Recipes are not enough


I’ve been rethinking my eating habits. I’ve been frustrated for years with what I cook and the offerings in the restaurants I’ve frequented. I get some inspiration from shows or documentaries or cookbooks, but nothing has jelled so far. I want more than a few recipes to spruce things up. I am looking for my personal food philosophy.

Last month, I attended a meeting of vegans in DC. Usually, I run screaming from such a gathering, but I was drawn by two things.  I met a number of people that looked vibrant and healthy. They were full of energy, with impeccable skin and evangelical zeal.  The food was well-seasoned and delicious. I was pleasantly surprised by the entire gathering.

I came away convinced that my diet should be primarily plant-based, supplemented by meat purchased from humanely raised, sustainable sources pastured close to me. (No, I’m not turning vegetarian or vegan!)

People have been preaching that for years. That’s nothing new.

Organic veggies and humanely raised meat are just about the quality of ingredients, though. Ingredients alone aren’t transformative. Having the best ingredients elevates cooking, but that isn’t enough for me. Parsnips are just parsnips until they meet loving hands and herbs and butter and salt and love and taste buds and conversation. Parsnips are transformed, becoming something that is so much more than calories, vitamins and fiber.

My body needs fuel, but my soul and spirit need an intangible something that’s been missing. I’ve been eating too much food prepared by hands and hearts that don’t love me.

That’s why I need to cook again. I need to prepare my own food. I need to love myself through food. I need to learn what spices and seasonings please me. I have a few memories of family dinners as a child, but I haven’t made memories and traditions of my own. I’m changing that. Right now.

I’m off to the wilds of Virginia for inspiration. I’ll be sharing my ‘small starts’ in changing the way I eat right here.