Ritual and Real Health

Holiday times are a time of joy, festivities, celebration and fun. And for many they are also a time when natural health programmes and nutrition fall by the wayside in favour of festive food, gourmet enticements and tasty morsels that may be delectable but can also be downright damaging to your naturopathy programme and your physical wellbeing.

My vocation and job is naturopathy. I wholeheartedly believe in utilising natural remedies, herbs and various modalities to help with the treatment of various physiological conditions. But this does not mean that I am an extremist and fanatical about health and allowing you to be a truly natural self.

It is so important to enjoy festive seasons and holidays like Easter and Christmas. Even if you are not Christian, these festive seasons are woven into our cultural psyche and are opportunities for collective and communal bonding and gathering, friendship and connection, and family life.  They may often be perceived as purely commercial constructs that are promoted by the retail industry to encourage us to buy. That may be a component. But there can be more to it than that.

A Healthy and Ethical Easter of Natural Products

In fact, the way you approach Easter is up to you.

It is certainly possible for you to go to the local supermarket and buy up on poor grade chocolate that may be produced by multinational corporations that use child labour to pick the cacao bean that forms the basis of chocolate. Children are used all over the world in the production of cocoa, and much of what you buy on supermarket shelves is the kind of chocolate that may well have been picked by kids.[1]

According to the ‘The US Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement.’[2]

My personal view is you and I can do things a bit differently. We can operate from a holistic and healthy perspective that is ethical and attuned to the planet and we can develop Easter rituals that are not necessarily centered on chocolate.

Think of these as alternative options that are better for your health and more fun:

  • Make your own Easter eggs. Have you ever used real eggs and coloured and patterned them with dyeing or with hand drawn or hand painted designs? Insert a small hole in the tip of the egg and the base, and blow out the raw egg yolk and white to leave a hollow shell. Decorate these as a family and enjoy time spent together creatively. These make awesome gift ideas that family and friends are sure to love.
  • Instead of buying chocolate, buy healthy carob alternatives from your local health food store. Carob is loaded with goodness and makes for a great chocolate substitute. Carob contains no addictive caffeine and it is also a high fibre source that works on your intestines and bowel. While it differs a little in taste from chocolate, it is a wonderful and versatile substitute that is harvested ethically and maybe better for you.[3]

SO enjoy the Easter season and remember you can do so with a healthy attitude and an ethical approach to purchases and the planet. Bye for now.

[1] http://www.laborrights.org/stop-child-labor/cocoa-campaign

[2] Ibid

[3] http://www.helium.com/items/66122-nutritional-substitute-for-chocolate-the-history-uses-and-value-of-carob