My Journey with Physical, Mental and Emotional Health through the Lens of Food – W8D2A by Catherine

Nov 3, 2015

“People are fed by the Food industry, which pa ys no attention to Health, and are treated by the Health industry, which pays no attention to Food.” – Wendell Berry

I feel that food is such a great subject for conversation because everyone can relate. Each and every individual has a journey with food and a story to tell. This is my story of how I came to accept my current relationship to food and what I envision that relationship to become.

In 2013, I started experiencing daily abdominal pain, and was experiencing a lack of energy and motivation. I spoke with Isabelle Benarous, a practitioner of the art of German New Medicine; the belief that emotional and mental stress or trauma impacts one’s physical state. To quote Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, the originator of German New Medecine: “Through the millennia, humanity has more or less consciously known that all diseases ultimately have a psychic origin and it became a “scientific” asset firmly anchored in the inheritance of universal knowledge; it is only modern medicine that has turned our animated beings into a bag full of chemical formulas.” My experience with German New Medicine has helped me to gain more understanding of the psychological  aspects of my own health.

In October of the same year, my father, Michael, passed away after battling melanoma. He was very involved in the health food world and made a huge impact on how I perceive the commercial and sustainable food industries. He also helped shape my view that being present, conscious, and aware of what you’re putting into your body affects you in the present moment and in the moments to come.

My father is relevant to my abdominal pain because I believe that the digestive tract is connected to your mental and emotional state. This belief is grounded in my own experience. While processing and feeling the pain and loss of my father, I developed an intolerance to gluten. I feel that my gluten intolerance directly stemmed from processing the loss of my father. Although some might see this as a negative consequence, I perceive this as good fortune because I feel that it improved my ability to be aware of my own health, as well as that of others, by making me think and rethink how my physical well-being, mindset, and lifestyle relate to digestion and food.

I strive to be healthy, and that can mean many different things to different people. Generally, we as a society define health in ways that are complex, varied, and often contradictory. For example: there are so many different beliefs about what is healthy, varying from plant based diets, protein heavy diets, to no specific diet at all! I recognize that every body is different and there is not one healthy way for all of humankind. Each individual’s journey will be completely different and have many things that impact their diet and lifestyle.

My personal definition of health focuses less on diet and more on lifestyle and mindset. My perception of health is what feels good to my body, is nurturing, and enables optimal physical capability, as well as what I feel promotes wholeness and connectedness to my body and overall being.

My vision of an optimal and healthy relationship with food is: eating what makes me feel my best, living in an environment and community in which I grow my own food organically, making Reishi, Chaga, and honey tinctures, as well as incorporating nettles, local herbs and fresh roots into my diet. I want to converse about and research others’ relationships with food and their beliefs. I want to strive to be open and listen to different ideas and theories, incorporating what I find and what I feel resonates with my body, belief system, and personal theories.

I feel that this mindset connects me to my father, and is a part of the knowledge, experiences, and insight he’s shared with me. Like a tree, my relationship with food has roots, a trunk, and branches. My roots were gained from conversing and spending time with my mother and father. I consider my trunk to be my mindset, lifestyle, and personal beliefs. Finally, my branches are the knowledge, personal growth, and wisdom I can share with the world.

My Inspirations for developing this page and sharing my story are Michael Canann, Arianna Kosel, Joel Malkoff, Ariel Wygant, and Tabi Musselwhite.

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