From Where I Sit – “Outside” Behaviour

I love CTV’s Marilyn Denis Show because of Marilyn herself and her panel of regular experts. Among those is nutritionist, Julie Daniluk. Her bubbling enthusiasm and healthy vibrancy today belie decades of food allergies, infections, food poisonings, and a near death experience in Thailand. The years-long journey to heal herself is now being shared through her books, public appearances, website, and sheer zealotry.

Because we know inflammation is a huge health risk, I bought her Meals that Heal Inflammation book a few years ago. It made sense but seemed to be so damn onerous to follow especially if one wasn’t suffering an imminent health crisis. To paraphrase what my hero, Jim Rohn used to say: “no one falls down ill after eating the first Mars bar. What if eating an apple a day does keep the doctor away?” The point being that poor choices are cumulative and have a way of sneaking up on us and making small adjustments can make a positive difference.

Like with much new information in our lives, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I added flags to the pages of recipes that sounded good and didn’t need a million, hard-to-access ingredients or have fourteen steps in the method. I don’t recall if I ever tried a single one. Yet.

Yet, when I saw Julie’s latest book, Hot Detox, I bought it. Detox sounded like a short-term, easier to succeed at venture. I read the entire book, marked promising recipes, and accessed online extras like a shopping list and more recipes. Secretly I also liked that Julie’s Ukrainian roots snuck into some recipes. The book is based on modern science plus the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, both of which intrigue me.

I haven’t (yet) scheduled a 3, 10, or 21-day detox because of my busyness and an uncooperative husband. But I have tried countless recipes and, without fail, loved them. So has hubby. This journey of discovery has led to more adventures: more spices, more veggies, more slicing and dicing.

It would seem I’ve been a pretty boring cook who’s stuck in a rut cooking the same old food in the same old ways. My blender has seen more action in the past two weeks than in the year previous. I resurrected canning jars because glass is far safer than plastic for storing anything. I’ve made batches of vegan soup broth; roasted spaghetti and butternut squashes; mixed up a batch of curry spices; did chia this and that; switched to pink (and grey) rock salt; stopped coffee; made ginger tea; shopped mindfully.

None of it has been difficult. I had most of the good stuff already. It has taken time though. It seems I spend whole days chopping. The crazy thing is I like it. It feels right. And righteous. It’s meditative and worth the effort. My palate is evolving.

Of course, I don’t know what is happening inside but so far, I love how the “outside” behaviour has changed, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.