Something really bizarre happened to me as a result of going whole food, plant based. Beyond all the obvious benefits such as increased energy, 35 pound weight release after a few months into the lifestyle (without dieting), focus, clarity and mood balance, I actually fell in love with cooking.
Yep! Fell in love.
This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but to me, it’s huge. You see, after a failed marriage over 45 years ago, to a husband who never appreciated what I cooked and actually criticized virtually every meal, I decided cooking wasn’t in my wheelhouse, nor was it something I enjoyed.
I Swore off Cooking
After an ugly divorce, I swore off cooking as much as possible. My cooking expertise was limited to boxed, canned and frozen meals. And of course to avoid cooking even more, I consumed my fair share of fast foods.
For nearly 40 years, I cooked out of necessity, not pleasure. At one point, I went completely raw. Looking back, I have to wonder if this was partially due to my dislike of cooking.
Surprises Awaited Me
Imagine my surprise when one day, as I was preparing a crock pot plant based meal, I found myself whistling while I worked. If I wasn’t mistaken, I would say the feeling I was experiencing was true joy.
Even more surprising was the response I received from my family that evening when they sat down to dinner.
“Oh my gosh! This is wonderful,” said my mother-n-law.
“Wow! This tastes great,” said my spouse.
“You’re a really good cook,” said my aunt.
It seemed a bit over the top, but they were serious. I was somewhat surprised at how wonderful things tasted. Thinking it might be a fluke, I tried another recipe. The response was similar.
A Few Of My Favorites
Since that time, I’ve done everything from vegan enchiladas, homemade plant based chili, curry chickpeas and asparagus surprise, and so many other fun recipes.
My enjoyment grew with every meal.
I began using a crock pot I’ve had for years that was more of an ornament than a functional appliance. Since going plant based, I use the crock pot a minimum of once per week.
Wondering why the shift from avoiding cooking as much as possible, to finding true joy in the process, I dug deep into what happened. I attribute the change to a few things.
1. I am very conscious about what I put into my body and cooking has become a form of meditation for me.
2. I find the process of shopping, preparing and cooking to make me even more conscious about the choices I make as to what I consume.
3. There is so much appreciation from the people I cook for that my level of gratitude for food has gone through the roof.
4. Sharing a home-cooked meal with loved ones is a way to connect on an even deeper level.
5. I love when the fragrance of a meal cooking permeates throughout our home.
6. I am grateful for the foods that nourish my body that gives me the energy to do so many wonderful activities in my day to day life.
Inspiration is at the Core
Cooking plant-based meals is a combination of finding recipes others have created and using my intuition as to what will work. What I love is testing out various spices to amplify the experience. I do not use any added oil, salt or processed sugars to my menus.
If cooking is not something you necessarily enjoy, why not view the process as more of a meditation than cooking in and of itself. Think in terms of what the foods will do for your mind, body and soul.
If you’re like me, you will be pleasantly surprised at how pleasurable cooking can be.
Here’s a recipe I am going to give a shot at in the very near future. https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/lentil-minestrone/#
Ready to join a community of plant based enthusiasts? Then be sure to join the Facebook Group I’ve opened up.