When I chose to study naturopathy, part of my motivation was my fascination with anatomy and physiology. I am still intrigued by the body but my ongoing research in this area is more holistic, with an emphasis on exploring the connections between mind, emotions, body and spirit/energy.
My other naturopathic interest when I first started was the use of food as medicine. Herbal medicine certainly gave me an outlet for this but I can’t say I’ve felt all that inspired by modern naturopathic practise when it comes to nutrition. Prescribing supplements isn’t really my idea of fun and I have quite deliberately moved away from this approach. I prefer whole foods and can’t quite get my head around feeling comfortable with isolated concentrated supplementation. Not that I don’t see the value in modern supplemental nutrition, I’m just not prepared to play this role in my practise.
Rather than spread myself thin and make myself unhappy, I concentrate on what brings me joy and gets me the best results in my practise. For me, this means specialising in mindbody therapies, mindfulness training, spiritual counselling, emotional healing and my psychic healing work as an aura colour practitioner.
So where does this leave my neglected love of food as medicine and how am I reinventing myself as a prescriber? To be good at what I do, I have to follow my passion and my passion is leading me in the following directions:
Before I can really feel comfortable advising others about food, I need a lived, embodied walk-your-talk experience based on eating in a way that makes me feel crazily inspired by healthy, nutritious food. Until recently, I haven’t really had this, but now everything is changing. The first revolution for me was going fully vegan. This is suh a joyful way for me to eat because it honours my environmental values and my love for animals. Being vegan makes me feel enthusiastic about food again! Being vegan is one of the most powerful contributions you can make towards the well-being of this planet if you really love nature. Meat production requires incredible resources! And I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of animals in captivity, being used as things.
Even before becoming vegan (and im still a beginner, learning), I wasn’t far off being vegan because I don’t eat dairy and the only meat I was eating was fish. In our family we have a dairy sensitivity. This isn’t the more well known lactose inolerance by the way; it’s a sensitivity to the protein and/or fat in dairy. I think this is actually more common than people realise and I personally think that dairy isn’t a good food to eat. You can find plenty of research about this on-line if you look. Dairy is linked with too many cancers and it’s highly inflammatory. The old carry-on about needing dairy for calcium is twaddle: very old-fashioned and out of date. Harvard medical school removed dairy from their food pyramid… I wonder why?
I’m going to give you a list of the symptoms my family and I suffer from if we eat dairy. Perhaps you might like to experiment with removing dairy (do it completely, even small amounts can make you sick!), if you recognise any of these symptoms:
Eczema, asthma, tonsilitus, recurrnt respiratoty infections, hayfever, sinusitis, bowel disturbances, abdominal bloating, smelly stool and flatulence, emotional instability, cystitis, thrush, swollen lymph nodes, irritability, foggy head or mental fatigue
My second food revolution happened when I gave up wheat. Wow! The chronic anaemia I had even before going vegetarian is clearing away, and my bowels are finally in a permanent state of bliss. I have so much more energy, my skin has cleared up, I’ve lost weight and I no longer crave sugar. When I do eat wheat, my stool is water, the skin on my face turns an angry red and I get asthmatic symptoms. I also get mood and energy fluctuations. So wheat is not worth eating!
Now I’m taking it even further. I’m avoiding cooking with oil or eating junk foods or products containing vegetable oils. I’m avoiding sugar and I’m using very little potato. I am loving a much broader range of vegetables, and I’m crazy about nuts and seeds. I’ve fallen in love with cooking and the kitchen is one of my favourite places to be. I’m learning how to cook with herbs and spices and I love raw food recipes.
I’ll write again soon about how I’m exploring the energetic uses of herbs!