I have made well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions ever since I can remember. And each year, they have always centered around the same things: “eat healthier,” “go to the gym,” “live in the present,” and so on and so forth…
This year however, things are a bit different.
Two years ago, I began a journey. My daughter was born and before I could even begin to fathom what an enormous undertaking being a mother was going to be- I was blindsided by a debilitating case of post-partum depression.
To make a long story short, I figured out that I could heal myself not through pharmaceuticals or uselessly tedious sessions with psychotherapists, but with food.
I wasn’t exactly sure about what I was doing or where it would take me. I had never studied nutrition nor did I know much about medicine, but an inner voice kept telling me that there was a connection between health (physical and mental) and nutrition. So I began reading…and cooking, and reading some more.
Fast forward about a year: I woke up one day and there was light again where I had believed I would only ever find darkness.
I was fine. I had pulled myself out of the shadowy depths of depression and I was “OK” again. At which point, I could have turned around and continued running full force through life, with my head down and my feet pounding the pavement- as I had always done prior to giving birth. But I had just tapped into something so profoundly powerful that there was no turning back. I wasn’t done yet…I was just getting started.
I continued cooking and I continued reading. I began spending my days investigating healing ingredients and then examining recipes in which I could use them. I slowly crowded out all of the toxic “foods” that I had been wrongly led to believe were “ok” and safe to eat and I began substituting them with real foods: plant-based, whole food goodness.
I could go on but I wont right now.
The connection between wellness and nutrition becomes more evident with each day. And with this clarity, comes my passion for learning and understanding even more.
This past September, I began a 12-month course in Integrative Nutrition.
I am no stranger to higher education. I have both a B.A. and an M.B.A. BUT I have never, ever, been this eager to study anything. I devour each bit of knowledge that is being presented to me. I spend innumerable hours repeating the lectures and going over additional material- simply to comprehend the information to the maximum of my capacity. I follow each and every word of each and every speaker. I research far more than I need to and I greedily consume the course material- not because I have time, but because I cannot bear to tear myself away from it. When one week of lessons ends, I count the hours until the next lesson begins. Instead of counting down the months and weeks until I am done, I watch the days pass on the calendar and worry about it all ending too soon.
Some of the lectures hit me so hard that I find myself shaking with exhilaration when they are over- I think to myself that this is the information that I had always known was out there…I just didn’t know how to quantify or qualify it.
A few weeks ago during a module on gluten sensitivities, I was watching a speech by Jennifer Esposito, an actress, speaker and well-known member of the celiac disease community. Esposito mentioned the fact that 90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. All of a sudden a light bulb went off in my mind and I finally understood, in part, how it had been possible for me to heal myself. I had to pause the lecture because the tears in my eyes began to blur my vision. It was all so simple. Why hadn’t I been aware of this before? Why do we live in a society that turns so readily to medicine and surgery? Why are we treating diseases instead of preventing them?
So many of my previous questions have been answered…but there are so many more that I want to ask.
I have come very far, but I know there is much further to go.
I have said from the beginning of this experience that I am not really sure where this path will take me, but I know that I am moving in the right direction.
So instead of making resolutions this year… I am taking a few minutes to fully accept where I am…to be proud of myself for following the instincts that have brought me here…and mostly, to take a moment to breathe- and to appreciate where I am going.
Happy New Year, everyone! May 2016 bring you joy, health and serenity. ❤