But what do we really eat in terms of the products and meals we find in supermarkets? I can reassure you right away that this is not a term-full, technical article listing all the chemical additives used in the ugliness we buy, but rather a story about my personal culinary awakening coupled with some small advice from friends!
Well, we now know that what the food industry uses is harmful, so let’s stop letting it fatten us up more and more!
When I was little, I liked “le parfait ” – it is a paste which probably contains very little meat or very questionable portions of…well, skin and bones. In short, I would consider it to be a big part of my past.
We came a long way since then anyway. When I say that I have to think about my mother’s post-natal doctors said that Nestlé baby milk was better than breast milk. Because she didn’t have much of it, she unfortunately chose to believe them. And no, she never breastfed. This may be a bold statement and I am hoping that Facebook’s algorithms will not block my page for it ..
So, today we know that nothing beats fresh, organically produced, local food. I do my “market runs” every Sunday morning, even if I am physically at my Zen for Monday workshop, because my nice producer takes my order through Whatsapp and I just have to pick up it (rather quickly I’d say) when I leave.
If your local producer is not as friendly as mine and you are also busy on market day, you still have the option of the “fresh basket” shopping that many local producers offer today, which will allow you to, in no time, get good quality products.
You may tell me that you lack the time to make up good little dishes and I would answer you then that it is better to cook simple things that do not take much time, rather than serving elaborate but pre-made meals sold in the supermarket.
That said, if you took a little time to prepare your dishes, then this moment you spend in the kitchen can become a pleasant one full of mindfulness, time for oneself, and even reconnection. Turn up some sweet music and get some fresh vegetables in your hands, and you’re in heaven!
And because I am trained in Ayurveda, let me give you some advice about it. In order to guarantee a maximum intake of diverse nutrients, the vegetables you chose should be varied. In this beautiful old medicine we talk all about eating “the rainbow” – vegetables with varied colors that ensure a varied intake of taste, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Unlike the raw diet that consists of eating only raw nutrients, Ayurveda recommends that we cook our food in such a way that our pre-digestion is already happening as we are processing it. This way, a lot of the work is already done beforehand, as that will allow your body to upkeep its energy from the effective assimilation of food. Be careful though, finding the right balance between raw and overcooked can be hard, as vegetables store their vitamins somewhere in the in-between.
I will say it anyway because I learned it, even if my limited brain does not necessarily understand the logic. It seems that if we eat a little bit of raw vegetables with every meal, their energies awaken the one of cooked food and bring it back to life. Take it or leave it!
And finally, the most important advice for proper assimilation of your food – eat consciously. Eat with the eyes, then with the mouth. Feel the food, the flavors, the textures and feel the goodness of what you are doing with the generosity of the food in question. The discussions that we so much like to have around the meal very often prevent us from feeling the pleasures of taste.
And no it is not over yet, I have just one more thing to say. After having a meal, do not camp on the sofa. Our digestive system is made for digesting vertically and not horizontally. Go for a short walk of 15-20 minutes while chatting with your loved ones, as to make up for the silence at the table, and your digestion will be at its peak.
And as last few words, here is a little proverb that Ayurveda teaches us: “We are what we digest”. Meditate on it.
Have a good meal.