Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?
- Sathya Sai Baba
22 January 2021
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to join a small group online cook-along with chef Marc from his company Love Munches, which promotes cooking mindfully and with love. It was a fantastic experience, and I wanted to share a few of his tips for bringing mindfulness and love into your cooking here. Maybe try a few of them this week!
When you're cooking, see if you can be fully present to the task that you are doing. Whether you're chopping, slicing, whipping, marinating or kneading, try to tune your senses to the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the task at hand. As you focus your attention on every detail, you may discover an increased sense of calm and clarity in the kitchen. It might even make the process more enjoyable, and the end result tastier too!
Instead of using your breath to anchor the mind, as you would in meditation, have an action which you do when cooking which you can always use as a trigger to bring you make to the moment if your mind has wandered. For example, Marc has a wooden spoon with a heart cut out of the centre which he uses to stir his cooking. The sight of the spoon and the action of stirring is a trigger to focus on that movement, and absorb all of the sights and smells of the cooking process.
Take the time to cook well for yourself. Cooking is an act of self-care, and cooking well for ourselves reminds us that we are worthy of a delicious, balanced home-cooked meal.
Be mindful when choosing the ingredients that you cook with. Pay attention to bringing as many colours as you can to your plate, and combine a mixture of interesting tastes and flavours. When you prepare your ingredients do so with care and love (e.g. Marc showed us how to cut carrots shaped like a simple flower). This will produce a dish that is nourishing and deeply satisfying.
If cooking for others, think of them with love, kindness and gratitude whilst you are cooking, wishing them well. When you cook mindfully for others, they will undoubtedly notice the care and consideration you've poured into their meal.
And finally, enjoy eating your meal, appreciating every mouthful, every taste and every smell. Eat with a sense that you are doing yourself good, and without any guilt or worry about the calories that you are consuming. When we eat more slowly, and with more attention on what we are eating and on how full we are feeling, we will eat the right amount for our body and feel satisfied when we are finished.
Look out for the ‘Rise Up With Emma’ Saturday morning online classes with Root To Rise! These classes combine 20-30 minutes of mindful bread making (a very simple soda bread recipe), with 30-40 minutes of vinyasa yoga (accessible for all levels). Whilst practising, your bread will be baking, and by the end of the class you will have a warm loaf of bread ready to enjoy for a delicious lunch! Check the Schedule for the next class or subscribe to my newsletter for the latest updates.