The smell of gourmet food from the kitchen was a norm in my family. My dad, an incredibly talented chef, would strive to find his way around my picky eating tendencies. It couldn’t have been easy for him, especially since my face was twisted in a state of disgust at almost every meal at the dinner table. At the time, I just couldn’t appreciate the artful way my dad poured himself into his dishes.
When I ventured out on my own at 19, I began to appreciate the quality of my dad’s cooking. But it wasn’t until my early twenties when I moved to Key West FL, that I opened my palette to the seafood and Cuban style cuisine that lined the streets. It was meant to be that I met my husband there, who happened to be a chef himself, and further taught me how to enjoy the experiences of fine dining. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life and relationship with food was about to change drastically.
It came seemingly out of nowhere. The sharp pains in my gut turned into unspeakable agony that wouldn’t go away. I set off on a holistic journey to heal a digestive system that was no longer allowing me to take in any nourishment. After hitting a dead end with all my natural approaches, I landed in the emergency room. After discovering that my entire digestive system was heavily inflamed, the doctors ran tests for weeks.
Looking out my hospital room window became a past time, when each test came up empty and wrong diagnoses were made- the possibility of getting answers was bleak. It felt like I had become a fragmented version of myself. The doctors were perplexed and after exhausting their ability to determine a cause for my inflamed system, I was sent on my way with basic guidelines on how to eat.
The next few weeks I was lucky to have the direct support of my husband and father, guiding and supporting me to nourish my body with healthy foods. Although I still couldn’t eat without earth shattering pain, I was willing to trust the process in the hopes that healing was inevitable. Over time I was able to move from a liquid diet to one of vibrant color and solidity. Food took on a new meaning, I felt like a baby who was just learning how to eat. I would celebrate a small bite of a cooked sweet potato, savering the simple gifts of Mother Earth that I once overlooked.
I had to learn about the energy of foods and how it connected to my sensitive and empathic nature. So I began the journey many health seekers explore- paleo, keto and autoimmune focused diets. I discovered there isn’t a one size fits all diet for everyone, in fact I learned that my intuition knew exactly what was best. The limitations of my food options were quite the challenge but as I learned to listen to my body’s unique needs, I discovered a power within me that went beyond limitations. Over many months. I began healing through anti inflammatory foods and nurturing my Soul through the hard times.
I practice mindful eating everyday as a way to express gratitude and appreciation for food’s healing and nutritional properties. Food is more than just a way to nourish our bodies, it is life giving energy that has the power to heal. These transformative lessons created an alignment with my Soul where I remembered the truth…I am whole.
Amie Dean, MA, LMFT
Guest Writer: Amie Dean is a writer, mindfulness teacher and licensed holistic trauma therapist in California. She is the founder of One Awakening where she provides educational and inspirational resources for alignment of Mind, Body and Spirit. Through her workshops and courses, she has helped hundreds of spiritual seekers find deep purpose and meaning.
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