How to bring mindfulness to your meal preparation, cooking and serving.
While we are all staying at home due to self-isolation, most of us are now becoming well acquainted with our kitchens as never before. We may have cleaned out cupboards, sorted out pantries, moved things around or maybe we are putting a little more effort into the meals we make and serve. However, self-isolation is now in the third week here in the UK, it is now wearing a little thin and maybe like me you are starting to become a little sick of trying to think of a meal to make or even if you could be bothered to make one at all.
These thoughts reminded me of when my children were little; I really did not enjoy cooking at all. Meal preparation was always a chore I would rush home from work, help with homework, sort out squabbles and try and make a healthy and tasty meal for the evening, which when served was often accompanied by one or all of them saying they didn’t like it! Over the years I started to enjoy it more and more seeing it as a challenge to make something quick, healthy, inexpensive that looked and tasted great to us all. For me the joy of making a meal came from my change in attitude, or the way I approached meal prep. I love to challenge myself, that is how I role, that’s what works for me. What gets you moving may be something entirely different find out what that is and bring that to the how you look at prepare your meals and see if there is a change. By altering the way I looked at making a meal, what I previously thought a chore, become a joyful event in the kitchen (mind you one I never was entirely sure on the ultimate outcome!). I chose to take this one daily task and bring meaning into it, to embrace it and cook with love and maybe this can happen for you too.
How did I achieve this? I looked at what I wanted or needed from a meal. I was a single Mum; I needed meals that were cheap, quick, tasty and nutritious. So I would search for new recipes, try them out decide if they were worth making again or not. I developed recipes of my own as well and over time I found out that it was far more economical if I bought in season, if I planned my meals for the week so there were very rarely unused vegies rotting in the bottom of the fridge and suprisingly that I absolutely loved cooking for others.
So if cooking seems a bit of a chore and sometimes, like me you just don’t feel like it, choose instead to look at it differently, this may change the whole way you approach meal preparation and give you a sense of joy and gratitude for what you are about to create. For this is exactly what you are doing, you are creating a meal that will nurture, comfort and satiate yourself and those you are with.
Becoming more aware of what we make and how we present it can give an immense sense of wellbeing and contentment. By setting the table beautifully, adding chopped herbs serving the meal on your favourite dinner set adding touches like chopped herbs or shaved cheese can make your meals a feast, for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. As Harriet Van Horne said “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”