Real Food Real People//

Changing relationships with food, ingestion and intention.

Food is such an integral part of daily life that if you change your relationship to food, you can change your relationship to life.

Papaya seeds taste bitter and are a powerful medicine.

The relationship to food can also be one of the most troubling aspects of daily life as more and more we have to wonder what is on the food, where did it come from, how was it made? Questions our grandparents just didn’t need to ask.

There is so much information available about food and nutrition, an expanding scientific documentation as theories disprove and improve each other but that is not the purpose of this article. A good place to start for nutritional health is although it is possible to get saturated with information and in the process forget to intuit your own, try a bit of both, seems to be a good fit.

Papaya seeds taste bitter and are a powerful medicine.

In South Laos you can find small farms with the fields still worked by foot and hand. Take any one of the hundred red mud tracks from the solitary main road in the southern provinces and there is a lushness like nowhere else on earth. Welcome to the Indo-Burma biodiversity haven. This land is magical. In a country like Laos, it is still possible to imagine a harmony with the land as the nature is so wild and prolific. Sadly, it is changing fast. Too fast and it won’t stop.

A motorbike ride in rainy season down mud sodden trenches in thick fertile red mud. It feels like the world’s secret garden. The earth is alive.

But most of us do not have direct connect with the land in which our food came from so now more than ever, it is most important to be deeply thankful for the food and water we do have.

A large family network work the rice fields together by hand then sit back and watch it grow.

As with many things, the quality of food ingested certainly in the west, relates to the amount of money one has in a linear fashion, it is easy to feel disheartened if you cannot afford the best, especially when you want it for your children! So it becomes increasingly prudent to expand and change the relationship with food from store to table and bring an awareness into that, an appreciation, a good energy even if nothing more than the placebo which is actually an incredibly powerful medicine alone. Often the store is the first point of contact, whatever the first point of contact is, make sure you are present to it.

A road side stall in south provincial Laos. Many people buy only what food they eat that day, there is not much food, if any stored inside the house.

What can you do in the supermarket? It’s positively gob smacking to walk in and see all the food and begin to think where it comes from and how much energy went into bringing it here.

Just stand back and look at it all!

I’m usually in such a rush to get in and out the supermarket as soon as possible yet this is the place I am using to nourish and nurture my family and maintain good health and vitality. I must take time and respect all the places I get food. The spar, the mini road side stall, the organic supermarket, the local veggie shop, a small sprig of rosemary from the bush in the park.

Touch it, smell it, be thankful for it. All of it!

Red fruit on a tree in Laos, sweet, delicious, name unknown.

Activate your wild genome where you can. What plants are native to your region? What is that strange fruit or interesting looking vegetable, try it, experiment. Wake up some tiny portion of your microbiome that was sleeping until just that moment.

Bring it in to your life again and deeply heal that connection with nature. Then every moment preparing food can become nourishing in itself and a joyful and loving procedure.

Can you find out what you already know about your food and your body by asking yourself? It’s a novel idea isn’t it after so many years of education being something that is fed to you when actually, you have all the answers you need inside of you. Literally. Take a moment to go within and set the intention to discover something in particular, probe into the root cause of the small ailment or tension. To do this before seeking help outside allows you to be more prepared to go deeper. Then you can really share in the healing process with another, for example, health care practitioner as you go in knowing yourself as best you can, open to dialogue and transformation.

I’ve started to make food art so that I can connect to food in another way. I am not out there on the land but I can still connect to nature for nature is everywhere, not compartmentalised into time frames and boundaries, real and imagined. It is always. So though I dwell for now in a small city I am no further away from nature, it is just better hidden here.

Tomato art, tuning into tomato

We need to connect with our bodies in new ways to keep remembering. Make good relationship with all our bacterias and cultures.

When was the last time you checked in with your mitochondria? Your powerhouses that sustain your energy in every moment! If positive thinking can affect your mind and health then positivity towards our bacterial and microbial cultures within can surely help maintain healthy, thriving and balanced populations of the right bacterias.

By intentionally tuning into your mitochondria you can feel every cell alive with vibrancy. There is no one way to tune in, just set the intention and your individual pathway will shine a light for you.

So lets celebrate all of ourselves inside and out, all communities, all spaces, all gatherings and interchanges. After all, it is all connected, seen and unseen.

Gut art and asking for dialogue with bacteria in the body

By making small incremental changes on a daily basis, life can transform indefinately. Something as small as stirring your coffee with the other hand can bring awareness and transformation into your life. What other tiny things can you change?

Connecting with the journey, the story of the food, becomes the very medicine that we need.

With thanks and deep gratitude.

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