Goddess in the Flesh

August, 2018

It is almost impossible to meet every beauty standard. It is almost impossible for the beauty, diet and medical industries to “approve” of your body, skin, hair and eyes. In a world that deliberately shifts the “should’s” and shames that attacks and blames, loving yourself is an act of rebellion.

What is reviled in one country is celebrated in another. From skinny shaming to fat-hating what stays the same is the entitlement of male-gaze, the disgust and ownership of the female form. The idea that women are objects for public consumption is at the root of both modesty and pornography.

My mum was a fat hater and a fat-shamer. So was my dad. This meant that while I was “not pretty” I had the good grace to be thin and clever. I prized this things because both came easily to me. I can’t tell if I was an exercise addict, someone who coped with anxiety through exercise, or just very active. I would roll at of bed at dawn and do 30 sit-ups, until about the age of 17. Exercise makes me feel good, helps me focus and is something I really enjoy, though I can’t do much, if any, these days. I didn’t diet, far from it I ate a huge amount, but as a dancer I knew plenty of girls who ate tissue to not be hungry. Girls who didn’t eat for half of the school week to be “thin enough” to go out on a Friday. Fat was a mystery to me. A softness I was scared of. Still find frightening on occasion.

Fat was “weakness” and was far too vulnerable to the rough grabbing hands. No I wanted to be hard, strong and never weak. Of course I hated myself plenty. My wonky nose, crocked teeth, my ginger curly hair. Once I stopped dancing I grew breasts quickly. They came as something of a shock to me. I went from a B to a D cup in a very short time and they had their perks I was sort of mystified by this fleshier body.

As I got older, and then had children my weight was the first thing my mum would comment about.

You look fat, and not the jolly kind.”

Oh you lost weight, your face looks better.”

You are thin enough now, much skinnier you’ll look ill.”

Of course my mum was a much better feminist than I was because I had “given myself over to the yoke of motherhood” instead of doing something “more important”. My feminism was “too soft” and far too feminine and far too fat for her.

I have been all different sizes, shapes and tones and while I was more desired by men when I was thinner and more toned I have rarely been happy with myself. Rarely felt self-love or safety in my skin. I fear the toxic seep of this self-loathing for my daughter. I wonder what seeds I have sown accidentally. I have been working on loving myself for years and sometimes I feel I get there.

So how do we create real change? How do we dismantle huge industries that promote self-loathing as self-care? How do we dare to be soft when it hurts so much? How do we find our strength in body, spirit and mind? I think we must make Goddess figurines. Thousands of them, millions. Ones that are like us, as we are, not as we wish to be. Some with huge voluptuous breasts or none to speak of. Some with long legs, or no legs. With curly coils, or no hair. With lines and scars. With powerful thighs and big arses. So that we know our flesh is powerful and beautiful and important. That we are worthy, fat, scarred, skinny and all. For in reclaiming our image as beautiful, as sacred art maybe we will love ourselves just a little bit more.

Nelland Living

May, 2014

Eating Plan For Beltane

It has been a habit of mine to make eating plans for each Sabbat. It just makes life so much easier. This is my newest plan for the next six weeks or so, until Litha draws near.

I am a lazy cook, and dread each minute spent in the kitchen. But dining out or on conveniece food is not an option, they just don´t provide the same freshness and nutrition as home made food does. So there is no way around cooking, but there are shortcuts! This Beltane I try to skip all the fuzz in the kitchen, but still eat lean and healthy.



A breakfast: rice cakes topped with super easy, healthy, raw chocolate spread.

The recipe:

1 banana, mashed

1 tsp dark cocoa powder

Mix and spread over rice cakes.

(Not quite the real thing, but a great substitute.  =)



The dynamic duo

For each meal I now choose only two ingredients (and as ingredients I count foods that I can eat a stomach full of, so for example mustard would not do ).

Two foods does not sound like much, but the amount is unlimited, and the variety is great when chosen different foods for each meal. Most often we eat the same stuff over and over anyway, so I actually predict this will increase the variety in my diet.

The dynamic duo in a nutshell: grains and raw veggies.

Examples of grains/starches:

fresh veggie juice

cucumber sticks

wholegrain rice

oven baked potato wedges




wholegrain spelt bread

wholegrain, low sugar, breakfast cereal


Wild drink:

A handful of stinging nettle

1 Granny Smith apple

½ inch piece fresh ginger


Blend in a high-speed blender. Add enough water to make 2 cups.

Examples of proteins:





textured vegetable protein

butter beans

All the above can be mixed and matched freely, and eaten when and how much desired. That´s when you can rely on the wisdom of your body, it´s intuition. I believe that as long as healthy foods, low in sugar, salt, and fat, are eaten, your body will tell you when it has had enough. You will not desire more than is needed.

It is easier for me to surf through the day with super healthy foods, when I know that in the evening I can have one decadent dessert. That is chocolate. No matter how much I have tried, I have not yet found an equally satisfying substitute. I figure it is better to a smaller amount of store-bought chocolate than chow down substitutes by the gallon…


An example of a day´s food choices:

Breakfast: 2 cups green tea with soymilk + rice cakes with banana

Lunch: 2 cups wild green drink + rice + mushrooms

Afternoon: 2 cups green tea with soymilk + wholegrain bread + cucumber

Evening: 2 oz. favorite chocolate

This plan uses whole, fresh, almost all vegan, foods to enable high nutrition. I reserve all my sugar for the evening, when I enjoy the dessert of the day. It is difficult to keep the daily amount of sugar below the recommended (WHO: under an ounce /25 grams), but with that in mind, I indulge in my chocolate. Besides, healthy food requires unhealthy desserts to keep yin and yang in balance! =)

Happy and healthy Belatane!

Nelland Living

August, 2013

Eating Plan for Lughnasadh

I have always loved to compose eating plans for myself. They make life so much easier, because they eliminate the trouble of daily pondering on what to cook. With a plan I know what to make, and can be sure I get enough variety in my diet.

  Healthy food and decadent desserts have always been my thing. Eating is fun, I admit, and I like to eat until my stomach is really full. The secret to staying in my normal weight range by eating a lot, is paying attention to what I eat. This eating plan does just that. I can eat as much as I want, and still not gain weight.
  In my plan for Lughnasadh I draw influence from the Japanese and macrobiotic cooking. In Litha I focused on cutting out excess fat from my diet, and now it is time to tackle sugar.
  Our family is plagued by a large sweet tooth. I totally blame my Grandfather (easy to blame someone who has already passed away =)!  He was a positive, friendly, and happy man, my hero. But the sweet tooth on him… oh dear. For as far back to my childhood, as I can remember, he only had two of his own teeth left. He used fasle teeth of course, so the two didn´t stand out  in any way. But his two own teeth were a legend even when he was still here with us. He had even named his teeth. One was Max and the other Moritz. And I´m sure those bad guys are the sweet teeth behind all of the genes that make me like sugar so much. Bad teeth! They made my grandpa grab chunks of pure sugar from the coffee table, after everything else, the cakes and cookies, were already cleaned out. Despite of all the sugary foods he ate, Max and Moritz endured until the end of his days.

Here is my Max and Moritz-defying eating plan:




Mon – Fri:
cooked whole grains (brown rice, rolled oats or barley, quinoa, millet, etc.)
miso soup (water, 1-2 types of vegetables, sea salt, tofu/legumes, 1 tsp miso paste)
salad (greens topped with a pinch of salt, and served with a wedge of lemon)
Sat – Sun:
whole grain bread with 1 tsp agave syrup per slice
a green juice/smoothie (1 cup of greens, 5 cm piece of cucumber, 1 apple, a dash of lemon juice blended in a blender until smooth)
sandwich (filled with raw or cooked veggies, tofu/bean mash seasoned with soy sauce, green leaves, all seasoned with balsamic vinegar)
herbal infusion to drink
cooked grains (quinoa and corn, brown rice, barley, noodles, etc.)
cooked veggies (any seasonal, alone or mixed)
skillet-fried protein (bean patties, tofu, textured soy protein chunks, or fish once in ten days)
Evening snack:
berries with plain or vanilla flavoured soy yogurt

(if more hungry, rice cakes with a little coconut oil and honey)




Breakfast salad: simple seasonal greens, a pinch of sea salt, served with a wedge of lemon.




Breakfast soup: textured vegetable protein or tofu, some veggie(s), a pinch of sea salt, water, and 1 tsp miso.




Breakfast grain pictured: rolled barley flakes cooked in water with a pinch of sea salt.
An eating plan is a guideline, not a rule, so I can go with the flow and make exceptions to it if I want. The plan is here to help me, not to restrict me! But it often turns out I rarely get the sudden burst of extra energy and time to prepare something extraordinarily fantastic, out of the plan. After all, I do live in the real world, not a fantasy land.
  Happy days!

P.S. If you want to see my eating plan for Litha, to which I referred, you can go to my blog Greetings From Nelland!