practice can team up with food to improve your quality of life
Feng shui, an ancient Chinese art and spiritual pursuit developed over 3,000 years ago, is the complex practice of organising your environment in order to bring about a positive balance of energy which will assure health and prosperity in life. The art of feng shui, however, need not be limited to rearranging the furniture in your bedroom or cleaning the rubbish off your desk. If you think about it, food and feng shui can go hand in hand, as you can apply it to the way you arrange your meals in order to enhance positive energy and well-being. Elemental balance, Yin and Yang balance, and Aromatherapy are all important aspects of both feng shui and food.
Elemental balance in food can be achieved through the combination of colours, just as one may try to achieve elemental balance in a room with colour through feng shui. A plate full of food of the same colour can look pretty bland and can therefore create an air of negative energy, so a stir-fry made with different coloured peppers, tomatoes, and red onion would be a much better choice, and a sign of a healthy diet. You don’t have to eat the rainbow at every mealtime, but incorporating a little more colour and variety in your diet will go a long way towards boosting your feng shui.
The concept of Yin and Yang can also apply to your diet. In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang describes how in the natural world, seemingly polar opposites are interconnected and therefore complement each other. The balance of these two opposites leads to a perfect balance of energy and is therefore an essential aspect of feng shui. In terms of food, Yin would be associated with milder flavours, while Yang would be associated with more robust flavours. Many Chinese recipes available at your local takeaway are already aware of the significance of Yin and Yang. Sweet and sour, as well as strong flavoured dishes served with plain rice, are all examples that adhere to this type of balance.
It is important to get the balance of flavours right in cooking these dishes, as a meal that is too spicy or too mild can endanger your balance of energy. However, Yin and Yang is not only relevant to the contrast of flavours; it can also be applied to the balance of soft foods with crunchy or crisp foods. A plate full of crunchy food could tire the mouth, while a plate full of nothing but soft or delicate food may be unfulfilling, so a balance of these two extremes can help your Feng Shui. It’s no wonder Tayto sandwiches taste like heaven!
Aromatherapy is very important in the art of feng shui, since the sense of smell can be quite influential when it comes to enhancing you mood and subsequent air of positive energy. One of the many simple pleasures in life is the smell of delicious food cooking. Aromatic seasonings like garlic, pepper, scallions, ginger and chillies can be added to your meal at the beginning of the cooking process so they can both complement the flavours of the main ingredients and fill the kitchen with a pleasant aroma. These appealing smells rid the home of negative energy and fill them with positive energy.
In ancient China, the kitchen was considered the heart of the home, and the incorporation of feng shui into your diet can turn your kitchen into a more inviting and pleasurable living space, as it fills it with the positive energy that will ultimately enhance your happiness and prosperity. Whether you believe in any of this or not, it can be agreed that these feng shui tips can make mealtimes a tastier and healthier experience.