DAY # 33

SET POSITIVE INTENTIONS


 CHALLENGE BREAKDOWN


Today I will set a positive intention while I am prepping food and think only loving thoughts.

As infants, ideally we learn to associate breast milk/food with comfort, nourishment, and social interaction with loved ones.  That’s the intention anyway. Food is without a doubt, a functional human need that fulfills our emotional, mental and physiological needs.  Eating behaviors are influenced by food availability, hunger levels, taste preferences, mental well-being, cultural heritage, religious beliefs and dining companions.    

So I have yet another personal story to share with you since I would prefer to self-disclose what goes on in my world to help you learn about your own (rather than tell about another client’s discovery).  We all know that cooking can without a doubt, be an expression of love. If you have ever seen the movies Like Water for Chocolate or Chocolat, feeling love for the person you are creating food for will absolutely change the way the food tastes.  I believe that the love is infused into the food. I’ve experienced this first hand. Both my mother and step-mother make really good food.  And when I’ve followed their recipes, step by step, my food NEVER tastes the same. It baffled me. Later in life when I was in Arizona for a month during my master’s intensive for Vegan and Live Food Nutrition, the retreat center cafe staff would pray on the food while making it.  To date, it was the best food I’ve ever had. My mom said the same thing.

Looping back to childhood- I wasn’t always this healthy.  While I grew up in a very healthy food-related household, my parents divorced when I was very young.  My mom served healthy, home-cooked meals every damn day of her life (God bless her). Breakfast included (usually scrambled eggs, grits, homemade biscuits, ovaltine or milk – no kidding).  And I am not a breakfast person so my best friend scored big at the bus stop each morning. Now two weekends a month my older brother, younger sister and I would spend weekends with my father and step-mother.  My father enjoyed showering us with love in the form of sugar and frozen meals (YAY!!!) I still have images of downing extra large pixie sticks from the gas station in the back of his 240Z while driving to his house.  And I always choose my frozen meal based on the dessert picture on the label when we went grocery shopping that night. True story.

Wow where was I going with this?  Oh yeah. Years later I learned how to cook, not the best ever but once I started to explore a plant-based diet I did a deep dive into the lifestyle.  I wanted to repent for all the internal damage I had done in my youth. See, the women in my family tend to live until almost 100 years old. And I quickly realized that if I didn’t get my nutrition act in order, I would more than likely live a miserable existence on a plethora of pharmaceuticals.  The way I’m hard-wired, this is against my core belief system. So I felt guilty about my past abusive relationship with sugar (and alcohol) and had to do nutritional repentance, a complete 360 degree turn. It even shocked me.

While I was in serious commitment with my plant-based phase, like 21-day green juice detoxes (oh yes, I was hard core), I also found myself going through a horrible breakup.  Food is so easy to turn to, to cope with the overwhelming feelings of sorrow, depression, and loneliness of a breakup, right? I had the brilliant idea of making my FAVORITE plant-based foods to heal my broken heart.  I got right to work in the kitchen and made everything I could think of that I loved and adored and would be soooo super excited to eat. But guess what.

The food, well, it tasted… sad.  

I am shaking my head as I recall the day and share this, because it was the oddest experience to me!  My intention was to make my FAVORITE foods to pick up my spirits and somehow my food was just as sad as I was!  What a bummer! So for a couple of weeks I just focused on take out and pre-made foods.

You know how you can walk into a silent room and just feel some tense energy?  Nothing has been said, you just know something is really off. What I came to learn and know is that my thoughts and energy in the kitchen, especially with plant-based meals and anytime I am prepping food, can be sensitive to how I am thinking and feeling.  So now before I make anything, from a smoothie to salad, I like to put some thought and intention into the process.  Certainly can’t hurt right? Knowing this I started to make “money” soup. “Happiness” or “healing” salads or “let’s get someone in the mood” smoothies.  You can put whatever intention into your food that you desire. I love to put specific intention into everything I make now, in fact the process when I step into the kitchen is this:

I take several long, deep breaths and ask myself three specific questions:

How hungry am I on a scale of 1-10?  (if I am at a 5 or above, I might make something to eat later but make an agreement that I will eat if I am below a 5, ideally)

What do I really want to eat right now?

What intention do I want to put into the food?

So today, I encourage you to try setting intentions into your food, for at least a day, ideally the week, and see how it turns out.  It’s fun to add that secret ingredient, set those intentions and see what happens. Better than making food when you are angry, resentful, or upset, right?  Let me know how it goes for you!