Having more food choices increases ease in challenging times

The bulk section of my local food co-op is closed during this time of COVID-19. Some of the products I usually buy are available in the grocery section.  I had an idea that they could bag up what was in the bulk bins—and great minds think alike—I arrived to find cornmeal!  And Cajun spiced cashews, a treat! The next time, no cornmeal, but oatmeal. And a trail mix bursting with antioxidants. The next time I got millet as a carb and pistachio nuts. Prior to this closure, I had stocked up on quinoa, and still had a good supply.

Who knows what there will be next time? And fortunately, it’s not critical to me exactly what’s in stock. Because with healing from food sensitivities, I no longer need to follow a food rotation diet. I still eat very healthily, mostly organic, and I like to have variety in my diet along with biodiversity on our planet. And also I have much more ease in eating, now that I can eat anything. In an earlier blog post,   I had shared about the ease this gave me in traveling (including travelling to London for the meeting of the Gupta Program coaches).

In these changing times, eating with more ease satisfies a more fundamental need for food security. Of course, in challenging times, it’s normal for fear to come up, and I feel grateful that I’ve developed the ability to witness my thoughts and emotions, and be there with parts of myself that feel scared.

My health is also a source of reassurance; I recovered from chronic fatigue, multiple chemical and food sensitivities and fibromyalgia with the Gupta Program in 2014. My system continues to settle more over time, as I feel less vulnerable with: increased health, the ability to go anywhere and eat anything, the ability to fully support myself again through working (first in a job and then as a Gupta Program coach), and becoming more connected in community.

My gratitude for the foods available at the co-op includes yummy grapefruit and other citrus grown by a co-op member whose orchards I have visited, and corn grown by local indigenous farmers. I feel more security too in being able to provide some food for myself. This spring I’ve particularly enjoyed harvesting wild foods and sharing them with others in a physically distancing way, at the community where I live. Buds of the cholla cactus are a traditional delicacy among the Tohono O’odham people, as the first fresh food available in the spring. They are time-consuming to gather, but a friend shared tips to ease the process. And they are bursting with nutrients and subtle flavors.  Nopalitos, new pads of prickly pear cactus, have been a springtime staple for me for years. While the season for both cacti has finished,  I have portions in my freezer.

This spring, I also ate from a friend’s garden, the last of the lettuce and kale before it went to seed in the heat, the last of the cilantro for extra flavor.  When I said I planned to plant a small summer garden of desert adapted local tepary beans, a friend offered seeds, and it was fun to say that I had some that I had harvested from a previous garden.

I’ve made donations of some of my stimulus check to indigenous causes, grateful for the people who have been stewards of this desert for so long, and have developed the wildcrafting and agricultural practices for this area.

We can’t control the outcome, but being able to eat anything helps me feel more at peace in this time, and it’s easier for me to bless the changes on the planet.

 

In my coaching, I put a special focus on Eating with Ease and on group coaching. People may register for the Upcoming “Increasing Pleasure and Joy in Challenging Times” on June 25  to get a “taste” of group coaching, and also because reclaiming pleasure is an important part of increasing the ability to tolerate more foods. That is followed by a five-part Foundation skills series, which is the prerequisite for a five-part Eating with Ease series.

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