Intuitive grocery shopping: How to use a gut feeling to decide what goes into your gut

Photo credit: 
Sushant Sinha
Nick Johnstone's picture
Nick Johnstone
August 17, 2016
Picking food based on its personality is like inexplicably knowing when you meet “the one”. And like romance, it’s got both believers and cynics.

At the market, one mango is very different to the mango next to it. Contrary to popular perception, this isn’t about where it was grown, whether it’s organic, fair trade, unripe, ripe, or just plain saggy and beyond its prime. It’s about the vibrational properties of one mango versus its neighbours.

Before you raise your eyebrows and silently mouth “say what?” it’s not because I’m psychic (which by the way, in the interests of disclosure: I actually am). It’s because, like you, a year ago I would’ve raised my eyebrows and mouthed “say what?”, too. So here’s what changed.

I underwent training over a number of months with a Russian healer and mystic named Maria Zhuravleva last year, in London. One of the courses she offers is called Intuitive Grocery Shopping. It involves learning to tune in to the vibrational essence of a piece of fruit, a vegetable or any other product available at a market, supermarket or deli.

We started her course sitting cross-legged, our eyes closed, breathing deeply, as Zhuravleva placed an apple in each of my outstretched palms. After some time spent sitting meditatively like this, she began to question me on what I was sensing—which apple made my hand tingle? Which had an energetic buzz to it? Which felt weakest in frequency? Which felt happy to be in my hand? Which apple had been picked by a happy farm worker? Which apple had been transported by a truck driver who was grieving the death of a parent?

At first, it seemed bizarre. Wasn’t this just tree hugging new age madness for the fruit-affectionate?

It turned out though, that each apple we were working with had a very distinct personality and sense of vitality—one apple felt sad and dull; the other felt sparkly and like it wanted to tango across my palm.

We moved on to work with other fruits and the pattern continued. Turns out that just like people, fruit could also be shy, sad, a charismatic head turner, or an inwards-gazing melancholic.

By the end of the course, Zhuravleva had taught me how to lay a palm upon a fruit or vegetable, close my eyes and using the principles of Energy Medicine (in particular Reiki), read the energies of an item we might encounter when grocery shopping.

The first time I put Intuitive Grocery Shopping into practice was a self-conscious pursuit—there I was in a demographically chi-chi Central London supermarket, standing still, eyes closed, seemingly giving hands-on healing to two Spanish watermelons. Then, to two packs of Fairtrade bananas that had lovingly been grown in Costa Rica, and afterwards to a pair of pebble-skinned aubergines grown in the UK. Fellow shoppers must’ve assumed me to be either highly eccentric or more likely, insane (and who could blame them?).

Once the self-consciousness fell away, I confidently toured the aisles gathering vibrationally pinging products—happy cucumbers, nutritionally delighted black beans, energetic brown basmati rice, organic cumin seeds transported by Mexican truck drivers singing with joy on pink sunrise highways—until the in-store security guard was so close to my every move, he was practically breathing in my ear.

Did this haul of intuitively picked shopping really feel that different when I got it home and unpacked it? Yes, I could honestly swear that it did. Every product coming out of the bag felt vital, vibrant and committed to feeding my family and I with optimum goodness. My wife and daughter felt that goodness too, and begged me to show them how to go Intuitive Grocery Shopping. They’re converts now.

Since then, grocery shopping has become an altogether different consumer experience. It is meditative, intuitive and very time consuming. A year into it as a practice, I no longer care if the jewellery tinkling old lady with the bouffant hair thinks I’m insane as I lay a palm across two packs of glistening Mejdool dates. However, I do care if the pack I buy feels like it’s pulsating with energy, the way cars pass me by in the Summer here in London, with the bass of their sound systems pulsating so intensely I can feel it in my abdomen.

So does the family have rosy cheeks year round like Zhuravleva promised? It certainly helps. People keep saying, “You look so well and youthful, what’s your secret?” I usually laugh off the compliment without explanation. After all, you can’t talk about intuitive work with just anybody now, can you?

The truth is that the rosy cheeks are indeed down to Intuitive Grocery shopping. Next time you’re at the market, supermarket or deli, and if there’s a man standing next to you with his eyes closed, palm laid flat upon a lovely green mango—that’s probably me.