Monday, November 15, 2010

Healing From Within: Releasing vs. Loosing Unwanted Weight & the Power of Our Palabras

Greetings! Today I was inspired by two wombyn (amigas) to address a present issue many of us experience which is that of releasing unwanted weight. Now this can be weight in pounds, thoughts, responsibilities, energy, etc. The list can go on and on...right? Commonly, most of us associate weight with peso, body fat, extra skin, love handles, large bodies, etc. In one sense weight can be this and in another it is this and more...What do I mean? Okay, so what I am saying here is that as embodied beings we are one--one mind, one spirit, one body--whole, like a trenza tightly woven together. However, if one strand of the braid begins to loosen up, small cabellitos start flying around and eventually the braid looses its' rope or culebra appearance. It will still be a braid but one that needs to be re-tightened. Our existence is the same. Carrying extra weight in our minds, energies, and daily actions can invite unwanted physical bodily weight y eso because our presentness/humanness enters a Tezcatlipoca State of mind, meaning, that receiving clairvoyance is not as easy due to smokey mirrors blocking our sight from vision of ourselves--our trenzas gone wild. Many of us will enter this state several times in our lives, blow the smoke away, see our reflections and then speak of needing, wanting or desiring to "loose" weight.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Receta de Mictlan by Chris Rodriguez

Every morning I wake up to a loud noise clattering in the creepy crawler infested walls of my apartment. I never bother to figure out what causes this rude awakening. Instead I call for my spirit to return back to my body from its journey to the real world. I make my way to my cocina where a non-functioning stove sits, taking up space. I open the ice box, pull out half way frozen nopales, the ice covered cilantro and tepache (one that i make)- barely enough left to blend this combination of ancestral life into a natural insulin. I can sense the weight of someone's eyes on me. I turn around and in her green leather rocking chair is my abuelita Luz "Yeya." She's smiling at me. She came to visit me from Mictlan; the place that harbors our ancestors from the slow deaths of diabetes and other colonial dis-eases.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Decolonizing University Food Courts: Towards Another Way of Learning

As a university student I took up arms against capitalism on my campus (Cal Poly Pomona). My preferred choice of weapon--my word. The battleground: “Pizza with the Presidents”, a quarterly facade designed to make students think our voices are being heard. I fired the first shot aimed at the university administration, “how is it that our campus sits on very fertile land, agricultural space, yet there are no organic/healthy food alternatives available to us? How can I as a student have access to work this land and grow natural vegetables and fruits that can be prepared and served on campus and made available to the surrounding community?” The university president, Dr. Ortiz, and his administrators could not provide me with an answer. So I began networking with other students who were asking the same questions. This is when I realized that my activism was to be dedicated to defending the land- finding land, and planting seeds.

If we take a look at university food courts we can see the local impact of the globalization of food, taste and disease. Mega food corporations contribute to global capitalism by spreading culinary imperialism on our campuses across the United States. What is culinary imperialism? It is the imposition of European food ways, heavily meat based, processed, and high in sodium and sugar—Mother Earth destroying food ways.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Ecological Food Justice and Indigenous Plant-Based Foodways" by CS (Piece Shared at National Association of Chicana/o Studies Conference)

"...The research I am presenting began as a prayer for the healing of all my relations: land, animal, seeds, waters and bodies. As an academic I have been trained to report back findings using a linear non-relational method, which is viewed as the proper way of presenting research which happens to be “inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonial[ity].”[i] Therefore, as a Xicana Indigena accountable to all my relations, I will be presenting today through an indigenous research paradigm, which places indigena beliefs and principles or epistemology in the frontline. Therefore, my presentation is that of an urban Indigena storyteller, semi-prosed, passing down palabritas through our oral and cultural ways of planting semillas...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

La Otra Comida: Cinnamon Vegetarian Restaurant

My loyal relationship with Cinnamon Vegetarian Restaurant in Highland Park is rooted in the first encounter I had with their “chicken” tamales prepared by doña Rosa, an elder wombyn from Guatemala responsible for the delicious, smooth and fluffy texture of Cinnamon’s decolonized tamales sin manteca (without pork fat). Doña Rosa comes in to the restaurant every couple of days or so to offer her contra sazón and artisanal gift in the preparation of the banana leaf wrapped tamal filled with plant-based “chicken” and bathed in a rich salsa mole. This recipe is not a product of research and development (R&D) such as the "ethnic foods" artificially created in the laboratories of colonial food franchises and establishments.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

La COMIDA en Rebeldia

Since the attempted gastronomic conquest by Spanish missionaries during the early 16th century, Indigenous-Mesoamerican gastronomy, over 80% maize-based, has been heavily seasoned with rebel herbs, spices and communities that continue to resist culinary imperialism- the imposition of European patriarchal, gluttonous-heavily carnivorous, salt & sugar Mother Earth destroying diets.

Today, the destructive face of globalization’s response to world hunger has been lead by a low-intensity genocidal regime continually marketing and manipulating us to believe eating a daily heavily animal based diet is part of our identities as Xican@-Latin@, African, Asian, Pacific Islander peoples and Diasporas. Despite this western-patriarchal paradigm that puts profit over human and ecological health, a rich and vibrant legacy of a culinary rebellion continues to preserve ancestral seeds, plant-based foods, healthy bodies, and ecological balance in what is today called Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.