I haven't talked too much about the actual transformations occurring within me as I practice this market-only diet. There are many, and they are running deep. I haven't really talked about why I started either. Here it is...
I started to change my previously very restaurant-fuelled, no-holds-barred food choices last summer, when my allergies were a clear revolt against those choices. Remember I have been writing about food as The Field Guide for quite some time now, and with that I really let all limitations go. I was getting hives, and my herniated disc was screaming loud in pain. The panicked pitch from a seat of utter discomfort in my body, and the awakening to my very own role in causing this suffering was, well... I was sick of myself. I was even more sick of supporting sick food systems all in the name of good community spirit. I had to stop this self abuse. Abuse by way of turning a blind eye. What was worse, I knew better. Years of studying nutrition and yoga and taking care of myself and my Self could have steered me on a better path. Now looking back I know clearly that I went off the rails five years ago when I woke up in bed one summer morning, and I discovered I couldn't move, unless I could stand the torturous electrifying pain of my first experience of a herniated L4/5 disc. I just layed there, not even sure what this could be. Eventually I made it out of bed and to the closest chiro. I spent a few weeks believing it was going to go away. Laying off of yoga and crossfit (that was my then current activity). After a couple of months I began to realize it wasn't going to go away. It literally broke my heart, and gave me such shame that I hadn't listened to my body and had allowed this to happen. I felt ashamed that my "yoga teacher" self had let this happen. I was so let down. I just shut down. As I progressed along with The Field Guide I really allowed my health to slip. I was medicating, avoiding. There was this numbness, now that I look back. I adopted a philosophy of eating in the name of culinary discovery...
But that was juvenile discovery. Basic flavour discovery. Tasty food, as I have talked about in past posts, can't just be based on what is pleasing to the palate or to the palate we are socially and culturally conditioned to say is the "right palate".
So, with the broken heart and the surrender into these spiritually juvenile culinary adventures, I progressively made myself sick, a reflection of the sick food system. Sure, I did learn a lot about food, but I learned more about myself, by way of a rude awakening in a body who was crying out to WAKE UP! So... a body... This is really what I learned, I am not only a body. And I experientally realized what all the yoga philosophy I have been studying for so long, has been saying. I am a collection of energy in a constant flow of time. We each co-govern the outcomes of our lives by our choices. Did you know that by several different scientific meter sticks, we are really only around 10% human DNA? And that is being generous. The rest of "us" is made up of water, other organisms (bacteria) and the elements. They are all teammates in what we call our "selves". Keep that concept as food for thought, when you make choices about what you bring into your being - body, mind and spirit.
The final straw was last summer, with a recurring and ongoing immune system disorder that was bringing on constant hives and general inflammation that aggravated my back pain. That summer on a day in early July, I met a healer. Without a word, she instantly knew of my back trouble in an energy reading session. She cleared it. Not a word of a lie. Since, I haven't had back pain. Poof, five years of suffering were just gone. The miracle of this meeting restored my faith, mended my broken heart, and overwhelmed me with gratitude and humility. Since then, a year has passed now, I have honoured this shift with a complete change in what energy I allow in to my body and what physical inputs become me... Hence, The Market Cook :)
As I am going through this transformation, I literally have physical changes. I am awake everyday at 5 AM, no alarm. I am naturally motivated to meditate, to exercise daily, and I am drawn to foods that are bright with life. I suddenly have all the time in the world for considering what comes into me. Never mind "convenient" foods, like prepared and packaged snacks. They come with weight, energetic baggage. A tomato from the garden. A perfectly ripe peach. A piece of toast. These are convenient to me, and energetically light and satisfying. If it takes a lot of work to find food sometimes, so be it. It gives my body time to cleanse in those hours of hunger. The old aches and pains are gone. My skin is clear. My eyes are clear. My relationships are even more clear. Without the distraction of an overly taxed body, I can see into life more, and I can start to hear the voice of my intuition ever more clearly everyday.
I have so much gratitude. The ground of experience, especially that of challenge has so many profound rewards. Ok, so there it is. How I got here. Time to cook!