by Kira G., Chief Copy Editor
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” -- Ann Wigmore
In a perfect world, everyone’s food would be their medicine. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and many people suffer from completely preventable diet-related diseases. Eating should come naturally to us, but it’s difficult to eat well when our culture has made cheap, convenient and processed “foods” the most widely available option. Cannabis can be a surprising ally in learning to eat well. With both cannabis and food as your medicine, you can reach a healthy new high.
1. Cannabis is a Vegetable
That’s right, the United States has federally outlawed a vegetable. And an incredibly nutritious, versatile veggie at that! You can consume the leaves, seeds, stems, and flowers of the cannabis plant to get the perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a full serving of antioxidants and protein. Raw cannabis is also a unique source of cannabinoids, a chemical compound and super-nutrient that works within the endocannabinoid system to keep your body well.
Cannabinoids assist the nervous system in sending messages from cell to cell. It’s a simple task, but the implications of this are huge! Cannabis is such a powerful treatment for so many diverse ailments because when used properly, it helps your body communicate more efficiently with itself.
You can incorporate raw cannabis into your diet by juicing it, adding it to a smoothie, mixing it into a salad, or sprinkling it on a dish like you would with any other herb. If you live in a state where cannabis isn’t legal, imported hemp is a great (and legal!) substitute.
2. Eat ALL your Greens
Cannabis shouldn’t be the only veggie you’re eating, but it can help you enjoy the other leafy greens a bit more. Cannabis binds to smell and taste receptors in the brain, electrifying every bite you eat with more delicious, intense flavors. While this side effect naturally leads many of us down a path of pizza and entire tubs of ice cream, the pleasure of manic munchies is short-lived. The next day is usually regretful, with sore bellies and low energy.
But you can embrace the munchies instead of avoiding them! If salads aren’t usually your thing, you can dress one up with a delicious fruit dressing, take a hit, and then dive into the bowl with glee. I’ve always liked kale and spinach just fine, but with a little cannabis in my system, I’m suddenly in love with rabbit food. Keep healthy, whole foods in your house and when the munchies strike, you’ll be nourishing yourself like never before.
3. Slow Down when you Chow Down
Once when I was studying abroad, I was eating lunch with a group of travelers from all over the US and Europe. A French woman made us all laugh when she noticed that “the Americans have already finished their plates and gone for seconds, while I’m still on my first.” She went on to describe how in France meals are slow and intentional, how it isn’t unusual to spend three or four hours eating dinner with friends, calmly working through multiple stages of the meal, letting the conversation and wine flow at the table. In the US? Shovel that food in your mouth and go get more!
I’m guilty of being a vacuum-eater when my mind is somewhere other than the dinner table. But the woman’s comment stayed with me, and I noticed how she would pause before taking a bite to eat, look at the food, and then slowly taste it. I tried the same, and I rediscovered something that humans have probably known for a long time -- food is meditation! Eating slowly not only prevents you from over-eating, but it also brings you into the present moment with deeper awareness and appreciation.
The next time you eat, remove all distractions. Clear an hour or two, and eat as slowly and thoughtfully as you can. Your attitude towards eating will inevitably change if you commit to being more mindful and present at the table.
4. Pay Attention to your Hunger
Sometimes I move so fast that I forget to eat. My mind becomes engrossed in a paper that’s due in a few hours or a I fall down a rabbit-hole of Internet research, and when I look up, it’s way past lunch and my stomach is growling.
Your body will tell you when it's hungry, but cannabis makes you listen. Ending a work flow and taking a pre-lunch dab reminds me of A) my body’s existence and B) that taking care of my body is my job and my job alone. I can’t count on anyone else to be in tune with my daily needs or to remind me when it’s time to take a break. There is always more work to be done, more emails to send, more goals to be accomplished. But more importantly, my body is the only responsibility I will have from this day forward until my last.
You can't ignore your body's needs for nutrients and energy. Finding my sweet spot with the right amount of cannabis and a delicious, nourishing meal is my daily reminder that I can’t deprive myself and be my best.
5. Indulging IS Eating Well
Hopefully no part of this post made eating well seem like a chore. The fact is, eating good food is one of the most universally pleasurable, satisfying experiences people can have and cannabis only makes it better!
Like Oscar Wilde said, “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Life is short and deserves to be enjoyed, so indulge your senses and experience the gratification of your favorite delectable food. Don’t count the calories. Don’t complain about your choices. Don’t call it a cheat meal.
There is no such thing as a bad food. There are only eating patterns and habits that can be improved. If you eat your fruits and veggies, keep healthy snacks on hand for the munchies, and take the time to be mindful at mealtime, why shouldn’t you get to experience the highest sense of enjoyment food can give you? Yes, food is our fuel, but it also our memories, our connection to one another, and our emotions. Having a joyful moment with friends, a Zong, and delicious desserts? That certainly sounds like wellness to me.
What has cannabis taught you about food? What’s your go-to nourishing snack for the munchies? Let us know in the comments below!
Copyright © 2016 Kristen Williams, Kira G., All Rights Reserved