The first time I heard the term “conscious cooking” I didn’t give it much thought. However, over time, I realize I’ve been a conscious cooker for as far back as I can remember. I just hadn’t put a label on it.
Shift in Perception
Let’s start with what conscious cooking means. According to one source, conscious cooking is about a shift in perception to the foods we are preparing and the food types we use.
“In addition to being conscious of food types, the Indian Vaisnava cooking tradition suggests that we shift our consciousness in terms of who the food is being cooked for. Vaisnavism suggests that while one is cooking, they meditate on cooking for the pleasure of Krishna or Vishnu.”
While many people eat in a very unaware state, there are those who eat in a very conscious state. Often this is done as a result of conscious cooking. There is a high level of awareness in the foods one selects at the farmers’ market or supermarket.
As well, the prep can almost be considered meditative. Many people bless their food every step of the way. They are mindful.
Then there is the actual consumption of the meal. To become deeply conscious of what the food will do for your body, take a moment before the first bite to actually pray over your food. A prayer of thanksgiving is a very powerful energetic practice.
Actual Health Benefits
Another level of conscious meal preparation has to do with becoming aware of the health benefits of different foods you prepare. The more you select whole and fresh foods, the more life you bring to the meal. The less you include any type of processed foods, the more energy you are putting into the meal preparation.
Recently, I read an article in the New York Times by Sam Sifton. He wrote about a meal he prepared on the 18th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th.
“It is a somber day in New York City, in Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Penn., all across the nation, everywhere touched by the attacks of 18 years ago. I can’t help but recall, each time, how blue the sky was that day and how tightly I held my week-old child in horror at what I’d done, bringing life into this world gone mad.
“I cooked later that day and served what I’d made to my family. That act sustained me and sustains me still — this vain hope that if only we make food for one another and share it with open hearts we can push forward together in understanding, and together maybe make the world a better place. I don’t know if that works. I believe it does. So, I’ll continue to do it, seeking grace in the meals, in the work of making them.”
There are so many benefits to conscious cooking and eating. During times of loss, it heals. During times of celebration, it enhances the memory of the event we are celebrating. When dealing with day-to-day life happenings, it allows us to live with more grace.
With the amount of stress we all experience on a daily basis, the best way to deal with this is by being more conscious of how we eat, cook and live. Doing so does require effort, but the results will be better digestion, improved sleep, higher absorption of nutrients and overall, a better quality of life.
30 Days to More Conscious Living
Try this; for the next 30 days, be fully aware of the entire process of what it takes to put a meal on your table. And if you are not sitting down to your meals, that would be one of the first changes to make. A sit down meal is truly a conscious process.
Pray over your meal before taking the first bite. Slow down as you eat. Really pay attention to every bite that goes in your mouth giving thanks each time you chew.
You will be amazed at what that will do for the quality of mealtime, family connection time and overall well-being.
Sure, it will take effort when you first start, but the positive changes you will notice will make it well worth your while.