I believe in magic. As ‘woo woo’ as that might sound, I truly do. I believe that magic is a force connecting each and everyone of us to our purpose and to our path. I’ll never forget when I realized the magic of plants calling me to connect with myself, those around me and Mother Nature. Sometimes, it takes being SO out of touch with yourself to finally be ready to jump on the magic train and ride it into the unknown.
In my early twenties I struggled a lot with listening to what my body really needed. I was vegan, then vegetarian but I wasn’t going about it the right way. You know, like actually eating more vegetables than carbs. Drinking coffee wasn’t helping me either. I’d wake up wanting ‘energy,’ reach for a cup, lose my appetite and crash mid-day because I hadn’t nourished myself. I was exhausting my adrenals and exasperating all the nervous energy I was dealing with. After a few years of eating this way I began to feel tired, depressed, anxious and irritable. There was this dark cloud over me that I didn’t know how to get out from under.
During that time, I was in a relationship that wasn’t supporting my highest self. I felt small and insecure and that only made me more anxious. My self image was taking a beating, too. I was always comparing myself to others and that led me to putting up walls because I felt so vulnerable. I had no grounding, nothing to center into and I felt very disconnected . I can remember times when I would be lying in bed crying thinking, “I don’t want to live like this anymore!”
Even though I was already learning about plants, working at our community garden and studying herbalism, I hadn’t taken the step to get serious about it all. Things got so bad that my mom forced me to go see a naturopath and they diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Its such a vague term, but I finally had a label for feeling unusually tired, overwhelmed, anxious and physically exhausted. They recommended I take about 10 supplements at different times of the day, which for folks who are ‘chronically fatigued,’ that feels like an overwhelming nightmare. I knew there had to be a protocol that was more inline with what I was already learning about. So, I stared working with my herbalism mentor, Emily Ruff, and she inspired me to start using adrenal and immune supporting herbs in my meals.
That was a huge ah-ha moment for me! I wasn’t excited about cooking since it often felt overwhelming BUT, if I was adding herbs to every meal it felt special. Mealtime became a way for me to create magic. I went from not having a clue about how to listen to my body to being excited about creating herb-inspired meals that nourished me.
Preparing meals with herbs brought back the connection I had been searching for. Cooking brought my friends together in the kitchen. We were connecting more with each other and to the plants around us by using vegetables and herbs we grew in our front yard. That’s how The Great Kosmic Kitchen got started in the first place. People loved what we were doing and wanted to learn too, so we shared our recipes, inspiration and experiences on our blog.
Not long after changing my meal routines I felt nourished, had less anxiety and even had enough energy to go work on a medicinal herb farm in Oregon for 3 months! That’s when I realized something bigger was in control and I was being asked to listen to the plants. Studying herbalism from a book is a great start but for me, nothing compares to being outside working with the plants. Something happens when you begin to open up and listen. Again, the word magic comes to mind. I say magic because I don’t really know how else to explain plants reaching out and grabbing my clothes, having dreams about plants, visions of herbs when I close my eyes or the gut feeling I get when a medicinal herb I need makes itself known to me.
What really started to change for me on that farm was the fact that I was deepening my relationship and respect for our green guides. They showed me that relationships are so much apart of being alive and vibrant that when we lack a relationship to ourselves, to each other and to the Earth, its no wonder we fall ill.
There’s something deeply empowering about being able to know how to use plants. To know how to be present enough to receive those messages they’re sending you. To take the time to actually listen because they too, like us, just want to be heard. So, I started to listen. I began to listen more to my body and it told me I feel better when I cook for myself. Even when I was super busy I knew that if I made myself a meal I would have more energy, be less anxious and have time to connect with myself.
With everything I’ve gone through and learned from my experience, I wanted to create a program to share the tools that helped me. Summer, like myself, has also been on a healing journey and together we share a passion to pass on important lessons from the plants. Our intention behind Be Radical, Eat Traditional meal planning is to give you a chance to work with us one-on-one, receive personalized weekly meal plans created by herbalists and gain the tools to feel empowered creating nourishing meals that are right for your body.
If you’re yearning to feel confident, connected and creative in the kitchen, we invite you to join us for a tele-class to learn more about our Be Radical, Eat Traditional meal plan offerings. In this live tele-class we’ll talk about:
+ How to create nourishing meals for your busy work week.
+ Herbs to keep you vibrant during the winter season.
+ How to sign up for a free consultation with us!
Pop over here to sign up and be the first to learn about our new cookbook coming out later this month!
UPDATE: This is a past post from December. To get more info on upcoming tele-classes, sign up for our newsletter on our home page.