See, yesterday, for us Torontonians… was Thanksgiving.
And thanksgiving is a giant feast where we celebrate the abundance of life and give deep thanks and appreciation for all we have.
Now, you might think it’s weird for someone who’s homeless to be giving deep thanks for all that they have, but truth is, aside from… well… all the basic comforts most people take for granted… I have a lot.
‘Cause I have power. Lots of personal power. And confidence – even when I’m feeling down – I know who I am.
I have testimonials, and proof of my impact and contribution to humanity.
I have friends, collaborations, and connections.
I have a massive body of work.
I have freedom in my choices, truth in my actions, and power in my focus…
…and a deep, loving, positive view of the world most people find enviable.
And yesterday, for the first time in a while… I had the food, luxury, comfort, and abundance to match it.
I had a thanksgiving day celebration which felt like my best to date.
Want the story?
It’d been 5 months since I called Adam with a tremor in my voice, my only line: "I could really use a friend. Can you please come meet me?"
Adam couldn’t meet me though. He was committed to a family gathering, and leaving the province the next day.
So, feeling utterly alone – just me and life – I sunk my teeth into my 3rd-times-a-charm ‘homeless reality’, and it started to rain.
Pretty intense, eh?
Fast-forward about half-a-year.
I haven’t seen or talked to Adam since that day, aside from the odd text here or there.
My phone rings.
Actually, it vibrates. (gotta love that, right? :P)
I check the display: it’s Adam calling me.
Now, it’s worth noting that when my phone vibrates, I often miss the call for some reason, but this time I didn’t.
I picked up.
"Do you wanna come enjoy a delicious meal with me and my parents tonight?"
At this point I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours in 4 days, and I hadn’t eaten anything except McDonald’s, A&W, and a Bolthouse Farms smoothie.
But, I was hesitant to say yes, because I’d learned that telling people I’m homeless didn’t really help, and it usually made them panic and feel all sorts of weird, awkward feelings about their own life, dreams, and prospects.
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that I’ll always follow my heart, do what I want, and focus on win-win solutions for all.
Anyway, I knew Adam would understand, but I didn’t think his parents would.
I told him so.
He said that nah, they wouldn’t even notice, and that I could show up whenever I want.
So I let my concern go, and I went to share thanksgiving dinner with the Potts’ family.
And it fucking rocked.
I ring Adam’s doorbell…
…half expecting a boogie-man to jump out.
But nope, it’s not.
It’s Adam’s warm, friendly , I-have-faith-in-you-and-always-have-Jason face.
I step in, we bro-hug, and I feel good.
Then I hug his Mom and his Dad, and almost before my shoes are off I’m being made a delicious tea with honey and a hint of cardamom, and being ushered onto the newly built deck.
MY THANKSGIVING: And so the food starts to flow.
While sitting on the deck, Adam served me a light but flavorful, home-baked egg-bread.
Biting into it’s soft, warm, buttery crumble was like sweet relief.
Now, my whole life I’ve been told I have a "fast metabolism".
And people said that I was lucky to have it…
…since ‘food was my enemy.’
Yeah, for real.`Food is our enemy` – that was the subtle message they kept sending.
Good thing I never believed them.
Because I know the real reason my body does so well under all conditions.
And it’s so simple.
And people don’t always enjoy simple answers. They want you to write a book or something to convince them, but that doesn’t change the simple answer as to why…
…I’ve been healthy while being able to squat 310lbs. and eating 7 meals a day, as being healthy while living in the most uncomfortable conditions on no sleep and junk food 🙂
Do you want to know the real reason I rocked it?
It’s actually two reasons, an the first is:
1. I love food.
That’s it, pure and simple.
They say love conquers all, but most people don’t make room for ‘love’, when talking about food.
Guilt? Sure, tons of room for that.
Addiction, need, attachment to food? Check.
But to actually love food? Hah, it’s pretty rare.It’s especially rare for someone to love *all* food, but it’s important.
Now, love gets pretty complicated, it’s not really something you can explain, it’s something you can feel.
But whatever the case, people can spot someone who loves food, and someone who sees some food as the enemy.Because someone who loves food treats food differently.
MY THANKSGIVING: Then the thanksgiving appetizer came out: a heavenly carrot-ginger soup, made by Adam’s sister Lauren – with hints of pepper and other spices, all blended to a tongue-delighting consistency, served with more egg-bread. I loved it so much, I thought it was the entire meal, until they surprised me with more.
Oh, and Mom Potts crumbled some garden-fresh parsley into the soup before serving. Heaven.
- They take their time with most meals, savoring things.
- They don’t squeeze food into their life as some side-track calling them away from ‘work and real life’, they make time and space for food as PART of ‘work and real life’.
- They don’t let parents, doctors or other "authorities" make their food decisions for them, they listen to their heart, gut, and body.
Which brings me to the next reason I’ve done so well under all conditions:
2. I listened to my body.
And this goes deeper than you think.And there are tricks to listening to your body that no one’ll tell you about.
Because it doesn’t mean you’re gonna be magically perfect and healthy all the time, it means you’re gonna go through ups and downs, practice, practice, practice listening to your body, and eventually master your health.Because most people have been trained to ignore their body.
Most people have been trained to pay attention to rules & regulations, society & authority, and the national food guide.
Yeah, that makes sense, the entire population of your country has basically identical food needs + requirements.
People are individual in what environments suit them, some thrive in the city, some in the country, some elsewhere.
People are individual in what activity suits them, some do great behind a computer, some swimming in water, some in the outdoors.
People are individual in the amount + type of personal belongings that suit them…
…but we have a single food guide for huge chunks of the population.
Is it just me who feels that that’s retarded?
MY THANKSGIVING: I was served the main course. It was the tenderest cut of pork tenderloin I’ve ever had, and it was lightly drizzled with orange-sauce and carrot garnish. There were some minced beans accompanying it, and delicate butter-noodles.
Never to slouch on the drinks, we all toasted with a honey-edged beer they’d brought back that weekend from a Cape Cod micro-brewery, on their trip to Provincetown.
Food serves many purposes.
- Pure physical (or emotional) enjoyment
- Connecting, sharing, & relating with others
- A symbol of celebration & abundance
A kind of fuel for your cells.
So how come no one listens to what their cells crave?
Why do people feel like eating something, and then immediately stomp on that feeling with:
- "Oh, that’s too much of a good thing."
- "I really shouldn’t…"
- "I’m worried about every calorie."
Maybe your body wants you to give it an extra boost, ’cause it can feel you’re working extra hard, mentally + physically.
Maybe your body wants you to get fat for a month or something, so you can sharpen up, and become an inspiring before/after case, and to start a life of true health!
MY THANKSGIVING: We were all getting pretty full.
"Oh no! My potato casserole!" Adam suddenly exclaimed, busting open the oven.
It turns out that he had a yam-and-potato nut casserole/crisp he’d made to offset his sister’s soup and his Mom’s pork tenderloin.
It was irresistible and calling to us, so despite being full, we all had a taste — some more than others 😛
Only at the Potts’ household do people have so many foodstuffs being created they actually forget about a course or two.
What I’m getting at is — your body, your cells knows things you don’t.
Do you know why pregnant women get cravings?
It’s because their cells, and the cells of the child know what raw-materials and fuel are going to help.
Doesn’t that make sense?
Do you know why most people are ravenously hungry after a work out?
It’s because their cells know what’s needed to grow, and when.
Do you know why I can live on McDonald’s and still be more energized and strong and healthy than most people in the city?It’s because my cells know what they can work best with.
Eventually, my body ‘spoke up’ (a toothache and my first cold in 7 years), signalling for better food, and more water.
So I fasted to purify my body — and I started investing in raw, organic honey, and raw cacao nibs, and green smoothies, and sea salt, etc.
The toothache + cold disappeared 🙂
MY THANKSGIVING: And dessert… dessert… dessert was probably the best apple pie I’ve ever had. (it was from The Big Apple.)
A super-light crust- not doughy, made a bed for an ultra-flavorful apple-crumble, loaded with apples.
Every bite had just the right amount of ‘give’ or ‘squeak’ in each apple slice, and my tastebuds were in heaven.
This was followed up by a Krups-made freshly frothed espresso, dusted with cinnamon and silver sugar-crystals.
And you know who really gets this stuff?
Certain celebrities get it.
There are celebs who buck every idea of health.
Drake sings often about his love of certain drugs.
"I don’t have to work in the morning so I always stay for 1 more
Fuck what they say, I’m telling you there’s no side effects I’m sure" – Drake, Free Spirit
Charlie Sheen’s well-known for breaking drug consumption records and seems to have little to no negative health effects.
Because they listen to their bodies.
Charlie has certain mixtures he "wont do". Why? Because he knows himself. He’s in tune with his feelings.
Drake explains that he takes his drugs in ‘moderation’ — moderation’s different for everyone though – it’s individual, and he can only mean "moderate for him", moderate for his body.
Most people read diet books, I read about intuitive eating.
Most people read Atkins, I read Geneen Roth.
I offer a totally different view.
MY THANKSGIVING: Yeah, thanksgiving rocked.
And what do they tell me at the end?
"We were in Provincetown all week, we get back and realized all the stores were closed for Thanksgiving, so this is the best we could do, J."
It’s not about debating ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ foods.
It’s not about investing billions of dollars in studies to figure out "whats best for everyone".
This is about loving food, being in tune with your body, listening to your cells and eating what feels right.
This is about practicing, and like a child who burns their hand, and learns not to do that — it’s about maybe over-eating one day, and learning that that hurts your tummy — don’t do it again.
I’m teaching you badass shit that’ll give you a metabolism that suits you, that if you follow it, will bring you delicious foods and feasts and fasts and fuel all at the right time with the right flavor.
I’m teaching you fun ways to eat and live.
I’m teaching what many successful people, who feast when they want, and fast when they want… already ‘get.’
DAY-AFTER-MY-THANKSGIVING: At 6am, Adam sent me on my way through the day with a fulfilling breakfast of scrambled eggs, avocado so fresh you’d swear it was photoshopped, and salsa, with a giant mug of cardamom-tea, to boot.
So lose the millions of food opinions you’ve heard…
…and listen to your SELF for once.
<steps off soapbox>
So now, over to you — what are your thoughts/feelings on food?