new chapter

So Long, For Now

When I started this journey I was desperate for an outlet. I was (and am) a stay-at-home mother of four children. I love my job, but I was longing for a distraction. My youngest son was very ill (and I honestly got more gray hair since the time of his birth than I can count). Was I on the brink? Maybe. I just deeply needed and wanted a connection outside of the home. I found a new purpose in a sense of professionalism. It’s strange because I am actually a very private person (which interestingly I have found many bloggers to be). I created this pretend job, where I could get up and write; and take photographs; meet (self-imposed) deadlines; and share what was going on in my life. It opened conversations.

I wanted to tell people about our experiences with my son, our no-end-in-sight visits to the doctors. I thought if I could share his experience and what we were learning, that it might help someone else. Not all doctors (not even the best) have the answers. Sometimes they are just making their best “educated” guesses. I wanted to encourage other mothers to follow their gut instincts, sometimes we know.

I wanted to bring awareness to my passion of eating organic. There are big industries using the American people like lab rats with their food experiments. Our environments are being filled with toxic chemicals (that go right into our ground, food and water), while we just sit passively (often unknowingly) watching it all happen. Not so coincidentally, we have more diseases and sicknesses than ever. Healthcare is also a big industry. I believe strongly that so much of this is reversible. If we stopped ingesting crazy “Genetically Engineered Ingredients” or “Genetically Modified Organisms (GEI’s and GMO’s), and ate real, healthy and whole foods- our bodies could, in some cases, heal themselves. Likewise, if we make conscious decisions to know what we’re buying to feed our families, if we choose to avoid harmful food experiments, if we make a demand for organic (not tampered with) fruits, meats, vegetables- or even grow our own, our environment and earth can reverse the damages.

I wanted to share family recipes. Clearly, I like food, but it goes beyond that. It connects all of us, and it did for me. Recipes quickly became my favorite way to relate with others. I made friends around the world. Growing food, preparing food, sharing food: It’s a universal language. I’m not a chef… but I know the meaning of breaking bread with loved ones. Thank you to the friends and family members who shared recipes with me, that in turn I could pass on. It’s meaningful. And I don’t only appreciate the fact that food connects us at our own table, as well as globally; I love that it transcends time. Family meals connect us to past generations, to ancestors and traditions in the form of celebrations, holidays, and in our daily routines that we have been sharing… well, since the beginning of man.

It has come full circle. My son is healthier now, and believe it or not, it has mostly to do with his diet. Who knew that nursing him (the most natural thing to do) was weakening his already low immune system? The solution didn’t come from a doctor, rather a suggestion of an acquaintance in our relentless search to find answers. Goat’s milk. After harsh treatments of topical and oral medicines, ridiculous amounts of blood draws and testings; we found a doctor who said it was something I was eating. Since knowing the “trigger” was time consuming to say the least, we switched to a dairy free, soy free, etc. baby formula. Cutting out mother’s milk finally helped him grow skin. However, it was switching to goat’s milk (instead of chemical ridden hypoallergenic formula) that finally made him pass a soft stool. It might seem small, but after watching your baby suffer with mucous filled diarrhea since birth; it was a triumph.

I’m thankful for modern medicine. In fact, I carry an Epipen at all times, because a single cashew could stop my son from breathing. But I’m not oblivious to the fact that we have ancient medicines too. Foods high in antioxidants are proven to combat cancer cells. Things like turmeric and blueberries are being linked to fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. (Both of these diseases hit close to home.) You know that old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? I read recently that the enzymes your stomach produces to digest an apple, are enough to completely defeat some of these “new and deadly” flus. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve read that they are linking an ingredient found in sleeping aids to dementia. Sadly, that ingredient is also found in Benadryl; the same Benadryl that my son has taken regularly almost since birth. So, when I read about the extremely nutritious properties and benefits of wild edibles like “nettles” that naturally encourage your body to resist allergens, I take notice.

Therein lies my new pursuit of interest. It’s not like I’m ending the book, just the chapter… and it’s time to turn the page. I’m going to educate myself on such things as foraging and wild edibles, fermentation processes, and essential oils. I’ve always wanted to feed my family whole and organic foods, now I want to spend time researching the subject further… I’m ready to dig deeper into holistic living. I’m starting another 21 day cleanse. I’ll still be honing in on my coffee roasting skills, and dabbling in cheese making. At the same time, it’s been two years of talking about my dreams, it’s time to follow them. I’m thinking of it as a sabbatical of sorts. (Now to persuade my husband to buy that farm. 😉 )

Thank you to my supportive friends and family; my husband, parents, sister, cousins, aunts, peeps at ESC, lifelong friends of JHS, and those faithful supporters not mentioned. I am so grateful for my blogging family (in no particular order) Anna, Roberta, Terry, Fiona, Jasmine, Lynn, Antonia, KR, Shamira, van, Tikeetha, pug, Freda, Natasha, and on. You’ve supported me even when I haven’t reciprocated. Thank you. Thanks to Sean at Wayfair for the opportunities. If the situation presented itself, I couldn’t say never. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing, more than I ever knew I would. So who knows? Therefore, I won’t say goodbye- just so long, for now.