In previous writing, I have mentioned a health issue which arose following emergency abdominal surgery. Over the course of my two week hospital stay, I discovered I couldn’t eat any hospital food without severe pain and bloating. Hospital food is not known for its healthy attributes, so I assumed this situation would change during home recovery. While in the hospital, my girlfriend offered organic, homemade, strained beef broth, as it is healing for the digestive track. When we discovered I could ingest it, she made quarts of it and brought it to the hospital. When I returned home, I continued to drink only organic, homebrewed beef broth. I kept this up for four months to give my physical self a chance to heal. Following this time, I introduced other foods that I knew I could eat before my surgery, but to no avail, except I discovered I could drink raw milk, eat eggs – raw or cooked – raw cheeses, ice cream and yogurt. So no meats, vegetables, fruits or grains. During the next nine months, for direction on healing, I turned to local doctors. No one had any ideas and showed little interest. Over the course of the next year, I was referred to different doctors at state-of-the-art hospitals and who represented the best in their fields of neurological and intestinal disorders. One discovered I had a rare bacterial infection, but the other nine had no ideas. Even after curing the bacterial issue, I still had no ability to eat “normally”, without suffering from debilitating pain and bloating that would be immediate and last for days. As I couldn’t travel without ready access to those few foods I could eat and had limited energy, my world became very small. There were times when I was in so much pain, I wondered what use it was that I had survived the surgery. If you have seen the movie “Miracles from Heaven”, that is very much how things were.
After the tenth doctor visit, which again surfaced no answers, I determined there would be no more medical visits. I would go the holistic route. I started with Reiki treatments. From there, I gained some physical healing and learned to listen to my body. This journey may have been one of the best things to happen to me in that I was forced to slow down; gave myself permission to rest; and while I have always been passionately connected to food, I became ever more in tune to how food feeds us spiritually, as well as, physically. In the process of running a home, starting a business and listening to marketing hype, I had lost that connection. The more spiritually centered I became, the more food intuitive I became. About a year into my new journey, I decided to try cold processing some fruits and vegetables into juice. Sure enough, there was no issue with digestion. I started with just small doses. This turned into an intimate “healing with food” relationship. Three years down the road, while I still cannot eat meats or any grain other than quinoa, I am steadily progressing and can eat a few fruits and vegetables.
This background brings into discussion the “body’s intuitive power” to choose foods that are best for the individual. Many of us search for the “perfect” health food while reading books, watching movies, and observing friend’s successes and failures with their own food quests. I did all of those things. On this journey, I didn’t immediately recognize I was choosing food intuitively. While I can’t pinpoint when it happened, this “knowing” came in part, from slowing and becoming acquainted with how food felt when I thought of it and how it translated into my body. I paid attention to what part of me was satiated. If I was “craving” sugar, I asked what was I really craving and could that be satisfied by a healthier food. I have come to be able to view food and know whether it will hurt me. Now when I “listen to my inner voice”, it is a nearly infallible exchange between mind and stomach.
There is also a science behind this process. In researching causes for my condition, I learned the language of the digestive process. In a future column, I will go into more about the science of my healing and why I am a believer in the power of “clean eating”, which is the power of eating cold processed and only raw or barely cooked foods.