A year ago..actually even two years ago..I had no clue that I would enjoy the level of cooking that I do now. In fact I hated spending any time in the kitchen.
I used to think that I just cooked to feed myself and my family. Now I know I was just carrying out a routine. I was not informed in my cooking. I did not question what I was feeding my family…what I was feeding myself. You assume that if food is in the supermarket or in the store, then the food has been vetted. That the people putting these foods out there are looking out for you and your interest.
How wrong I was. Most of the food companies out there are concerned with lining their pockets. You want convenience when it comes to food? they will give you that. But at what cost? They will deliver with ingredients that will make them withstand being out in the shelf without getting spoiled. Many times, we do not know where the food was made, who made it or how it was made. There is no personal connection to the food, except that we know we need to eat.
I had to learn how to read ingredients in the food I would buy. This got tedious…and I just thought to myself what am I doing? I need to just buy whole foods. Plant based foods. Foods found in the periphery of the store. Learn how to prepare meals from scratch as much as possible. Eat living foods.
Another realization that I came to is that this world will prey on your uncertainty and the second guessing of yourself. As we have become consumers filled with so much anxiety over the foods we eat, how we should eat it, we have become insecure. The more unsure you are of yourself, the more you doubt yourself and your capabilities, the more likely someone will sweep in and form an opinion for you.
As consumers we are becoming more aware and more health conscious. But how do we know what is right anymore? what is wrong? We have so many experts now telling us so many different things. One minute, its okay to eat this food, the next we are being told how bad it is for our well-being.
For me, I’ve reached the point where there are truly no right answers. I just know that I was tired of the disconnection, the insecurity and the disempowerment that I felt with food. The range of choices from organic, to conventional, to locally grown, raised without antibiotics, low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free. It’s too much. Yet its a challenge to overcome and how do we do this?
Armed with all this information, the best thing I could do was extract what felt right to me. To trust my own instinct. To make choices that work for me and allow them to be good enough. Essentially I go with my instinct.
Instinct. It’s the voice, the hunch, the inkling, the idea, the sense, that tells me what the right choice is for me. I believe you have it too. I’m learning to listen to it more and more. It’s that muscle that I’m using more and it’s getting better the more I use it. The decisions made are always the right ones for me. I no longer look at things from a right and wrong perspective simply as an individual choice at that given moment in time.
This is how I approach my cooking. I want to approach the rest of my life this way. Listening more to the voice within myself rather than the doubt that ensures I’m left listening to other people’s experiences rather than trusting my own path.
There is no other secret to my cooking other than truly, just trusting yourself. Its part of the reason I essentially offer guidelines rather than full recipes for meals at times.Part of ot is because im so knee deep in the creative process i havent really taken the time to write anything down. I may include something in the recipe that you do not have in your kitchen. That would make you think you can’t make the meal, yet you probably could. You could substitute some ingredients and it would still be an amazing meal. In fact you would probably write to me you had a great idea…I tried it this way and it worked wonders.
What am I saying? I’m saying go on…trust yourself. Trust your intuition. Be inspired by people, food and environment around you but ultimately own your kitchen. Own your space with confidence and cook with confidence. Trust your instincts. The rest is all noise.