How you do anything is how you do everything.
So many of us are very concerned with WHAT we eat, and rightly so, but less of us give adequate attention to HOW we eat.
When I think of food, the words nourishment, pleasure, sensuality, yummy, delectable, and love come to mind. It wasn't always that way, but over the years, I have become enchanted with the beauty of feeding ourselves - truly feeding ourselves with food and love.
I love to cook. Though not too long ago I approached the art of cooking with reckless abandon. My kitchen was a mess. It is my nature to talk fast, move fast and thus eat fast. This part of me is not something I particularly enjoy, and I would often blame a busy life with 3 kids. And that is part of the equation, but admittedly, we all need to create the space for the things we love. Those which give us pleasure and nourishment.
Food is true medicine for our body + soul.
We've all felt the effects of a rushed meal. It just doesn't sit well in our belly. But it's not just the way we consume it. The soul of cooking begins way before that. It starts with the carefully choosing the ingredients, listening to meals we are craving, mindfully chopping, lovingly stirring, and creating the space for the ingredients to transform into a meal. Even when we dine out, if we don't feel well after, we often blame the actual food. Never giving thought to the busy kitchen in the background.
I believe that energy goes into our food. And we not only don't digest the food very well, we absorb the hurried (or othe possible negative) feelings that it collected en route to our plate.
Life is busy for everyone. I believe that a couple of shifts can lead to more fully nourished meals. How we feed ourselves, whether in be in food or thought, is the essence of self care.
PLAN | To make simple + nourishing meals, we must have a well stocked pantry. I make frequent trips to the store for the freshest produce. If you are lucky enough to have a farmer's market, look for something new to try. Read food blogs for inspiration, I like Against the Grain for one. I have several favorite cookbooks, sometimes I just flip a few pages for inspiration. But most often, I just wing it because I have a lots of experience. And also plan out your day, look ahead and make space for 30 - 45 minutes. This may mean chopping some vegetables earlier in the day (or for some buying some pre-cut ones, just so you can get a fresh meal on the table.)
SPACE | Not only make the time, but actually clear the counters and sink. Clear all the distracting clutter. I was so distracted once by many loads of laundry sitting in the next room while making dinner, that I physically had to move it to feel more centered and not bothered by the idea that I had so much more to do. And not only clear the space, but make your space beautiful. I love beautiful prep bowls and dishes.
RITUALS | To bring beauty, peace, and calm to my cooking experience, I always light a candle, buy fresh flowers regularly, and play my favorite music. I particularly like chant music for it's soothing sound. Snatum Kaur, Ajeet Kaur, Jai-Jagdeesh, and Nirinjar Kaur are some of my loves right now. (Disclaimer : I sometimes have to wear headphones, because my kids don't always feel the same way about my music - even my little Kundalini Lover, Mia.)
BEAUTY | A fresh, healthy, and beautiful meal doesn't have to be complicated, and we can always add a touch of something to make the dish pretty. I am known for my love of the Evolving Buddha Bowl -grains, tons of vegetables, nuts/seeds, avocado, and dressing. Simple. I am fond of the vast array of microgreens to add some extra flair.
But there are so any options, I could add here.
I don't do this perfectly, nor every day, but when I do I can feel the shift in everything and everyone. Our food tastes better, we digest it better, and we definitely enjoy it more.
It is a beautiful part of our human existence - to sit and feast - share and laugh. If we don't acknowledge this sacredness, we are just eating. But are really FEEDING ourselves - with food and love.
There is a difference.
Let us bring that beauty, grace, and ease to our lives again.
Begin with one meal.
And breathe and give blessings for the privilege to deeply care for ourselves and those we love.