Plant based foods healed my skin, my gut & my relationship to my body.
I had to ask myself, as a therapist and passionate foodie – how does food impact us emotionally?
It goes without saying the entire reason this website exists is because I have an emotional connection to the topic of food and healing. I recall saying to myself as a struggling teen and young adult, “I hate food, I hate feeling hungry, make it all go away.” And despite that attitude, I kept eating because I had to and beneath the pessimism was a desire to figure this beast out. Rightly so, I had to see all the ways my stressed out attempts to use food to fill the void within me were causing other issues like acne and gut issues. The constant back and forth between eating meat and dairy, then omitting them and going completely raw was indicative of a bigger perplexity – what is the right way to eat?
I won’t assume I know what’s right for you. The beautiful part of healing and being on any journey is where and how that journey guides you. Mine was exhaustive which is why, in many ways, I feel so impassioned to share. Not because I want to influence you to go my route but to go the route of your own soul’s beckoning. I’m also hard pressed to believe that after a lifetime of eating all the things in all the ways that I kept finding myself in the same place: eating plants. The only time I ventured from eating predominantly plant foods was because I was socially driven to try other things (like omnivore, carnivore, keto etc). Had I really had the confidence in myself, would I have eaten anything else? I brave to say – No. Because a strong sense of self is definitely what it takes to say – nah, yeah, I’m good with the grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli approach and a fat bomb for dessert.
Lest, I planted (no pun intended) two feet into the plant based world once I learned about High Volume eating and went back to the drawing board once and – apparently – for all. I learned that tip-toeing around food wasn’t helping me and I took a sincere nose dive into eating as much as I cared for (not to throw all morality to the wind but it helped to see fatty foods for what they were – highly caloric and hurtful to my nutritional intentions). I learned that the big salads I gravitated to and the fruits and starches I had avoided for so long were finally back on the table like POOF. I felt so good, so motivated, so clear – that just like the conception of a love child, Therapeutic Eating was born.
TE was born of my own healing.
My skin cleared.
My gut functioned.
My eating normalized.
I felt my hunger and I fed my hunger.
Which meant I could see myself for who and what I was – still hurt, still a little broken, still in need of healing…but approachable. I felt like as long as I was fed, hydrated, well-slept and mobile that anything was possible. And it has been so far. I’m not writing this to say that plant based eating is a panacea. As I outline in my digital cookbook, kale won’t make you any less of an asshole if you aren’t willing to look at yourself. Choosing foods with a higher vibration, that bring life to your plate (without being killed first), that emanate a frequency of compassion do in fact perpetuate more of the same and when this process is repeated day in and day out some pretty cool things happen – like healing.
High Vibrational Foods include but are not limited to: leafy greens, berries, spices, sprouts, herbs, beans and legumes, nuts & seeds, algae, fermented foods & tea…to name a few.
So what would your life look like if you became more plant based? Would your skin heal? Would your gut heal? Would your hunger heal? How about your emotions? Nutritional psychiatry exists today to shed light in this exact way – we once focused on how food affected our physical health with very little focus on our mental health but thankfully all that has changed.
The sugar-laden, high-fat foods we often crave when we are stressed or depressed, as comforting as they are, may be the least likely to benefit our mental health….over the years, a growing body of research has provided intriguing hints about the ways in which foods may affect our moods. A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut, which communicates with the brain through what is known as the gut-brain axis. Microbes in the gut produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our mood and emotions, and the gut microbiome has been implicated in mental health outcomes. “A growing body of literature shows that the gut microbiome plays a shaping role in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder,” a team of scientists wrote in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry last year. [source]
Without getting research heavy let’s leave it at this:
Eat plenty of plant foods – omit dairy, meat & highly refined sugar like in Soda & Candy.
Drink water, tea and coffee
Use oil and nut butters sparingly
& report back when you’re ready. Cuz I’ll be here, ready, willing and always eager to be of service
P.s. have I shared yet that after at least 3 committed 8 committed years avoiding gluten I am now making my own sourdough and cooking with flour? It’s been fun, healing of course I’ll share the more I make.
leftover seasoned rice with purple cabbage and green beans – sauce is made of fermented veggie dressing diluted with balsamic
my morning walks – usually become lunges in the park which sometimes become running home
most plant foods beckon a bit of flare – spices enhance the already high vibration of plant foods