Making Friends The New-Fashioned Way

One of the greatest things about this journey is the people that I continue to "meet" along the way... I used to scoff at online interactions and the ever growing communication that transpired through a keyboard and a backlit screen.  I may be a little behind the times... but I finally realized that there was a community out there - of like minded people - that made it easier to connect, learn, grow, and get back in touch.  If I can meet an amazing husband, I could certainly make friends, right?  Living way out here in rural desert does not afford much opportunity for social interaction... there is some, but it is hard to find and options are limited on finding a network that I comfortably and naturally fit into. 

I'm not sure when it first started - but within the past year or so, I started to pay attention to the explosion of blogs and sites full of information around nutrition, health, and constantly varied functional high intensity exercise.  The more I searched, the more I found, and the more connected I felt.  And continue to feel.  In fact, I'm almost certain it started with the blog Byers Gets Diesel... which became Urban Gets Diesel... the birth place of the Whole30.  The very grown up version of the blog is now Whole9 and still remains my ultimate source for information on health, food consumption, and the science behind what we put into our bodies.  I've since been led by Melissa and Dallas to many other useful, entertaining, and informative pages. 

I realized that the internet was not just for porn, e-mail, or stupid videos of dogs licking the camera lens... but that there was a growing community of educated, intellectual, people and cyberspace was the new place to connect.  It is a community.  It is a group of friends.  No more libraries.  No more meetings on a Tuesday night the community center.  Meetings are on my own time.  At my convenience.  Where I can take the time I need to read, and process, and understand.  Where I can formulate my thoughts in a coherent fashion and then communicate them to my new "friends." 

One of the newest ladies that I have "met" is Stephanie Vincent over at Radical Hateloss.  She shares an incredible story and is constantly helping to facilitate change in the lives of everyday women.  Recently, she hosted a conference call with the author of The Clothes Make The Girl and the Well Fed cookbook, Melissa Joulwan.  I eagerly signed up and was amazed by the insight that was shared by fellow conference callers.  Melissa was a delight to listen to.  And the women who shared their stories, struggles, and successes with eating Paleo made a few lights go off around my relationship with food and the Paleo Diet.  Once again - even if for an hour - my community grew again.  If you're interested in hearing a recording of the call - check out this page.

At the end of the call, we were all tasked to write our own "Eating Manifesto"... what food means to us, how we eat it, when we eat it.  I took the opportunity to really sit and think - what goes through my mind before I put food in my mouth and what do I want to intentionally think about before I eat.  What merits enjoying a cupcake or a glass of wine and who will be present when that happens?  I submitted my manifesto and I am also copying it below... for my personal records and to share with all of you.

Dania's Eating Manifesto:

I choose to fuel my body with the best quality ingredients available... with food that only serves to contribute to a constant chemical, physical, and emotional harmony within me. I will not deprive myself of special meals, on special occasions, with special people. I will fully savor those experiences as a single moment in time along a very long timeline of healthful choices. Taking care of my body from the inside out is a way of life, my way of life. 

I thought this was a great task and I challenge each of you to truly think about your relationship with food and perhaps come up with an eating manifesto that is personal to you.  Feel free to share with Stephanie on her blog, after listening to the phone call (it is definitely worth the hour!).  And please post it here in the comments.  I'd certainly like to read them.

And if you're ever interested in growing your network of fitness or foodie friends - let me know and I'll pass on some of my favorites!

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