So much of my life has revolved around my mouth. What goes into my mouth and what comes out. Eating food, talking about food. Its insane how I used to think it didn’t make a difference what it was or where it came from. As long as it tasted good of course. Taste was everything, and it was something I thought I had.
Fast forward five years of working 2 jobs and eating when I could remember to. cooking was for people who had the time. I live in Los Angeles, why cook when I could do a culinary tour of the world without going a mile outside my neighborhood. Now Im sure there were some other factors that lead up to what I am about to say besides my diet but basically my body shut down. I went from being a normal 22 year old free spirited, kicking ass and taking names-ing, social butterfly to bed ridden, angry, confused, leave me alone I don’t want to see anyone (more like I don’t want anyone to see me) pain body. I won’t get into the details about what was wrong with me because that isn’t the point of this story but id like to include that I didn’t have medical insurance and after a few doctors visits i was completely tapped out of money and couldn’t afford western (bandaids) medicine. And thank god for that.
6 months of pain keeping me awake, doing research online, looking up symptom after symptom and Web MD literally became the monster under my bead. Hypochondriac became my middle name which left me feeling even more alone. When you reach out to people and their response is always “Its all in your head” you quickly learn to keep it there. Ok, maybe not as quickly as I should have but I eventually shut up about it all. I needed a hero and I was in my own way asking everyone, is it you Is It You?
When someone finally answered my cry (i was pathetic, breaking down in tears to anyone who’d give me the opportunity), he said your hero is food. Sounds great I know all the best spots in town! But he meant “clean food” uncooked fruits and vegetables were going to save me. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, that was to simple to obvious. I wanted a complex chemical compound, some heavy machinery or at least a shaman to relieve me of the demon that had obviously possessed my (to young for this shit!) body. So at first i resisted and I’m embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until i was desperate, exhausted and at the end of my rope that I decided to give “health food” a try.
So began my raw food journey. At first I hated it, everything about it was awful, either it was bland and watered down or it tasted like someone dropped an entire mixed spice shaker in a food processor. I was angry, each bite made me want to spit and scream YOU CALL THIS PAD THAI!? I didn’t know it then but I was going through serious withdrawal and cold turkey. Food had been my only comfort, my crutch through that whole experience and now there was nothing left to enjoy. Life might as well just be over. OK I realize this is getting a little dark so allow me to spoiler alert by saying this story has a happy ending. Fast forward a few weeks (i had a lot of heeling to do) of me being a monster.
I feel better, and am filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude for every experience life hast to offer. After apologizing over and over to my close circle and thanking those who showed me such kindness and patience (its true what they say about finding out who your real friends are at your lowest point) I was ready to start my life over. I actually got a hold of the whole raw food thing for a while, I was addicted to everything fermented, if it was bacteria then I wanted to eat it. OMG Heirloom tomatoes were a revelation, who knew something that looked so wrong could taste so right. Durian the food that practically screams to your senses run away, would develop a love affair with my taste buds. Why had I never tasted these foods before. I was the food girl, the foodie, and I knew nothing about these treasures. For the next few years I dropped everything, my direction in life became about food. and heath.
I used to say that vegans were like a religious cult. Always trying to convert people. I know some vegans take offense to that. Im not sure if I am or am not “vegan” but I do choose to live a plant based lifestyle. Now i have found the word for that theory, I am a Foodist, and I believe in the power of food. Im closer to a feeling of enlightenment when I eat this way and I know that because I have fallen of course a few times. I was seduced by paleo diets, and scared into getting more B12 and Omega fats. Once I wasn’t sick anymore I really let myself explore and even pushed my body to its limits with fast foods. I was experimenting as everyone does. Im not ashamed to say it because that all lead me back here. I know the V word can scare some people more than Vagina but i have to say it. Vegan, it just feels right.
This isn’t to critisize anyone who eats animal products. I can’t say ill never eat another fish again or that I’ve had the last piece of Bufala Mozzarella of my life. Who knows what will happen one day when I am on a fishing boat in Japan, or sitting at the table of an Italian Mama in Napoli. But I do know that when I eat this way i can walk through a hospital or ride on an airplane and come out uninfected which never happened before. I have energy and motivation to run which continues to baffle me since i could barely make it around the block even in my teens. I am more patient with my mother who I used to think was a professional at getting under my skin but now I realize my skin need more kale. I think clearly, make better decisions and take time to do things for me ( like cooking, I do that a lot now). I am more compassionate towards all animals including humans. And I feel I am on the way to becoming the person I want to be. What does this have to do with what I eat? I can’t explain to you in science but I can answer with sincerity, simply Everything. That said, it is clear that I have become a woman of faith. Faith in the power of food. Once I got off that nutrient deficient feris wheel I discovered there was an entire them park to explore. A garden of eden right here on earth.
Peace and Blessings
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