The Whole Story | Chapter Twelve

The highlight of my short career with Whole Foods Market was the Total Health Immersion that I was fortunate to attend in the spring of 2017. I heard about the experience from our store admin and was inspired to apply. I eagerly anticipated a reply and was thrilled to receive the email that I would be going to Sedona to attend the program.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, I was leaving Florida and moving back to Massachusetts where a new position within the company awaited me. I only mention this because I almost didn’t get to go on the trip because the Immersion coordinator was told that I was leaving the company which would have meant that I was no longer eligible to attend the program. I was devastated to learn of the mix up regarding my transfer and eligibility but I knew that if it was meant to work out that it would. And it did - obvious sign from the Universe.

I travelled to the opposite corner of the country to Sedona, Arizona with a group of total strangers to a secluded retreat center where we spent a week learning about the many benefits of a whole food plant-based lifestyle. We ate delicious food, though I was eager to get back to my own kitchen and craft new recipes, enjoyed the scenery, and bonded over long walks and yoga classes. The speakers and presentations were top notch and very informative. I came back to Massachusetts with such a strong desire to share all I had learned. What I didn’t realize was that every body is different, or bio-individual, and that one person’s pleasure can be another person’s poison.

When we are able to remove all of the processed, food-like junk from our diets we become so in tune with what is best for our unique body. Everyone knows what foods are “good” and what foods are “bad,” but there is so much disagreement about what the best diet for a human is. This is where bio-individuality comes into play. Consider what is going on in your life and how your food choices can support that. Think about your activity level and what your needs are to fuel that. Evaluate the quality of your sleep and how your meals influence how delicious your nightly rest is or is not. That is what has been most powerful for me to realize in this whole process.

What began as a crusade to sway people into vegetarianism or veganism turned into a mission to reconnect people with their intuition to make the healthiest food choices for their own life, even if that includes eating animal products. My choice to live a plant-based life is just that, my choice. I think we could all benefit from eating more plants, but I recognize the fact that this won’t work well for everyone.

Ask yourself why you eat the foods that you do. Are the reasons cultural, environmental, financial, addiction or health based, or social? Give yourself the freedom to explore these reasons without judgment.

Lauren D'Agostino