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A Year of Magical Eating

A Year of Magical Eating

June 5, 2017
tinamastes feria market meghan genge


I should have felt like a million bucks. The eating program that I have been so faithfully following told me that I would begin to feel ‘amazing.’ And a week or two ago, I did.

But I have spent the last week in bed with one unrelated symptom after another, until, kidneys aching and mind confused, I sent my husband out for drugs.

Once they kicked in and my thoughts started to make sense again, I realised that I needed to take my own advice: I needed to plug in and tune in and figure out what the heck was going on.

I needed to start thinking magically.

So I asked for help, a sign, an idea, the answers – and what I got was an intervention.

Before I tell you about that, I need to give you some backstory: I have had a case of hives off and on – mostly on – for over a year now. Most nights I get hot and annoyed and up come some hives. Despite already being off gluten (I have Celiac Disease), and eating really well, we couldn’t figure out if it was food related, so I decided to do an elimination diet. In the next 24 hours, three people I knew on FB talked about a popular elimination diet, so I thought I would give it a try. Luckily, as he is the chef in the family, my darling husband said he would do it with me.

I lost weight, I stopped bloating, I felt clearer, stronger, and way more connected. I still had hives and eczema, but everything else was feeling good. The only issue for me was that I was eating bucketloads (not really) of chicken. And a) the chicken here is definitely not organic and b) I had been almost vegetarian before this and ethically I really would like to be, so this was a tricky one.

So back to my intervention:

As I was showering and asking for this help, my husband was meditating in the next room. When I came out he said, “I can’t explain it, but I just had a very clear thought that you need to stop eating that chicken for awhile.” It felt really true for me, so I agreed. (Even if you take away the ethics of how they are raised, the sheer level of junk that is pumped into those poor birds cannot be a good (sometimes twice daily on that program) choice for me as I try to figure out my own health.)

Then I opened my Kindle app to find the book Soul Shifts open to this quote that I used in my one-day retreat: “…realise that you are eating consciousness in a fruit costume.”

Read that again: …you are eating consciousness in a fruit costume. That sentence gives me goosebumps and asks me to open in ways that I can’t even imagine. If I still had a vision board, it would be right in the middle of it.

Then I thought about Martha Beck saying, “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.”

The way we do anything is the way we do everything.

I realised that despite me believing that we are all divine and that we are all connected, despite talking about how everything – even food –  is magic, and despite me being called to see the light and the soul in everything, I had given my power away.

Food – and more specifically, what I eat – is still a place where I ignore the magic, I ignore the truth, I let myself be led by fads and cravings and doctors and Instagram posts.

Food is the part of my life that speaks to me the loudest when I am not in alignment with my best self, so of course it is the part that is easiest to ignore. 

And that is not what I want.

I choose to believe in Magic. I choose to see what happens when I allow everything to be Magical. And I choose to open to what I eat being consciousness in a fruit costume.

So for a year – because I need a deadline – I am going to try an experiment: I am going to treat food as the magical teacher that it is. I’m going to let myself trust it, and learn about my relationship to it. I’m going to listen to it, understand it, play with it, talk to it, and maybe even go all quantum physics on it. And I’m not going to BE anything – no pescatarian/ vegetarian/ vegan/ carnivore/ fruitarian/ only-eating-things-that-fell-off-a-tree-arian for me. I’m opening to understand – really understand – the Magic. And we’ll see where that goes.

Food is magic at its purest. So I know it is going to be my greatest teacher.





food, Plenty

The Missing Ingredient

November 19, 2012

“I just couldn’t get away from the siren call of the kitchen that is an inherent part of me. The kitchen of which I speak is both literal and metaphoric. It’s the sum of what I’ve learnt so far, and am still learning.” – Sophie Dahl, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights.


I have a confession to make: I hate cooking. I hate it. It literally makes me itch. Now, like a lot of things in my life, if I was okay with hating cooking, then all would be well, but I don’t want to hate cooking.

The weird thing is that I love the idea of cooking. New cookbooks make me drool. I pre-ordered Sophie Dahl’s new cookbook months ago and lovingly caress the covers of Risotto with Nettles and Plenty every time I am in a bookstore. I open the pages of Heidi’s books and something in my soul feels better – just owning them nourishes me – but I have yet to cook anything from them.

In my dreams I stand rosy cheeked and happy beside a stove while cooking something delectable. Stirring fresh basil into my sauce, I create magic just like Vianne in Chocolat. In reality, my back starts to ache and my teeth grind against one another in barely contained tension. It’s so bad that my husband (who cooks nearly all of our meals) completely avoids the kitchen when I am making dinner.

What is it – the missing ingredient that links desire and reality?

I know that I love beautiful things and that good food can be exquisitely beautiful. I love the whimsy and the theatricality of ingredients and their presentation. I love the alchemy that is involved in something going on its journey from seed to plate. I can be the most rapt and appreciative dinner guest – but it loses all magic when I am the one having to do the work.

So there is the challenge: learn how to find the exquisite in the preparation instead of just the outcome. See the beauty that lies in the work. Delight in the journey.

Or just get someone else to cook for me.

I am completely open to invitations.


emotions, grief, nourishment

Eating for Comfort

November 9, 2012

“What you don’t let begin can never end.” – Geneen Roth

I watched myself do it.  That in itself was a revelation.

I had just spent 8 days either being frantic with worry, supporting my husband and his Mom as they processed their grief, holding down the supporting role, doing some work from home or trying to suppress my need to organise and plan.  By the 9th day, when they were with the funeral director, and I was on my own for an hour, I had hit overwhelm.

And that is when I watched myself do it.

The tension had built in me until I could hardly breathe, and I felt compelled to go into the nearest shop.  Making a beeline to the fridge, I found one of my favourite little gluten free cakes.  Mostly made of ground almonds and cinnamon, and dusted with icing sugar, it is usually a treat and a complete delight to eat.  Delight, however, was not what I was looking for.

Barely waiting to get outside the door, I had the package opened and the cake eaten before I had gone ten steps.

I felt better.  There was the moment of numbness. There was the moment of relief. There was the moment, the briefest moment, where I felt a little release. The tension and pain lifted for a moment and I could actually breathe again.

Normally the next moment would have been filled with regret, self loathing, frustration or disgust.

But something deep inside of me seems to have shifted.  Even while the cake was being eaten, there was a small part of me standing outside myself, understanding what was going on.  I could see my small self needing love and comfort and peace, and looking for it in the only way she knew how at the time.   The extreme situation had called for an extreme reaction, and food was easier and more acceptable than a temper tantrum or tears right there in the street.  I knew all of that, and I was able to see myself with love.

I’m not sure if this calm watcher will last or whether it will move deep enough to help me choose the right kind of nourishment in times of extreme need.  What I do know is that the more I look at the world and the more I see the narrative behind the action, the more convinced I am that the power to change ourselves and our world lies in the stories we tell.

Healing begins when we tell a different story.