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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where Hunger Ends And Life Begins

Enjoying my morning apple

Recently I was watching a certain doctor on daytime TV, not by choice.  It was playing in the waiting room that I was…well, waiting in.  The topic of the show was how to reduce belly fat.  There was a grandiose demonstration of what happens when we pour things like soda, fried chicken, coffee, M&M’s and the like down our gullets.  They had a giant mock belly onstage that inflated as each item went in.  “Now, would you like to hear the solution??” the Doctor shouted like a preacher at a revival.  “YEAH!” the audience cheered.

At this point, even I was on the edge of my seat. Being a woman who has a magnificently round belly, this got my attention.  Number one, because anytime there are messages going out to womankind about their bodies I’m intrigued at what the message really is.  Number two, well, I hate to admit it girls, but I have to really work at loving my belly.  As the body love queen this is a soft spot for me.  When I look in the mirror I still have to do real mental and physical work to generate feelings of love towards my belly, rather than the knee jerk feeling of hatred I have been taught by the culture. 

So, back to the set.  The solution everyone!! Hallelujah! I would like to say I was shocked by what was revealed, but I was not.  The solution included three things: eat fennel seeds to reduce bloating, drink slippery elm tea to stimulate better bowel movements, and a bunch of other poppycock that involves spending more money on more things that don’t actually address the problem.

What is the problem? At face value, we might think it is the soda and fried chicken.  Just replace those things with kale and carrots, right? Then you won’t have a fat, bloated belly.  But it is not that simple friend.  I seriously doubt there is a single adult in this country that does not already know that carrots will make your tummy less bloated than fried chicken.  We have so much knowledge about health nutrition that we are literally drowning in it.  The fried chicken is not the problem. The problem lies in what causes us to choose the fried chicken in the first place.

My husband is very passionate about food and politics.  I have learned so much from him about why we eat what we eat from a socio-economic and political standpoint.  There are so many forces at play that many of us don’t even know about.  I won’t try to address them all in this blog. What I will share is the resources that have helped me to weed out my truth around, food, eating, and hunger.
At the end of the day, there is some truth to every nutritional concept and theory out there.  But the only way I think a person can really get to health is by trusting the voices inside, instead of the voices outside.  The voices outside can provide guidance and wisdom, but it is our bodies that know what’s up.  I hope these resources are helpful for you. Please know that trusting your cravings - the ones that go beyond your taste buds straight to that which will nourish and satiate your soul - in my experience this is where hunger ends and life can begin.

  • Fat Is A Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach - a must read to discover what really drives you to pick up food, even when you think you don't want to
  • Women Food and God by Geneen Roth - I love all of Geneen's work, but this one I find to be truly a masterpiece when it comes to intuitive eating
  • Eating In The Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston - this book changed everything for me with regards to listening to my hunger, and understanding what drives it. There is not a line that has gone un-highlighted by me in the entire book!  I read from it all the time.  This one is truly a winner.
  • Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet - don't be scared off by the diet part.  This book is really about taking on a lifestyle that is rooted in self love, living life as you want to live it, and letting your health practices be a reflection of that. 

Qoya is a movement class founded by Rochelle Schieck that has completely and utterly changed my relationship to exercise, my body, and my life.  Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember - we remember that as women, our essence is inherently wise, wild and free.  Do you ever have moments in your day where you forget that? I do. Qoya draws from the wisdom of yoga, the wildness of creative dance, and the freedom of sensual movement.  The whole point of Qoya: feeling pleasure.  It’s not about feeling the burn, though you do.  It’s not about toning up, though you will.   It’s about listening to your body, rather than telling it what to do. We dance to playlists that take you from the ocean caves of a desert island to the Lower East Side of NYC, up to the clouds of heaven and back down to the dance floor of Soul Train, all at the same time.  The music is as much of a teacher in Qoya than the actual human teacher.

When I dance Qoya, I close my eyes and it is like going to Disneyworld within my very own skin. It is the deepest state of meditation I can imagine.  My head lets go, my body takes over, and I receive deep insights through just feeling, rather than thinking things through. In Qoya we dance it all: our love, our loss, our understanding, our confusion, our gratitude, our frustrations, our ecstasy, our devastation…everything.  All of it is left on the sacred dance floor and blends into the most beautiful mosaic that grounds us into our power as women, our intuition, and brings us a deep state of bliss.  To dance Qoya right now, go to  You can also come to my Qoya class every Tuesday from 7-8pm at The Yoga Collective, 135 W.29th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in NYC.

Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is a place that teaches women about using the power of pleasure to have their way with the world.  My life has been profoundly changed by this work, specifically when it comes to realizing what my true hungers are, and going for what it takes to satisfy them.  

I would love to hear some of your favorite resources in the comments below. Wishing you a happy, peaceful and pleasure filled Thanksgiving.

PS - If deciding what you truly want on your plate, in your life, in your relationships, etc. is something you would like to delve into, there are three spots left in Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice, November 30 & December 1st.  Seduction is all about listening to yourself, and acting on that information. This is the last time I will be teaching this class for a few months.  Grab your spot now, I would love to have you. 


  1. This blog post is a full meal! I'll be back for second helpings! Happy Thanksgiving, Kitty. <3

    1. Kisses to you radiant, radically Rachel! Mwah!

  2. I've realized that for me, its not so much my belly that "upsets" me. When I'm eating healthy and making good choices, i love the roundness of my belly. When im self-sabotaging and eating bad, though my body doesn't look THAT different, I hate it. for me, its all in the choices. thanks for book recommendations. x