Hello and welcome to Magick Month! For the entire month of October The Guitar Witch will be posting a new tip or challenge to help your creativity flourish and pulse with all the energy and life it deserves! You can find previous days here. Today I’ll be talking about the magick of adding one beneficial thing to your diet and take one detrimental thing away.
The physical body
The state of your physical body effects everything you do, think, and feel.
I see many people working hard to improve themselves, write music and create art while neglecting their physical health.
The biological mechanisms that create the complex symphony of neurological impulses, heart beats, hormonal cascades, and endless other processes, while amazingly persistent in the face of chemical and physical assault, are also extremely delicate.
For your physical self to be functioning well and tuned to higher purposes, one needs to bring attention back time and time again to basics.
While I am fascinated and very into the art of biohacking – the practice of modulating light, heat and cold, breathwork, electrostimulation, supplements, and any other internal or external mechanisms for improving physical and mental functions – it is the practice of basic self-care and nourishment that is most important and most difficult to sustain.
Things like proper food and sleep will outweigh anything else you try. I think about it in terms of “bulk” grams of what is going into your body and ”bulk” hours spent.
Like sure, you can take 500mg of turmeric to reduce inflammation, but if you’re eating 16 grams of oxidized omega-6 fatty acids from the French fries you just ate, do you really think you are moving in the right direction?
You may be mediating for 30 or 60 minutes, but does that make up for only sleeping 5 hours last night?
While these things definitely do help, they work best in conjunction with the basics.
So while I will write more about the specific “top-ups” I use in another post, today I want to focus on those bigger bulk things we do that become the background of our physiology.
What is beneficial and what is detrimental?
The answer to this question will be somewhat different for every person. However, there are some basic ground rules.
Pretty much the fresher and more whole a food is, the better it will be for you. There is a ton of argument about which types of food are best and which are harmful. For example, in The Plant Paradox, Dr. Steven Gundry talks about the harmful effects of consuming excess lectins and oxalates (found in things like nuts, grains, kale and spinach). For someone like myself with multiple food allergies, these are important things to consider.
There are also ethical considerations, like whether the death of an animal is something you can live with so that you can get access to the best quality iron sources, for example. Vegans would likely say no, even though monoculture crops, like soy, wheat and rice represent their own ecological genocides.
I personally am of the belief that small farms, where animals live healthy lives outdoors and eat foods they are meant to eat, are better ethically and for the environment. I also believe in raising your own chickens, bees, and vegetables when and where possible, or buying from farmers directly.
Do some soul searching. While you don’t have to rehaul your entire diet all at once, consider the direction you would like to go in and pick some low hanging fruit (I don’t usually make puns, but that was kind of irresistible!).
Beneficial Food Suggestions
Again, while you should make your own decisions based on your palette, current diet, budget, and beliefs, I think that these can almost always be considered healthy options due to their chemical makeup and low glycemic index. Organic is always better but especially when consuming animal sources:
- Broccoli sprouts (very easy to grow yourself)
- Blueberries or saskatoon berries
- Grass-fed Organic liver (beef preferable)
- Grass-fed Organic Butter*
- Coconut or MCT Oil*
* Coconut oil is supposed to be hypoallergenic, but I am still allergic to it! Most lactose intolerant people can handle butter but some cannot. Watch for signs of fatigue and inflammation if you have allergies.
While there is a TON of debate about what the ideal diet is, almost every diet shares commonalities in what is bad for you.
- Refined sugar (e.g. in soda, candy bars)
- Refined carbohydrates (white flour, white potatoes)
- Fried oils (like in chips and most processed foods)
These foods are extremely addictive, because consuming high amounts of fat and sugar would mean the difference between life and death in preindustrial times.
Also a great deal of research by food manufacturers goes into how to make the most addictive flavours, textures, and colours. This is a form of “super-real stimuli” – things that are similar to what is found in nature but exaggerated to such an extreme that it is almost impossible for our primitive survival impulses to ignore. Porn is another example.
Choosing an item out of this category to get rid of may be difficult. We all have those comfort foods that we turn to on a stressful day – and for good reason. Spikes in insulin trigger the release of serotonin, one of our “happy molecules” – the modulation of which is the aim for most antidepressants and the drug MDMA.
It is worth it to let go
But the detrimental effects that these types of food have on your cells cannot be understated. Chronic inflammation, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and a ton of other conditions are linked ot high amounts of these items in your diet.
These foods are also notoriously unsustainable, with rainforests being clear cut to grow palm trees for palm oil, excessive plastic packaging, underpaid workers in third world countries harvesting ingredients, and more unethical practices that I have neither the time or heart to get into here.
Add One Beneficial Thing to Your Diet and Take One Detrimental Thing Away
Pick one thing you know is not serving you, and say goodbye, for your own good and that of the environment.
Pick one thing you know will help you feel better and supports that which you value, and add it in. It is worth it.
Like I often say, tune yourself and your surroundings for your highest good.
While adding one beneficial thing to your diet and take one detrimental thing away won’t change everything in your life for the better, it is an important first step. Taking a small first step and sticking to it can have an amazing effect on your feelings of self-efficacy, plus the benefit of the habit change itself. Even adding one healthy whole food can have a cascade of essential nutrients, and removing one heavily processed junk food can make caloric and biochemical space for those nutrients.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.
Thanks for reading!
~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~
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