How to Meet Fear and Anxiety with Freedom

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How to Meet Fear and Anxiety with Freedom

Wildfires. Hurricanes. The pandemic. Job loss. School uncertainty. Racial hatred. Foreign intelligence hacking. The list goes on.

According to a study published just this week, nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began. These are anxious times no matter who we are and what we’ve experienced.

Anxiety is, perhaps, the most pervasive suffering in the world. Whether we’re chronically anxious and have some DSM diagnosis or whether we’re gripped periodically. Anxiety affects our health, our relationships, our work and our overall well-being.

Fear is embedded in our membranes. In order to survive millions of years ago, all beings had to be vigilant about danger. Rooted in all life forms is a mechanism that apprehends any sense of vulnerability or possible death. The brain senses that it needs to be in control at all times in order to keep the physical form in existence. It’s in our DNA that our nervous system is continually scanning for past unpleasant and future unpleasant sensations.

The challenge is that we get fixated on fear: what is going to go wrong or what is wrong right now. When we get hooked in this ongoing fear, we begin to identify ourselves with the fear. We become driven by fear. In fact, our very identity becomes defined by fear. When this happens, we suffer.

This fixation triggers the mind and body to respond in 1 of 3 ways – all of which create anxiety and stress. We freeze. We fight. Or we flee. When we react and find ourselves in one of these 3 states, we disconnect from our true nature and our innate creativity.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy activist, and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, who has spent time in prison for her activism, says

The only real prison is fear.

The only real freedom is freedom from fear.


The truth is that we create our own prisons by not opening up to the fear. Instead, we figure out ways not to feel the fear:

We speed up. We get busy. The to-do list spans pages.

We set out to prove ourselves. To achieve more.

We experience shame and in turn, blame others.

We build walls around us to protect ourselves, physically.

Internally, we build walls around the heart and contract the body/mind. We develop a permanent suit of armor, always on guard for what might happen next. This suit of armor creates our own prison, and many of us live here day in and day out. Especially now.

Just how do we free ourselves from our own prison of fear and anxiety?

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Here are a few tools that may prove helpful:

Noticing What’s Happening:

We begin simply by noticing what’s happening, what we’re feeling, what we’re thinking. In noticing, we give space to what is here, right now. If we recognize the feeling, the thought, the belief, we can name it, “Worrying. Projecting. Fearful.”

In naming what we observe, we become less identified with the feeling. It’s as if we are detached from the observation and simply noticing what’s happening right here, right now.

Welcome What’s Happening:

Once we can recognize what’s happening, we’re encouraged to give space to what’s right here. To breathe into the sensation and allow it to be there. We can even acknowledge the sensation, by silently saying, “Yes,” to whatever is right here. “I see you. I feel you. We’ve met before.”

Many practitioners encourage us to invite the feelings in for a cup of tea, as a way of welcoming the sensation. “Please come in. Sit down. How about a cup of tea with me?”

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What I am Believing?

When we’re able to pause long enough to notice and welcome what’s happening, we can then ask ourselves, “What am I believing in the moment?”

The beliefs may feel very real, but are they true?

We then may want to ask ourselves, “Who am I when I believe these beliefs?” Practitioners encourage us to put one hand on our heart and one hand on our belly as a gesture of attention and care to ourselves.

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We may ask ourselves, where do these beliefs lodge in my body? Are they constricting my breath? Do they make my heart beat faster? Is my belly tightening? Mindfulness practitioners have known for millennia that beliefs, thoughts and feelings lodge in the body. Science is catching up and proving them to have been correct all along.

Responding with Compassion

When we can determine where in the body the fear and fixation lie, we can then respond with lovingkindness and compassion. Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, encouraged his students to respond with, “There. There.” A gesture and acknowledgement of, “I know you suffer and I am here.”

When we can show up for ourselves with compassion and kindness, we allow space for what is happening right here, right now. We don’t need to argue with reality. We can accept what is with a sense of spaciousness and openness. We can relax and breathe into it, even welcome it for what it may teach us.

This spaciousness, in turn, becomes our freedom. In this moment, we can breathe in that spaciousness and know that no matter what, we don’t have to identify ourselves with fear. It is not who we are. Fear is a feeling that comes and goes. It doesn’t have to imprison us. We don’t have to live in ones we’ve erected for ourselves. We can breathe and let go.

There. There.



For additional Coaching Support 


Breathing For Peace


Are You EnablingThe Addict In Your Life?

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We Help You Stop Enabling

Our professional interventionists work with your entire family to help stop enabling your loved one. Denial and enabling go hand-in-hand with addiction. Denial claims there is no disease. Enabling helps the addicted person maintains his/her behaviors.

Often, family members think they are helping their addicted loved one by not allowing them to experience the consequences of their addiction. This is called enabling. Many families and/or friends believe, that somehow if they protect their loved one from failing, their love and protection will be enough to save him/her.

rop-upset-female-sitting-in-armchair-with-eyeglasses enabling addict

From our experience, just the opposite happens. As long as a family and/or friends enable their addicted loved one, he or she will never recover.

Some of these enabling behaviors are:

→Giving an addicted loved one a place to stay

→Funding rent and/or bills

→Stocking the pantry and refrigerator

→Calling in sick for their addicted loved one when he/she is too sick to go to work

→Driving the addicted person to buy drugs or alcohol or providing access to a vehicle for this purpose

We Help You Love Differently

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By the time families reach out to us as professional interventionists, they are often emotionally spent. They have experienced one too many broken promises, broken relationships, broken attempts to save their loved- one.

Our intervention services provide an opportunity for your whole family to come together and rally around each other. It provides a safe space to tell your addicted loved one that you want him or her to be able to live a happy, sober life. And it provides an opportunity for members to encourage each other on your personal journeys toward health and healing.

We Help You Set Boundaries and Love Each Other Differently

Throughout the U.S. our professional interventionists support your whole family in taking back control of your lives and focusing on your own health and wellbeing. It is not about loving your addicted loved one less. It’s about loving him or her differently. With boundaries and set expectations.

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The process may take a bit of time, but it is critical for the wellbeing of the entire family, including your loved one. We support you in maintaining these boundaries no matter what your loved ones decide about treatment. Once your loved one decides to accept treatment, we stay with your family throughout the program is completed, supporting you in your own recovery so that you don’t regress into old behaviors.

Your whole family will need to shift in order to support your addicted loved one and each of you on your own path toward healing. With Whole Families Intervention & Services, we are ready to set you and your family free of addiction.

Breathing for Peace

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I breathe in All That Is –

awareness expanding

to take everything in.


From the unnamed vastness beneath the

mind, I breathe my way to wholeness and healing.

Inhalation. Exhalation.


Adapted from Donna Faulds

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Donna Faulds, a poet and a yoga practitioner, guides us here to become aware of our breath as an instrument of awareness, acceptance and peace.


If we believe that all war begins in our own hearts and minds, then we can turn our gaze inward to create space in both to let go and come home to our true nature, which is love, grace, kindness, and humility.


This is who we are when we’re born. This is who we are beneath all the lies, deception and manipulation of our addiction. This is who we strive to return home to in recovery.


Science has confirmed what mystics and sages have known for millennia. That our breath has the power to heal, restore and reveal our truest nature. It has the power to change the way we see reality. It has the power to calm our fears and reduce our anxieties.


When we experience ourselves through the veil of desire, fear and unexamined beliefs we turn on ourselves, cause distance from our own heart and inflict self-harm – emotionally and/or physically. When we experience others through this same conditioned lens, we react in similar ways that cause both emotional and physical harm.


How is it that you and I, out of fear and desire, create a sense of separation from ourselves and thus, others? And how, in this time of uncertainty and fear, can we awaken from this trap of judgement and live from our authentic, sober nature of lovingkindness and wisdom?


I believe the most effective and efficient place to begin is with our own breath. The word “breath” is synonymous with “spirit”, “soul: and/or “life force.” in some of the oldest languages and faith traditions on the planet. Our breath is our life force, our soul, our life line to our spirit.


So it is in these challenging times when we’re feeling anxious and fearful, we can turn our gaze back to our breath and simply notice this life-giving miracle with each breath. With each inhale and each exhale we have the opportunity to see the gift in each moment, no matter what is happening outside ourselves.


I offer this profoundly simple meditation that I’ve adapted by the late Thich Nhat Hanh. I use it daily. I share it with my clients and mindfulness practitioners. It’s hugely healing, and everyone can do it. No need to be a yogi, monk or serious meditator.


In the Kingdom of God

Breathing in, breathing out.
Breathing in, breathing out.


Breathing in, I’m aware of my eyes.

Breathing out, I smile to my eyes.


Breathing in, I smile.

Breathing out, I release.


Breathing in, I smile.

Breathing out, I let go.


Breathing in, I smile to my difficulties.

Breathing out, I release.


Breathing in, I go back to the present moment.

Breathing out, I know this a wonderful moment.


Breathing in, I am alive.

Breathing out, I know I’m alive.


Breathing in, wonderful moment.
Breathing out, I know this is the only moment.

woman in yoga pose









Addiction Doesn’t Rest

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Dear Friends.

During this time of real danger and uncertainty, many of us are experiencing stress in mind, body, and spirit.
Mental health issues and substance use disease often accelerate in the midst of fear.

We at Whole Families are to support you and those you love. Whether you’re feeling isolated and/or lonely
or overwhelmed with pent-up energy in the house, we know that this is not an easy time for many folks.

We are offering all new clients a reduced rate for recovery coaching to support you and those whom you love
while we cope in these uncertain times.

Reach out and call us. We’re here. While we may not be hugging you with open arms, our hearts are open and
eager to hold yours.

Be well

Life Will Intervene

Do a Safe Intervention before Life Intervenes

Click Here To Learn More

Stop the madness now

Whether it’s medical, legal, or financial, life will intervene at some point in your loved one’s life. We are here to help you help your loved one find freedom.

man concerned for addict

We offer this short quiz. It can assist you to determine if it is time to orchestrate a professional intervention.

Many of us wait to plan an intervention. The timing is never convenient.

Compassion doesn’t mean waiting. Calling us today can be one of the most important calls you make.

Our Professional Intervention services team with design an intervention based specifically on your family’s needs.

Why Use A Professional

7 Common Misconceptions About Addiction Interventions


7 Common Misconceptions About Addiction InterventionsWhen alcohol or drugs have taken over a loved one’s life, and they seem reluctant to face the facts about their addiction, sometimes we turn to an “intervention” to help them see that they need help. An intervention is when a group of loved ones — family, friends and concerned others — gather together to try and help the person see that they need treatment for their addiction.

For those who have never been involved in an intervention, the process may seem daunting and full of unanswered questions. Many people have only seen drug interventions on television or in movies, and are not sure what to expect at an actual intervention.

Here are seven common misconceptions about drug and alcohol interventions.

  1. You should wait until a person has hit rock bottom.“Rock bottom” is a often-used phrase when discussing addicts and addictive behavior. Many believe that an addict cannot bounce back into sobriety until they have hit this extremely low point. The reality is that rock bottom can be difficult to pinpoint. Rather than wait for this vaguely defined time, try to get help for your loved one before things progress that far.
  2. Sobriety is possible if an addict is strong enough.Addiction is a disease rooted in a number of causes. Chemical dependency takes over an addict’s brain and changes his or her entire neurological makeup. Addicts need more than just willpower to get sober. Convince them to get help now.
  3. Rehab won’t work if an addict has already failed it.Just because an addict has relapsed in the past does not mean treatment will not work. He or she simply has to try again.
  4. Addicts lack strong morals.Anyone can become an addict. People who are genetically predisposed to addiction are even more likely to become addicts themselves, regardless of the character they possess.
  5. Addicts will sever ties with those staging an intervention.It is difficult to predict an addict’s response to an intervention. Drug and alcohol abuse can make a person unstable, which is why it is always necessary to seek the help of a professional interventionist. Just because an addict gets upset, however, does not mean they will sever ties. They will, at some point, realize that their friends and family are only trying to help.
  6. Interventions should be staged when the addict is under the influence.

    This is never a good idea. When planning an intervention, all possible steps should be made to ensure that an addict is sober when confronted. A person who is under the influence may be very volatile and will not fully process what is being said to them.

  7. Interventions should be staged by friends and family only.

    A professional interventionist is a vital part of making sure the intervention is safe and effective. It can be dangerous and very counterproductive to attempt to intervene with an addict without professional help. Always contact a professional interventionist, who will help you devise a plan to make the intervention as productive and healthy as possible.

South Carolina Intervention Services

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Helping one family at a time

We service South Carolina residents with a host of resources. You might ask, why do we need a nationwide Intervention Services company to help us orchestrate an intervention for our loved one in South Carolina?

Onsite in South Carolina

In South Carolina, your intervention process begins as soon as you call us. We learn about your family and your loved one. We learn about the history of your family.  We learn about your family's challenges and the strengths you possess to overcome these challenges. With this information, we begin orchestrating your intervention.  We then begin to find the most clinically-appropriate treatment facility option and create a long-term treatment plan to help ensure success for your loved one right in your home town, whether it be Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Florence, Spartanburg, and Rock Hill.

With decades of experience, we offer South Carolina Intervention Services and Recovery Coaching for drug addiction, alcoholism and eating disorders in your home. We come to you. You do not need to come to us.

Building long-term recovery

In addition to South Carolina interventions, we offer personal recovery coaching and aftercare for both your loved one and your family. We are here to guide and support your whole family to recover and heal.

Thus, we at Whole Families Intervention Services can guide your family to shift in a way that empowers your loved one to seek and accept help.


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Contact us to learn more

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We are eager to have a conversation and hear your successes and challenges with treatment facilities in South Carolina and resources.

To Learn More About South Carolina Intervention Services for Addiction please give us a call at (800) 909-9714

Time For A Professional Intervention?

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Is time for a professional intervention?

Many families ask us, “is it time for a professional interventionist?  Many families suffer through years of addiction in their family, waiting for their loved one to wake up one day and decide to get sober.

What we know about the disease of addiction

brain image with yellow and red highlighted during professional intervention

Here’s what we know about the disease of addiction. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. There is no formal ‘cure.’ Left untreated, addiction will sabotage an individual’s physical health, mental health, psychological health, and/or financial health. It is labeled as ‘chronic,’ because it can lead to jail, psych wards, and ultimately, death.

In its wake, it can take a family and/or friends hostage, dragging everyone down with it. It demands secrets, lies and denial, all of which sustain and, even fuel, the disease. These same secrets, lies, and denial can justify enabling behavior among some family members.

by walking away with gray hood from time for professional intervention

Denial is brutal

Denial claims there is no disease. Enabling makes it easy for those addicted to continue using, despite negative consequences that continue occurring. Many families and/or friends believe, that somehow if they protect their loved one from failing, their love and protection will be enough to save him/her.

Enabling takes the form of providing the addict a place to stay, paying his/her rent, paying the bills, stocking the pantry, calling in sick for the addict if he/she is too, high or hung over to show up.

Families splinter and can disintegrate under the weight of addiction and its web of deceit, denial, enabling, and subsequent consequences.

For many who suffer from addiction, if their families don’t intervene, life will. It will deliver consequences that can lead to death. However, for those families who decide to take action and intervene in some way, their commitment can lead to recovery and healing for the whole family.

For some, considering an intervention process can feel harsh or punitive in dealing with a loved one who suffers from addiction or alcoholism. The reality is that if addiction is left untreated, it can be fatal. It can take your loved one’s life and/or someone else’s. If you’re asking the question, most likely it’s time.

You will know it’s time if, as a family member and/or friend, you are feeling powerless to save your loved one. You have tried encouraging, hugging, pleading, cajoling, complaining, condemning. In response, you have received promises upon promises, only to watch your loved one continue using, deceiving, and deteriorating. You and your family are exhausted, caught in the vicious cycle of addiction.

Don’t let another day go by

black trendy mom hugging daughter help from interventionist don' wait

Often families wait too late to intervene. And, in the meantime, you and/or your loved one end up experiencing losses you never imagined you would have to experience. Intervening earlier than later can save you and your loved from hitting rock bottom. Intervening earlier than later can raise the bottom for you and your loved one, saving all of you from further losses.

When you do decide to ask for professional help, an intervention provides an opportunity for your whole family to come together and rally around each other, speaking your truth with love and boundaries. It provides a safe space to tell your addicted loved one that you want him or her to be able to live a free, sober and happy life. And it provides an opportunity for participating members to encourage each other on your personal journeys toward health and healing.

An intervention promises to save more than one life. You and your loved one are worth it.

Some recovery tips

Please feel free to ask questions. We are here to guide you any way we can.

Your team at Whole Families

Summertime and the Livin’ is…..

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As the summer equinox approaches, sun-filled social occasions abound.

We are mindful of these moments, sprinkled throughout the year, when our communities tell us we should be “having fun”: barbecues and pool parties and picnics and weddings and endless excuses to eat and drink.

We are particularly mindful that, for those of us recovering or suffering or both, celebrations might elicit more fear than love, more overwhelm than overjoy. We see you.

When life feels beyond our grasp, we rely on tactical practices to move with a sense of ease, freedom, perhaps even joyfulness, all while staying sober. As summer unfolds, we bestow upon you the ABCs of sober socializing.

AVOID triggers. We’ve been invited to an old friend’s pool party. We spent years drinking with this friend at this pool. The memory is overwhelming, just upon receiving the invitation. We have the necessary tools to attend the gathering in sobriety, but declining may be the bravest option. Letting go of expectations, we know when we need to say “no.”. We empower ourselves with the courage to do so and the freedom to believe we really aren’t missing out.

BRING a friend. And maybe some snacks. There is no such thing as too much companionship or excessive support in sobriety. We need it all and we aim to accept it graciously. Navigating a sober life need not happen alone. With +1s in tow, we establish a keyword, an SOS. When we say “cantaloupe,” we need some conversational reinforcement. When we itch an eyebrow, we need a quick regroup in the bathroom. We establish these friendship signals with humor.

CELEBRATE in our own way. Perhaps this means hosting ourselves, which allows us to celebrate the season with those we love in a controlled environment. We elect a trusted friend or two to spread the word ahead of time and answer guests’ questions. Or, if hosting feels too overwhelming, we have that trusted friend host on our behalf. As the “ghost host,” we pioneer snacks and charades.

Now, it’s your turn. Write us with your recommendations, D – Z, and we’ll share them with this community who is here to support, encourage, and uphold you in this season.

Then, commit these to memory. Write them on your bathroom mirror. Hold them in your pocket and in your heart. Remember all those who have walked this road before you, who journey with you now, and who rely on you to pave the way as it’s been paved for you.

May the season be filled with sunshine for you and your family.

We’re here for you at Whole Families Intervention & Services.

We provide:

Sober Transport

Recovery Coaching

Case Management

Sober Companionship

Springtime Eating-Nutrition for Recovery

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Springtime Eating – Nutrition for Recovery

Eating with the seasons is healing to the body, to our community and the planet. When we eat according to nature’s cycles, we reconnect with its rhythms and patterns. At the same time, we nourish and nurture the body with high-octane, super nutritious foods (

that require less energy to grow and transport. For millennia, we have been eating in sync with the earth’s natural rotation, which has meant eating what is growing at the moment within our reach.

For those of us in recovery ( it is particularly important to align ourselves with the earth and its natural rhythms. As creatures of the earth, we’re meant to live in connection to it. The life of addiction takes us away from this connection. The life of recovery is about reconnecting with our true nature.

Eating with the Earth’s Rhythms – Grounding and Centering

As the earth warms, flora and fauna wake up and begin to show off.  It’s a perfect time to cleanse the body by taking advantage of gorgeous greens that are in season.

For centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners, as well as ancient Chinese herbal doctors, have subscribed to a diet that honors the season. Eating what is harvested in the present season, aligning ourselves with the rhythms of nature.

Spring is a time of renewal as flowers and trees sprout and bring new life to the planet.  This is the perfect time to honor your body ( with seasonal greens and fruit. In our western culture, industrialization has made it possible to have all foods at all times of the year. We can obtain most any food from anywhere.

Many of us live by a routine. Rituals and habits can be a healthy thing. When it comes to food, the more diverse, the better. Often, however, many of us eat the same foods over and over again.

Eating in line with the seasons is a centering ritual ( It connects us to the earth, to the ground of our being. It is how we’ve eaten for most of our life on the planet – eating what we could forage or plant.

Eating Locally and Seasonally Heals and Supports Your Liver

The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. It cleanses and purifies the body, while deciphering what foods are nourishing and what foods need to be detoxed out of the body. It is the only organ that can regenerate itself from a few cells. For more about the liver and how it can heal your body, check out my book, Heal Your Whole Body (link).

Eating a seasonal diet for recovery ( means eating mostly vegetables, fruits nuts, and seeds and, occasionally, whole grains and legumes (if your body can handle them. See Heal Your Whole Body.) Some of us prefer meat in our diet. If so, take it slowly, eating only free-range, grass-fed, organic meat and fish.

When we eat a mostly vegetarian diet our bodies get a chance to relax. Digesting vegetables is markedly different from digesting meat and dairy. Vegetables take a lot less time and energy to digest than meat and dairy. Green leafy vegetables and some fruits are full of vitamins and minerals the body needs to function at its optimal levels and to protect itself from disease.

Eating Locally and Seasonally is Delicious

While eating local vegetables and fruits in their proper season has a variety of benefits for our health, it also supports local farmers and has less impact on the environment.

This spring, support your body by eating from your local farmers’ market and co-op. They will have what is seasonal and local.

Organic, green leafy vegetables, such as arugula, kale, chard, dandelion, lettuce, and spinach are a great way to add chlorophyll and oxygen into your diet. Stalk greens, such as asparagus and rhubarb are glorious in the spring. You can eat leafy greens and stalk vegetables raw, blended in a smootie, steamed, roasted, or sauteed in coconut oil, avocado oil or ghee to give you plant foods that are full of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

You can complement these greens with some sweet spring vegetables like beets, onions and parsnips. These root vegetables are delicious, tossed with coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees until crispy.

Another great way to bring spring into your diet is with seasonings. Cilantro, basil, dill, parsley all add flavor and provide a detoxing effect on the liver.

Health Benefits of Local and Organic

You can start eating seasonally by visiting your local farmer’s market. As vegetables are shipped from around the world to our local supermarkets, they lose nutrients along the way. Produce that is grown and harvested in our local communities provides a higher nutrient content than foods that are imported from other parts of the world.

Organic farmers do not use any pesticides or chemicals in growing their crops, making the crops taste, smell and feel different. The pesticides and chemicals used on larger farms can leave a residue on the produce and can also be found within the fruit or vegetable, making it toxic. These toxins can build up in our bodies causing health issues from headaches to cancers. By choosing to eat local and organic foods you are choosing to eat poison-free food, protecting your body from premature aging and potential disease.

Eating Locally and Seasonally Creates Mindfulness

Eating in line with the seasons leads to a heightened sense of awareness ( and excitement as the season for your favorite local produce arrives. This spring, give yourself the gift of visiting your local farmer’s market. You will delight your senses and heal your body with life-giving food from the earth.