Why I Eat Weeds + 10 Reasons You Should Too

A ten-year journey to a whole foods vegan diet has culminated in this, I’ve finally gone full-on-feral.

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The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair

 Joking aside, the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds has recently opened my eyes to a whole new world. It’s testament to just how domesticated and disconnected we are from our environment that it had never occurred to me that weeds might be just like many other plants, edible and nutritious.

When I recently heard that the dandelions growing in abundance in my neglected garden, the dandelions I had always seen as a nuisance and done nothing but try to kill and remove were not only edible but actually a superfood my first through was ‘REEEALLY???’. I contemplated my new dandelion friends with an air of suspicion. ‘You mean I can just pluck you from the pavement and eat you??

Why was this such a weird concept? Because they hadn’t been presented to me via the supermarket as one of the narrow group of 10-15 plants that we humans now eat?

It’s shocking but this is the extent to which we are turning our backs on and forgetting the planet’s huge biodiversity. The average human now eats between 10-15 plant species in a year. There are around 80,000 edible plant species in the world and routinely we eat just 10-15 of these. What impact is this loss of diversity having on our health and our capacity to live to our fullest potential?

dandelionpesto

Dandelion pesto: 2 cups dandelion leaves, 1 cup cashews, 3 tbs lemon juice, 3 cloves garlic, half cup sunflower oil, 1 cup basil, 1 cup water, pinch of salt. Blend it all up. Enjoy!

The Native Americans used around 1,200 different plant species in a year. The idea of being able to identify that many different plant species blows my mind somewhat. Compare that to many  people today, myself included, who sadly recognise more company logos than plants growing in their own neighbourhood. Isn’t that a little insane? And sad? 

We’ve created a system on earth which has domesticated us and in this process we’ve forgotten some pretty fundamental things. Chiefly that we are animals roaming a planet and entirely dependent on nature’s abundance for survival. This disconnect and disharmony can be seen in our unsustainable and consumption-based relationship to our home planet.

So what’s this all got to do with weeds? And why should we eat them? 

Because everyone loves a good list, here it is:

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Weeds

  • They are globalised plants for our globalised world. The 13 plants listed in this book (amaranth, chickweed, clover, dandelion, dock, grass, knotweed, lambsquarter, mallow, mustard, plantain, purslane, thistle) transcend continents and cultures. Wherever human settlements are found, whatever the climate or terrain, these  common weeds can also be found. It’s almost like they’re following us…hmm…might nature be trying to tell us something?
  • Eating weeds is a super-easy way to diversify our diet. Studies have shown that the more diverse our diet, the better our chances of staying healthy for a long time. I’ll take some of that!
  • They are abundant. You don’t need intensive farming or any effort to grow them, they grow themselves!! With a growing population and an
    dandelionjuiceingarden

    Super easy juice to turbo-power your day: blend dandelion leaves, lemon and an apple. BAM!

    increasing drive to push GMO crops and monoculture as the solution to get more and more food from our already depleted soil perhaps we’re looking in the wrong places. Perhaps the weeds are mother nature saying ‘Look, humans, look! I’m trying to feed you, I’m right here, in your back garden, in the pavement cracks, wherever you go, here I am, trying to nourish you!’

  • Weeds thrive on soil disturbed by humans. They pull nutrients from deep beneath the earth’s surface and regenerate the soil. They are the superheroes sent to nourish and save the planet and us from…well…us. When we eat wild weeds we collaborate with their planet-rejuvenating efforts by utilising far fewer resources. 
  • They are exceptionally nutritious. A dandelion growing in between the pavement cracks is probably more nutritionally potent than crops grown through commercial agriculture which have been hybridised over time and grown as mono-crops in compromised soil.
  • Wild weeds are free, you don’t need to be wealthy to eat wholesome and truly organic food. Nature doesn’t discriminate, she wants to nourish everyone.
  • They can re-awaken our primal memory, the memory of our true source of creation. When we eat these wild weeds we start to remember our connection to the planet. They offer a direct link to the wild intelligence within us.
  • dandelioonquinoa

    Dandelion flowers can add beauty to a simple meal, and you can eat them too. With an array of B vitamins, proteins, amino acids and trace minerals you’d be crazy not to 🙂

    They are ridiculously resilient as any gardener can tell you. If we try to resist them we fight a losing battle against nature. If we work with them we align ourselves with the powerful force of nature and experience strength and richness. We are what we eat; when we eat these hardy weeds they gift us their resilience and survival superpowers!

  • Eating them instils trust in our ability to survive and thrive in harmony on the land. Our source of life is all around us and always available. Our survival isn’t in the hands of politicians, it’s in our own hands and how we chose to use them to connect to our environment.
  • They are medicinal containing all of the vitamins and minerals we need to thrive in the form of a living whole plant making them far superior (and cheaper) than the supplements purchased in store.  A side benefit is that no energy is wasted in producing, packaging and shipping them around the globe. You can more than likely freshly harvest them from within walking distance of your home! 
  • If we shift how we look at these weeds to see them as allies, and cultivate a collaborative relationship with them,
    minkyandjasperingrass

    My cats seem to appreciate the wild-jungle-approach to gardening too, everyone’s a winner!

    we might just shift how we care for our planet.

  • Last but not least, if you’re a lazy gardener like me you now have the perfect excuse not to mow the lawn or do any sort of arduous garden work.  What was previously laziness is now intentionally holding a space for nature to spring forth and nourish you. 🙂

Inspired to take a walk on the wild side? Be warned, these wild weeds taste…well, wild!! Your domesticated palate will need some getting used to the intensity of these plant rebels. Start with a few leaves mixed in with your regular food and let me know how you get on!

How To Increase Your Chances of Success by 70%

I read recently about a study that was done  on patients who had severe medical conditions that required lifestyle changes in order to live. After 12 months 90% of the patients had reverted back to their old lifestyles. They couldn’t make positive, lasting changes even thought their lives depended on it!

One group had a much higher success rate,  around 80% versus the 10% of of the first group. This second group had access to a network of peer support. Your chances of making positive and lasting changes to your life to achieve a certain goal increase from 10% to 80% when you’re part of a group working towards the same goal versus going solo.  That’s a 70% increase, huge.

We might think we can take on the world alone and remain in integrity with ourselves regardless of who we interact with or what situations we spend our time in, but the truth is we’re interdependent and highly influenced by those around us. 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  Take a look around; do your closest peeps embody everything you aspire to be in this life? Or do you need some new people?

Like it or not, the people closest to us influence the way we think and the way we see and experience the world.  They have the power to broaden our horizons and propel our evolution or drag us down and keep us stuck in place.

As architects of our awesome lives this has some big implications. Firstly, we need to be conscious of who it is that we are and who we want to become. This is where a meditation practice can be super useful. Spending a little time each day, sitting in silence gives us space to tune into our higher Self and hear what our Soul is calling for amidst the busyness and background noise of day-to-day life.

Spending time each day in silence with your Self is the first step to keeping better company. You are essentially making Spirit, or God, or Self, one of your five biggest influences. This is an excellent place to start.

Next, we need to ensure that the people we are investing most of our time with are supporting us in our evolution.  Remember, if they aren’t then our chances of successfully making the positive changes we dream of are just 10% versus 80%, so this is super important!

As an exercise consider the following questions:

  • Who do you want to be?  What qualities would you like to embody? What does your dream life look like?
  • Who are the five people you spend the most time with? What qualities do they embody? What kind of lives do they live?
  • Are the people you spend most of your time with in sync with who you want to be?
  • Which people are in sync with who you want to be? Who do you admire, who’s a good role model? Who’s living the life you dream of?

Chances are there is a disconnect between who you spend most of your time with and who you’re striving to become.   Does this mean you have to cut people out of your life? No, not necessarily.  But if you’re serious about evolving and moving forwards you need to open yourself up to influences from people who inspire and challenge you to step your game up. People who are vibrating at that higher level you’re shooting for.  Because spending time with these people will lift you towards your goals much more efficiently than trying to go solo and against the momentum of your existing company.

I recently had the excellent fortune to come across a book by an awesome yoga teacher called Cate Stillman (you should definitely check her out  www.yogahealer.com ). She is my big influence right now. Besides my partner, she is probably the second person I am spending most of my time with now.  I’ve never met her and I’m not spending any time with her in person, but she is taking my thinking and understanding to a new level through her books, videos and podcasts.  I’m pretty much spending all of my free time soaking up Cate Stillman like a thirsty sponge. 

I also joined her yogidetox programme where people from across the globe, who are as serious as me about their health and wellness, can connect and support each other in the process of seasonal detoxing. I deliberated over whether or not to join the yogidetox. Do I really need to pay to join a group detox? I could just do it alone couldn’t I? I’m definitely one for going it alone usually so the realisation of the power of peer support was a big and humbling one for me. Yep, I need other people, lots.  In the end I dived into the yogidetox and boy am I glad I did. I’ve been able to access a supportive group of people that are totally on my wavelength and striving for the same thing. I feel like I have people, a tribe, who are inspiring me to go through this process that I know is for my highest good but that would be much harder and let’s face it, less fun, on my own.

If you want to take steps in a particular direction, surround yourself with people who are already there to uplift, challenge and inspire you. You’ll be carried along towards your goals with greater ease and enjoyment.

The Benefits of a Spring Detox

We get so caught up in the daily grind, moving through life on automatic, that we need to take time out occasionally to shift gears.  We need to take conscious breaks to step out of routine to examine our routine itself.  The things we’re routinely eating, the activities we’re routinely doing – are they supporting our higher vision for ourselves? Are they in alignment with what we want and need for ourselves? Do we even know what our heart’s deepest selfie desire is? Or are we on a treadmill mindlessly running on the spot full speed to destination nowhere?

It can seem hard, selfish even, to take time out for ourselves. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from yoga it’s that we are entirely responsible for ourselves and our experiences. If we don’t put ourselves first and fiercely defend our right to feel awesome and enjoy life, well guess what? Yeah no one else is queuing up to do that work for us.

A detox doesn’t have to be all about food, although giving ourselves a break to only consume foods that nourish us deeply is a wonderful and obvious place to start.Roblox Hack No Survey No Download

My spring detox this year has involved me giving myself permission to cut back on busy-ness and slow right down. A focus for me was simply to cut back on snacking between meals. I know I eat for many reasons other than hunger (stress, boredom, excitement even!) and I know this habit undermines me. When I snack I steal a little joy from my next meal, because I won’t be fully, truly hungry to properly receive the nutrients and nourishment.

It’s a good idea to plan a detox in advance. Clear the calendar and Warrior get everything ready so that the process is as easy as possible.

Dividing your detox into three phases is a good approach so as not to shock the body; have a preparing phase, going in deeper phase, and finally a chance to emerge back into regular life, hopefully with some new insights and health uplift.  Enter. Go Deep. Emerge.

For my entering phase I switched to living foods, i.e. raw foods. I focused on my snack habit and started to bring more awareness to when I was snacking, what my triggers were and how I felt after the cheap nfl jerseys snack-attack. I wanted to beat myself up for snacking in this phase as I’d hoped I could just stop immediately. But this has been part of весна my detox practice, being compassionate with myself and simply getting curious, without judgment, about what was arising.

For my going in deep phase I switched to juice feasting. Juice feasting means you can have as much fresh juice as you want. You’re not worrying about calorie restriction but rather giving your digestive system a break, because juice is super light and easy to digest.

I was really quite worried about the juice feasting. I seem to have a lot of fear around going hungry. I expected to get very ragey and ‘hangry’.  I was most surprised to find this wasn’t the case at all. The juices I made were choke-full of nutrients The and I found myself feeling deeply nourished without solid food. A revelation!  I was also able to stick to three large juices a day with no ‘snacking’ in between.

The point of dialing everything down to zero in a detox is that you can then see very clearly what’s optional. What extra snacks, drinks, meals, are we eating that our body doesn’t really need? What activities are taking up mental bandwidth without adding any actual value? What emotions are we stuffing down with chocolate and biscuits that would be better acknowledged? How much unnecessary weight/waste are we lugging around? It all becomes much clearer through a detox.

The problem with snacking as I’ve discovered is that it makes your blood sugar level constantly bounce around, up, down, PoE up, down.  Our digestive system never gets the opportunity to fully digest what’s already been consumed and move into the deep fat metabolism that makes us feel grounded and calm in mind and emotions. All layers of our being are interconnected; if the body is out of whack the inner, subtler layers will be affected too. I can see from this detox the negative impact snacking has on my mental performance.

It also means we’re out of synch with our natural hunger/satiation cycle. If we never allow ourselves to get fully hungry, how can we ever feel properly satiated?

As Tidying I experienced the benefits of not snacking I realised that the same principle applies to my relationship with the internet/social media. I’m constantly checking emails and social media whenever there’s a spare moment.  This has my mind constantly bouncing around on a superficial level.

From this detox I’m taking forwards the practice of not snacking and scheduling time to check email and social media. I need a little more space in my life to digest my experiences fully.

One final practice that I’ve been focusing on this detox is the practice of self-oil massage. As I cleared space in my diary from the busy-ness and social commitments I booked daily appointments with myself for a importantes self-oil massage followed by a hot soak in the bath.  In Ayurveda oil is linked closely to love. Self-oil massage is like enveloping our body in liquid love. It’s such a nourishing practice to amp up self-love and acceptance. It’s hard to articulate how it has such a profound effect but from just a couple of weeks I know this is a practice I’ll be taking forwards.  My critical mind has rarely been happy with my body as it is and I know I’m not the only one. Our culture promotes a subtle or not so subtly self-loathing of our bodies. Through self-oil-massage I’m massaging away the ridiculous notion that my body isn’t perfect as it is right  With the help cheap nba jerseys of this liquid love I’m accepting all of myself into a loving embrace.

Detox is a chance to step off the treadmill, cheap mlb jerseys pause, re-evaluate and open to experiencing new and better ways Magazine of being.  You pick up the thread of your life post-detox ready to continue living at a higher level.  Schedule time in just for you. What are you waiting for?