Ten & a half years ago, I lost my mom to the ever-increasing cancer battle that way too many people are familiar with. She had a super rare form of this dis/ease and witnessing her pain and body falling apart – literally dying as the days passed – had a deeply profound effect on me. It would anyone, and I know I’m not the only one with this story – but I am one of the rare birds who consciously spins things like this to my favor.
I’m one to take advantage of every situation, believing there are lessons in all circumstances and experiences, and this one has no doubt filled me up with a graduate degree in pursuing REAL health and well-being.
I grew up on the 4th floor of a beautiful condo – a very nice and upscale place to be raised in the west suburbs of Chicago and although it was ideal in many ways, as a kid, I desperately wanted a few things that I didn’t have (isn’t that always the case?). In fact, the way I grew up (eating conventional & processed food, without a garden, and up high vs in a house with a yard), made me ignorant to a way of living that I embrace today. I’m a good manifestor!
Although I’ve made a long list of amazing decisions in the past 10+ years since I embarked on my health journey, the MOST gratifying and beneficial decision I have EVER made for my own health has been growing my own organic food in soil that has been amended with rich nutrients like kelp, rock dust, and 92 ocean minerals. Simple – yet so fantastic I feel like a kid in a candy store just thinking about how excited I am that this is my reality.
“Eating a rainbow” of colors in meals has taken on a totally different meaning to me. Maybe I’m just making a bigger deal out of this than others would, but growing my own food is having a really special impact on me! I feel more in love in general – with life, with my home, with Nature, with what I am a part of. I look at the bowls of food I harvest and am blown away at the beauty as though it’s the 1st time I’m seeing it each and every time!
My boyfriend Christian and I started this garden project mid-June, just after we moved into this new space. The land was cleared for us and was just dirt – we started from scratch. The hardest part for me during this whole thing has been waiting for things to be ready to harvest. I do not excel at waiting for things I want very much – not my strong suit. But then, the garden began to flourish and before I knew it I was able to harvest something everyday. Now I can harvest twice a day – even juice with the greens & cucumbers (not yet enough for daily though). Yes!
For people on a budget – THIS is the answer. I swear to you it is saving us money big time. I still buy food of course (I eat a wide variety of food), but not greens. I’m spoiled. The store-bought greens don’t taste the same, not even close! We grow a wide variety of heirloom leafy greens (kale, collards, arugula, mesclun salad greens, mustard greens, spinach, lamb’s quarters), herbs (cilantro, parsley, sweet basil, holy basil, dill), lots of edible flowers, the best cherry (and big) tomatoes ever, tomatillos, pumpkins, green and lemon cucumbers, purple carrots, zucchini, squash, purslane (some is wild, too!), burdock root, chamomile, malva, nettles, stevia, melons, and sunflowers (and more!). The neighbors have organic fruit trees 🙂 I am hooked. My favorite place to get organic heirloom seeds is Blackbird Naturals!
With that said, I’m headed out for a jog w/ my sweet doggie and then to the garden to pick a plethora of greens for this evening’s dinner. I feel happy while I’m out there – I’m barefoot, feeling the wet dew on the grass from the rain in the middle of the night before (at times), wandering around from heart mound to heart mound (we shaped our garden into 15 heart mounds so all our food was grown with extra love), harvesting what calls out to me.
It’s such a difference experience than shopping at a store or market and paying for my produce.
Who do I have to thank (besides my amazing boyfriend who did much of the heavy lifting & man power, including building a garden fence and carefully mixing the soil amendments)?
The person that influenced me the most is Anthony Anderson (aka the Raw Model). He was the last person I interviewed for the Superfood Nutrition Education tele-seminars that I did for HealthForce, and the call we did together was on positive and sustainable solutions for our future and growing your own food.
Then (which was not too long ago on December 1, 2010), I felt this was a far reality from where I was. I was living in an amazing house on Mt Tam, but it had its own microclimate and the growing conditions were less than ideal (less sun, warmth, and flat space). But, he planted a seed during that talk with me and next thing you know I did it myself.
Anthony Anderson is spreading a seriously positive message that is sooo worth listening to. Even though my interview with him was the catalyst for changes I didn’t think I was ready for in my work life, I will forever be grateful to him for triggering a series of changes in my life that only now I can deeply appreciate.
There’s something about going out to your own garden – instead of to a grocery store, or even a farmer’s market – and harvesting your own dinner. I’m in absolute AWE of how rewarding it has been. It’s brought so much additional, unexpected happiness into our home. I feel connected to something – everything – more than ever before. I wish this feeling for everyone!! Go buy some seeds, put them and your hands in the dirt, give them some water & allow your mind & body to soak in what they have to offer you. ♥
P.S. I knew nothing about what it takes to grow & maintain a successful garden when we started. ANYONE can begin to grow something – you do not need to read books on it or “get it right” – just begin!
Why was this the best health decision I EVER made? Because in just a few short months, I’ve noticed more of a positive difference in my body, mind & soul than anything else I’ve ever done nutritionally!
QUESTION FOR YOU: What is the best health decision YOU ever made?