Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Eco-Sensual Mother Knows

As a mother I pride myself on my ability to integrate my innate intuitive powers with my eco-sensual aptitude for listening to and trusting the wisdom of my body. It is my ongoing desire to share this gift with other mothers and wombyn around their bodies and the wonderful relationship that blossoms when you cultivate a two way relationship of listening and honoring its messages and its needs and experiencing the magic of its ability to listen to YOU.

My son is growing fast. He will be 14 years old next month and is now an inch taller than I, now wearing size 11 in shoes. I was offered a sort of nice and gentle reminder that I'll be back visiting shoes stores quite often when we purchased a pair of sneakers for him this past weekend. My son is very active in sports. He loves playing basketball, soccer, ping-pong (got a trophy a couple of years ago), he swims better than I and takes on an occasional tennis match with his dad. He's a lifetime student of martial arts - for his dad is a professional martial artist of over 30 years of which was his ticket to the US when he came here to represent his country - Brazil in the US Open Olympics over a decade ago.

When I started to see an increase in the white markings in my son's finger nails I became very very concerned. As usual, I put on my imaginary white physician's coat and set out to find out exactly what was wrong inside his body. I've seen this before and learned while I was very young growing up in Africa that the white markings that appear on our finger nails are a sign of calcium deficiency. Well, my son had them on all his fingers. My method of diagnosing and then coming up with a solution always begins with setting the intention through prayers and meditation. I may not sit down at my altar or kneel next to my bed. Since renouncing the religious thing at a very young age,(I was raised in the Catholic traditions and went to Catholic high school and college. YIKES!), I don't kneel down to pray anymore because I have an ongoing, not momentary prayerful relationship with the Earth, Mother Divine, Father God, and my ten thousand Angels that are always with me. My entire day and life is a constant eco-sensual connection with my immediate environment, the living things in it and the space of life which spans across creation.

With research added as a necessary component of my diagnostic process, I soon uncovered that the most important use of calcium in the body is its role as the main buffer used to neutralize acids in order to maintain proper body chemistry. Calcium is immediately associated with bone health and cow's milk, but you cannot speak of calcium without vitamin D and the necessity of the Sun - its primary and most natural source and there are fabulous ways of getting calcium without milking cows.

However, calcium is one of the more difficult minerals for the body to digest and absorb because it depends on several other conditions to be in place. The inability to absorb enough calcium is only part of the problem. Consumption of processed foods, refined sugars and grains, sodas, fried foods and trans-fats, chemical preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and prescription drugs create a huge imbalance in body chemistry. (I will go further into its connection to our womb health at another time and place.) As a result, a significant amount of stored calcium is leached from the bones to restore balance. My family's diet excludes the sodas, refined sugars, fried foods, fast foods, prescription drugs, etc but unfortunately as healthy as we eat and as much as we trust the organic, natural foods industry (Whole Foods largely included) we are still deceived in so many ways by what we see and what's actually in the foods we buy. Most foods have a ridiculously high sugar content, may be chemically laced for preservation purposes, or have fillings that we cannot see.

So being vegan or vegetarian is not enough. I see many clients in that category who consume foods that go against the body's natural needs but because its not meat or chicken, they think its okay. I've been found guilty at times!

My son's stomach was essentially robbing the body of calcium to supply his digestive system with the proper calcium it needed to break down his food. This is where the deficiency begins in the stomach. More like Peter robbing Paul to feed the poor. The intentions are good but the outcome can back fire when it is done excessively.

After my diagnosis, the first step I took was to alter our diets ever further. I now include more calcium rich natural foods in our daily diet and we take high quality vitamin D drops which has helped him and me tremendously. I must add that since I am a Sun girl (Surya), born and raised at the equator and his father as well, we need sun to live healthily and happily. My son is a direct descendant of the both of us and as a result, though he was born in the US, he needs Sun just as much we do.

One of our newest calcium rich food is Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). We've eaten it on occasion in the past, but today it's taking the place of brown rice which contains far less calcium. Quinoa on the other hand is much easier to absorb.

According to The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood (author of Quinoa: The Supergrain), Quinoa is a warming chi and yang tonic that supports the kidney and heart functions. Because it is easy to digest, quinoa is ideal for the very young and the convalescing, and it makes an ideal endurance and fitness food. It decreases kapha and vata and pitta types may enjoy it in moderation.

The United Nations World Health Organization reports that quinoa is at least equal to milk in protein quality. Quiona has the highest protein of any grain (16 percent) and, unlike other grains, is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid profile similar to that of milk. It contains more calcium than milk and is high in lysine, an amino acid that is scarce in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is a rich and balanced source of many other vital nutrients, including iron, phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E.

Ironically the influence of the North American diet on the international front is detrimental. While Rebecca Woods visited Bolivia and Peru she saw that the Spanish had denigrated quinoa as chicken feed and as food fit for the poor. For more than 400 years these people believed that if they fed quinoa to their children, it would make them stupid. As soon as these indigenous people could afford it, they chose foods of the upper and middle classes, pasta and white bread. And Bolivia at that time had the highest rate of infant mortality.

Fortunately, North America's interest in quinoa is helping reinstate the status of the mother grain in its home land. Today quinoa is available in resturants and stores throughout the Americas.

I owe my intuitive diagnosis skills and my ability to trust my inner physician to my mother. We were never taken to the hospital while being raised. Mother dearest always accessed her wisdom and treated us naturally and accordingly. Give thanks to her!

I made quinoa with black-eyed peas and tofu yesterday. If you're interested in the recipe, send me a note. I'll be happy to share it with you.

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