My 10 year old is a girl scout, and a proud one at that. Every year there are cookies sales- and every year I cringe. If you have ever read the ingredients on one of those cookie boxes, and really studied them on the internet, you are probably not eating girl scout cookies anymore. Or maybe you are. Maybe you shrug it off. I can no longer shrug things off, and more than half the time every one around me just rolls their eyes when I pass on, say, the Girl Scout cookie, because I won't ingest those ingredients.
WHEN will we, for ourselves, do the research on "natural flavors" and find out that they are THE FARTHEST FUCKING THING FROM NATURAL that you could possible imagine? When will people start to care that companies are allowed by the FDA to put "natural" in there to pull the wool over our eyes! And yet I let my girl have her cookie-selling experience and I keep my viewpoints, on that front, to a minimum. Because I want her to have a HAPPY childhood full of sweet memories of Girl Scouts. And she will. Because I don't want to be the raving freaky mom who won't let their child have a "normal" childhood. Rather I am clear with my kids on food ingredients. I have taught them from a young age, and continue to teach them, what the truth is. And more than that, how to inspect and question how they feel after eating certain things. From there I encourage them to make their own decisions.
My younger daughter (8), who suffered from health issues with chronic rhinitis and allergies, is on this Plant-Based Alkaline diet with me a little more so than her dad and older sister. She even checks ingredients in the store now. She was shopping with Brad the other day and stopped him as he began to toss a box of granola into the cart. "It doesn't have natural flavors!" Brad said. She grabbed the box, looked quickly at the ingredients and pointed it out to him: "Canola Oil."
The reality is, such toxic ingredients don't affect everyone the same way. We've all heard the story of the grandpa that smoked and never ate a vegetable and lived until he was 99, but we also know that is not the norm. Look: It always comes back to the same question: do you feel amazing or do you feel anything less than that? If you feel anything less than amazing, what are your symptoms? And then the journey begins.. then we may start looking at ingredients. Then we may start to really delve into symptoms and the food we eat. Our lives may change, considerably. For the better of course...but perhaps you only see the better after the physical and emotional withdrawals. And even then, you continue on, and it is still a journey.
But only if we want to take the journey. Truth is most of us choose to look the other way. We are are emotionally dependent on cheese and alcohol and some box of crackers that has who-knows-what ingredients in it. (If we say we "like" to eat that way, regardless of if it's "good" for us- then that is, in my view, an emotional dependence.) Most of us will say "well I cut a little bit of stuff out of my diet." In my experience, then you can expect to feel a little bit better. Most of us give into our emotions and make jokes about how we just got so low, or so tired, that we had to get the Oreo cookies. As if it's not our fault at all but rather LIFE is just too tough. And that is surely a thought to meditate on. I was that person. I drank frequently, even smoked for a while as a young adult. I was emotionally addicted to coffee and lots of cream. I "needed" it to get up in the morning and deal with my busy day ahead. The truth is, I thought I needed it, but I didn't. And actually the caffeine was making me feel worse in the long run.
The more ACID in your diet, the more unhealthy you will be. The more ALKALINE your diet is, the healthier you will be. A Westernized diet is typically very acidic. Western prescription medicine is very, very acidic. Funny that the diseases that are brought on from a body being too acidic are then treated with medicine that can be in some ways harder on the body than the initial amount of acid you were dealing with in the first place! And so we move into the realm of quelling symptoms and tricking the body and not really finding our TRUE natural health.
I am always careful when I start to talk about Western medicine, because if I needed it, I would take it. I bow down to the science of Western medicine. But....if you have high blood pressure for example....you can either try and treat it naturally through your diet...or start taking meds. If you have eczema, migraines, insomnia, acid reflux... or any one of many symptomatic illnesses... my question is...WHY would anyone look to medicate before looking to our diet? The reason is that it's the way we've been cultured. A culture in which it is relatively against the norm to take matters into our OWN hands and feel empowered by being our own physicians.
My long-list of physical issues has abated. I feel so much better in so many ways. I am still journey-ing though. My future plans include making my own herbal tinctures and salves from the herbs I grow and becoming more clear on what juices are good for what times of the month (for me personally) and what soups are most nourishing and easy to make and on and on... I am still learning so much.
I need to continue to branch out in my food preparation/cooking. Last week I brought in Chia Pudding. We have been adding it to bowls of fruit and granola with lots of other toppings such as hemp seeds, cacao nibs, raw nuts and coconut flakes. The kids LOVE to make their own bowls with all the toppings. And, I got this book, which I absolutely love. I don't know if it's the photographs that sell me or the recipes, but it's a super fun book to have around.
This book has been inspiring me to work with homegrown herbs. Wow. What a wonderful book, it's so soothing to read about the medicinal power of herbs and to have such clear instructions on how to make salves, tinctures and more. I made a homemade Elderberry Syrup last week and we all take a spoonful a day. I know this is powerful medicine and so does my family. We can feel it.
So - in closing, I hope you understand that I appreciate that everyone has their own journey. My dad, who is 84, has always taken Western Medicine and antibiotics and drinks alcohol and eats meat and doesn't really like salad. Yeah, he's one of those guys that still looks good and, for the most part, feels pretty good and he takes a good handful of Western meds everyday for everything from acid reflux to cholesterol. This lifestyle clearly works for him! I have helped him bring in herbal teas and broths and a fresh veggie juice every day, and I know he would agree these things have benefitted him.
We become our own physicians. As only WE know, individually, how it feels to be in our bodies. While meat doesn't really bother me physically, I know that I don't like to eat it for ethical reasons. These are thing things that surface when we really drop in. They are personal, and come up from the deep. Self-awareness, asking the big questions, and sometimes crying the big tears, helps the world at large. When we do deep work, it goes much beyond ourselves. Much more than we may ever realize.
Much Love to you today,