Prior to the days where I no longer eat grains and legumes I loved hummus! Seriously I’d dip whatever I could into it, pretzels, carrots, cucumbers, spread it on tortillas the list goes on. When I think about how I used to eat, it was never a poor diet, the main difference between what I felt was healthy then, and what I know is healthy now is a matter of nutrients. And even though my diet lifestyle was seemingly “healthy” is was nutritionally void.
I am not here to protest legumes, or tell you that they are bad, by any means. Since healing with AIP I have had an occasional chickpea with no ailments. However, knowing what kind of damage they can do to the gut (one that still is healing) long term I choose not to eat them. I think they can be great for some people who already have incredibly established gut flora and a microbiome that eat’s the crap out of carbs (in a good way!) But I’m taking a gander that you may not be that person either. So in desperation of wanting that salty, creamy dip back I’ve been experimenting with ways to create a similar palate without the use of legumes.
So you’re in a funk or a bad mood. Perhaps something happened at work or with a friend and now you’re all bent out of shape. It could even be that you’re just feeling low, not exactly your enthusiastic self, but not sure how to change that.
I know we can all raise our hands in agreement that we’ve been there before. I know I have. I’ve dealt with depression, panic attacks, funks and mood swings my whole life, and what I’ve come to learn over the years are a few key components to actually shifting your energetic vibration to change your mood.
It’s the newest trend in the foodie culture to sit down to a big bowl of grains filled with all kinds of warm yummy toppings like eggs, greens, vegetables and other delicious edibles. So in doing what I feel is a public service to what I’d call the “non-grain community” at large is create a “grainless” bowl that resembles it’s original inspiration, yet tastier, more nutrient dense, and vegetable focused.
These bowls are the perfect dish to transition from winter to spring as they’re served warm, with warming spices and a pop of citrus from the kumquats. Personally, around this time of the year I cannot get enough of kumquats to save my life! They’re so fun, for one, and for two they are basically nature’s starburst!!
I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all likely experienced a time (multiples really) in our lives where we had to go through the process of grieving, dredging through discomfort and healing. In that time it can often feel lonely, scary and as though we lack a sense of direction of our true path to know what direction we are headed. This month’s Soul Power contributor goes deep into that space, otherwise known as the “hallway of hell”. This incredibly vulnerable space that we venture into hoping to come out whole again. It’s not only incredibly relatable, but her honesty permeates through her expression and reaches the core of our true selves, where we can find understanding. When I first met Heather Wellman I had no idea that she was a writer, nor did I know of her adventurous spirit and the strength of her inner desire to love people wholeheartedly. I not only admire her way with words (more on her blog and Instagram), but I am drawn to her insatiable desire to live her life despite fear, ambiguity and the time spent in the hallway. I am without proper words to do justice to how honored I am that she is sharing with you all in this space, so I will let her do the rest.
I rolled towards her, my hair falling forward, into my face, a few strands dancing in the space between our mouths. She reached up, sliding them behind my ear, clearing the path from her lips to my own. I moaned quietly as her fingertips swept back and forth over the soft skin of my inner thighs… And then my own hand abruptly met hers, holding it still, near my knee. I pulled back, and looked at her… “I can’t,” I said. “I feel like my dad can see us now, which I know sounds ridiculous but it’s true. It’s just weird for me. I need some more time.” My girlfriend stared back at me blankly for a few seconds, and then dropped her hand from my body back to our mattress…
We are inherently social creatures. And so, by nature, we have a desperate need to share with each other our problems, worries, failures, along with excitements and accomplishments. With any relationship, be it intimate or familial, it’s often hard to navigate processing our own lives, let alone being there for one another.
Some of us have a tendency to take on more of the problems of people around us, yea, I’m talking to you empath! And that’s okay, but knowing how to guard yourself from allowing these issues in other people’s lives to consume your own life is important not only, for your personal joy and peace of mind, but for your health.
I know so many friends who have relationships where they tell me that just talking to certain people in their life is stressful, negative, or gives them anxiety.
They love them, but the relationship feels incredibly taxing.
It’s important to identify then, what it is that is actually draining about these relationships. Is it conversations, is it the length, the negativity, constant complaining? What about these relationships makes them so tiring?
An open letter to anyone going through the phases of reintroducing foods after following an elimination diet.
Dear beautiful human,
So you’ve been on an elimination diet, and you’re finally ready to see what you can eat again. Congratulations, this is a big deal!! This means that you must feel AMAZING right now, especially compared to where you were before the start of your elimination protocol. You really deserve an award for sticking through something so difficult in pursuit of feeling better. Let’s not down play just how hard it is to remove certain foods from your life.
Eliminating food, is hard. I know, because I’ve been there. Let me say that getting to the reintroduction phase is an accomplishment. Reintroducing foods means healing has occurred within you, and naturally that’s a really great feeling. It can also however, breed a lot of anxiety when it comes to trying new foods that were temporarily “off limits”. It’s completely normal to feel a little scared about adding foods back into your system that could potentially make you feel unwell, perhaps even cause a flare if you have an autoimmune condition or instigate those painful headaches that you finally got rid of.
You may think this fear is even too great to even risk reintroducing foods, don’t let it be. When you’re going to reintroduce foods you want to be methodical about how you go about doing it, if you’re following a certain system, make sure that you follow the steps of reintroducing, like through the autoimmune protocol for example. There are outlined steps and a system that works when it comes to reintroducing foods and being aware of how they affect your body is hugely important in the process. This is essential to knowing what does and does not work for you right now. Perhaps it won’t be forever, but for right now some foods will and will not work in your individual system, and that is okay.
We all vibrate on certain gradients of energy. The world is spinning and here we are, buoyant with the currents of electric charge all varying in grades of frequency. Like attracts like and we are pulled to one another by this charged beauty, almost unexplained yet completely understood. This is how I feel when I am reached by someone’s writing. They touch me in a way that’s goes beyond the surface and into much deeper crevices of my heart and soul. It’s not every day when this happens, but it is true that we attract into our lives what we put out. I believe wholeheartedly that my intention in sharing people’s stories has sent this massive shock wave out into the world charging these captivating people with the challenge of sharing themselves with the world. I first came across Mitch Hankins from Instinctual Wellbeing.(@mightymorphinmitch) via Instagram and I was initially drawn to his contagious sense of humor and as I continued following him connected and resonated so much with his life journey. The way he shares his meaning is one of the most beautiful expressions I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. As I read his contribution to Soul Power, I cried. I sat with his words, absorbed their energy and thought, “How lucky am I, to be moved by something so honest it’s nearly tangible.” I know you will feel the same, it’s truly an honor to share his words with you.
A Note From the Author:
This piece is about coming to terms with who you are, being happy with the person you see in the mirror, and seeing the beauty in your life no matter how chaotic it may seem at times.
So often (and rightfully so) we look to food and lifestyle to aid us in our healing, but in this, we miss another important piece of the puzzle, which is being able to look inwardly to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself and your body, and accepting yourself and your story for what it is.
In being a transgender man who also deals with multiple autoimmune conditions, this has been something I have had to deal with first-hand, and in many ways it has been a far greater challenge than changing my diet or modifying my lifestyle ever was. However, although it has been challenging to embrace my own story, the light that it’s brought to my life has been far brighter and far more rewarding than anything I could have ever hoped for.
So this is a piece of that story. I hope that no matter what your circumstances are in life, that you can begin to dig deep and embrace your own story, and start to see your reflection as part of the whole, and as the wonderful mess that it is: beauty in the dissonance.
Many people are totally repelled by the thought of eating liver. My mother is one of those people. She grew up in a household where liver and onions was a prized staple at the family dinner table, not only that, but there were strict rules about eating your meal, drinking your milk and not being allowed from the table until the plate was clear.
Imagine how she felt as she sat at the table loathing the liver and onions before her, unsure of how she would get rid of the foulness. Well, clever as she is, she came up with some alternatives. During that time she had cuffs in her pants and somehow mysteriously liver would end up in there, or tid-bits handed off to the cat, who was all too pleased to receive the unwanted meal. Even the smell, to this day makes her quiver. NO my mother will likely never eat liver and I never had it growing up since she felt it clearly a form of child abuse to serve it to us. She was scarred for life.
Well, I am here to show you that taste buds are not genetic :) which you knew, so I am really here to show you that liver can actually taste REALLY good. The first time I tried liver we were in a restaurant in France and it was chicken liver pate over crostini, it was okay, I’ll admit that I tolerate but do not love chicken liver. When I jumped deep into healing my body I realized so much of what I actually needed to be eating, and offal being one of those.
There’s truth to what they say when you’re young and you have physical aches and unexplained discomfort, “oh, it’s just growing pains, they’ll go away” most people say, and they do. But what about when you’re an adult, and those pains while physical they may manifest, are rooted in emotional turmoil, can we grow out of those too?
Last weekend I was on a plane heading to L.A. for my yoga teacher training and as I looked out the window over the California coast and vast ocean I remembered how terrified I used to be of flying. The first time I flew, I was 7 and it was over the Atlantic moving to an entirely different country, and for years I did that flight with my sister to visit my Dad back in the states. Landing petrified me. I’d squeeze my sisters hand and hold my breath. I’m quite surprised over all these years I didn’t pass out.
I spent years flying all over the world and each time coaching myself through the experience, whispering that I was safe, that things were okay, that we wouldn’t crash into the ocean and get eaten by sharks (real life fear), I tried everything to get over this. Calming my nerves during landing was basically as rough as pulling my teeth. Don’t even ask “would you rather”. This lasted for what seemed like forever, and let me remind you I have flown a LOT in my short life. Yet, as I looked out the window this time I realized I had no fear. There was a peaceful acceptance over me that I knew I was safe in knowing I had no control over the landing of the plane.
I don’t know at what point I suddenly stopped having this fear, or maybe I just know how to trust more than I did then, but at some point in the past few years or perhaps that exact moment, I outgrew this fear. With a deeper awareness this fear no longer inflicted me.
If you have done any work investing in your own personal development you’ll understand how it feels to reach this point where things begin to shift for your life. You’ll also be completely aware of feeling depleted by the growing pains in takes to do any work on bettering yourself. It can feel like you’re stuck in the middle of a tornado storm without shelter anywhere near, fear consumes you, doubts cloud your mind and the only reasonable action you feel can be taken is to curl up into a ball and no longer move. The dedication it takes to work on yourself is by far more powerful than most things on this Earth, it comes from this greater desire to do, think, be, aspire to a better version of the person you already are (which by the way, is a great one!)
It’s such a pleasure to introduce you to Shannon Keating, this months contributor to Soul Power. I came to know this vibrant young woman about a year ago after we were paired together in this interview with Eileen Laird from Phoenix Helix. I got to hear her story first hand in how she battled an autoimmune condition and lifestyle changes while still in college. So much of her resilience and tenacity reminded me of my own but I applaud her immensely for committing to personal growth in ways her peers don’t yet understand, I know because I have been there. What I love about her piece is the ability she has to share conversationally about her experiences as though she is right there talking with you, and trust me, her genuine enthusiasm will radiate to your core.
I have always been highly inquisitive. My dad likes to tell a story about how he used to take me out in the running stroller when I was a toddler and throughout our trip I would babble away, question after question after question.
Every other sentence began with why.
I was all “why this?” and “why that?” Even to passing strangers: “Why are you out here to today?” “Why don’t you also have a kid in the stroller?” “Why are you wearing that outfit?”
He tells this story with a tone of endearment, but I know the truth. I’ve babysat my fair share of chronic why-er’s. That initial touch of amusement fades pretty darn fast when you realize no matter how many why’s, how’s, and but’s you answer, they just keep throwing them at you.