Authenticity Resonates!

[This article appears in the March/April 2011 edition of Velocity Magazine with the theme of “Velocity.” Read the article online in it’s original format here.]

Authenticity Resonates!
by Julie Norris

We are just into the new year and it feels like someone hit the fast forward button…big shifts abound and it looks to be happening to everyone at once. Is it written in the stars? Perhaps, but I don’t need a star chart when I have the priviledge to to engage in conversations with a wide cross section of people as co-proprietor of Dandelion. Now, more than ever before, it seems that people are seeking authenticity in all it’s forms, discarding that which does not resonate anymore.
As we are able to share & readily find truthful information with a quick finger dance on our various communication devices, we are able to make informed choices by opt’ing in for more information at our own comfortable pace instead of having one side or another pressuring us in some way. Instead of backing away from additional info, as would be the natural reflex under pressure, we are able to embrace new topics, especially ones that improve our health & happiness.
I’ve never seen a more powerful motivator than one in which someone discovers (on their own, of course) that they have been duped, and it seems that more and more people are welcoming positive shifts towards a more conscious life by starting the journey towards real food and away from a national food system that is in a state of emergency. Real food is closer to nature’s design than a scientist who concocts fake blueberries for your frozen waffles in his laboratory. (True story, check the label on the Publix brand next time you are there).

All this is great news for all those in the burgeoning good food movement right here in Central Florida. Since Dandelion opened it’s doors five years ago, we’ve kept our commitment to serving whole food that is delicious, organic, vegetarian, and prepared in a healthful way. In a country where obesity is epidemic and depression is at an all time high, the vast majority of our customers are fit and have easy smiles and relaxed attitudes. From this unique environment and my own personal experience, it is obvious that food grown close to nature and prepared with health in mind, benefits each and every one of us not just physically, but mentally and spiritually on personal, societal and environmental levels.
This mass shift towards healthful food is perfectly timed – as our consciousness makes rapid new connections, our system will require a cleaner diet so that we can recognize and follow the voice of our intuition instead of the roller coaster ride that sugar, processed food, chemicals and unnatural growth hormones that bark orders at our confused bodies and minds.
Most folks who are new to healthy eating always ask: “How many calories does this have?” My response is always: “I don’t count calories, I count quality.” In my opinion, counting calories is one of the worst gimmicks introduced. I strongly believe that we must learn which questions to ask. When I think about the health of food I ponder these questions:

Who is the grower?
Where was it grown & processed (and what were the processing techniques)?
When was this grown and picked? Is this in season? What degree of ripeness am we consuming? How fresh is it?
What interference has this had from man in the form of chemicals, genetic manipulation, flavor “enhancers” like sugar and additives, or preparation methods that decrease the life force of the food?
Which life forms (people, animals, eco-system) were involved in the production, manufacture and distribution and were they treated fairly, respectfully and compassionately?
How was it prepared? Is it vibrant, crisp and delicious? Are oils, sugars and condiments of the highest quality and used in moderation? Does it look appealing? Does it smell amazing? Was it made with love?

I believe if we look at the answers to these questions, and eat according to our new understanding of the energetic nature of nourishment, we will be able to shift our palette’s away from fake food.
If you have already made a shift towards healthy eating, introduce your curious friends to the change you know has worked for you. Instead of a passionate speech about how bad this or that is for them, serve them a delicious homecooked meal, hand them a cherry tomato right off the vine in your garden or treat them to a meal at your favorite healthy restaurant.
As time seems to speed up, let’s slow down with our loved ones around a table filled with homecooked, healthy food.

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