Walking around the Sunday Farmer’s Market is delightful. I thoroughly enjoy the live music, organic food and the cheerful disposition of vendors as they offer their home grown goods to locals. Honey in jars appears to be liquid gold and bunches of bright, colorful flowers are impossible to resist. I buy a bouquet of sunflowers as an offering of love and friendship unto myself. How can I not feel happy when sunflowers are lighting up my living space? Tea leafs in tin cans promoting good sleep and ultimate health is difficult to pass up after I inhale its earthy aromas, and I never pass on a piece of vegan dark chocolate. I love interacting with this community and it’s even better having a friend along who tells me the different names of vegetables I’ve never encountered, while informing me how to cook with certain peppers and spices. Produce never tastes better than when it’s grown with love and in consideration of the well-being of our planet. A juicy piece of an organic tomato right out of the ground is a bite of paradise, and it’s right here practically in my own back yard.
A couple of years ago I made the decision to become Vegan. It was a slow process of eliminating meat, poultry and fish from my diet out of concern for the well-being of the animals who are abused, neglected and pumped with hormones as we continue trying to feed more people on Earth than have ever walked this planet before. I knew nothing about cooking Vegan or why I was so gung-ho to be a non-meat eater. I sincerely enjoyed fish, meat and barbeques just like most Americans, but something within me tugged to live more consciously, and this included what I put into my body. It has been over a year that I have been Vegan, and I’m not a perfect Vegan. I still splurge on ice cream once in a while, and I do eat organic, range free eggs for breakfast. I put honey in my coffee instead of sugar, and god-forbid if I ever have to give up my dark chocolate, but no animals are dying or neglected so that I can survive, and this was the most important thing when I made this life changing decision.
As I’ve moved along in my Vegan lifestyle, I’ve migrated to a county that promotes organic living and I’m meeting people like myself who are consciously choosing to eat for health reasons more so than to fill some kind of emotional void. I’ve been known to pour comfort food down the ole hatch when I’m feeling out of control or stressed, but the more I learn about myself and pay attention to my emotions and my body, the more I understand why I crave certain foods and how it affects me negatively when I am stuffing myself full instead of nurturing myself. Recovery to me means re-aligning with the natural flow of my life (re-covering… re-cover). The bottom line is that we eat for survival. It is pleasurable to taste good food, but in the long run, is it going to affect my well-being? Of course it is. What you put inside your body affects your entire being, including your emotional and mental state. Because we are electro-magnetic beings as well (soul and heart), eating electric foods (raw fruits and veggies) is also very important. When we choose foods, we should be aware that we are nurturing all of ourselves, and because I’ve chosen to practice self-love, my diet is incredibly important to me, although I sometimes get weird looks and disapproving comments from those who enjoy their meat.
I certainly do not judge others for their food choices. This is my gig, and it is not an easy diet. I often crave burgers and salmon and all the delicious foods I’ve been raised on, but discipline is part of my lifestyle now. Because I’ve been so self-indulgent in the past, I practice a lot of self-discipline now. I’m getting older and as I look around at the people in the world, I notice those who have nurtured themselves, and those who have neglected their bodies. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to be one of those people who will live well into my nineties (we have a stubborn family with good genes), I have decided to nurture my body starting now. I just want to feel my best and to live a good quality of life as I age. The truth is, since I have been more conscious of what I put in my mouth, I have much more energy, I feel incredible and I enjoy natural foods so much more than processed foods. There is life in a mouthful of a good home-grown tomato. There is electricity in a carrot and in those beautiful leafy greens. I’m all about natural living, sunshine and the well-being of the planet. I also like supporting local farmers and businesses, which puts a lot money back into our economy if we would all do this.
I have a long way to go until I can say that I live a completely organic lifestyle, but each day I am conscious of what I place into my body, is a day that I am practicing conscious living. Recovery is about self-love, and self-love extends out into the world. When I am in alignment with myself, I am in alignment with the universe. It all connects and it is very relevant. I am not just nurturing my body when I place food into my mouth – I understand that I am nurturing my soul and my mind as well, and these parts of me are not separate. I love the wholeness of me, and that’s why I choose to eat food that grows right out of the Earth. Living a healthy lifestyle is a major part of my own recovery.