I was in the kitchen with the Mrs. last night. We were having a serious discussion about an important topic…what kind of snack we should have. We are empty nesters now. Since the last few of our 15 kids grew up and moved away I find that the problems and questions that need to be addressed in our conversations have simplified considerably…these days it’s mostly snacks we need to figure out. :0)
So anyway, Mom was rummaging through the fridge making suggestions when suddenly she said “Hey how about some cheese and crackers?“. She reached way into the back of the fridge and pulled out a brick of cheddar. She opened the bag and exclaimed “Oh yuck, That’s awful!“. She recoiled from the cheese she’d just dropped onto the counter and I saw what she was referring to.
I, being an accomplished surgeon, had a different perspective. “No worries.” I said “I can fix it”. I then immediately went to work on the cheese with a bread knife.
A few minutes later we had a beautiful brick of cheese again. You see, there was nothing inherently wrong with the cheese. It just needed some gross, toxic, yucky stuff removed. It’s always gratifying to know that all that advanced surgical training I got in veterinary school wasn’t for naught!
Often times when people come to see me in my naturopath practice they describe themselves as a person with numerous illnesses and issues, a person that feels awful a lot of the time and a person that has little hope for feeling any different. It’s as if they see themselves with as little potential as my wife saw in that moldy brick of cheese.
Interestingly, when I look at these good folks, I see something very different. Under the excess weight or bad skin or achy joints or gut troubles or whatever else it is they’re trying to show me, I see someone that feels well and that has the energy to live a better life and do the things they’d like to be doing. Before doing much of anything else, I often ask new clients two questions;
Why do you want to get better?
What are you willing to do so that you CAN feel better?
They usually have lots of answers for the first question. They want to be able to play with their grandkids. They want to go for long walks with their sweetheart without being so sore. They want to reduce the mountain of medications they’re taking.
They are often less enthused about answering the second question. They know that they have dietary, physical and emotional habits that are causing many of their troubles and it’s tough to let them go. In my experience, people that are willing to cut the cheese and remove some of those old, moldy habits that are making them sick respond much better to my offerings than those who aren’t willing to make those changes.
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over
I’m talking about your health. The good news is that your body really is amazingly capable of restoring and healing itself if you cut out the toxins and garbage and give it some resources it needs.
So, what do we need to cut out? Well for starters how about we cut out things that aren’t made of food? I mean real food…made from things that were alive once…preferably recently. Cut out the highly-processed, high-sugar, super-synthesized, pseudo-foods. Eat things your grandparents could have found at the store (or, better yet, in their gardens). Cut out foods that have a dozen ingredients you don’t recognize and can’t pronounce. Cut out or markedly cut back on the alcohol and tobacco. Cut back on the number of hours a day you spend watching Netflix or puddling around on Facebook. Cut out stressors that are giving you more grief than joy.
And the good resources we can give our bodies…what are those? Well those are pretty simple too. Eat beautiful, live, organic veggies. Grow a garden. Get a little exercise. Love and serve someone that needs a hand. Do an herbal cleanse once in the spring and again in the fall. Take deeply nutritive herbs to supply your body with micro-nutrients that are hard to come by in commercially grown crops. Do nice things for your gut flora by eating pre-biotic herbs. Instead of watching Animal Planet, take your dog for a walk or throw a ball for him in the backyard. Get some good sleep. Instead of assaulting your organs with pesticides, preservatives and artificial colorings… deeply feed and restore them with herbs suited specifically to that purpose. Heal and support your gut and fill your life with things that decrease your stress instead of adding to it.
So, how do you feel?
Why do you want to get better?
What are you willing to do to get better?
Do a little reflecting on those questions. If you do, I think you’ll find the answers are pretty simple and the application of those answers is easier than you thought.
If you’d like to learn more about these ideas and have a mentor that can guide you to a real understanding of how your body works and how herbs and nutrition can help to maximize health and happiness, I’d invite you to join us in the HomeGrown Herbalist School. The road to health and happiness lies ahead. I’d love to join you on that journey.