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How Did It Get To Be February Already? A New Direction For This Blog.

I just looked at my last blog posting, and realized I’ve taken a 2 month hiatus without planning to…Yes, there were holidays, and crazy weather everywhere, and inventory (my least favorite activity), and maybe a bit of fatigue: the attack on our food and health is unrelenting, and constantly pointing this out gets tiresome.

SO: this spring (in the Celtic calendar spring begins with Imbolc/Candlemas, as the days get longer and buds swell) I am going to take a break from gloom and doom and focus on positive steps we can all take towards reclaiming our authority and agency around our heath and healing process. As the old saying goes: the personal is political. And yes, systemic change means more than just our personal choices, and yet where we choose to spend our money and how we treat ourselves really does matter, for both our own healing journey and the planet’s.

I am currently teaching 5 students one morning a week, and have been (with some breaks) since last June. We’ve been going on plant identification field trips, learning how to make herbal medicine, and now we are studying anatomy and physiology for herbalists. We are having a great time as adult learners, and are amazed that we didn’t get this information about how our body works in school. Even those professionals who took A and P didn’t get the “big picture” with a paradigm that is health based (and the one we are studying comes from Michael Moore,  southwest herbalist who died in 2009). There is much good info that I plan to share here from this ongoing course. 

 Here’s your first “assignment” (oh, and there are no tests, no grades, just an informative exploration into the mysteries on the body/mind):  notice what you eat. Just pay attention. No judgments, no shaming self, no excuses. If you want extra credit, write what you eat (and I mean everything that goes in your mouth) for the next week. You will be amazed…

 

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The Value of a Food Diary

I have found myself speaking with several folks lately about their diets….and realizing that what we think we are eating, what we feel we are eating, what we intend to eat, is not the same as what we are actually putting into our mouths. About 12 years ago I thought I was doing a really good job of paying attention to my diet. However, when I went to see a Naturopath about fine tuning my health, she suggested I keep a food diary, to see what actually happening….oh dear. More fried corn chips and less vegetables that I realized, just to name 2 areas that I had to address. My gall bladder was very happy with me when I made some changes….

And that is the point: we can’t really know what to do next if we don’t “objectively” look at where we are. Writing down EVERYTHING that goes in our mouth, and about how much and when often leads to a better understanding of our patterns, habits, what foods might be causing problems, macro and micronutrients that may be out of balance, etc. Let me say loud and clear: DO NOT JUDGE yourself, your choices, what you notice. This is also a spiritual exercise in gentle compassionate observation. We are witnessing ourselves nourishing ourselves, and change can occur more easily if we are amused rather than horrified.  We shall be talking about making small steps toward eating all real food without a lot of drama and lamenting poor choices in the past.

Beyond the general notion that eating well is “good for us,” I’ll be citing interesting current research, including the rather new field of epigenetics. Food (and that includes culinary herbs) really can be our medicine.