Guest blog: Lorna Songhurst, Totally Nuts – Learning to harvest the things that help you grow
When you think about harvest season, what comes to mind? For this month’s guest blogger Lorna Songhurst, founder and owner of Totally Nuts, this time of year is about: sorting the wheat from the chaff, storing away the good stuff, celebrating the fruits of your labour, preparing for and sowing the seeds for the coming seasons.
I believe that Autumn is a great time for reflection. It’s a time to reconnect with your body, mind and nature and when Lea invited me on to guest post I had a good sit down with myself and picked up on a few key messages I was getting that might be relevant for you too:
Sorting the wheat from the chaff
A bit like “spring cleaning” Autumn is another great time to have a tidy up, clear out and assess what’s working for you.
The chaff (aka things I’ve ditched):
Believing in the popular way of thinking as being “lucky” or “cursed” when it comes to health.
Some people call themselves ‘lucky’ as they eat whatever they like, drink alcohol as much as they like and appear to have no outward health issues; no weight gain, or feeling bloated and rubbish. I’ve always considered myself a fairly healthy person but battled with unhelpful eating habits; an absolute sugarholic and binge eater. And those same people that call themselves “lucky” would probably say that I’m cursed because of how my body and mind reacts to what I put into it. Personally, I think it’s a wonderful thing that my body speaks to me when something no longer serves a purpose(although when I say ‘speaks’ I actually mean more like screams at me!).
This probably goes way further back than I actually realise, but when the severe anxiety and panic attacks started, chronic and violent mood swings started to take over my life, and my immediate response was “oh there’s something wrong with my head” but when I started to assess and my food choices and be guided more by my body – things started to get better. The first thing my body told me wasn’t working for me was the contraceptive pill and I know I will never touch it again. Then I realised that excessive sugar and processed foods were also not supporting harmony in my system, so those went too.
It’s been a hard journey, some things do have to get (or feel) worse to get better, and I’m still finding things a challenge at times, but listening to my body and what it is telling me has been a key lesson for me in creating a better relationship with food.
The wheat (aka things I’m storing up):
The wisdom my body has taught me about what really works for it.
I now have a strong belief in my own power to nurture my body. For me, I’ve become hugely aware of how what I put in my mouth (from food to medications) can have such an effect on my mental health and how I feel.
Your physical and mental state goes hand in hand: whatever you’re feeling physically will affect you mentally, and vice versa. Much like a lot of people, I’ve had a back and forth battle between the two. And that’s probably not so surprising when we realise how disconnected and almost unconscious our food behaviours have become. What we think, and what we feel, goes into our bodies.
Learning to hear your own body wisdom is key.
A couple of things I’ve found really work well for me:
- No matter how crappy I’m feeling, get out, go for that walk or run or cycle, but get out in nature – she is helping me so much.
- Persevere, keeping going. There is light at the end.
Celebrating the fruits of my labour and sowing seeds
Following my body’s cues, I adopted a vegan lifestyle last year, and this has helped me truly see how deep my disconnected relationship with food ran. Making small positive changes to my lifestyle, have had a domino effect; one thing leads to the next and my body is speaking to me louder than ever.
My body is a garden, and anything that doesn’t work well for it, it shows – just as it does with the good. This has helped me realise that I want the best for myself and my body.
Great food is a part of who I am and I just love to share it. Creating beautiful things with food is something that sets my soul on fire. Being vegan made me want to work with food even more and take on a challenge to not only make food and treats look amazing but also taste incredible – without the things that cause havoc for my body and mind. So I created Totally Nuts, my beautiful vegan dessert business which amazes me with its growth and evolution every day, whilst also teaching me a lot about myself. Hopefully one day in the near future I will bring my dream of having a vegan café to life: I can’t wait to have a place where I can share my love and create awareness about the wonderful journey of food and all that plants have to offer.
Thank you so much, Lorna, for sharing your amazing story and body wisdom with us. If you’d like to experience some of Lorna’s amazing (and I mean amazing, I have tried some) creations you can find them through her Facebook page. And if Lorna’s journey has given you any inspiration or thoughts, please do share in the comments below x