When I started my blog, I looked to my blender for inspiration.
I started sharing all kinds of recipes using a blender in the hopes that more people would utilize their blenders to stay healthy. Blenders can do so much more than smoothies, soups and cocktails.
But the more I researched blending as a method of food prep, the more I realized it was becoming a metaphor for how I live my life.
Blending is about so much more than food – it’s about creating my own personal blend for optimum health and happiness.
Mastering the art of my own health
I discovered the power of blending as a teenager. After being plagued with debilitating lethargy, I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus. A naturopath suggested I try a plant-based diet free from gluten and dairy. Very quickly, I experienced a dramatic improvement in my health, and this was my awakening to the concept of food-as-medicine.
My parents gave me a blender so I could make smoothies for breakfast, and I was inspired to create more. So, I started taking cooking and nutrition classes, and experimenting with flavor combinations in the kitchen. I felt so good that I became obsessed. I was going to master the art of my own health by any means necessary!
I tried pretty much every whole-foods diet on offer. I adopted a macrobiotic diet, became a raw foodist, went grain-free, employed Chinese yin and yang strategies, dabbled in Ayurvedic techniques, tried out the blood-type theory, embraced alkalinity, pushed the probiotics, and guzzled hundreds of green smoothies.
I became one of those annoying people who found the answer every six months, and tried to recruit everybody that I knew! Then one day, my dad sat me down.
“Are you having any fun?” he asked. “Because you don’t look like you’re having much fun. We sure aren’t having fun eating with you! And food should be fun, right?”
That was my big “ah ha” moment.
Food is one of the great pleasures of life. It simply must be fun. And, healthy food needs to be even more fun.
Learning to choose joy over deprivation
So, I abandoned my self-imposed zealot-like crusade, and started approaching food from a place of joy and abundance instead of depletion. I started celebrating all of the delicious things I could eat and create, and how many things I could make using my blender.
In addition to the knowledge I had accumulated with all of my nutrition research, I adopted an intuitive, experiential approach to health and embraced a flexible approach to my diet. Instead of obsessively following one diet, I cherry-picked all of the elements of the various whole foods diets I had tried, and created a flexible way to eating that could adapt in response to climate, stress, emotions, hormones, physical activity, and my overall health.
I’ve applied this approach to so many other aspects of my life:
- Journaling helps to clear the noise out of my head
- Mindful meditation helps me set my intentions
- Hiking, yoga, pilates and weight training help me stay physically fit
- Quality time with my family and friends fills my heart with love and joy
- Resting and getting a lot of sleep rejuvenates me
- Gratitude keeps me positive and present
The biggest thing that keeps me in balance isn’t the practice of playing to extremes – it’s the practice of remaining open to all possibilities and opportunities. For me, the color in life is not filled with black and white; the magic happens in the grey areas.
The moment I started blending all of these elements of my life with flexibility and openness instead of rigidity was the moment I knew what I wanted my place in the wellness community to be.
Developing your own health plan
I want to encourage you to ditch dogma, and instead, give yourself permission to take your health into your own hands and, in consultation with your health-care practitioners, develop your own individual health plan that can be simple, fun, and delicious.
When you adopt a relaxed and fluid approach to your health the world becomes wider and more expansive, and the possibilities are endless. Being mindful of your thoughts, actions, movements, and diet is an act of self-love: an empowering statement, that says, “I’m going to show up for myself and my family, and be the best version of myself I can be.” And, being gentle with yourself allows you to make small changes towards big shifts.
Have you created a perfect blend for your health and happiness? Share your blend in the comments below.