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Soul Food: Sabrina Chaw, Nutrition Coach at A Feminine Feast

Photography by Timothy Archibald

According to Sabrina Chaw, you can eat in a way that uses masculine energy (hasty and goal-centered) or feminine energy (mindful and slow). A quiet, healthful meal ranks high on Chaw’s recommendations at A Feminine Feast, a nutrition practice with a heavy bent on yoga and traditional Chinese medicine. When women come to Chaw to address body image and weight, she coaches them on the pleasures of food and how to eat from their feminine side. That, in turn, nourishes their sexuality and relationships.

What exactly is feminine energy?
Love, in the realm of the feminine, is light. When we’re in love, there’s a palpable feeling of light in our hearts—joy, vitality, radiance. When a woman is living from her feminine energy, she radiates out a magnetic, attractive light. I guide women on how to live from this core, even amidst anger, jealousy, grief, or sadness. I coach them into feeling open in their bodies and hearts. When a woman feels connected to her body, has confidence in her gifts and capacities, and doesn’t separate her heart from life’s travails, then she is living from her deep feminine.  

What’s the difference between eating from your masculine side and your feminine one?
The masculine side eats in a planned-out way: I eat this much, at this time, for this reason. For the masculine, nutrition is more like a project, and success depends a lot on dedication and determination. The feminine side doesn’t think of itself as a project. It uses food to sustain and support itself. Food choices, when guided by our feminine, often reflect our moods. When we feel bored or lonely or stressed, our choices are often to numb, distract, or comfort the void we might feel. I call these voids our hungry ghosts. But you’re not hungry for food. You’re hungry for something else. Usually it’s a deeper desire to feel an emotional fullness—not a physical fullness. You need to discover that deeper desire, and find a way of fulfilling it.

How do you tap into your feminine energy?
Make time to nourish yourself. Maybe it’s just a five-minute self-massage on a lunch break, but take a moment to bring focus back to the body. Connect with other women. They are a piece of you and will bring something out of you. In the women’s circles I lead here in SF, we don’t share our names or backgrounds. At the beginning of every meeting I say, “You may not know it yet, but you need each other.” Women are good medicine for one another. We hold the keys to unlock the gifts within ourselves. We do this through mediation, talking, dance, and yoga.

What happens when a woman embraces her feminine energy?
Physically, a lot of things: an energy boost, clear skin, balanced blood sugar, and a radiant, vibrant body. Emotionally, you’re able to take everything in—even situations and people you struggle with—and let it all flow through. The gift of the feminine is surrendering to the intelligence and mystery of life. The feminine is built to receive. The masculine is built to penetrate. The feminine longs to be penetrated with love, wisdom, and depth. Each woman offers a very unique flavor of love and can use the gift of her sexual energy as the transmission of that love. She doesn’t do this to boost her ego or hook someone. She does it for the sake of enlivening another’s heart and body. It’s not about getting love, making love, or even being in love. It’s about being love, period: Living with an open heart and body. This is how the feminine blooms to fullness. And it also just so happens to be the very thing that is most naturally attractive to the masculine.

Are feminism and feminine energy the same?
I think the intention is the same: To empower women and reject the patriarchal paradigm. Feminism emphasized equality, and we’ve proved we can compete. But we need to return to honoring our feminine gifts. The feminine movement emphasizes the differences between men and women and honors the beauty that results in these differences.

—Kate Goepferd

*Published in the February 2011 issue of 7x7. Subscribe to 7x7 magazine here.