The other day, hearing a shopper chat about Thanksgiving dinner turned into being an eye opener. “I can’t believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I dread fixing that meal for all those people. Shopping, prepping and baking is exhausting.” Well, stressful as it may sound, Thanksgiving should be a time of grace, appreciation and love. Just like some of the chicken and turkeys we purchase, stress breeds stress. The same goes for any dinner we prepare. Mindful cooking should be about enjoyment, happiness and becoming fully in the present. A joyous occasion starts with the chef.
- Attune to the moment; harmonize food color with spice and stay away from anything too complicated.
- Allow plenty of time to prepare; shop early in the season, plan a few days before to bake, chop or shop. Focus on good thoughts during preparation.
- Shop at your favorite store; whether it be a fancy or not, shop at a location and store you are familiar with. This cuts down on time shopping, because you know where everything is placed.
- Abundant but simple; plan menu with plenty of quality whole foods that are not complicated. Remember, when the day arrives, it’s about family and friends!
- Let the food cook slowly; allow the flavors whether it be salty, sweet or savory to energize the kitchen with their unique aromas.
- Choose food mindfully; consider who will be at the table and opt for dishes that attract all that may be celebrating with you. Use simple herbs and spices lightly.
- Participation; enjoy the company and have everyone participate in preparation of the festivities. Memories happen when all get to join in. Open your heart to new comers and be aware of surroundings.
- Calm the minds with calming foods; whole grains and brown rice are excellent alternatives to soothe mental hyperactivity. Fruit and lemons also keep a relaxed mentality for guests. Herbs like basil or dill help find calmness.
- Excessive is not not cool. Although Thanksgiving is a time that we all may stuff ourselves more than an average meal, it really does the body no good. Eat wisely. Chew food slowly, allowing digestion to occur.
It is all simple to do. it may take practice for some, but a thoughtful preparation makes an excellent dinner. Remember, what goes around comes around and this time it will go around the ones you love.
Healing With Whole Foods;Paul Pitchford; 2002