A Balanced Approach to Wellness!

Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Eating during the time of social distancing and isolation

foods made from scratch

Being at home during this time of social distancing and isolation is an opportunity to adjust eating habits and explore food possibilities. It’s an opportunity to move away from eating out–and even from take-away–and turn to food preparation, preparation of food at it’s best!

The first step is to understand the importance of what we eat and how we eat it. Here’s a blog post to begin your understanding: “The year 2020 begins with Food 20/20“. (I’m currently working on a book to expand on the Food 20/20 plan.)

Besides thinking about the food, we also need to think about the atmosphere in which we eat. Some of us are in isolation alone, others are with family, and some are with friends.  If you’re eating alone, please keep this information in mind:

“Eating alone is balancing as long as the eating is thorough, nourishing, and done while sitting. If the eating is rushed or delayed or inadequate nutritionally, then the eating causes imbalance. Reading while eating is not detrimental unless the material being read is upsetting. Watching TV or the computer while eating is not detrimental unless the material being watched is upsetting or worthless. Eating while standing at the refrigerator or elsewhere in the kitchen causes imbalance in the emotional and spiritual levels.”

If you’re eating with family members, please keep this information in mind:

“Eating with family can be as nourishing as eating with friends, when family members are considerate. When a family member is unkind during a meal, the eating can cause imbalance because of the emotional state of the body during food intake. Consistent discomfort at mealtimes can lead to eating disorders and other emotional/ spiritual problems. In general though, family meals are very important and should be prioritized.”

The quoted information is from the book Vitality!— How to Create a Life That Is Healthy.

Staying in the home more is an opportunity to prepare food yourself. The benefits of cooking from scratch are explained in this blog post “The health benefits of food from scratch“. There are many recipes online to try. I have a food blog with nutritious and yummy recipes: Yumtritious Eating!

This time of social distancing and isolation can be confusing and overwhelming. Staying in good health will help us all get through it. The first step to good health is healthful eating. If you can avoid sugar and sugar substitutes, your health will be more balanced. This blog post can help you understand the different types of sweeteners: “The Facts: Sweeteners from natural to laboratory-made, Best & Worst“.

[I’m currently in isolation with my husband after our recent return from a trip abroad. The picture above shows some of the foods I’ve made since returning home. It’s hard to be away from my friends and clients, but at least I’m having fun in the kitchen!
Picture, clockwise from left: rye flour-seed crackers, roasted beets, hummus, zucchini-potato soup, and mung bean sprouts.]

Note: This information has been spiritually received.

My farmers market haul

farmers market haul

Every Monday I head to the nearby, one-day-a-week, farmers market and buy beautiful produce. The vegetables and fruit I buy inspire me to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.

Today I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the produce I bought, so I arranged them on my table to take a picture for sharing. You can see how inviting the colors and shapes are (although some people might feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking all that food!).

Before I put the produce away, I’ve separated out the orange-colored veggies to make Orange soup. The soup contains pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots, which provide the beautiful orange color. I’ll put this delicious and not-too-difficult recipe on my Yumtritious Eating website soon. We’ll make a spaghetti sauce full of onions, garlic, eggplant, and cauliflower (didn’t buy zucchini today). For dessert–fresh strawberries and pineapple! Yummy!!

I’ve written about the value of farmers markets in the past. See the post “Farmers’ market balance“. Buying fruit and vegetables when they are out in all their glory is so much more inspiring than buying them packaged in plastic and styrofoam. Whenever you can, head to your nearest farmers market and bask in the magic of the wonderful gifts from nature!

The health benefits of food from scratch

Green beans

This post is not about the vitamins and minerals in unprocessed foods. It is about the health benefits that occur when the food is prepared. We’ll use the snapping of green beans as our example.

Green beans can be purchased in cans and in bags, ready for cooking, or even already cooked. They do provide nutritional value, but the benefits of preparing them from scratch are lost.

Here’s what happens when a person sorts and snaps fresh green beans:

  1. The muscles in the hands and arms are exercised.
  2. The muscles of the hands and eyes are coordinated (as in an exercise for fine motor skills).
  3. The muscles in the neck are lengthened.
  4. The muscles in the abdomen are tightened, especially if the work is performed while standing.
  5. The muscles supporting the spine are exercised.
  6. The muscles in the shoulder blade area and chest are coordinated.
  7. The muscles that are used during breathing are relaxed because the action of snapping beans (if the person is not rushed) causes a slowing of the breathing.
  8. The muscles of the oblique groups of abdominal muscles and the re-absorption of water in the kidneys synchronize to optimize urine production.
  9. Muscles of the upper and lower torso move syncopatedly, which strengthens and stretches them.
  10. Muscles in the face rejuvenate when movements are focused on the work. (Talking on a phone while preparing the food cancels this benefit. Singing while preparing the food does not cancel this benefit.).
  11. Many other muscles and body parts are strengthened and stretched as well.

The list above presents physical benefits from sorting and snapping fresh green beans. Here are benefits to the other components of health:

  1. Emotional balancing occurs when the work is done with a generous intention.
  2. Spiritual balancing occurs through connection with whole foods.
  3. If the work is done with another family member, opportunities can arise for heartfelt conversations.
  4. The food that will be eaten is personalized; in other words, its role as nutrition provider is elevated.
  5. The color, texture, and shapes of the green beans at the various stages of preparation affect the senses in favorable ways.

The more a person is involved in creating the meal he or she eats, the more uplifting and balancing the experience of eating.

(This post is dedicated to my friends and family who hadn’t realized the benefits that come from taking the time to prepare meals from scratch. ♥)

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