The Dalai Lama once said, “Western women will change the world.” I believe him. Nicole Daedone, founder of One Taste, a cool organization that teaches people how to hold space for female sexuality, went on to elaborate on the Dalai Lama’s quote, stating that it will be “turned-on women that change the world.” I agree. I also think that when the women of the world realize that a part of their raw, sexual, creative power can be ignited through feeding themselves and others, the consciousness of the world will shift. In fact, the single most powerful way you can improve your health is to start chopping vegetables on a daily basis.
Why? Because McDonald’s food equals McDonald’s consciousness, and pure, local, loving-mama, old-school food equals pure, loving, earth-abundant consciousness. Let me repeat. Eat crappy processed food and you will feel the profit-motivated, loveless, bottom-line intentions of the makers of that food. Eat what your grandma made, and you may just get a tiny taste of not only her love for you, but perhaps what turned her on—and that is a radical, juicy-woman idea.
Let’s learn how to set up a living, loving kitchen. A living kitchen pulsates with the rhythms of a woman’s life. A living kitchen burns brightly when we blend up a new dressing or taste a pungent virgin olive oil. The air in a living kitchen actually tastes good, still spiced from last night’s creation. Plants inhabit this kitchen, breathing moist newness into the nooks and crannies of shelves and cupboards. A wooden cutting board is stained magenta from chopping beets whose brightness now belongs to the inside of a child’s belly. This living kitchen is a sacred space—a hearth and a temple where we have the potential to create the nourishment that supports life within us and for others. It is an altar to the mundane, corporeal, visceral body that radiates light and power. There is no room more powerful in a home than a turned-on woman’s kitchen.
Fun fact: architecture statistics show that more family activities are taking place in kitchens, “as they are regaining their role as ‘control center’ of the home.”3 Could it be that these rooms are taking on a revival of importance in our modern world as a symbol of our collective need to be deeply nourished? Is this, perhaps, a revival of the hearth? The healing community fire? I hope so.
Getting your kitchen Ayurveda-friendly is not complicated, but it may be a good idea to begin incorporating new spices and buying cookware, little by little. For most of us, learning happens over time. What is more, these are my suggestions for setting up a kitchen, not rules set in stone. Most of the tools on the list may already be in your kitchen. Most of the spices are easy to find at grocery stores; the more obscure ones are available online.
Another concern that many people face when trying to live a more Ayurvedic lifestyle is the time constraints of down-home, old-school, real-deal cooking. It may help to slowly begin to shift your mindset surrounding cooking for yourself and your family. Many women already feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks they have on their shoulders. Ask them to cook fresh veggies and soups every night, and they are likely to look at you like you are crazy. But what if we began to slowly breathe life into a living kitchen, making it a priority to reserve 30-45 minutes each morning and evening to cook for ourselves?
It is my experience and belief that this psychological shift creates a change in behavior. Seeing fresh food as a life essential, instead of a luxury for the time-rich, is key. In addition, the more we can cook for ourselves, the more energy we will have. Fresh food has more prana. Many women report actually feeling like they have more time when they cook for themselves because they suffer from less exhaustion. Start cooking for yourself and you will have more time, because you have more vibrant life breathing into you. I promise.
Also, it’s a good idea to start thinking of your spice rack, refrigerator, and pantry as your own home pharmacy. You may also find that if you have kids, they begin to take interest in what you are doing if it seems like you are having fun going to the farmers’ market, tasting seasonal veggies, smelling fresh herbs, playing with colorful foods, and generally being alive and sensual in your kitchen. In my experience working with moms, I have found that over and over, kids will take awhile to adjust to new foods, but with time they will actually begin to crave healthy foods. And you will too.
Before we start breaking out the cast iron, here are seven suggestions on how to bring out your Inner Kitchen Diva:
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