I am writing this article to help assist and be present for some of the most amazing people in my community. Recent announcements of some of the most sad and unwelcoming news can hit us hard. Whether it’s the death or a tragic diagnosis of illness of a friend, family or neighbor, food can be used as comfort in many healthy and unhealthy ways.
We have heard of folks reaching out for quick comfort foods, alcohol and even drugs to assist with coping with sadness, grief and trauma. However, what if we could spin this around and offer some suggestions for healthy alternatives?
As a certified herbalist, I have a desire to share my knowledge as well as continue learning about the powers of the plants. I have a few key mentors that I can reach out to and share knowledge. Through my career and education, I have noted the following herbs can assist with healing and wellness:
Rose – Any species of rose is so powerful. Smelling the rose can uplift the heart. Mixing rose oil in water and spritzing or spraying in the air is so therapeutic.
Lemon Balm – The herb helps lift depression and sadness. It is found in essential oils and teas.
Motherwort – This is a well-known remedy for the heart. It can be a bit bitter.
Lavender – Found in essential oil and teas, this herb helps to calm emotions as you smell it. Mixed with garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil, it is delicious on salads or rubbed on your favorite proteins.
Mimosa – This is very uplifting. The blossoms are a beautiful bright pink. Drinking it in a tea helps us catch our breath and feel peace.
Strong emotions can arise during the holidays and in these challenging times. Whether dealing with personal trauma or responding to the conditions that surround you, find ease through difficult times with the aid of herbs. Discover the many plants that can assist the nervous system and emotional well-being and how they are incorporated in tea, food, tinctures, essential oils and flower remedies.
If feelings of sadness and depression grow stronger with time, talk with your healthcare provider. Ask for a reference a professional counseling who can help you.
Instead of a series of stages, we might also think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning; the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.
It’s natural to feel loss after receiving an autoimmune or cancer diagnosis. At first, the thought of living with cancer and treatment can be overwhelming. Some might even feel like giving up hope. Having a support system and circle of friends is an important part of dealing with emotions. It’s also important to have a supportive health care team who will work with you during and after treatment.
Our company has the privilege to work with local Registered Dietician Katy Kimball. She recommends that clients get back to basics and keep it simple with whole grains and whole foods, specifically targeting fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. She also says that homemade broths are soothing and comforting. When they are made fresh, you can control the sodium level and other ingredients.
I was talking to my mother, Lynda Badgley, who has been discovering and sharing knowledge of food with me for several years. She loves the Harvest Grains Blend found at Trader Joes. It’s a mix of Israeli Style Couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. She loves adding celery to the grain blend, for she believes the way the stalks grow upward helps us with grounding along with the health properties of the whole grains.
It has become a tradition of taking food to neighbors and family members who have lost a loved one. Foods made with love can be so soothing and comforting. Another way to help is by creating or being part of a meal train. Did you know that there is such a system? mealtrain.com is a website where the simplification and organization of meal giving becomes a strong bond. I have participated with meal trains personally with friends. It is such a joy to give someone a nurturing healthy meal.
I love that our team at Goods from the Garden, Catering & Events takes a passionate approach when preparing foods for our clients and community. We are a local resource for fresh prepared meals that can be easily picked up. We celebrate a culinary experience with every bite and are truly blessed to be a culinary resource in our community. QCBN
By Debbie Maranville
Debbie Maranville is the co-owner of The Natural Healing Garden/Goods from the Garden. The Natural Healing Garden/ Goods from the Garden can be reached at 928-237-4116 or 928-237-3214 or Naturalhealinggarden@gmail.com