The story of a holistic approach to whole plant medicines and lifestyle from the perspective of a farmer and athlete. Guest post by Jonnah Mellenthin Perkins.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. – John Muir
If you’ve ever searched for the outer edges of your physical or mental limits, you have experienced some burnout. The deep fatigue, apathy, and energetic despair experienced by passionate individuals, whether athletes, entrepreneurs, parents, and anyone cause-driven, is all-consuming and can even come with shame for pushing ourselves to the brink.
In my late 20s, my energy as a competitive trail runner, community activist, new mother, and CSA farmer all converged in a perfect storm of unfailing devotion to becoming the best version of myself in all of these areas. The exhilarating part is that I did excel until one day, I couldn’t even carry a crate of tomatoes out of the field. And just like that, like a line of dominos, one system knocked down the next.
Treating maladaptation or injury through manipulating inputs and outputs is widely accepted in sports and wellness. But like a forest, farm, or river, we may miss the most nuanced biofeedback if we try to outsmart the ecosystem through comparative data from similar ecosystems without looking at what is happening in real time.
Lying awake at night with my heart pounding in my chest, unable to recover from the training, physical labor, and emotional fortitude that comes with motherhood, I ultimately realized that there wasn’t one singular thing that would bring me back, but rather a whole systems approach.
What we tear down needs to be restored holistically.
My running journal was replaced with a wellness journal. Each day I asked myself what I needed at that moment to feel whole and strong again, then got very quiet and listened to the feedback that my body sent to me. The messages that bubbled up from deep inside were simple and seemingly random: cold water, fatty salmon – barely cooked/a lot of salt, nap in the afternoon, potatoes with butter, hot bath, pickle juice, massage that spot in your knee, raw watercress, hike/run in the rain.
By getting quiet and turning inward for healing wisdom, I was able to tap into the intuitive alchemy that all ecosystems have access to. Ask any regenerative farmer how they know the best way to care for the land, and they will tell you to look to the soil, the water, and the animals, for answers. The same is true within our own bodies, we just need to remember how much power we hold.
In the process of bringing my body back into balance, what I found I needed the most was calming my central nervous system, reducing inflammation, and restoring my sleep patterns. Through whole foods that we produce on our farm as well as supporting other local growers, I focused on eating as close to the source as possible. It’s important to know that refined foods can interrupt the messages our bodies send to us. I also learned that the properties of whole-plant CBD would amplify my sleep, nervous system regulation, and healing of soft tissue micro-injuries from running and farming.
Jonnah Perkins' Daily Rituals
My daily self care routine is just as important as my training or the whole foods I put into my body. Staying ahead on recovery will determine the outcome of my entire year.
Before my morning coffee, I start each day with Onda Whole Hemp Infusion followed by a walk through our valley or cold dip in our stream. Living out in the country and spending 20 minutes alone in the cold each morning has become an integral part of my day. I have learned that my body responds best to afternoon endurance so I usually save my run for after lunch. After dinner I dry brush my skin and use Onda Whole Hemp Body Balm on any sore spots – knees, ankles, shoulders, neck. My most important bedtime ritual is taking Onda Immunity Infusion, which not only helps me sleep but works with my body to tone down inflammation and heal micro-injuries. Staying committed to my wellness routine keeps me energized and grounded.”
- Onda Innate Immunity herbal dropper
- Walk and yoga in natural light
- Coffee and cream + journaling
- Breakfast: follow my appetite/eat seasonal foods
- Run and strength
- End of day: dry brush, use Onda Body Balm on any sore spots – knees, ankles, shoulders, neck.
- Bedtime: Onda Immunity Infusion to calm my nervous system and bolster immunity
I learned the hard way that my body has limits and if I push past them, my body and mind will put the breaks on until I take care of myself. One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves as athletes, and those who do physically demanding work, is to listen to the messages that our body sends us. Tuning into biofeed feedback is immediate and it’s free.
Jonnah is a competitive trail runner and organic farmer. She travels nationally for training and racing in between growing seasons. When Jonnah isn’t pushing her body, she immerses herself in foraging, cooking, and hunting to get as close to her food as possible.