A little story for you…
Two yoga-loving renegade goddesses met in the jungle of Belize. One was a spirit rebel from the UK named Shasha. The other, a Food Therapist from the US, named Christa. Between hammock time, river adventures, and a dip in the goddess pool, a deep friendship was born! These business besties/soul-sisters shared a dream to host a retreat that would empower women to access intuition, harness inner strength, and reclaim body wisdom through intuitive eating & yogic ritual.
Today we want to introduce our tribes to one another and learn more about how these seemingly different practices complement and enhance one another. Both of us use nourishment, spirituality, ritual, and self-care in our work.
Shasha: So, Christa, what does a renegade Food Therapist do exactly?
Christa: Well, I’ve learned that when people think of a nutritionist, it’s someone who is going to have very strict rules about food – telling you what to eat and how much, taking away your favorite foods, and strictly monitoring your calories. The thing is, I became a nutritionist because I LOVE FOOD and I believe in the importance of food ritual. So, I’ve gone a bit rogue by encouraging people to ditch the diets, buck the trends, and enjoy their food guilt-free. One of the first clients I ever worked with (and most of them since!) loved her bit of chocolate after dinner and she was scared I would take it away. Nope! Instead, we worked together to help her enjoy the chocolate instead of feeling guilty and beating herself up about it! Sometimes, you just need “permission” and a bit of creativity instead of a complete diet overhaul!
Now it’s your turn Shasha! What does it mean to be a spirit rebel?
Shasha: Well. From my perspective we are all spirits having a human experience. I suppose for me, the ‘rebel’ part of it comes in when you decide not to be driven by the human mind or others’ expectations and decide to be led by, and deeper into Spirit and Spirituality as a whole. It’s about getting in touch with ourselves as spiritual beings and running with that in transformative ways! Of course the mind is an important tool. But it doesn’t need to be driving the car! From my own personal history, I have been considered a bit of a rebel as I found myself unable to stick to any set of religious or spiritual rules that had been laid out by another. I choose to use my own discernment. I believe in making my own path and learning what is right for me.
Christa: So it sounds like we are both the rebels of our area of expertise!
Shasha: Very much so! On the subject of spirituality, Christa, could you tell us a little bit about how it ties into your work as The Food Therapist?
Christa: I’d love to! For starters, I’m deeply spiritual myself, so practicing without this component is just not possible! Mindfulness is a term that gets thrown into the “spirituality bucket” these days and it’s an important tool for helping us engage fully with our food, getting the most pleasure from it. It also helps us learn to interpret our body’s response to the food, so we can eventually free ourselves from thinking so hard about what to eat. On a deeper level, I believe that many unhealthy eating patterns are symptoms of soul-dissatisfaction. So, addressing the underlying cause (what the soul craves to express) often helps resolve the symptom (binge eating, emotional eating, rigid eating patterns, etc.).
What importance does food/nourishment have in your practice?
Shasha: My relationship with food has developed so much over the years. I was always a bit of a gobbler of food because I loved it so much. It helped allay social awkwardness and comforted me when needed. It was when I attended a silent meditation retreat that I noticed exactly what mindful eating looked like in practice. When you are effectively alone with yourself for 7 days, meal times can be more of a comfort than ever. I was inspired by one of the guys there who ate so slowly and mindfully he made me feel like a pig! The difference is, now, and especially after going through your program Christa, I consider my body’s needs and the feelings I am having around meals. In this way it becomes a sacred activity. It’s an essential element of my mindfulness practice. I refer to it as ‘awareness’ more than mindfulness, but we are in the same ballpark there! I’ve always given thanks before eating, but now I do it with even more feeling and intention. I speak directly to Mother Earth and everything that has come onto my plate to give me life. It is also, therefore a gratitude practice.
Christa, what would be your number-one piece of advice for our tribe today?
Christa: I would encourage you to get curious and pay attention when you’re eating. Use your five senses to engage fully with your food and see what comes up for you. What makes your toes curl? What makes you gag? How do you know when you’ve had enough? Starting there can reveal so much, and besides, it’s fun!
Shasha, I’ll ask the same of you. What’s your tip for our readers today?
Shasha: Mine really ties in pretty nicely with what you said. Sit with yourself for a few moments today. Close your eyes and listen to your breath. Start to feel all the sensations in your body; what does it really feel like to be you? You may have done this before but I encourage you to do it again today. We are in this moment now. What does this moment feel like.
We hope this gives you a window into how our work and practice is being blended to create something powerfully transformative. Next week we will be having a conversation about self-nurture and the power of working with Goddess and Elemental energies. Stay tuned! Sending you love.
P.S. If going away on a Goddess retreat to nourish & restore appeals to you, click here to find out more.