My search for peace with food began a long time ago. I was very young when some unexplainable health issues began popping up for me. At that time I was having rashes and some reoccurring swelling in my throat. These were the days when I ate the “Standard American Diet” which consisted of Market Day foods, Kraft products and junk food galore. It was all we knew. No one thought at the time that when illness surfaced the first thing you can and should look at is your diet! After all, my mom was a single mother with four children to feed. We were quite content to be fed a warm meal of any kind.
Then I blossomed into adolescence and I was faced with the same challenges that most young girls face, the dreaded body image. This further confused me and led me even further away from a place of peace with food. I ate very little in those years and only what I thought would not make me fat! I felt depressed and anxious most of the time. I wasn’t getting the right nutrients to nurture my growing, changing body and mind. My health suffered severely. As I worked my way through a full-fledged eating disorder, I developed some severe digestive issues (I’ll spare you the details here). Let’s just say that the Western doctors diagnosed me with “irritable bowel syndrome,” adding to my list of unexplainable health issues. My stomach hurt every day and no one knew why or could really help me in anyway. I was sick and miserable.
It must have been around the time I was a senior in high school when I read the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. That book changed my perspective about food completely! I was introduced to the horrors of the meat packing industry and vowed never to eat flesh again! And so I became a vegetarian for about seven years. During that time, I was sicker than ever, very confused and completely disillusioned. I started getting daily headaches, regular migraines and had chronic neck and shoulder pain in addition to the digestive issues and the insanely itchy rash which would not go away. In 2004 I had a very evasive surgery that the Western doctors thought would cure me of my issues. It did not work at all and instead I was faced with a difficult recovery in addition to everything else I was dealing with.
It’s times like these when we are brought to our knees that we finally see a glimmer of Light, and so it was with me. In early 2006, not long after I got married, I finally took one GIANT step towards peace with food. I stopped listening to what everyone else thought about what was right for me and I started listening to my body and my Higher Self (both very wise entities). Somewhere along my journey, I had found yoga and meditation which helped me to learn the truth about who I am, what love is and why I am here. I was finally able to stay connected to that part of me which could discover the answers I needed or, as I like to call it, I discovered my Higher Self! I knew that I could no longer be misled! At long last I had made my peace with food.
Since then, it has been a process of trial and error and still is. In 2007, I discovered that I had many severe food allergies including: gluten, dairy, soy, food coloring, chemicals, molds and many other things that I didn’t know existed! As it turns out, I’m a rather sensitive person. This, of course, I’d always known but now was medically proven. I had a lot of work to do in order to get well.
I started by reading food labels and paying close attention to what I put in my body and on my body. I listened to my inner guidance and discovered what foods made me feel good. As it turned out, the foods which were produced in a way that aligned with my beliefs seemed to make me well. When I ate meat and dairy that was produced in a way I believe to be unethical, I would get sick. But when I ate organic, farm raised meats and dairy I felt good. You could say that I started to feel the energy of the food I ate. You really do become what you eat!
If you are eating an animal that was injected with hormones, tortured and abused, and you are a highly sensitive person, you will be affected by that on many levels. So, I started eating gluten-free grains and included much more fruits and vegetables in my diet, as well as organics and humanely-raised meats, poultry, eggs and dairy. Once I felt the difference in my energy and my health improved, the choice to eat in a more conscious way was easy for me. It required me to seek a lot of information, talk with like-minded people and read up about the foods I eat and the products I use. I also studied about herbs and minerals which could continue to help me heal. I learned which preservatives were chemically derived and what my body could and couldn’t tolerate and when. I started cooking A LOT! I’ve learned so much and I’m so grateful for the valuable lessons which have changed my life and helped me to inspire other people to change theirs.
After I had my two kids, they, like me, showed signs of sensitivity to food. I worked and continue to work hard to prepare and serve them food to nurture their growing minds and bodies. This sometimes, actually very often, means that we are the odd balls. It’s not easy to eat the way I do at restaurants, weddings, social functions and (especially for my kids) at school.
As Indigos, Crystals and Rainbows, we are used to being put in the position of being “different” and “strange” so none of that was new to me but that doesn’t mean it is easy. My family eats and lives in a way that is very different from the majority of people I know. I often have to explain to friends and family what I am eating and why in a way that they can understand. People ask me a lot of questions. Many people are curious and would like to try making some healthy changes in their own lives. Other people think I’m crazy, and that is ok too!
It’s a process of exposing people to a new way of living that they might not be ready for yet but one day might appreciate. It is, after all, the Golden Age and we are indeed, very rapidly, becoming more conscious and aware. It’s kind of like we literally and figuratively are no longer able to digest foods that are not aligned with the energy of who we really are, which is Love.
It seems like it’s difficult to live like I do but it really isn’t. That is the illusion. It’s just a simple choice. It’s a choice to eat foods and use products which serve the greater good. So I choose to eat things and use products that will heal instead of cause harm to my body and the planet. Does this mean that I never indulge or that I live a deprived life? Absolutely not and neither do my kids! We eat everything we desire. It’s just usually the more pure, healthy version of the food. I use the power of my intention aligned with Love to infuse the food my family eats with good energy. Interestingly, I find that the further I get from the “Standard American Diet” the less I crave it. I don’t look at Dunkin’ Donuts and start salivating anymore. I would never scarf down a bag of Cheetos the way I once would have. In fact, when I look at those kinds of foods, they barely look like food at all to me because I know too much! It seems to have become my mission and calling to help others along this path.
Looking back now, it is clear to see how my struggles, trials and tribulations all added up to me becoming the person I am today. I’m blessed to be in a position where I can practice being the change I wish to see in the world. I’ve recently gotten courageous and decided to put myself out there so that I can share with the world what I know and understand about spirituality and holistic living. Last month my husband helped me launch Tickle Body Care, a company that makes all natural and organic powder deodorant. I also authored my first children’s book called The Light Inside to help “children” of all ages stay connected to their “Light.” If I’m not busy doing those things or keeping up with my two kids, you’ll find me teaching yoga to both adults and kids at a local suburban studio. At one point (I believe it was while I was still on my knees..) I prayed that my life and work be used in a way that serves humanity best. How grateful I am to be working each day to fulfill my purpose. My journey is not actually over but from where I stand I can honestly say that things are really spicing up!! I can only wonder where the road will take me next.
Blessings to each of you on your journey back to Peace. Not just with food but with Yourself and the entire Universe!
About the Author:
Kaylene Shannon has an M.A. in education and taught elementary education for 12 years. A certified yoga teacher (300 hr), she is also a Reiki Master, Founder of Tickle Body Care and a published author of a children’s book, The Light Inside, available on Amazon.