Food as Medicine - Diet and Lifestyle
I grew up as a vegetarian, though took steps in the other direction from where my family began. We grew up without ever eating onions, garlics or any other lethargy-inducing food groups in a religious household. Did not mean that the food was tasteless. On the contrary, my omnivore friends loved my mom's simple fresh vegetarian meals. Despite working full time, she never sent us siblings with bread-jam or any other shortcuts for lunchbox. We always saw fresh meals being made from scratch - 3 times a day, without fail. This obviously had a big impact on me, and I prefer home cooked meal to restaurant food to this day, valuing eating out for ambience and novelty only.
Though, over the years, moving continents saw me adding loads of eggs to my diet to supplement my protein intake of legumes and dairy. I also became found of taste-makers, onion and garlic...loads of them. ? Now, only my dad is a puritanical ass who insists that my mom make a separate version of 'pure' food for him. She complies to keep peace but enjoys a richer vegetarian diet, like us siblings.
Over the years, I also added a wide variety of world cuisine to my repertoire, and one of my favourite activity during business or personal travel is to raid a supermarket and farmers' market. Its a mini-miracle that I have not been apprehended for bringing in foreign foods in all the countries I have lived in. ?
I can't do frozen food, I just can't. Okay, frozen peas are okay, but anything beyond that freaks me out. No matter how many guests are to turn up at my home, I can't abide by the western European practice of cooking for them over the weekend and freezing it. Most Christmas treats for Christmas eve dinners are made this way in my host country.
I feel better when I exercise but never had a regular routine for it beyond a few weeks at a stretch. I feel best when I am well rested, doing something challenging and exciting, and I feel valued and loved. I suffer from IBS and most of my illnesses are psychosomatic. I am anxious by nature but am highly functioning. Nobody who looks at me without knowing me too well would ever know the depth of my turmoil.
I prefer home-brewed tea with a dash of milk but since its not available outside, I get hooked to coffee when in office, only to regret later. In these Corona times, I drink 3 to 4 cups of brewed tea while working from home, with a teaspoon of white sugar each time. Its my goal to be able to let go of this dependence, eventually.
I think, food is more than an energy source. Its the way we reward ourselves and give ourselves reasons to continue living.
I've always had a rather fast metabolism. As a kid I was skinny and always hungry - it's a family trait - we can eat loads and never gain weight. My husband is the same. Vegetarianism is something I've tried a couple of times, once for nine months, the second time for about three months. In spite of eating the most nutrition-rich foods I could find, low on carbs, I wound up exhausted and anaemic. Everyone is different - but I definitely seem to be one of those people who needs a bit of meat. For some years now, everything we eat is home-made, using lots of 'super food' ingredients, preferably organic. Currently, about a quarter of our veg and most of our herbs are home grown. I'm hoping to increase this percentage, and add some fruits. Home produced food, organically grown, picked and eaten straight away, seems to have a strong, pure energy which is highly beneficial for both body and mind. I get a lot of exercise, as I now do physical work for a living (which I enjoy), and walk the local hills in all weathers. My health has always been a bit fragile (6th H Chiron, 12th H Virgo Mars) but I've become adept at discovering home remedies that work, and also find Traditional Chinese Medicine very helpful. So far I've managed to stay one step ahead of my many and various ailments. I try to feed my mind in a similar fashion to my body, but I do have a number of bad habits in this respect! Currently, I'm trying to stay offline (and yet - here I am!). I've never partaken of any form of social networking, other than this forum and one other, and try to stay away from TV. Our evening entertainment is restricted to DVDs only, usually a short comedy followed by a single episode of some whodunnit. We listen to music all during the day (we have a vast collection), or talks which we've recorded. Then off to bed with a book fairly early. My friends are lively, intelligent, thoughtful and much more positive than I am right now. We meet in person when the vampires in charge allow - and sometimes when they don't. I enjoy having people over for informal meals, where we can have meaningful discussions with no limits on time. Breaking bread with others really reinforces the bonds of friendship. We talk for ages on the phone, or exchange the odd text or email. I don't do Zoom or anything similar - I refuse to become a glitchy, disembodied head on a screen. I have no apps and rarely use my phone. I'm hanging onto as much of my humanity as I can. Reality or nothing.
Uranus in taurus is transit to my 6th house, opposite to my sun ,mercury and saturn. I think I have finally got it in my head that I need to give up high carb foods. My blood sugars are not coming down even with weight loss. These last 18 moths i have not really cared if I lived or died but now I am realizing I could live and develop blindness or lose limbs because of my addiction to sugars, It is an addiction for me as I actually get the jitters when I dont have them. So I have had a wakeup call.
My 6th house is ruled by Sagittarius (with Saturn conjunct the cusp from the 5th house side, opposite Chiron). I’m a bit “all over the place” on a day to day basis, with an underhanded tendency to try to be rigid and structured. With Uranus and Neptune in my 6th house, it adds up to a lot of weirdness. Over the years I've found many things that work for me, but I inevitably drift to try something different anyway.
Sometimes I drive myself cuckoo crazy with my own habit of bucking habits (Uranus opposite Mars), but I’m beginning to accept that switching things up is essential to who I am (Uranus inconjunct Sun). I’m learning to work with that instead of against it.
Another way to look at it, is that I habitually try out new routines. The more things I learn in the realm of healthy habits, the larger buffet I have to choose from. Variety is the spice of life, but there’s also the paradox of choice to contend with… Saturn trine Jupiter. I think I prefer seasonal rituals over daily rituals.
Uranus is also trine my Venus in Aries, which can be very ambitious and forthright. Since my whole personality kind of teeters on this 6th house Uranus, like unpredictable weather, I’ve learned to live life like a surfer. Prepared at all times to catch the waves as they come, while making sure to relax during the lulls.
I think the upcoming Saturn-Jupiter conjunction is going to be a pinnacle point for me and my health. It will fall in my natal 7th house, and my progressed 6th house.
My 6th house Neptune aspects my moon in Sagittarius (chart ruler) and 4th house Pluto in Scorpio, so there's a bunch of familial stuff to unpack there too.
Since Pluto recently finished transiting my 6th house, I have much to reflect on, while I try to piece together some sort of framework - one that keeps me going in the right direction, and also provides enough flexibility so I don’t feel compelled to make destructive 180’s.
Who else never had beans out of a carton/tin while growing up? I now use them but suffer from massive guilt afterwards. Would they be considered processed as well? What about Tomato puree? Nordic tomatoes have less taste than dry grass. I often depend on imported puree of Italian brands to make even remotely decent arrabiata.
You don't need to soak beans if you use a pressure cooker. Instant pot is ideal because you don't have to watch it.