SO FAR, I'VE LEARNED THIS MUCH....
The only time I multi-task anymore is in the kitchen. I think it's because I know that I will accomplish something good and complete. The act of chopping vegetables, sauteing garlic and onions, experimenting like a mad scientist with spices and herbs while rarely needing a recipe to follow, has become my source of therapy. It is also my opportunity to be creative and to provide something nourishing for me and my loved ones.
It's hard to believe that when I was a young adult, I actually hated the idea of being in the kitchen. At the time, I veiwed it as enslavement, an expectation that comes with being a girl, which made me feel angry and resentful. Unfortunately, this is the negative energy I put into any cooking that I did do. Most of the time, in order to avoid being June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver, I lived off of cereal, canned soup and Cheez-Its (talk about cutting off my nose to spite my face!) Thank God I've made some changes over the years!
In the last paragraph, I mentioned negative energy. Studying some Ayurvedic Medicine over the years, it is believed that the energy that is put into the process of preparing meals is actually absorbed by the food. At first, I thought this concept was a bit out there, but when I think about my old ways and how my attitute affected my food, I've become convinced that there is definate merit to this belief. Have you ever thought that a meal prepared by someone else, especially by someone that loves you, tastes better than if you prepared it yourself? Even something simple like a grilled cheese sandwich made with the same bread, same ingredients, same preparation- tastes like a gourmet treat if it wasn't done yourself. Now when I prepare meals, I am aware of my mental state because I believe that the good mojo I put into it effects not only my well-being, but also that of the person I am sharing with as well.
The topic of nutrition certianly goes beyond food itself. More imprtantly, it's the relationship with food that makes the biggest difference and can solve most people's issues with weight management and disease. I confess that at that crazy time in my life, I was not healthy at all. My job was chaotic and stressful, I commuted an average of two hours ONE WAY in the worst traffic, and by the time I got home, I was cranky and not fun to be around. Healthy nourishment was the last thing on my mind, so I really didn't think about what I was putting into my body. One of the greatest advantages of youth is that the body can tolerate abuse, but mind the word tolerate. Like being in an abusive relationship, there's only so much that can be tolerated before the shit hits the fan! One of my favorite quotes from someone unknown describes the aging process as "the result of what you did to yourself when you were young." No matter what age, heed that warning and think about consequences!
Also, think about the difference between the definition of "diet" and "nourishment". Am I correct to say that most people dread the word "diet" due to the thought of restriction and being forced to adhere to some kind of plan? When I hear the word "nourishment", I think of what is necessary for growth and health, like how a loving mother nourishes her children. I have thrown the word "diet" out of my vocabulary and replaced it with "nourish". It has made a huge difference!
Lastly, I STOPPED STRESSING OVER FOOD! I believe that bad thoughts are worse than bad foods, but I didn't always think this way. Being a Nutritionist, I do tons of research which turns into too much information about what is good, what is bad; what used to be good but now it's not; what fad diet is out, what new fad diet is in; organic or not but everything seems to be poisoned anyway ... all overwhelming and stressful! I felt like everything was just so confusing that I couldn't form any final judgements. I was obsessing over labels, narrowing my choices for food, becoming "that person" in the restaraunt. I wasn't enjoying life, including "pizza night" with my family, and I'm sure people around me condisidered me to be a pain in the ass! I realized that obsessing caused me more anxiety than anything, so I allowed myself to relax, knowing I can't control everything that is put into foods, regardless of it being natural or organic. I think that if good choices are made most of the time, then savoring occasional moments with chocolate and a Margherita will not harm me. I Just do it with happiness and I do not waste my time with guilt or regrets!
I will end with another great quote (I don't know who said it) that has made an impact on me, and I hope you take the time to think about what it means to you:
"True health is not the pursuit of the perfect body".