Veganism and the equanimity lifestyle
Spoiler alert: I am not a vegan. But like you, I know someone that is. Going hand in hand with plant-based medicine is plant-based food, and as far as Medicine Box is concerned, there really is no difference between the two. Similar to the alternative phenomenon we spoke on, both will eventually overtake the mainstream of health and cuisine, and we are here for it.
Both of these wellness choices not only enhance our moods and our quality of life, but create a connection with nature, one which is sorely lacking in our civilization. We have extracted as many resources as we can obtain from nature while simultaneously destroying it. In order for humans to survive, WE will have to forge a deeper, more symbiotic relationship with the cycles that sustain us. The vegans in my life (whose work I intend to announce at the end of this post, FYI) have taught me lessons about food and plants which I have integrated into Medicine Box. And if you look closely on the Equanimity bottle, you’ll see that it’s a vegan product. That’s right, no animals were killed in the making of this or any other product Medicine Box will ever make. And that’s not the only way Medicine Box supports the vegan lifestyle.
Plants as medicine and food
In developing Medicine Box’s cultivation foundation, I come back again and again to the Rodale Institute slogan: “healthy soil equals healthy food, and healthy food equals healthy people.” While our process does include distilling the oil from the plant, it still begins with the soil and the subtle, infinitely complex interchange between the plant’s root system and the bacteria within the soil that makes all the difference in the finished product. The over industrialization of our food supply has seriously disrupted theses processes and compromised the nutrition our food gives us. It is no different for cannabis as it is for any other plant.
Conversely, any plant that’s grown thoughtfully with the right inputs will pay off dividends to anyone who uses it. Considering this country’s ongoing mental health challenges, the pressure upon our food supply has never been stronger to deliver better outcomes. For the healthier people are physically, the happier they usually are mentally. That underpins many of the choices people have made to move towards a vegan diet and pursue cannabis for a host of physical and mental health conditions, while the health care industry continues to play catch-up.
Of course, one can use a vitamin supplement to get their daily supply of folic acid or Vitamin D. But they can get that and more if they receive it from their diet. As researchers like Raphael Mechoulam and Ethan Russo have suggested, the same dynamic may be at work in an entourage effect, where the combination of flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids may heighten and modulate each other’s individual effects. Now that cannabis is entering back into the lifestyles of Americans, I look forward to seeing how the use of cannabis will create its own entourage effect with the vegan diet. I will only say that the sooner we get our food and medicine out of the corporations and laboratories and back to the land, the better.
The not–so–secret herbs and spices of Equanimity
In crafting Equanimity, we at Medicine Box aimed to use 100% organic inputs that could serve as a gateway into more healthful living. Traditionally, for instance, classic health food choices have proved unpopular because of their taste. So we chose licorice and hawthorne in part to counterbalance the earthier flavors of the camomile, valerian and skullcap present in the solution. Because sometimes the best flavor can be no flavor, we also selected fractionated coconut oil over olive oil or alcohol, which increases the bitterness of most liquid medicines.
Because of that, Equanimity can be used with fruit dishes as well as mocktails, such as the Watermelon Granita we featured in our August newsletter (thank you, Altered Plates, for this wondrous innovative collaboration!), and it also works well with tea (because herbs, natch) and coffee, whether Bulletproof or otherwise. But it also harmonizes with a vegan lifestyle in more subtle and holistic ways as well. Speaking recently with an amateur herbalist friend of mine, she spoke of the greater connection she felt to the earth through her partaking of Equanimity — a connection she also pursues through a plant-based diet. Granted, it’s a far more intuitive mindset she speaks of, but far less ignorant of the environment that sustains us. That sort of awareness changes the way you live, the information you gather and of course the food you eat. So I do not doubt that in many ways, veganism and other conscious dietary choices walk hand in hand with plant medicines and the necessary pivot they offer towards a more conscious, wisdom-based health stewardship. For as Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food!”
The not–so–secret herbs and spices of Equanimity
John & Carol Merryfield: two dedicated animal activists here in the Tahoe region. When you get a chance, check out their book Vegan 1 Day: Stories of Living the Good Life for stories about John’s life as an endurance stand-up paddler and how their veganism informs their humanism and their animal rights activism.
FudenJuice: Our very own down-home roadside vegetarian cafe. Creative, versatile and thoroughly NorCal in the best possible way.
Crepe Hearts: Yes, Virginia, there IS a Squaw Valley-based vegan food truck. Proprietors Mich and Kayla keep it pushing for all their friends and family in the area. www.crepehearts.com