Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Holistic Hopeful

This is my application essay for my Masters program in Holistic Nutrition. Just thought I'd share it, with those who are interested... and it kinda explains why I cook the way I do, in relation to some aspects of this site a wee bit :)

I have suffered and lived with headaches all my life, or for as long as I can remember. And then came the summer of my sophomore year in college. The headaches had become less than tolerable, to the point that I was nearly passing out with each occurrence. It was then that I decided I had to do something; that this problem had to be fixed. I went on a nutrition overhaul and cut out everything sugar-related in my diet, whether it was ketchup, bread or fruit. Sure, many of my friends and roommates teased me with such sayings as, “Life’s too short to not enjoy sweets!” to which I would reply, “Yes, but it’s too long to suffer with blackouts!” My headaches were just the beginning.

That same summer I had the opportunity to work on a research paper about diet intervention for the autistic. Through my personal experiences with food and pain, through my studies of others’ relationship with nutrition and illnesses, and through my education as a health science student, I cultivated my passion for nutrition. I thirsted for a better understanding and turned to books outside of my required texts. Paul Pitchford’s Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition became a favorite amongst my ever increasing library. I would pore over its pages, finding answers to many of my questions, as well as discovering questions I needed to ask for myself: What did I want to do with my knowledge - of biology and of how the body works, of the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body? And the main question: How can I learn more?

When I refer to my knowledge, I am not professing to be anything but a student who has learned from her teachers and texts and has retained them and applied them to her life. In addition, my life’s mission and goal is to be a student, always. I love learning. When I first went to college I thought I wanted to be a doctor, to go off to medical school. Then my interest morphed into nursing, which quickly transformed into Health Science with an emphasis in Health Promotion & Lifetime Wellness, which finally developed into my underlying love for nutrition. I know that our connection with food, whether it is a good or bad relationship, affects our physical health, our mental health, and even our spiritual health. To be truly healthy, everything must be equally balanced and unfortunately, nutrition is most often at the forefront of a downward spiral.

I must admit that I thought of becoming a dietitian. However, I do not necessarily agree with how they approach the food and wellness relationship. Nutrition goes beyond calories and food groups. Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves and our food can facilitate that power. No, what I wanted to pursue was something offering a more holistic approach. 

I look forward to not only refreshing my basic comprehension of human anatomy and physiology as I studied in college, but also toward the expanding of my simple understanding in holistic human development. There is so much to be learned! What’s more, I feel like I have finally found the answers to my questions. I can expand and apply my knowledge of biology, how the body works, the effects of nutrition and exercise. As for my headaches, they never vanished completely but they are more manageable. A dear, understanding friend once commented that to be cursed with such pain only blesses me with the desire to search for more answers. Ergo, this program will provide me with the tools to learn how to use a holistic approach in helping myself and others.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I would love to be your understudy. I find holistic nutrition fascinating as well.
I have added this to my google reader and love when there are new posts! We are trying your recipes and loving them!