We are one month into 2021 and the times are still challenging. Sure, there’s hope and optimism as there is with every new year. And this year, that hope feels more important to us than ever.
January is behind us, after months of Zoom meetings, pushing off decisions and treading water day to day in the still with us pandemic, the cesspool of unemployment or the desperation of working until the breaking point. Some days we feel like we get nothing done and there’s so much to do. It would be so easy to just let go, but we can’t.
It’s time to buckle down and get serious about 2021. Let’s do this.
This is not the time to diminish our cooking or let it all fall away. After the glow of New Year’s resolutions fade…again, we need to stay the course when it comes to creating wellness. The hard work isn’t over; it’s just getting started, whether you have decided to drink less or not at all; go meatless for a month or forever (my choice for you…); look for a job; work harder at your current job. Life remains complicated. I think it always was and will be, but the pandemic has shone a light on just how complicated.
I deeply believe that food can be medicine and that our personal wellness begins in the kitchen with what we cook each and every day. I believe deeply that we must find the joy in cooking and creating wellness or it becomes another chore.
Mother Nature made eating sexy so we would do it so it’s up to us to find that joy in balance and deliciousness. When we seek to find that in cooking and when we cook all the time, we can better understand ourselves, our communities and even the world around us. And while I am the first person to advocate for food as medicine, I don’t like the practice of thinking of food as a prescription. Instead, I like to think of food as creating life and wellness or not. I advocate plant-based eating as the healthiest for both humans and our planet. I also try not to judge where people are in their own journeys. I would love to move our collective eating to plant-based and rid the world of the plague that has become modern meat production (or cheese or milk or eggs or poultry). But I welcome any and all people to join our little community and discover the joy of eating vegetables and plant-based proteins.
I think that cooking leads us down a glorious and delicious path that, depending on what we cook and how we choose to nourish ourselves, can help us to understand the world and our places in it. I think that cooking makes us better humans.
So head to the kitchen and as much as you can, immerse yourself in the process of the creation of life, love and nourishment. Go to this cool thing called the internet and search recipes to try out. Tap into your adventurous side (since no one is having any real adventures right now) and try a new ingredient as often as you can. The worst that can happen is that you discover you don’t like turnips (or whatever the new ingredient is…I just don’t like turnips).
Around the table we learn everything about society: social justice, sharing, communication, the joys of needing each other. Life is a collaborative art. Let’s learn to live it together in peace. It begins in the kitchen.