In the delightful film, Julie and Julia, the story revolves around two women whose lives were saved by learning how to cook. Julia Child went on to become the doyenne of home cooking, while Julie Powell went on to write a successful blog about cooking her way through Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Even though they prepared foods loaded with butter, beef, sugar and cream they were able to nurture their husbands and friends with the energy and mind set they brought into the kitchen. In other words your state of mind can influence the state of your health and your ability to heal from serious disease or a minor illness.
When I studied the science of Macrobiotic cooking I was taught how my energy and thoughts can affect the vibrational energy of each meal I prepare. It is not just my energy that can affect the food, but other factors as well such as, the length of time a dish cooks, the temperature used, and the way each vegetable is cut. Even the type of heat used in cooking is thought to have an affect on the body’s nervous system: a wood fire (calm), a gas flame (less calm), electric coil (agitating) or a microwave oven (very agitating).
In Healing With Whole Foods, food researcher Paul Pitchford speaks of the invisible energy that is imparted to the food by the cook and that this in turn affects anyone who then eats that food. He offers a few suggestions for being aware of your intentions in the kitchen:
1. Food prepared in anger imparts anger.
2. If the cook is being too thrifty and not meeting everyone’s nutritional needs there can be a feeling of deprivation and then excessive bingeing (on not-so-nutritious food), leading to even more expense.
3. When the cook is feeling rejected, the food will most likely be rejected, too.
4. Cooking in a hurried or chaotic manner can result in anxious, chaotic thoughts and actions.
So, note to self, pound the pillow rather than the chicken breast when angry with spouse or children. Then take a moment to calm down and let go of the anger before stepping into the kitchen.
To many people cooking is a form of meditation, a time to quiet the mind and listen to what their body needs; perhaps a bit more protein, some extra oil, or a serving of sweet vegetables to balance the salt from yesterday’s chips. If we are in a rush we can overlook what is really needed and if we are ill we can only cause further depletion of energy.
Cooking for optimal health with love, intention and integrity may not be exactly what Julia Child’s was writing about, but in her way it is what she brought to her cooking and inspired cooking, so many others to do the same.
Ms. Quigley is a certified nutritionist, macrobiotic chef, health expert and certified master yoga teacher. She is also the director of StillPoint Schoolhouse Productions, a video/film production and publishing company dedicated to providing educational media presentations in the fields of health, nutrition, hatha yoga, vegetarian cooking, organic gardening and environmental topics. She has a combined 30 years of experience in the fields of yoga, health and nutrition and is the author of seven books including SuperFoods, The Bodyrejuvenation Cleanse and The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxifying your Body.