1. Food
Jen Hoy

In the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: Finding Calm in Chaos

By October 30, 2012

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As the East Coast embarks on a long road to recovery, my heartfelt prayers go out to all of you who were impacted by the hurricane. My daughter, husband, and the majority of people near and dear to me are currently in New York City facing the prospect of several days of chaos as the city tries to right itself.

When we are faced with high levels of energy circulating around us and in our daily lives, practices of radical self-care become crucial. Meditation, exercise, and healing touch are all important contributions to de-stressing. If you have access to water, warm baths with sea salt and essential oils can soothe a tense and tired body; and cultivating our spiritual connections can help ground us. Gathering with friends, co-workers or our spiritual community can help pull us through the toughest of times. When we stand with our tribe we remember we are not alone.
Of course the food we eat has a huge impact on our sense of well-being. When stressed, we often turn to food for comfort, stockpiling sugar, dairy products (the infamous pint of Haagen-daz ice cream) and starches to create what I call "the food coma" in an attempt to comfort ourselves. The problem is, it wears off, and we are left feeling bloated, tired, disgruntled, and sometimes a few pounds heavier.

I have discovered over the years that soups have a marvelous effect on the nervous system. A soup as light as miso or as dense as black bean can soothe and quiet the "savage beast" within, but my all-time favorite is Grounding Soup, a wonderful mix of root and sweet vegetables that soothes the most stressed nervous system. It is food-as-medicine at its best, and is a superb addition to the fall/winter kitchen.

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