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October 15, 2012 / Karen R Adams

i’m so excited

The first class on Food as Medicine is tonight, and I’m so excited about this I can hardly stand it.  I’ve been prepping for weeks.  Yesterday’s work just about made my eyes bleed.  There’s so much information to share; I’m not sure any of us will be able to walk and talk after the class.

I started studying food as medicine and CM Nutrition because I’ve been on a search for answers about weight for years, partly because that’s probably the second most asked question that comes in the clinic.  This is such a big question, and it has been undergoing independent research by those who feel they have too much that I bet if you put 5 of us in a room together, the accumulated nutritional knowledge would equal 3 degrees.

I just couldn’t figure it out.  All of us have followed directions, some for years, and no one was able to lose weight and keep it off.  There has to be a system that works, somewhere.  And I never even thought that I could be using food to deal with summertime edema, or my friend’s fibromyalgia.  So in January I began to study food in a big – and different – way.

I’ve spent hours with books, on-line studying, in study groups.  That led to the coaching, and the class – which is an attempt to corral this information so I can use it.  Hah. Every time I go for a walk, more ideas rise up out of the murk that is my brain on a walk.  Here are some of them:

#1. There is no system.  From where I’m sitting right now, that’s actually a relief.  Do you have any idea how much dietary information as been accumulated in Chinese Medicine over the last 5,000 years?  Never mind the knowledge accumulated by western med.  Add in the infinite complexity and diversity of humans.  How could there possibly be a system?  One challenge for those of us in the west is that we think a symptom exists in isolation from the whole, and we can make it better by throwing a system at it: diet, meds, etc.  Then we’re astonished when one thing goes away and another pops up.  They’re related, I promise, even if the connections aren’t yet clear.  Systems are a one size fits all approach, and anybody who’s tried to buy one size fits all sweat pants knows how well that works.

#2. There are no experts, so stop listening/looking for them.  Sure, there are people who have more information than you.  Some of them are passionate about it, they love their information, and they believe you would be so much better off if you absorbed (ate??) their information.  You might.  My point here, though, is if you don’t listen to your internal knowing while evaluating that information, you’re probably going to be disappointed.  You are the expert on you.  By all means, seek and learn, if that’s what your inner knowing tells you to do.  Just make sure you check in with yourself – frequently.

#3. We eat many, many things.  You thought digestion was just about food and drink, didn’t you.  Not so.  The environment we live in, the information we’re exposed to, our experiences, observations, we eat all of this.  Not only do we eat all this, but we have to digest it and sort it, integrate it or decide to get rid of it.  I don’t know about you, but I feel bloated just reading this.  (And yes, the irony of that statement in a blog of more information doesn’t escape me.)

#4. Every issue that someone brings through my door is just a symptom of an imbalance.  This is a crucial idea.  Right now, in this moment, you are a snapshot.  You may have had rheumatoid arthritis all your life, but if you really think about it, that changes all the time.  Some days it’s better, some days it’s worse.  That’s because RA is a bundle of symptoms that someone has chosen to lump together and call RA.  In reality, you are out of balance.  It is possible to return to balance – which, by the way, is not an unchanging state.  Once you begin to see life as a series of fluctuations, things ease up.

#5. Healing is different from ‘curing’, and it takes time.   What is this thing, ‘curing’?  Who came up with the idea that we can ‘fix’ something by getting rid of a symptom?  Is it not possible that, by doing so, we throw something else out of balance?  Or say we do get rid of the symptom.  Is that it?  If something else goes out of whack, does that mean… what?  Stop thinking in snapshots.  They’re not permanent.  Everything is in movement – and whether it’s good or bad in manifestation, movement itself is always good.  If movement stops, we die.

#6. Think in a holistic way, not a linear way.  This is such a big idea it might just have to become another post.  For now let’s just say that life is not A to B to C to D to…  Sometimes it’s A to J to F.  Sometimes it’s A to 4 to @ to…  If you expect things to be linear, you ignore the flow, as well as the surprises and the joy.  You constrict your life.  And you’re going to be freaked out a lot.

#7. Just because something isn’t happening for you right now doesn’t mean it never will.  This is a time thing again, and a change thing.  Nothing, nothing stays the same.  Nor does bad always progress to worse and worser.  That’s linear thinking, and it closes you off from the infinite possibilities and joys.  Wherever you are right now, I promise you, things will change.

#8. Nothing is forever.  Relax.  Take a breath.  See #7.

#9. None of the previous statements are new.  Dammit.  I’d love to be the originator of these thoughts, but they’ve been around forever.  There’s a reason for that, don’t you think?

#10.  Feeling untethered?  I hope so, because I’m thinking what tethers us often doesn’t serve us.  I know, I know.  We can’t all go live on a mountain by ourselves.  I do think, though, that being untethered and adhering to the circuits of your life are polarities.   You don’t want to get stuck at one end of the spectrum or the other, you want to move between them.   (And, since we’re working on non-linear thinking, above and below and around them.)  ‘Untethered’ feels scary because it is different.  It might be kinda good to go there, every now and then.


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  1. Caroline / Oct 15 2012 2:59 pm

    Wow! Mind boggling or what!!

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