vozoneYears ago I assisted Tania Neubauer, ND, LMT in presenting information about nutrition to day laborers at Voz: Workers Rights Center in Portland, Oregon. We handed out business-card-sized references for what to include and what to avoid when making choices about eating. We cooked and shared food that demonstrated what we were talking about. We listened to the concerns about diabetes and it’s complications, and the challenges of access to healthy food. In the heart of Portland, Oregon, this community faced multiple barriers to basic nutrition to sustain themselves throughout the day. Every day. Every week. The number and depth of those barriers illuminates the complexity of societies everywhere.

I returned the next week to present information about acupuncture, and offered free auricular treatments to those interested. This was the beginning of nearly two years of a by-donation weekly community acupuncture clinic in the available half of a trailer used as an office. Moxibustion heat therapy, QiGong, and meditation were a part of the clinic too. Nutrition remained a focus- it was always a part of our conversations. It was never lost to me that this all began with a connection about food.

The community of Voz: Workers Rights Center is an ongoing inspiration for me in many ways. The origins of my work there has resurfaced in my mind because of the growing numbers of patients who understand the central role food plays in their health. And like the community at Voz, are ready to do something about it.

Education, discipline, attention, and intention in food choices is crucial to health. It’s a lot of terrain to navigate! May we all have the guides (inside and out) that we need and may we all have the opportunities to receive what we have chosen.