Monday, 24 October 2011

Can You Feel The LOVE?

Food carries more than just flavour...
This one may be hard to swallow, but let me see if I can help you digest it (oh dear...couldn't help

Why does mum's cooking taste so good? Why does a candle lit dinner with your lover taste better than a TV dinner alone whilst watching Bridget Jones Diary? Could food carry the very essence of our hearts as we make it, arrange it and serve it to those we love? I think it does.

A few months back we went to a local cafe for breakfast near the beach, just north of Sydney. Both Jerry and I could not believe how good it was truly exquisite! So much so that we spoke to the waitress and then with the kitchen to let them know how great our food and coffee had been. The waitress told us how the business was family owned and that they have a genuine love for food. We could tell. It reminded us of how love, put into food, is carried through to those who eat it.

Spot the difference
This weekend I visited the same cafe and had the same meal...and it was ordinary (in fact, not great at all). And as I watched the staff cleaning up after the lunch crowd, I noticed the owner was not there and the staff were in a hurry to get out of there and enjoy what was left of their weekend. No love in this food, I am afraid. And it was very noticeable.

Have you ever experienced this? Have you noticed that some food just tastes great...and for no apparent reason? Could love really move through the food? Let's explore it.

Food travels a long way on it's journey to our bodies.

First, seeds are sown in the ground...or livestock is reared (for the non vegos amongst us). The food is then grown with energy from the sun, water from above, some without additives and some with chemical 'hurry up's', some with an individual touch, some on commercial farms, some in home vegie gardens and some as part of large corporate consortiums.

Then the food is harvested, some killed, packaged, transported, processed etc. Some harvesting involves machinery and some is done by hand. Some foods are processed to make the food 'look' better, some are heated, frozen, stored, shipped, flown or carried from the farmer to the local fruit shop.

We make our way to our favourite food retailer, corner shop or friends vegie patch and select, purchase and carry the food home to our fridge, fruit bowl or kitchen bench. Or, it is picked up by our favourite restauranteur, who puts it in the cool room.

If we are lucky our food has not been processed prior to us getting it without our knowledge. Eg Apples waxed, tomatoes gas rippened etc. Once we get it home we commence creating our meals...the food is prepared, combined, infused, blended, marinated, cooked or served raw.

Then to finish, it is served in a myriad of ways; on a plate at home, in our lunch bag we take to work, to our restaurant table, to the coffee table in front of the TV or placed with love in front of us by our mum, our partner, our sister or brother, our friend or by ourselves.

No matter how it gets to us, we eventually sit down to this gourmet delight with whatever attitude we have at the time and either scoff it down because we are desperately in need of something to fill us, or to satisfy an addiction, or we approach it with an unconscious disregard, or we appreciate the journey it has made and receive it with an open heart and appreciation of this gift of food.

Geez...who would have know all this was going on with our simple chicken and salad wrap, made at the local sandwich shop.

So What!?!
Some may say, "so what?" However, if you are anything like me, you may see it a little differently...or by now, considering whether you should. What if food tastes better, fills us better, serves our body better and heals us simply by the energy it carries? And could it simply be that the preparation and delivery of that food with love is enough to cleanse it of the torrid journey it may have on it's way to us? Food for thought, huh? Hey wait a minute... interesting saying.

Kids feel it
I showed my daughter Sammi how to infuse everything she cooks with love. She knows love is a powerful energy and a gift to give another. I remember recently she was watching me prepare a salad for dinner. Sammi prepared the table with candles, placemats, cutlery and removed all the clutter. She carried the salad over to the table and said "mum, I can feel the love you put into this food". I was amazed that at 8 years old, she could grasp this concept. A few nights later she created a special plate of fresh food which she infused with the love from her heart.

Love it or Leave it
I would much rather not eat food that is over-processed, nutritionally poor or made without any heart whatsoever. However...i think the first two issues can be superseded just by the food being prepared with loads of love. I have a real respect for my body and don't want it filled with lifeless, loveless food. There have been occasions when I will leave a meal rather than eat it just because it's on the table. I don't make a fuss, rather I take in whatever else is available that fills me with life and love.

Give it a go
I believe everything in life carries with it a vibration, an essence. Why not give this a go next time you prepare a meal for those you love (including yourself) and see how it feels.

Try this:
(1) Go to the local fresh food market and choose the ingredients with love in your heart.
(2) Treat them all with care. Carry them home with love.
(3) Store them with an appreciation of their nutrients and living components.
(4) Prepare the food with a single focus and be present to its colour, texture and value.
(5) Combine it with love and cook it with a knowing that you are gifting yourself and your loved ones with fresh, nutritional food splashed with a hint of love.
(6) Set the table as you would for your loved ones last meal on the planet. Remove clutter, turn the lights down a little, put on some nice gentle music and create an atmosphere you adore.
(7) Serve the food on plates that celebrate the colours, textures, flavours.
(8) Welcome your loved ones to the table with a touch, a kiss, a smile.
(9) Take a moment to appreciate your loved ones, this food and life.
(10) Receive each mouthful for the glorious gift it is.

In Closing...
This all sounds delicious to me. I am off to the market for some goodies. Let me know how you go....or set another place for dinner and I will be over at six. Red or white?

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I'm looking forward to hearing from you...Deb (chief Nudie)