Food As Medicine: Our Bodies Are Our Gardens


We share certain traits, brown hair, long legs, big boobs, and a wonky left hip that flares with arthritis in old age.

We share kind hearts, weak immune systems, asthma and a smattering of good old fashioned melancholia that rears its ugly head from time to time.

Poverty, malnutrition, coal mine dust haunt our genetics. We have also suffered at the hands of pharmaceuticals and conventional treatments focused on quieting symptoms rather than pursuing the root cause.

All of this is woven into my story, her-story, our story. These things quietly trickle on down the line, accepted and unspoken in fear that others will think less of you. Mothers cautiously condition daughters to "Be a Good Girl because The Doctor Knows Best" and "Que Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be". Enraged, I've spent half my life rattling the cage and unraveling these tightly wound threads.

My poor mother despairs in my difficult, wild nature. Food and health have become a fierce subject between us. I gently rub a handmade pain cream on her back. This cream has helped friends with their arthritic pain. Just try it for a while I plead. She agrees in one breathe but in the other pleads to me go see a doctor because I should have tests and mammograms and other things because what If I am sick??


I take a deep breathe and hold back my rant. We've had this argument a kazillion times.

Sometimes I remind her of all the unnecessary harm she's suffered, I've suffered, my aunt has suffered, her mother suffered, through the medical system.

I have examples and specifics going back generations and ending with myself. I ask her why she does not feel that I know what's best for myself? These thoughts run through my head but I take a deep breath, smile and shut my mouth.

Instead of lecturing her, I make lunch smiling victoriously as I pick dandelions in front of the kitchen window. They can see me gathering lunch and I know it pushes them out of their comfort zone. I am a good cook and they enjoy the food we prepare but still, it makes them anxious.

I nourish my parents during their visit and show my love to them through food. They enjoy it. Every meal is a new experience for them and one that I cherish. I can't control their daily choices, but here In my home, good, healthy healing & nourishing food is something I can do.


No one likes to be told they are doing the wrong thing, making the wrong choices. Criticism usually fails to inspire and so sometimes the best thing you can do is to lead by example.

A step at a time is what I promote to others that ask me for advice. Small incremental changes make a difference and tend to stick better than jumping in feet first. If you've got an ailment focus on that while slowly adjusting your food choices. This way you are nourishing your whole self while also finding relief from the symptoms that have surfaced. Gut issues - try fermented food. Inflammation - try leafy greens. Heartburn and acid reflux - learn about apple cider vinegar.

Perhaps if we all start thinking of our bodies as gardens it will start to make more sense. Just like plants, our bodies need nourishment in order to thrive. A neglected garden lacking healthy soil suffers, wilts, becomes diseased.

"Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food.. stay away from these" ~Michael Pollan

What we eat matters.

Real food is the purest medicine there is.




This post is in response to the Natural Medicine challenge: Exploring the Healing Power of Food: Win Over 40 Steem in Prizes! You've got until July 27th to ENTER!


Comments 14

Indeed....what we eat does matter as ultimately it leads to our well being....but is there any solution to Arthirities...I don't think there is Dad bear the pain for 12 years untill finally decided for knee replacement at 74 and later because of heavy antibiotics his kidney pain after's pretty worst thing one could get

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20.07.2019 14:30

Arthritis is terrible as are the terrible side effects of medication. The best course of action to take is so hard to choose sometimes. A friend of mine has it in his feet and he uses a cannabis-infused oil that he rubs in, and also sometimes he takes an oral cannabis natural medicine when the pain is really bad. He's suffered for years and taken all kinds of medication and tells me that cannabis has been quite a miracle for him. I've heard (And seen) that cannabis is quite effective for arthritis pain but fortunately we are in Canada where it is legal to use.

20.07.2019 15:00

The best part for you legal we tried all kind of treatment Ayurveda, Unani, Elopathy, massage and all other local doctors who confirms of better treatment before finally choses replacement ...and that now he suffers more...

20.07.2019 15:20

I am so sorry to hear that the surgery made things worse. Sounds like your father has been on a long hard road to trying to treat his arthritis pain. I hope he finds something that gives him relief.

20.07.2019 15:46

You’ve been visited by @porters on behalf of Natural Medicine!

I'm happy that you can recognize the patterns and inherited aspects contributing to your health (or lack of it) also the unnecessary harm that has been done to you and your family from the medical system! A good first step then you can recon with it - taking your health into your own hands. I like your attitude to lovingly lead by example and what a wonderful example you are!

Your food is not only healthy and delicious but it is beautiful too! Glad your mom likes and appreciates your cooking so you can contribute to their health and well being - for food is medicine and it matters!

Wonderful entry for the Natural Medicine "Food as Medicine" Challenge!

This fortnight, we're having a food as medicine challenge, sponsored by Curie! You can win over 40 Steem in prizes. Check out the details by clicking here!

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20.07.2019 15:04

Thank you @porters!

21.07.2019 12:07

You got a upvote from @adityajainxds.

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20.07.2019 16:08

Love this 💓 what a gift to tend our bodies like our gardens and with our gardens! Plain, simple healing direct from our Mama 💚🌿 beautifully written!

20.07.2019 16:41

💚 💚 💚Thanks for the lovely comment and I am so glad you've had a bountiful and lush gardening year. 💚 💚 💚

23.07.2019 15:35

Your post really touched my heart @walkerland. I'm sure your mother is so proud of you, your spirit, your wisdom and your willingness to seek truth and healing for all of you. I thank my daughters for living on the cutting edge with respect to foods and foods as our medicines. I have learned so much from them! As I have said many times in my blog posts, if I knew then what I know now....its amazing. Thank you for sharing this, I will think about it for days. Fear of the unknown is a tough roadblock as we age, you are correct, one day, one meal, one visit at a time and eventually those roadblocks will fall! Well said, thank you :)

20.07.2019 17:56

oh, thank you so much for this thoughtful comment @birdsinparadise, sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing trying to "influence" others but it does come from a place of love and also experience. You are very inspiring as I am sure your daughters will enthusiastically agree. I think we can all connect with that sentiment of wishing we had certain wisdom way back when - I certainly do. We know it now though and that's what matters most. 💚

23.07.2019 15:38

The sheer beauty of the foods you grow and prepare is healing! Then add on the nutrition and the knowledge of the properties and it becomes amazing!

I do much the same as you, passing on small bits here and there, and only offering our best food to visitors instead of the standard fare they are used to.

So sad how badly the medical system has failed us, but many return to it over and over...

21.07.2019 08:55

This is so beautiful. I know the struggle you've had with your Mum and Dad's stubbornness and refusal to learn how to eat what can help them, and I admire your compassion and patience (sometimes through gritted teeth) to nourish them when you can. It's almost like you are the parent now!

23.07.2019 03:12

I am not always patient or compassionate - I have to check myself because I get too strong and feel them drawing away and tuning out - very parent/childlike. I guess I had that coming, I wasn't exactly an easy teen.

25.07.2019 02:18