Curious about ‘culinary alchemy’? Intrigued about intuitive eating? A Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef answers all with practical tips for your well-being

September 16, 2021

Culinary alchemy? Intuitive energy healing? Spiritual nutrition? Wondering what any of these have to do with your day-to-day wellness in actual practice? Serena Poon is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and the go-to nutritionist for some of the biggest A-listers (think Kerry Washington and Sean Combs). While it may be debated whether spiritual eating is an actual thing, Poon’s work does help many people live their best food lives through her mindful eating techniques known as culinary alchemy.  

How does ‘culinary alchemy’ work and why is it important in achieving optimal health?  

Serena Poon: Certain whole foods align with the energetic centers of your body, which are called chakras. Everything in the universe is energy—including me and you and the food we eat. When the vibrations in your energy centers become blocked due to things like trauma, negative self-talk or poor nutrition, there are certain foods and techniques that can help bring that energy back into flow.  

I try to teach people to combine integrative and functional nutrition with energy work and mindfulness practices. In essence, my method combines all the elements of true holistic health—energetic health, spiritual health, mental health and physical health.  

Talk to us about the importance of energy and good vibrations.  

Poon: Every food, every liquid, every plant, every animal, the soil, the ocean, the stars, even you and I, are all made of vibrating energy. Consuming these vibrating atoms in their different forms will affect the energy within you. For example, broccoli has different energy than a banana or a filet of salmon.  

My method is based on research and ancient practices that suggest what you eat can fuel and heal your chakras. It seems like magic when my clients who struggled with self-esteem find themselves feeling confident and empowered by eating more yellow-colored foods to balance the sacral chakra and by incorporating mindfulness techniques.  

How do you start to heal your clients?  

Poon: I analyze my clients’ blood panels, subjective feelings, nutrient deficiencies, energy blocks and emotional health. All of these elements must be balanced to fuel your best life and to live out your purpose with a happy, loving, magical energy. 

Give us an example of how one would practice culinary alchemy at home.

Poon: I teach people to infuse their food with intentional energy. The ancient practices of expressing gratitude for the nourishment you are about to receive, and being fully present when you’re eating or cooking, are not only important to spiritual health—they are a powerful element for your physical and energetic health, as well. The thoughts you put into your food can directly affect the energetic vibration of the food and how your body receives it. So, if you’re eating something mindfully and aware of its positive energy, that translates into a positive mindset and relationship to food. 

Lastly, especially during this tumultuous time, what’s your advice on staying healthy?  

Poon: What I love about culinary alchemy is that it is about taking care of yourself in practical ways—you’re cultivating positivity and appreciation in your mental and spiritual relationship to food. Being mindful in our eating can have positive long-term results. Here are some ways to practice:   

Stay hydrated. Water is what your body needs to run itself, so drinking enough of it is ultimate act of self-care. I start each day with lemon water, which helps alkalize your body. It does a slow detox throughout the day without you even knowing it! Make sure you’re getting electrolytes as well—coconut water is loaded with them.  

Eat the rainbow. From a place of spiritual nutrition, our energy centers (chakras), all have different colors that represent them. If you’re having different colored food throughout the day, you’re also supporting all your energy centers. Additionally, plants contain specific phytonutrients, which correlate to the color of that vegetable or fruit, and associates to their unique health-boosting properties.  

Take time to rest. Periods of rest are where your body, mind and soul can recharge, where you find inspiration, and where you can find space to connect with your higher self and higher power. Activities such as meditation, restorative yoga, taking a bath, reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea or disconnecting from technology can all be wonderful ways to wind down and prepare your body and mind for restful sleep.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not looked be considered specific medical advice.

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Ramona Saviss is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. She has worked as an editor at Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Time Out Los Angeles, Los Angeles Confidential, and Angeleno. When she’s not writing, you can find Ramona either traveling or planning her next adventure.