Yes, a huge reason I was absent last year was because I needed to focus on my mom. I wanted to focus on her. Be with her. However, I also had a kiddo who needed my attention.
A kiddo who had been chronically “unwell” since he was born.
The letter from his school halfway through his seventh grade year stating that he’d already missed over 10% of the school year got my attention. I set aside what I was doing – annual goals, work projects, house projects – and gave my full attention to figuring out what was causing the constant stomachaches and headaches my son was having. And I shared all of those discoveries in my post in March of 2013.
Essentially, his body did not consider the food he was consuming as actual nourishment. And so, it fought against that food by brewing up stomachaches, headaches, pale skin, slow growth, fatigue, clogged lungs and a foggy mind. He never felt well.
A couple months ago, he had his annual check-up with his “fab” pediatrician, Dr. Birk. Since Jack was three, his annual exams have included the standard height, weight, and dreaded shots but also a lung capacity test. His lungs have always tested at 70% oxygen capacity compared to the normal 100%.
Dr. Birk went through his normal questions with Jack, “You’re eating better? You’re feeling better? Are you still a boy? Got any hair under your pits? Are you smelly?” Check, check, check. “Alright, let’s check your lungs? How much of your asthma medicine have you been taking?”
My teenager replied, “Well, uh, I’ve kinda been forgetting to take it.”
“Okay, well, when was the last time you took it?”
“Um, maybe, September??“ he says as he looks at me and shrugs.
I give him the “fergawdssake” look in return.
Dr. Birk comes back with, “Actually, this could be good. No gluten for a year. No asthma medicine for six months. Let’s see how your lungs are doing now.”
His lungs tested at 93% capacity.
A month ago, he passed me up in height by two inches.
And his cheeks have a consistent rosy undertone. Something I can’t get enough of.
He is still the “canary in the coal mine.” If there is something off in our food supply, his hypersensitive body will react to it. He will feel it. His body won’t recognize it as nourishment. But more often than not, he feels well. He feels nourished.
I believe we have so completely complicated the act of feeding ourselves that it is unrecognizable from its original purpose. We have turned it into calories, fat, pounds, raw, organic, natural, bulk, gluten, paleo, vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore.
Food’s most basic purpose is to nourish us. To give us energy. To make us feel well. To feel healthy. To feel alive.
A few years ago, I started asking myself after I ate or drank something, “How do I feel now?”
And I realized that after I drank my daily “tall, non-fat, one pump vanilla latte” that I didn’t feel all that great. My stomach felt overly full. Bloated. I felt heavy.
No, I didn’t give up drinking coffee – only a few rare souls in the gray and rainy northwest can survive without caffeine – but I did give up drinking lattes. Something about the milk in them didn’t nourish me or give me the energy boost I was hoping for.
Such a simple concept and yet, it can completely change the way you think about food. About how you nourish your body and give it the energy it needs so you can go out and accomplish all of the amazing things you are meant to do during your utterly unique and important lifetime.
I would love to know if you’ve had a similar experience in paying attention to how food makes you feel. Or, how the breakfast you just ate, or the lunch, or snack, or dinner made you feel.
And remember, if something I’ve said here moves you to share your own story in the comments below, please do. Many more people read these comments than just me. Something you say may make a difference in someone else’s life in ways that you can’t imagine.
So, as my mom would say, “Let’s get to it, people!” Go out and nourish your body so you have the energy to create the beauty in the world that you are meant to do.
|A Homemade Granola Gone to the Birds|| |
- 1 pound rolled oats (3 cups) (I use gluten-free oats)
- 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup mixture of your favorite seeds: flax, chia, sesame, poppy, sunflower
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees (or for convection, 275 degrees.)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, coconut, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and seeds. Mix to combine. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
- On a large jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with 1-inch raised sides), spread your granola in an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. (30-35 minutes for convection.) Sometimes I take it out every 10-15 minutes and stir it. Other times, I simply don’t feel like fussing with it and don't stir it at all.
- Mix-ins: coarsely chopped unsweetened cherries, raisins, toasted nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, yogurt, milk, ice cream and on and on.