Healing and gratitude

Healing and gratitude: journey to wellness

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road to I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know” Alice responded. “Then” said the cat “it doesn’t matter”.  —Lewis Carroll

 Two personal journeys: one physical ramble through parched sands and soil and one tumble down the rabbit hole of whole food and health. Both journeys are intertwined, connected, symbiotic.  My itchy nomad feet have always taken to the road, on some elusive search.  For some reason, the last road trip inspired me to change my life. I stripped back the layers of comfort, denial and fear and faced the future road of my life completely naked, metaphorically speaking. I took some bold steps and the journey began.

I think of sobriety and clean eating as the two fundamental pillars of my personal journey to wellness, one could not have happened without the other. I could have eaten well, but without sobriety I could never have experienced such a sense of wellness. I wake up to the day refreshed and excited for the day, my glass is no longer half empty.  It is a waterfall.

I tend to these pillars every day. It is not just a matter of changing my wine to tea and avoiding certain foods, I work this. I plan my meals and shop accordingly, I make bottles of iced herbal tea so there is always something cold in the fridge. I invent, imagine and create delicious food so that I am never tempted to just meaninglessly satiate my appetite. These pillars have transformed the way I feel about the world and my place in it. I will do whatever it takes to continue feeling this way. It feels amazing.

Clean eating and sobriety are the obvious changes, what is harder to examine are the small changes that I have built around these giants in my journey. One of the little buds in my daily life is gratitude, it is hard to know what part gratitude has played in my healing journey but one thing is for sure it is here to stay.

The skeleton of a single leaf

I started a daily gratitude practice with two of my favourite people; my mother and my sister. They are geographically scattered from me, so we email our gratitude lists to each other every day. As a woman who has always wedged herself between atheist and agnostic it is a powerful experience to start to count your blessings, literally.

It also brings me closer to the little details in my mother and sister’s lives that might otherwise be missed. One day my sister was grateful for her zucchini and nut soup which I imagined her eating on a grey Melbourne day. Another time my mother was grateful for the roses her neighbor had picked for her. Those beautiful little fragments of life that are never newsworthy enough to share suddenly take center stage. I get a glimpse of the intimate worlds of my loved ones and see that they are nourished and living beautiful lives.

My itchy nomad feet have always taken to the road, on some elusive search. For some reason, the last road trip inspired me to change my life.

Some days gratitude is harder to find.  Those days that you are sick or exhausted. We have found that gratitude is even more powerful in these moments. In sickness we become grateful for lemon tea and an afternoon nap, in exhaustion we are forced to notice the Beauty, support and grace that is all around us at any given moment. It is too easy to fall in to a negative space when we are tired or unwell; sometimes we need a little help to see that even in our difficult moments there are things to be grateful for. In my experience when you least feel like writing a gratitude list. It is the moment you need to write one above all.

Leonard Cohen Lyrics in Mission District – San Francisco

I am grateful for gratitude, it has been a joyful part of my personal healing journey. I am grateful that I am sober, I am grateful for green juice, I am grateful for this extraordinary experience of a life lived in this body, I am so grateful.

Gado Gado Salad with Tahini Satay

I am posting a recipe for Gado Gado salad. I have replaced the peanut in the traditional satay with tahini which a delicious tweak as well as a nutritional one. This is perfect summer food.

Gado Gado salad with Tahini Satay 


Tahini Satay Sauce




Tofu and Marinade


To put together

Arrange salad and tofu on a large platter or wooden board. Think about colour contrast as you place it together. Beetroot can be sprinkled with white sesame seeds or pepitas. Layer fresh herbs like coriander or spring onions over platter. Scatter with fresh herbs and hard boiled eggs halved or sliced. Place tahini satay on the platter or alongside.

Enjoy x


Bell Harding

Bell Harding

Bell is wholefood cook and a barefoot gypsy. In search of a life less ordinary, she packed a tent and art supplies and took to the road. Seeking the dirt and poetry in the Australian landscape, she also discovered a path to wellness. Bell discovered what it means to be well by healing herself from weight gain and alcohol dependence. She draws on a professional career in cooking to create recipes that celebrate real food and shares her journey as a curious nomad.

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