Friday, December 07, 2007

my food journey thus far, condensed




in filling out an application for an apprenticeship at Three Stone Hearth, i had the opportunity to tell a little of my personal story surrounding food. i've never been able to express it as concisely, so i thought i would share it with you.

Tell us a little bit about your own journey with food and healing. I grew up by my mother’s side in the kitchen, making food from scratch. I bought my first copy of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook in high school, after becoming a vegetarian when I was sixteen. I confidently and religiously followed low-fat vegetarian principles throughout my young adulthood, usually working in some sort of food establishment. I enjoyed cooking at home, and did it as healthfully as I knew how. Throughout my twenties, I experienced relentless hypoglycemia, and sometimes-severe depression. I decided to start eating fish when I was 28. This was emotionally and spiritually excruciating for me, but eating enough soy to supposedly meet my need for protein ~ bicycling, dancing, and jogging intensively as I did ~ was wearing me down. I remember having the feeling that i was a ghost in my own life, and that rejoining the food chain might help heal that feeling. When I moved to California two and a half years ago, I cut dairy from my diet and dabbled in veganism. I lost a lot of weight and was really happy about that. But my obsession with foods that were on the “no” list was constant, my concentration was poor, and I still struggled with emotional issues. I enrolled in Bauman College's Natural Chef Program in the Spring of 2006. There I was exposed to the concepts of Weston A. Price for the first time, while at the same time reading Jessica Prentice’s book, Full Moon Feast, extra-curricularly. When I read that no culture has ever sustained itself without animal products, it was shocking and traumatic, but my body told me I needed to pay attention. The most dramatic change I experienced was upon taking cod liver oil. I felt as if my brain were working for the first time in years! As I began, slowly, to trust what I knew my body wanted, I ate red meat ~grass-fed bison**~ for the first time since I was a teen, and started eating fats like butter and coconut oil. These were changes that rocked the core of my identity. I found for the first time in my memory that I could go hours without even thinking about food ~ unheard of! Adding protein and good fats, and limiting sugar helped keep my emotions more stable. It has been a battle inside myself not to make my own body a martyr for my beliefs about animal rights, and for thinness. Just in the past few months have I found the courage and confidence to add raw milk to my diet, casting aside day by day the ingrained propaganda of what beauty is and isn’t, and embracing true health. This is my journey thus far.
I feel called to help other women understand what true health and beauty are, and to share with them ways to deeply nourish themselves and to pass it on to their daughters!


**i must add something that would be a given to the folks who were reading this application: i only eat meat that comes from animals who are raised by people who care. the beef i eat comes from steers who got to roam in the sunshine and eat grass ~ what cows were designed to eat. the chickens i eat got to peck and scratch in the sunshine and eat bugs. the eggs i eat are laid by hens who experience the same. and the milk i drink comes from cows who get to roam around and eat fresh green grass, mindfully cared for and milked. in my fantasy world, i must admit, i would not eat flesh or bones. but i accept that i am, indeed, an omnivore on this beautifully-designed planet, and that no matter what you eat or don't eat, "life takes life" (quoted from Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer) so i vow to do it as mindfully and gratefully as possible. and i have the luxury to make this choice.

to read what i have learned about health-promoting animal products and good fats (not the ones they advertise! ~ the old-fashioned kind!) and how they affect women's bodies, please go to:
http://www.westonaprice.org/women/index.html
to learn how our ancestors ate to be beautiful, strong, healthy and happy, please go to:
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/index.html

photos:
loving food at Thanksgivingtime,
confident in my me-ness, taken the day after Burning Man 07.

2 comments:

Mick said...

you are a fine writer.. i enjoy reading and sharing your ideas.

alyssum said...

I love you.

I am glad that you are beginning to see for yourself how beautiful you are. And your drive to share these epiphanies is exemplary of your deep beauty. You are so awesome! I spent a long time last night, choked up and so so happy perusing the pomegranate site last night. thanks for sharing.