About 7 years ago, while walking through the airport I had a vision. In my mind, I saw kiosks with raw foods snacks, healthy smoothies, chocolate treats that are made without sugar. I envisioned healthy options for the everyday mainstream person as they are trapped in the airport so they can learn that other options do exist.
I was just in the Atlanta airport and was surprised and relieved to find a smoothie bar with healthy sandwiches and wheatgrass shots. And it wasn’t Jamba Juice. The smoothies were made with real fruit and yogurt and wasn’t chock-full of ice cream. There were quinoa salads! But the best part is that while I waited there for my wheat grass shot, the majority of the people coming in and ordering smoothies and sandwiches were the airport employees.
Previous to this, I was at the JFK airport and I got off the plane with a hankering for some chocolate. The thing is, I hate eating sugar and I don’t do dairy. So what’s a girl to do? I scanned the shelves as I was walking by and found a raw chocolate bar that was sweetened with dates. Surprise, surprise!
I live in Portland. Nearly every restaurant in that city has gluten-free and vegan menus so eating out is possible without freaking out about getting poisoned.
I no longer have to travel with all kinds of foods packed in my suitcase because I can trust that I can get access to the food I can eat even within my personal food preferences and intolerance.
I used to do what I call, “Camel it” and pack up all my food for the day like a camel hump and bike around to school and work with a bag so heavy and full of food it was slightly embarrassing.
There are fermented foods companies popping up all over the US. Everywhere I travel, there is a raw-cultured fermented vegetable product in the refrigerated section of each co-op. Just 6 years ago this was not the case. There was only one brand of raw-cultured veggies and they were super expensive.
There are all kinds of fermented foods being sold at restaurants and grocery stores these days.
There is a restaurant in Chattanooga that uses locally sourced foods. It’s delicious, in fact. These are commonplace in Portland. But now when I visit my family, I can eat at this great place and support an excellent cause while nourishing my body well.
I’ve been gluten-free for 13 years. I’ve been dairy free for about 7. And I co-founded OlyKraut in 2007. I’ve been certifying Fermentationists since last year.
It used to be super hard to eat out without getting sick. If someone invited me to their house for dinner, I had to educate them about my dietary needs.
The way I see it is that the world is conforming to me. It’s becoming a place where I can live freely and enjoy myself socially in a way that is completely in alignment with my beliefs.
We have a long way to go. But today we’re going to celebrate these major advances. These are the necessary steps to getting our people healthier, ending disease, and throwing away over-the-counter medications because they heal naturally through rebuilding their gut and eating fermented foods.
I also think it has something to do with all the graduates from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
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