Healthy Roots Q&A

You can read up on the Healthy Roots challenge that these 9 participants are committed to at

Q: On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel this week?

Doug: I would say an 8.5

Kenzie: I feel about a 6. I’ve been tired and sick for a couple days.

Michele: I feel about 7ish this week, which is much better than the week before.

Lindsay: 9 — I think this is extending beyond how food is affecting my body. It is affecting my mind.  I’m having to refocus how I have always perceived the idea of “sourcing food” to being something communal, something others are involved in sharing, and asking for help.

Kitty: This is a great time to be alive. I feel like a 9!

Kylee: This week I feel about a 6–7. I like eating and not feeling so bloated and tired afterwards, however I still need to incorporate more activity into my routine. I feel like I’ve been doing minimal activity so far, so my goal for this week is to increase the intensity and push myself into a harder and longer workout.

Lori: I feel 7/10.

Rick: I feel great, considering my age and conditions! I have noticed some significant changes. I’m not as tired when I’m awake. I don’t crash in the afternoons. My eyes don’t itch as much as they did before, which I attribute to the loss of wheat. So overall, I have more energy and am less stressed out over things.

Jenyka: I always feel like a 10.


Q: How are you liking the foods on the food list?

Doug: I like the new ones we have tried so far.

Kenzie: I don’t like venison. I love duck.

Michele: I’ve liked all the foods we’ve tried so far, but then we haven’t gotten to any of the exotic stuff yet, like frogs, porcupine, and skunk cabbage. My favorite food memory from last week was making and eating partridge soup. It turned out much better than I thought it would.

Lindsay: I actually haven’t found there is much I don’t like, though I have yet to experiment with a wider range from the list.  I really am craving sustenance from the land and I’m hoping to extend this practice beyond the length of this challenge and source many of these foods from the wild when they are in season.

Kitty: My epiphany of viewing this challenge in a different way has helped me a lot. Enjoying this process has provided me the insight to see how expansive, delicious and nutritious the list of foods really is.

Kylee: I’m really enjoying the foods on the list, we have a lot of the meat and fish at home already thanks to my husband. We have been incorporating whole foods (almonds, kale, and a wider range of organic fruits and veggies) that are not on the list though for the first month to get us on track and focus on eliminating all the dairy, processed foods, and wheat from our diet.

Lori: The food list is more restricted this time around than it was in the first challenge. ‎We are working on combining foods in new ways to make the taste more flavourful. I think tomatoes and peppers are what we miss most even though I thought it would be cheese.

Rick: I love the selections on the Food Guide, knowing that these are the same kind of foods that our ancestors planted, gathered, hunted, fished or trapped. In the 17th century a Mohawk scoffed at the idea of eating pig and offered his French allies some real meat – venison – which he said was much cleaner than the pig. I also love exploring different ways of preparing these foods, learning that there can be much more diversity in how we use the same ingredients. It is also a joy to see Chandra cooking, as if she is having a dance with foods, finding new ways to enliven what we eat with her love and creativity.

Jenyka: I have tried some salmon, moose meat, and some wild rice and it was all really good. I could probably eat it every day if I had to.


Q: Are you engaging in other modes of self-care, for example exercise or meditation? If so, what sort of things are you doing and how is it helping you?

Doug: Started doing weights again. Helps with my breathing and stamina.

Kenzie: I slept a lot last week. And I’m writing poems.

Michele: Other forms of self-care I’ve tried are hot baths and reading, though not at the same time. Something I might try in the future. I practice the long version of Ganohonyohk before sleep which helps my mind settle no matter what mood I am in. I’m also going to do a 5 km walk every weekend because I know that the longer I walk the more at peace I become, unless of course a dog is chasing after me or I slip on the ice like I did this weekend. My poor knee cap.

Lindsay: Yoga has always been my go-to and I’m finding that a mixture of postures, breath and meditation have been key.  Meditation for me has become mostly about self-reflection and working through the intricacies of emotions that are occurring while I manage stress.  I find this past week self-care has been about establishing support and working internally to breakdown core beliefs and transform emotions.

Kitty: I journal always. My new adventure is isometrics and resistance bands. Focusing on individual muscles creates an awareness of the poetry of our bodies that is encouraging. It circles back to feeding all of me better. By feeding my physical, emotional and spiritual body, I feel more clear and grateful from this challenge.

Kylee: I have been mindful of the fact that if your home is chaotic, your mind is too. I started going room to room in our home to clean out and declutter everything we no longer need. I’ve been doing minimal physical activity with a few intense workouts here and there. I plan on focusing in on that (working out) this week.

Lori: I am not yet getting to the daily activity as much as I should be. Sleep continues to be elusive at times. I use a meditation app on my phone to help me to breathe and ground myself. As a family we are working on better communication through deciding what foods to purchase, prepare and offer.

Rick: The most important thing that I have done is to slow down, not working so relentlessly, not always having to rush. I’m taking more time to enjoy the baby, who turned one last week. It is like we are both seeing newness in this world, in awe at times, confounded at other times, but always waking up happily to see what the new day will bring. Ok, sometimes I’m happier in the morning, only because the baby is still looking for her heritage food – breastmilk! But you should see how her whole demeanor changes when she is nursing. Something tells me that is how we are all supposed to be when we eat. I don’t mean nursing, but feeling totally connected with our food.

Jenyka: I like to exercise at least three times a week. All I like to do is just regular workouts, but I am starting to get in to some yoga.

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