I’ve been thinking a lot recently on how much my relationship to wellness has transformed through the years. I think on how I use to interact with this concept and on what health meant to me … what my motivations were, or the crazy amounts of money that I’ve spent on products that promised to get me well. It’s uncomfortable to think about. But it’s real. From exotic powders to alkaline water machines. From processed protein sources to skin-clearing light devices. I’m not saying that these things are inherently bad, many of them do work, but what I’m saying is that when I think back on all that I grasped for, in utter desperation, because I wasn’t able to just simply sit and be, or appreciate sheer simplicity … I was buying into the notion that these things would be make me feel better, do better, be better. The kitchen became a source of anxiety for me … a space I entered with frustration and confusion about what I was suppose to be fueling my body with, and how. From self-created psychological boundaries to evident physical feedback, I was lost. I now see that my confusion was a privilege … and not one I feel great having engaged in. But I also wouldn’t take it back, because it is what has led me from a kitchen stacked with anxiety, and foods completely foreign to my body, to a kitchen of sacred nutrition in which I finally feel inspired and connected and cared for in very simple ways. Ways that are close to home. And sometimes, free.
It’s been an interesting, and beautiful journey into remembering how much of what I need already lives within me. It took a lot of grasping to remember that conscious breathing, and more sleeping (both of which are free) are the very best resets for my nervous system, and that the silence of meditation is my number one ally in clearing my skin. I use to think wellness needed to be sexy in order to work. I use to think that my level of health depended upon the amounts of colorful plants I could consume in a day. I use to believe that there was still something I had yet to discover to flood in and fix it all. But now, I see it differently. Now, to me, wellness means understanding that I already have everything I need within me … that simplicity is key … and that cleansing my inner world is equally (if not more) important than cleansing my outer world … that the products and things I do engage with for an intention of higher health need to be engaged with in gratitude, and minimally, in order for them to do anything for me. That energy of grasping, wasn’t helping. That belief that something outside of me alone could fix me, didn’t. I have found wellness in the silent spaces of my own simple be-ing. I have found higher health in the refuge of my capacity for gratitude for all that already exists within me … all that I Am that is already free. Totally, deliciously, free.
All of that being said, here is what it now means to me to hold a Sacred Kitchen. To feel at home in this space. And to feel abundant, be abundant, even when the abundance isn’t expensive or all that aesthetically sexy ↠ ↠
Let the energy of gratitude be your secret ingredient in every meal, and as a way to begin your digestive process in advance. Taking a moment to breathe and be with our food, both before we start cooking it and before we start consuming it, helps to align with the energy of what is about to enter our temples. This also prepares our body to absorb all of its goodness, both literally and energetically. This practice helps us to get really present within our bodies, in a state of surrendered stillness, rather than in that anxious grip. It’s not great to eat with that kind of grip in your stomach. A practice of Gratifood brings in purpose and ritual, as an anchor and familiar uplifting feeling before eating. It brings in an awareness of where our food came from and all that it took to bring it to our plate — many suns, moons, rains, and hands. This kind of moment of awareness is gratitude embodied.
As much as we are able, buying local foods from farmers markets, specialty shops or farms directly is an easy and rewarding way for our bodies to make the most of the food we’re eating. Our bodies immediately calibrate to the environment we’re in and will perform the best when fueled with the very same stuff of that region. Eating foods from our local region is a divinely designed way for our bodies to feel nurtured and to thrive. Focus on getting whole food nutrition from your local environment much more than from imported products or powders.
Find purpose and ease both the food in your house, and in what you keep on the counters and in drawers. If something isn’t getting used for many months, get rid of it. Only keep around what inspires you, and what you put good use into. Make the kitchen peaceful reflection of what the sacred feels like for you. Build an altar if that excited you, too — a little spot to hold your best intentions for health, prayers, and gratitude. Treat your kitchen as you would any other holy space.
Make bigger batches of home cooked food ahead of time so that while making it, you can take your time and not rush the process. The modern kitchen has become one of microwaving and speeding. And sometimes we do have to eat on the run, but it’s always nice to do so with a whole food home cooked meal rather than a quick-cook plastic package. Make cooking a meditation — turn off the TV or anything distracting and instead, listen to mantras, some other sort of spirit-lifting tunes, sing to yourself, or just go about it in silence. Dance, laugh and do it with those you love. Again, our bodies respond much better to food made this way.
The sacred act of composting is a wonderful way to show gratitude and embody abundance by giving back to the Earth in whatever small ways. Scraps and unused food can go straight back to the soil to become brand new Earth to grow more food again and again. Compost for your own garden or yard, or become a part of a composing service in your neighborhood. It’s also nice to save extra scraps in a freezer bag for future stock or broth making. Let nothing truly go to waste.
What does a Sacred Kitchen look + feel like for you?