Something funny has happened lately. I no longer have a dishwasher, and I love it. I mean, it makes sense. A holistic nutritionist without a dishwasher. This has been something that I’ve been thinking about for a while (I mean, at least a year). It all relates to water conservation. When you think about dishwashers and laundry machines- depending on how many times a day/week you use it, you end up using a lot of water, mindlessly. Even to the point that you end up using the laundry machine and dishwasher before they’re full- out of convenience. When I say you, I am most definitely talking about myself, too. This awareness comes from pure experience. A dishwasher cycle runs for an average of 30 minutes, right (while a laundry machine goes for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour)? So that’s 30 minutes of consistent running water. Crazy. I have to be honest, I’ve thought about this before. However, the thing is, until you experience a new perspective, first hand, it’s difficult to truly understand something. It’s the same with anything in life.
The same thing relates to the whole Ice Bucket Challenge that is circulating. I was really unsure of what to do when and if I was nominated. How do I- a holistic nutritionist who is trying to build a name for myself as someone that people can trust, follow and go to for advise on health, wellness and sustainability- pour a bucket of perfectly good water over my head, and virtually throw it down the drain? The thing is, if you think about it in terms of just your 1 small bucket of water- it doesn’t seem so bad. However, the thing is this challenge is truly circulating the globe (according to Forbes.com it has raise 100 Million dollars in just 1 month)- that’s a LOT of buckets of water [assuming that it took more than 10 people to raise 100 million dollars]. So, I decided that an option, if I was nominated, would be to collect water from my shower and add some ice cubes to it (yes, I had a cold water shower). And that’s what I did.
So water conservation. Yes, very important. The thing is, it’s one of the perks of not having a dish washer. One of the main reasons why I am really loving not having a dish washer is that it not only is making me more aware of my actions, it’s making me just a little bit more connected to my food and the kitchen. By washing your dishes, you are thinking about more variables like; the products/chemicals you are using, the quality of water as well as the amount of dishes you use during your meal preparation and eating stages. Chances are, if you are going to be washing up the dishes- you won’t be as inclined to over-use dishware. Another great side-effect is that you will have less to wash and therefore will use less water. It all adds up. It’s a cycle of sustainable and environmental consciousness!
It all has to do with being more connected to our life. SO much of the time we get so into our mindless routines that our life can be carried out quite mindlessly. Waking up, getting ready for work, driving to work [sounds scary but yes, it can be pretty mindless], working, talking to people, coming home and watching TV, ordering dinner, and finally going to sleep. This routine gets repeated so many times that it really does become mindless. So, it’s important to start doing things that require you being more present. That, or making the effort to being more mindful in these routines. One way to help this process is to switch things up. Try something new! Trying something new requires a bit more attention and focus. With attention and focus comes presence. Think about what you’re doing, bring some joy into each activity.
I can honestly say that I enjoy washing up my dishes. I don’t dread it. The same can be said of cooking. I absolutely love nothing more than preparing food. It brings me so much joy and I thoroughly enjoy it, 3 times a day! I was reading a great book this morning called The Skinny Confidential, which is written by infamous health and wellness blogger Lauryn Evarts. In it, she talks about the idea of faking it till you make it. This is something that i’ve spoken about with my friends many times. In fact, I think it is a quality that all entrepreneurs have to have and practice daily. A lot of the time we don’t try something new because we’re scared being bad at it. This excuse quickly turns into a belief. This is something that we need to be more mindful of, as a society. Of course there are people out there have an innate ability for certain things. Everyone has a special quality/talent. However, everyone has to work hard to learn new things. Cooking, for example, is something that everyone can learn to do. If you don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen, that’s not problem. Just fake it. Practice makes perfect, truly.
As with any skill, it takes work. So start practicing confidence.
-Lauryn Evart, The Skinny Confidential
When it comes to cooking, the same idea around being mindful applies. When you get your hands dirty (not actually dirty, so to speak) and make your own food- you start to think more about: where your food comes from, what’s in it, and how much you eat. You also start to think about things like food waste, packaging and recycling. Again, it’s a cycle. It doesn’t all happen at once- however, it’s a process of consciousness. Once you open yourself up to connecting more with your life, it becomes a much more conscious, joyful and loving experience. This, I can promise you.
My friend Michael sent me an article written by BBC, ‘Is Fast Food Making Us Depressed’ that relates to this. It discusses new medical research in depression, mood and diet. No surprise to me, they are starting to realize that food and nutrition may in fact have a direct effect on mood (shocker). They found that
the blood of depressed people was awash with a particular type of protein, called cytokines, which normally lead to inflammation after illness or injury.
What they weren’t expecting is that not only did depression cause inflammation, but inflammation was showing to cause depression. Thus, it became important to investigate what the causes of inflammation were in order to understand possible culprits (and the prevention) of depression. The research is pointing to the new reality that depression is not only a disease of the mind but also of the body. As the research has evolved, they have found that diets that are higher in plant-based foods such as vegetables, leafy-vegetables and high quality un-processed vegetable oils [like olive and coconut oil] are directly linked to lower rates of cytokines and overall lower inflammation in the body. Conversely, diets high in sugary and processed foods, processed grains and red meat correlated with inflammation and higher rates of depression.
These findings are absolutely no surprise to me as a Holistic Nutritionist. However, it’s fantastic that the awareness is growing and science (and therefore conventional medicine) is taking a more integrative interest and investment in understanding how important good nutrition is to health and wellness (both mind and body). I guarantee that taking more time and investment in your own food and nutrition will benefit your own understanding of these points.
Further, I was watching a beautiful documentary yesterday called, “Spinning Plates” which follows three restaurants around the United States and the illustrates the stories of their owners. Something that really stood out to me is when the owner of the Mexican restaurant spoke about her food stating that,
When people ask me, I try to explain that passion goes into my food. I could give you the recipes but… the true seasoning is in the person’s hands.
This is something that truly resonates with me. During my time working and cooking with Sherry Strong [a dear friend and mentor], I really learnt the importance of being connected to your food and creating taste through touch and love. When you use your hands to cook and prepare your food, there is an energetic transference that takes place. I truly believe that this is why home-cooked meals are so memorable to people and incomparable to something that is store bought. Even the simplest thing as using your hands to tear the stems of broccoli off rather than chopping it up with a knife, makes a difference to the taste experience. There’s nothing I love more than taking my time in the evening and preparing a meal from start to finish, with all my love, passion and joy (and maybe sometimes a delicious glass of red wine and some beautiful music). There’s nothing better. Since I really started to enjoy cooking, and to treat my food with love- it has never tasted better.
To round things up, my main point that I want to share is that I think it’s important that we, as a society, put more effort and energy into being present in our lives. Whatever that means to you, and however you do it- it will absolutely bring you more joy, love and balance in your life. Open yourself up to the importance of good, beautiful, high-quality food and nutrition. You won’t regret it. Cheers & Love. xo