How Indigenous South African Foods Nourished My Mental Health

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I recently received a bunch of kale as a gift. "A bouquet of
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I recently received a bunch of kale as a gift. “A bouquet of greens, for your smoothies,” my best friend said, a mischievous smile on her face. As I pulled some of the leaves off their stalks to freeze (because nobody likes kale that’s gone yellow from fridge-burn), a memory pulled me back: I was sharing a kitchen with Delle, a chef with whom I had connected while living in the forest a few months prior.

A week after my father was buried in January of last year, I went on a monthlong retreat in the milkwood forest of the South African Fynbos. I’d previously scheduled the trip, but as I prepared to leave, I was grateful for the timing of it all—it offered the space and respite that I needed during a difficult time for my mental health. I was already severely burned-out (after years of training and working as a psychotherapist), and now I was navigating the particularly complicated process of grief.

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BakkBenchers Network

BakkBenchers Network

Kick-Ass content from the Back Benches every day ! We bring you the kind of shows that TV doesn't make ! Get ready to see the world from the back benches. We are responsible for only what we say, not what you understand ;)

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Kick-Ass content from the Back Benches every day ! We bring you the kind of shows that TV doesn’t make ! Get ready to see the world from the back benches. We are responsible for only what we say, not what you understand ;)

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