You may have a passion for playing the piano or ending world hunger or writing a book, but your body’s passion is, simply, balance. If your body is cold, it shivers to warm itself up. If it’s hot, it perspires to cool itself off. If it’s too acid, it calls on backup systems to neutralize that acid with the opposite – alkaline. And, likewise, if it’s too alkaline, your intelligent body incites internal activity that produces acid. Balance is good. Balance is your body’s passion because it keeps it running smoothly.
However, there are things you do and choices you make everyday, which threaten the balance your body loves. One of these choices involves what you eat. If you put in processed foods, saturated fats – “junk foods”– well, a host of chemicals and systems go out of balance. And, did you know that there are such things as “contractive” and “expansive” foods, which you put into your body every time you eat, that can stress your body and threaten to upset its balance?
In general, acidifying foods such as meat and dairy are contractive. They lead to an up-tight attitude. Similarly, in general, alkalizing foods – fruits and vegetables – are expansive foods promoting a loose, laid-back, possibly “spacey” outlook. Indeed, there are a few foods, which are neither highly expansive nor highly contractive. Those foods are considered close to “neutral.” Foods just to the contractive side of neutral are grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Least-stress foods to the expansive side of neutral are most vegetables.
As we said, fruits and vegetables are slightly expansive. Increasingly expansive are fruit juice, tea, coffee, chocolate, syrups (honey and molasses), sugar, wine, beer, liquor, and the most expansive of all, prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational (usually illegal) drugs. And, on the contractive side, we said are grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Increasingly contractive are butter, chicken, fish, eggs, fowl, red meat, and the top “contractor,” salt.
Your body’s passion is balance, and it will achieve that level of balance, even if the foods you eat are heavy to one side. Those balancing results may show up in your personality. A predominantly contractive personality expresses itself in various forms of quick temper. If not outright physical aggression, it may be masked as constant nervousness, physical over-activity, or verbal over-activity. Contractive personalities are always busy, always over scheduled, often flying off the handle. These are the “foot tappers”. Conversely, a predominantly expansive personality is casual, laid-back, unable to concentrate, not “grounded,” and minimally motivated. Drugs, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, tea, and fruit juices are big favorites of the “expansives”.
Highly contractive or highly expansive foods mean a highly stressed body. It’s not that vegetables and nuts are the answer to all of life’s problems. However, giving your body vegetables is essential to providing it with the nutrients it needs to keep your internal environment a neat place for your cells to live. And, you need to balance that intake with slightly contractive selections to allow your body balance and thus the least amount of stress.
Your body is best geared to handle vegetables and fruits. And, even if they aren’t your favorite foods now, they will climb on your “gee that’s pretty good” list when your body finds out what it has been missing – when your body is able to realize its passion – the balance between contractive and expansive.