I was roused the other day when I heard someone say: “I don’t know how to cook”. It got me thinking… do we “know how to do anything”? So much of life is learned so, when we say “I don’t know how to” or “I can’t” aren’t we really just saying: “I have devoted absolutely no energy into learning how to do this” Moreover doesn’t this severely limit us by making knowledge something given to us instead of something discovered by us?
I believe that we have lost a healthy connection to food. We are no longer forced to exert much energy in gaining a meal. Where once we foraged, we wait… in drive-thru lines and at restaurants. But, this is not the case everywhere…
I am currently living in a village where the annual income is approximately $2,000 US Dollars, Rice harvesters earn nearly $30 US for 4 months work, and a coconut picker receives .03 (yes, 3 cents) per coco that is hand-picked and carried through fields to the town. Suffice it to say there are people in this world working damn hard to get food on the table while a majority of us others don’t have to think twice about “What’s for dinner?” because we can have whatever we want.
If we take money out of the equation, I think our dysfunctional relationship with food, for people living in the western world, stems from two important factors: convenience and joy. One of them we’ve got and one of them is becoming theoretical…
We won’t settle for convenience over substance in many aspects of our lives so, why do we do this with the food we choose? Wouldn’t it make sense that buying, making and enJOYing good food might bring us more energy?
It is shocking to think that our bad relationship with food starts at such a young age but, this is the truth. We are counting calories before we are teenagers, going on diets because all the big kids are doing it and totally programmed to crave (or fear) certain foods before we ever get taught their impact. We never get given a chance to let our bodies speak for themselves and tell us what they need. Even if Ronald McDonald could shoot french fries out of his butt I wouldn’t be impressed because he is actually pretty down right creepy– with that hair and that grin. Fruits and vegetables don’t need a gimmick. They are magic miracles of goodness–from the earth! HOLY SHIT THAT’S AMAZING! They are the epitome of HAPPY MEAL and they don’t need to come with a toy!
Eating well is something I am training myself to do. I come from a place where some form of meat and starch were on every plate most meals. I am evolving and I am discovering a correlation between food and my sense of happiness– physically & mentally.
Personal Journey / Food Discoveries:
1. Food preparation can be a very satisfying part of the process if done mindfully
2. Putting love into designing a dish makes it (seriously) taste better !
3. Intense gratification in buying, cooking, eating and cleaning —start to finish — a whole meal.
4. Recognizing the nutritional purpose of eating food– nom nom
5. The way raw vs. cooked food actually makes the body feel better
6. Plate presentation is sexy
7. Awareness of the amount of energy it takes to process food (especially if it is already processed before consumption)
8. Developing Menus can be fun!
9. Cooking can become really amazing meditative practice.
10. There is Joy in establishing a healthy relationship with food.
In this culture they predominantly consume meat and rice. My eating habits have become somewhat of a spectacle. I was recently told that I needed to eat chicken or else I would get very sick and that fruit was not-so-good for my body. Recently a fellow traveler triggered me when he said “I am determined to break you of your diet.” I know that he wasn’t thinking about what he said and I didn’t get offended I was just puzzled. I don’t consider myself “on a diet” and vegetarianism is a choice for me. I can appreciate that everyone feels they need different things for themselves, carnivores too– and really, if i don’t seek to change you, please don’t spend your precious time seeking to change me.
More satisfaction! Food prepared from the heart really does taste better. I am currently exploring food in its “raw” form and what a beautiful thing it is… more simplicity and more satisfaction! We have options for re-evaluating our philosophies on food prep and one of them is by eliminating the necessity to cook every damn thing. If we eat it raw, we get to focus less on prepping and more on just getting to eat it. yum.
People eat different things in different parts of the world. I had come to the point of exhaustion in trying to explain “No thank you, I just prefer not to eat meat” trying to politely bridge the gap of dissimilarity, when I felt it mattered. And that exhaustion brought about some clarity.. it doesn’t matter. They are curious why I just don’t eat it and eventually after I just continue not eating it, they get bored with asking about it.
There is so much joy in curiosity that by over thinking effectual ways to communicate why things are different, seems insignificant. I view it all as a chance to accept differences and forge a bridge for others to understand other ways of life. Because after all… sometimes it just takes one person to reveal a new way of being. Case in point, The Sunfood Diet Success System by David Wolfe was lovingly given to me and it has had a swift impact on my relationship with food:
The best way to express truth is to happily live it and share it– So, here are the concoctions of the day (which I have out of pure amusement given quirky and oddly kinky names) Perhaps it can be used as a tool for others to find their own inner chefy and rediscover the joys in learning to love to make damn good food 🙂
The Greens: Asian Greens, Romaine & Celery
The Yum: Fresh Dill & Avocado
The Filling: Shitake Mushrooms & Sprouts
The Nuts: Walnuts & Almonds
The Boost: Raisin, Goji & Green Apple
The Seeds: Sunflower, Flax, Black Sesame, Chia & Pumpkin
The Dress: EVOO, ACV, Coco Oil, Garlic, Ginger, Chili Flakes, Sea Salt & Ground Pepper
The Titillating Triple Threat:
Sweet: Green Apple & Beetroot
Sophisticated: Raw Cashew Nut & Almond
Sassy: Yogurt, Ginger & Sesame Dressing
some other random stuff to chew on…
Thought is the Fruit of our Mind:
We spend an absurd amount of valuable energy on trivial things. We are often responsible for getting in the way of our own best interest. Statistics indicate the number one thing people care about is themselves. If this is really the case, it seems we might be more mindful of how we are treating ourselves by recognizing what thoughts are ripe for the picking, which we allow to run rampant and which ones have spoiled already and need to go bye-bye…
In our mind-house what are we truly nurturing? Where is our attention going? Are we attuned to our real happiness and developing an aliveness in the presence of every moment? Are we healing the wounds and loving that which longs to be loved. Are we getting to the important question of asking ourselves “Am I healthy? Am I happy? Am I feeling whole?”
In the process of simply starting to ask these questions we are forced to become more conscious. We are forced into paying attention to where we are expending energy and what we are really spending our time here doing. So, what are our “happenings”? And are they productive to our ideal of happiness? Are we recognizing when we need to refuel and is the fact that we don’t pay attention to the details of; who we are, what we are doing, and how we are doing it… the reflection of a much deeper seeded issue?
Self Maturation. I want it.
“When the fruit is ripe, it drops from the tree by itself. One moment it hangs by a thread from the branches of the tree, bursting with juice. The next moment it falls–not because it has been forced to fall, or has made the effort to jump, but because the tree has recognized its ripeness and simply let it go.” (Osho Zen Tarot)
While in Australia I stayed with a friend who was tending to a remarkable garden…
Nearly all our meals incorporated some array of goodness hand picked straight from the backyard…
I found soul nourishment in witnessing the dedication and care for which this food was handle…
and gratitude to the soil for all it reaps…
It was all beautiful and delicious…