Some would say that I totally flipped my lifestyle upside down and for the most part I would agree with them. It wasn’t some fad thing or a phase, but like many others who have had similar health issues; I had to make some serious health choices that would impact in healing conditions that I once had and did not want to EVER have again. The path to this discovery had been laid in what seemed like phases that I will some day share, but for now just know that it was worth the amazing journey. An unnecessary surgery I discovered much later, left me in the same position and now I was trying to remain optimistic although I felt as though I had been deceived. His exact words to my husband and I, “Without this surgery, it’s possible that you could have an episode so painful that you could die.” Death. I had eaten so much fast, greasy, fried foods that now my gall bladder had stones that was causing me excruciating pain. Eliminations were usually accompanied by sharp gas pains and what I had now began calling “angry poo”. Something was going on with my body and to say I didn’t have a clue as to how to get this train back on the track was an understatement. I had purchased so many books over the years on diet and nutrition, even believed I knew how to discuss the topic briefly with women who would come for well woman exams. It wasn’t until a friend allowed me to read her copy of Queen Afua’s book Sacred Woman: A guide to healing the feminine body, mind, and spirit. This book offered so much guidance and was so critical in providing much needed insight to my healing. She mentioned oppressed foods like the processed, fast foods, dairy, coffee/caffeine that I had come to enjoy so much, but was causing confusion, low energy, deficient, stagnation and resentment in my life. I had heard “let thy food be thy medicine” and she was clearly laying out by each vital food the power that it held. I knew that I could no longer provide any excuses for all the health issues that I had caused by each numbed bite. Praying over food that I began to know was not providing nourishment to my body. I began to take a closer look. I didn’t go on a search asking whether my family members had suffered such challenges, so that I could have the excuse that this was hereditary. All of the things I felt; my moods and pains were all a direct result from the food that I was putting in my mouth. There. I said it. I was to blame for everything that I had done to cause every surgical cut, tumor, stone and toxic emotion.
She was one of THE Most impactful speakers I had ever heard. Queen Afua walked down each aisle and when she neared me I couldn’t help, but notice how strong and fit her small-framed body was. I wouldn’t have known she was the age of my mother had it not been for her sons that were close to my age. She did yoga; her flexibility, stern posture and ease in how she moved impressed me. “JUNK FOOD!” She yelled. “It’s either Junk or it’s Food, there’s no such thing as junk food!”. She past out small white plastic cups with greens that I smelled being pushed through the juice extractor as I arrived. “You won’t like this at first, but keep drinking and soon your body will crave it.” I tossed it back, not terrible. “They’re called Chemical Chefs” she said, “they put chemicals on your food that keep you craving the foods devoid of nutrients.” I thought of my daughters and my husband. I felt responsible for their health, for they trusted me to purchase food that was good for their body. I had been failing miserably but knew that I could re-learn how to give our family the best. Soon I was staying up well past putting the daughters to bed to watch food documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Many of these documentary’s revealed proof about how generationally food is changing, the severe impact and how we can empower ourselves with every bite. It’s nearing six years that I’ve been on this journey to wellness. It is by far one of the best things I have ever done for my family and I. I have learned from many of the stumbling blocks that I encountered in the beginning. I no longer feel the need to be “preachy” about my choices, but give clear facts about why a plant-based diet provides optimal health for me(and many others;)). I don’t try to strong arm anyone including my family into eating like me, I recognize that every body has different needs and everyone will come to overstand what is best for them in their own time. I simply hold space and place for those who are interested in knowing what has helped me and I am grateful to still be here to share.
Love Talita Akana is a wife, mother, sister, and a friend. Over the years, she has shared guidance from the lessons she has learned. Grateful to be a vessel to assist others as a source of inspiration to touch another with what they learned to grow on their journey. This is Love.