Around the time of the Summer Solstice, I set an intention to change my relationship to food. And oh, what changes have ensued.
Transitioning to a raw foods lifestyle has had a significant effect on me physically. My body has let go of roughly 50 pounds; chronic heartburn, fatigue, headaches, and joint pain have vanished.
Perhaps more significant than my body's physical changes, are the internal changes taking place. Here's a bit of what I've learned about myself:
- Certain foods trigger the phenomenon of craving for me. Before, my foods came in bags, boxes and cans. My three basic food groups were refined sugar, refined flour and trans fats. Foods falling into those three groups trigger a physical craving for me. I want more, more, more. Eliminate those foods, eliminate the craving.
- The compulsion to overeat is emotional for me. It's all related to how I'm feeling. Sad, angry, lonely, tired, bored...I'll turn to food. I have a holy hunger that no amount of food can satiate, because it's not a physical hunger. I have to discover ways to feed and nourish my Spirit.
- Certain behaviors can trigger unhealthy food choices for me: eating standing up at the kitchen counter; eating in front of the fridge; eating in the car; eating in front of the television. Eliminate those behaviors, eliminate the risk of making poor choices.
The contents of my kitchen and pantry sure have changed dramatically since the start of last season. Gone are the prepared and processed food items. I am so blessed to live within 20 minutes of a half dozen farmers markets. As I was gazing upon the bevy of fresh local produce I scored this weekend ~ squash, cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, cucumber, collards, tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, apples, pears, grapes ~ I was overcome by the beauty and bounty of the season's harvest. And, it got me thinking about my own experience of the harvest.
First and foremost: it's hard work. We sometimes have the mistaken notion that once we've done the work of preparing the fields, planting the seeds and tending their growth, when harvest time comes, we can sit back and enjoy. But the work doesn't end ~ it just changes, and the important work of gathering in and preserving begins.
Now is the time to look back over the season, at the goal(s) we set, the work we put in, and deciding whether what manifested is what we really intended. It is time to process, to assimilate. Did it work out the way we intended? Whether it did or not, we have gained valuable information. This is stored and becomes part of us and our wisdom grows stronger.
So, we separate the wheat from the chaff ~ what nourishes us stays in the plan to strengthen us, what doesn't is kicked out to the compost pile. Those lessons will fertilize next season's garden.