Tag Archives: Food Addiction

I Feel Good #TheLoveSeries #ValentinesDay2015

Mama 1942ish   My Grandma Bessie could cook her little hind parts off. She cooked at the hospital, at the church and for every family event and holiday.  There was so much love in my grandparents home and the kitchen became a symbol of it.  It makes sense that my spirit responds to food as love.  I attribute my highly developed  taste buds to all of that Louisiana goodness that I grew up eating.  Part of me hates that I can taste and identify every seasoning, know when there’s too much baking soda and I can tell just how much mustard was added.  I’m finally accepting it.  It is what it is.

I came out of the womb with a slow digestive system and with allergies and sensitivities.  Then I grew up in the era of fast food and junk food innovations, new preservative discoveries and ate it all alongside soul food from the deepest parts of Louisiana.  Since I was raised in California’s Bay Area I also grew up eating soul food from Mexico, China, Italy and the Philippines. International before I went international, my palette is almost always doing the most.  Now, my body is in recovery. It demands healing foods and when I slip, it talks back to me.  Shoot, sometimes it shouts! The shout manifests itself as pain and inflammation, mucus and coughing, skin eruptions and tummy discomfort.

It has taken a few decades but I finally figured out what I need to eat and drink to feel good. Well, I was told years ago, but wavered back and forth until the pain has now become too great to bear.  I would do what I needed to do for six months and then go back to the old way of living and eating.  With friends and family serving as my co-signers, I would throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I wanted to eat.  The phrase,  you can eat anything in moderation, is one of the biggest bullshit myths if there ever was one on earth.  For some of us there is no thing called moderation.  One bite is a slippery slope toward downhill hell.  We would never tell a coke head to have one line of coke, would we?

heart-arrow-2As we enter this week of love, I’m exploring what love means to me.  Love feels good.  I want to feel good. I choose to feel good. In the past food has represented love and I’m now at a point where I want to shift that perception.  I want my entire life to be a symbol of love – my life’s work, my relationships with others and myself.  If I want my personal relationship to be special then I have to treat myself accordingly so I am mirroring how I want to be treated.  It begins with me and with my self-care.

And I’m done with the conversations that loved ones want to have about it being in my head. Believe me, I love to eat but I am choosing life.  I love breathing, so I am on this path. I give thanks for those who support me and I am opening the door for those who would like to join me.  Change can be hard.  Community makes it easier and provides the support that we need to make those important changes.  I am shifting to a new definition of love. Now, let me go make my morning smoothie.


My thought for the day – #IFeelGood #IChooseToFeelGood

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French fries call my name….

I am on a healing path.  It is my intention to move my body back into balance, to reverse the health conditions that are troubling me, to shrink the “growths” that are in my body temple, to maintain and manage my energy, my vibrance and to feel good more often than not.

The more I learn about nutritional medicine, the use of plants and natural substances to heal and the importance of emotional wellness, the more I realize that we should be working in partnership with our doctors instead of going to them for all of the answers.  You know your body better than anyone else. This is one of the reasons that allopathic or mainstream medicine does not resonate with me.  I see little proof of it making a difference other than in emergency/crisis situations. I was given all sorts of allergy and asthma medications from age six to 26 and I am sure those drugs caused various kinds of damage.  I mean, we’ve all seen the pharmaceutical commercials for new meds and heard the long list of side of effects at the end. I’m not against hospitals but would love to be a part of a movement to make them better.

Part of my contribution to this movement is to share what I am learning and to be as transparent as possible about my challenges.  It is not an easy path, but there are no magic pills and no quick fixes. Healing Naturally is more of a video diary that I’m making public.

This short video clip speaks to how there are some days where fried food seems to call my name.  It’s as if we were old loves unable to part from one another.  It’s as if I was somehow wired to want these things cooked in high heat and lots of oil.  The logical part of me knows it’s programming, socialization and habit.  The emotional part of me knows it’s about memories of a huge cast iron skillet on grandma’s stove frying up everything from chicken that looked and tasted better than any restaurant to hot water cornbread soon to be dipped in honey.  I know how good I feel when I’m eating lots of fresh living foods, when I’m eating fruits and vegetables, drinking my fresh juices and smoothies, but this stuff is like a monkey on my back.  It’s hard to understand why because there are physical consequences when I slip.  I’m staying inspired because I confronted sugar addiction, wheat and bread, dairy and candy and none of that bothers me anymore so I know I can do it. I just need your prayers, your affirmations and maybe a 12 step fried fish and french fry support group.

Healing Naturally: Self-Exposure and Nakedness

bright sunThe morning is here.  The sun is peeking through the curtains as if to say let’s do this, you’ve slept enough already. The blueness of the sky has returned, the clouds seem happy to not be filled with rain and the air looks deceivingly warm. It is not warm. I am in the Blue Ridge Mountains where snow fell in October just the other night. It is 31°F.  It is October and I am not mentally prepared for winter.

Winter preparation means preparing my mind for massive amounts of self-love and discipline. It means massaging my heart just as good as I massage my kale and enrolling a serious circle of accountability to support me in my healing protocol. The journey is a blend of adventure and routine.  Letting go of old habits and forming new ones, especially new ways of thinking, is not for the weak.  Although I at times feel weak, I know for sure that I am strong enough to accomplish my personal and professional goals. Oh, and then there’s the work to prepare for the book release, but that’s another post for another day. Today is Sunday, a day I shall use for going within.

I am revisiting my video blog, Healing Naturally, as a way to keep myself accountable and to practice sharing consistently.  I started out strong then stopped posting even though I was still recording posts.  Exploring and exposing my fears, anxieties and areas of weakness just didn’t feel cool.  Authentic sharing requires lots of courage, a willingness to be naked and let it all go.  Well, I made myself the promise of a huge break through by the end of 2014.  I intend to live and love boldly. The break through is not going to happen with me standing on the sidelines, hiding under the covers or sitting quietly in the corner pretending to meditate. Nope, my purpose was revealed to me at 10 years old and I’m about that life of honoring it. Look for posts once or twice a week on my youtube channel.  Please comment on youtube, LIKE, subscribe and share your story too!

Food Will Test You: 5 Things To Do To Support Your Dietary Changes

So the waitress places every single fried food appetizer near me.  That’s how last week’s adventure began. Me, with nine other visionary social entrepreneurs at a fancy Thai restaurant getting the shakes as I reminisced on the fatty goodness that lay before me.  I don’t over eat anymore because I cannot.  There is no room for the food and it causes pain if there’s too much in there. I do, however, rationalize my greatest pleasure on earth:  food.  Even when it is blocking me from my goal:   healing my body.  I am a human raised in the United States of America, the home of the quarter pounder, the foot long sub, the double-decker deep dish pizza.

Fried Spring Roll Temptations!

Fried Spring Roll Temptations!

I was one of ten Echoing Green Fellows selected to be a part of a week-long inflection retreat. It actually felt more like an “intensive” than a retreat but it was absolutely powerful.  The experience was mentally challenging like a good work out that makes you feel exhilarated from the sweat but a little sore from the muscle stretching. This was the first time I ever clearly articulated and outlined my dietary needs.  In my memo I admitted to my awkwardness and made a series of bold requests including the suggestion that if my dietary needs were overwhelming for the planners that I would prefer to organize my food myself.  To my surprise the response could not have been more supportive.

The week had all kinds of tests with regard to food choices. The only time I did not feel confronted was while in my hotel room making green smoothies.  I made one to drink in the early morning and one to take with me for late morning. Here are five things I did to make sticking to my diet a little easier:

1)I requested a refrigerator from the hotel in advance.

2)I rinsed off parsley, dandelion leaves, organic apples, and chard ahead of time and stored the greens in a small insulated freezer bag and carried the rest of my foods in an insulated grocery bag I got from Whole Foods. I had a couple of bananas, a bag of hemp seeds, and spirulina, as well as a few snacks. It also helps to have a knife or buy one upon arrival.

3)I communicated as directly as I possibly could and outlined exactly how I wanted to be treated. I clearly stated the awkwardness that can come with being the one who is “different” and I wanted to avoid the weirdness that can occur at restaurants by handling food planning in advance. This left me feeling incredibly empowered.

4)Drinking a smoothie early morning and having another before lunch helped to not only fill me up but the nutrient rich drinks also helps to reduce cravings.

5)I had snacks in my bag so when the urge for crunch, for salty, sweet or chocolate came up I was armed and prepared.  There are the inevitable moments of someone offering to split their fair trade chocolate bar spiced with cayenne and cinnamon but filled with sugar.  There are those plates of afternoon cookies that do the devil dance when they bring them out warm. Even though I didn’t eat them all, having an arsenal of snacks in my bag calmed my anxiety around slipping.

Last week’s tests were made easier by Maggie, the event coordinator and logistics point person.  Her attention to detail was a gift, but I know this is only the beginning.  I am now operating from a space of integrity with myself and my body’s needs. I am learning to be gentle myself while still being firm about what is good for my healing and what is not. Some of what I’m doing is temporary but I now see a lot of it as a lifestyle change. I know a lot of smart people ruining their organs, their insides and diminishing the possibilities of a high quality of life as they get older. I also know what it feels like to put something in your mouth knowing it may trigger bronchitis symptoms, a rash or abdominal cramps. Change is not easy but damn if it don’t feel good to feel good! I am releasing the need for pain.     greensmoothies

I raise my glass of greens to each of you.  The toast? May this summer inspire the motivation to honor the changes you have been wanting to make. I am wishing you the best on your journey. Remember it is a process. Love yourself, be gentle with yourself and forgive, forgive, forgive…yourself while focusing on one new habit at  a time!

My Summer Video Blog— HEALING NATURALLY:  FOOD WILL TEST YOU  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A86tINF5DGM