Some people grow up learning to cook with their parents in the kitchen. They watch as their mom (and dad) add a pinch of this, a touch of that, and vuala! Perfection is served. They get a knack for cooking from a young age, and as they grow older they refine their palate and their cooking styles.
Well, I failed at this.
My parents always wanted me in the kitchen. My mom hopelessly showing me new recipes banking on the thought that someday I would change my mind... but I didn't. I would turn away and do handstands in the hallway instead. I wanted nothing to do with the kitchen. I wanted to practice flips on the trampoline and talk to boys on the home phone (landlines). Oh, the good ol' days.
As I deepened my spiritual awareness and connection to mind, body and soul (sorry, had to get hippie on you for a second) I began to feel intimately connected to my food. There have been periods where I have eaten meat, eaten no meat, taken on protein shakes, taken out dairy, tried it all. And will continue to. Life is an exploration and how fun is it that we get to have that exploration with every meal we put into our bodies?
In this hectic, over-worked, fast-paced society it is easy to not think about it and just grab the closest morsel of food-like substance that you can shovel into your mouth before rushing into your next engagement. Life moves fast, but people, we've got to wake up.
"You are what you eat" is so cliche, but nails it on the head. If you are rushing through a meal that was aggressively served up by some hostile employee and thrown into a container for you to rush out the door with, you aren't going to appreciate what's in front of you. (NYC, I'm talking to you). You are going to be an aggressive, hostile and unfulfilled human reaching for the afternoon chocolate bar. I've been there. I've been there far too many times. And it's time to take the control back.
Enjoy your food. Experiment with different ingredients. Take time with your meals. Understand what you are putting in your body and make it intentional. We are given this choice every single day. Allow it nourish you rather than deplete you.
Cooking is a spiritual practice in itself. Get away from your screens. Break away from your emails. Light a candle in the kitchen. Turn on some music and truly enjoy.
If you want to reignite your health, take some time in the kitchen. It's that simple. Make it an integral part in your day. Involve your loved ones. It is a special time that shouldn't be overlooked.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
And let's be real. You aren't going to cook every single meal fresh, every day. Try cooking once, eating twice. Make more than you intend to eat and store it for the next day. Use your time efficiently and your body (and mind) will thank you.
Now, go get on wit yo bad selves.