I’ve swallowed a lot, that’s why my palate is so refined. My first forage was bitter and acidic, my wings got tattered and torn. You wouldn’t know it if you saw me now: proud and upright, riding high with my dress billowing behind me, as I fly by on my bike. I’m  so thrilled to be alive! I don’t succumb to that sour silence anymore. I’m the Queen bee baby and I’m feeding on sweet royal jelly.

Children will do anything to maintain a sense of connection and belonging, even if they are subject to devastating abuse.  At the age of eight, I was not equipped to understand this paradox. Subsequently, I suffered from post-traumatic stress, which manifested as out-of-body experiences, chronic fatigue, suicidal depression, chronic urinary tract infections, bloating, gas, indigestion and hypersensitivity to chemicals, sounds, and stimulation of any kind. Each year I became more easily fatigued & overwhelmed, and my coping strategies became more erratic and reactive.

Wandering aimlessly after university, I discovered a long-lost fragment of myself while living on an organic farm in France.  I was digging deep, rooting out weeds and pouring all my bitterness into the soil. My body was strong, my will was returning and my roots were tingling with electricity.  I noticed the smoldering of my internal fire; life was still holding onto me. On this little piece of land I learned about food: how to grow it, how to prepare it, how to savor, share and save it. I started a relationship with food and with myself. Food became an expression of artistry and sensuality that anchored me in the physical world. I started to learn about how food was affecting my physical and mental health and slowly I noticed subtle changes.

Changing my brain chemistry was a mufti-faceted affair, with real food being the main course. My path branched off into many forms of counseling, body work and communication training. I enrolled in the Canadian College of Natural Nutrition to satisfy my unquenchable curiosity about healing. I learned that our bodies are inconceivably complex and resilient, and that healing is remarkably practical, as well as inherent in our design. Sadly, our culture doesn’t instill an appreciation for real food, so consequently, we are missing the fundamental building blocks for our survival.

As life would have it, just as I was starting to feel the wind in my sails, I was simultaneously given an enormous opportunity to test my strength. Everything went sideways, and the life I had carefully crafted to protect my tenderness cracked at the foundation and blew down. I lost my fiancé, my home, my financial security, and my best friend.

As I sifted through the rubble after the storm, I suddenly realized I had never felt better. I was amazed to find that although everything was out of my control, I was handling it all right. Though I was grieving, I didn’t feel like ending my life. I was worried about my future, but I wasn’t completely overwhelmed. Though my stability had vanished, I was sleeping soundly through the night. I was alive and well. Everything I had learned about food and healing I applied strategically, with a larger picture of how the body and mind work in tandem.  With my body and mind in harmony, my heart was finally free to pour forth her sweet healing nectar.

As I start all over yet again, I do so with a deep appreciation for all that I’ve come through. I now realize where my true security lies; in my ability to handle things, not acquire things. I can now rest in the mutual support of a rich community and the knowledge that I will always get exactly what I need.