By Julie Morris, @superfoodjules
Let’s play a game of “guess that age.” Imagine a person who has long loved exercise, but now doesn’t recover well anymore, and needs extended rest to get back on track. This person has trouble sleeping, has skin breakouts, and suffers from severe, random food allergies that make every meal a stressful endeavor. Most of all, this person suffers from feeling constantly tired – a kind of deep, aching fatigue that puts a cloud cover over every day, causing even simple tasks to feel like a hurdle. How old does this person sound?
It may surprise you to learn this person is just 21 years old. And also, that this 21-year-old person was me, many years ago.
At the time, my ongoing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome were undiagnosed and mostly left untreated by conventional doctors. Channeling my frustration into motivation, I set out to find new ways of fostering energy. In the process, I came across a special class of foods called “superfoods:” Foods had been used as “energy foods” all around the world for thousands of years. So, with not much to lose, I gave myself a challenge to clean up my diet, and use these superfoods in my daily meals … or at least try to.
As this was over fifteen years ago, there were no such thing as “superfood cookbooks,” let alone any kind of widespread availability of these “niche” ingredients like acai berries and maca root. Instead, I hunted them down one by one, and blindly experimented with them in my home kitchen like a mad scientist on a mission. Slowly, my recipes went from awful, to tolerable, to craveably good. But mastering flavor was just the beginning.
For the first time in my life, I experienced how the food I put on my plate could actually give me energy, rather than making me feel weighed down, sleepy, or worse. As my chronic fatigue symptoms slowly began to fade away, I knew that this pivotal moment was the beginning of a whole new wellness lifestyle. And I also knew I didn’t want to keep this transformative information to myself.
That’s why today I’m so passionate about my work as a natural food chef, superfood expert, and bestselling author (my sixth book is coming out this year: Smart Plants: Power Foods & Natural Nootropics for Optimized Thinking, Focus & Memory). Certainly, I’ve come a long way from learning how to pronounce “acai” or trying to figure out what do with maca powder! But what remains the same is my devotion for researching and exploring the world’s most powerful plants, and sharing how to use them in delicious ways. Over the years, I’ve found so many invaluable “food tools,” but one of my distinct favorites is CBD, which is such an amazing natural powerhouse ingredient for healing! In particular, I’ve been truly enamored with the quality products of high-potency CBD tinctures that Lazarus Naturals offers. The care that’s put into every bottle – from growing the hemp themselves at their farm in Central Oregon, to 3rd-party testing every batch to ensure that quality and safety standards are always met – is exactly the kind of meticulous treatment that’s so imperative for maximum functionality of this special plant. Needless to say, a bottle or two of Lazarus Naturals is now on permanent rotation in my superfood kitchen cabinet.
To be honest, I wish I had Lazarus Naturals CBD when I was starting my superfood journey; I believe it could have been so very advantageous in helping me live a better, more health-forward life. Nevertheless, I’m glad I have it now, and use it regularly to recover from demanding physical workouts … and mental workouts too, as CBD is fantastic for brain health. (Lazarus Naturals is a featured ingredient in Smart Plants!) I believe it’s never too late – or too early! – to make a positive change in the way you feel. Best of all, the process towards rejuvenation can be both rewarding and delicious.