What Does Conscious Cooking Mean?
To me, conscious cooking means being aware of the food we eat and creating naturally nutritious, healthful and delicious meals while maintaining total compassion for the planet and all its inhabitants. It means being mindful when we cook and when we eat. Good food tastes amazing with lots of love.
When cooking for myself and other people I use only plant-based botanical ingredients. I do not use animal products or processed foods and prefer to use natural alternatives to sugar. The only salt I use is Himalayan Crystal Salt as it is the cleanest and most nutrient dense salt available. I specialise in cooking gluten free food as I was gluten intolerant myself for many years. I cater for all special diets.
I enjoy being able to introduce people to the delights of plant based meals which do not contain animal products. I feel very happy when I can surprise people by how good the food tastes with no sign of dairy products or meat.
But each person is different and each person’s needs will also change according to many diffeent factors. We can discover which diet is right for us by listening to our bodies. If we can be more aware of what our bodies are telling us we will be able to eat a diet which will bring us balance and well being.
I would love to live in a world where animals were treated with respect and dignity and not exploited or treated badly for our own commercial gain. I would love to live in a world where respect to all living creatures was the norm. And with this in mind I would urge people to at least consider where the meat they eat has come from and how it has arrived onto the shelves of the supermarkets and onto their plates. And I would urge people to look at how and why they eat meat.
However, I do appreciate that in the world in which we currently live people may feel it can be difficult to be vegan – as it is not the mainstream way and we are not very well educated in ways of eating a cruelty-free diet. But I’d like to show people that it’s easier (and tastier) than you think and the health benefits can be quite profound.
I used to think that everyone should be vegan. Now I feel that people should decide for themselves what is right for them and their body at any given time. The first time I tried to become vegan it was so difficult and I felt it wasn’t the right moment and so I gave up but three years later I tried again and that time it felt so easy. It was the right time. Since then rather than my diet becoming more limited it has become hugely more varied and interesting – I used to rely on nothing more imaginative than ‘meat and two veg’ but now I eat all kinds of delicious grains like buckwheat, millet and quinoa. I can now use and cook sea vegetables and I make my own bread, tofu, sauces, dips and condiments. It didn’t all happen overnight. It has been a journey and one that has nourished me so much. There is always something new to try and experiment with and I feel so much more connected to nature and the world we live in. I feel healthier as many of my own health problems have cleared up. And I feel that fundamentally it is the right thing for me to do. And here’s why:
In ayurvedic cooking it is believed that the karma of the animal which is killed is passed onto the person who eats it. It is also understood in Chinese Food Energetics that all foods have energetic qualities which we absorb when we eat them.
Most animals that are used for food are kept in horrendous conditions and die unnaturally and often brutally. Their life comes to an end by force and when a life comes to an end by force I believe it will affect the energetic qualities of that being. I feel that the stress and fear felt by an animal when being killed remains in the food, which is passed on to us when we eat it.
I also believe that there is a huge delusion in our society regarding which animals are considered to be acceptable to eat and which are not. Many people think that it is abhorrent to skin and eat cats as they do in China. But this is no different from killing a cow or a pheasant – or even a little spider in your bedroom.
We have been conditioned into thinking that it is okay to kill and eat certain animals. But it is simply cultural conditioning. And it is easy to see that this is the case because of the differences in opinions in cultures across the globe. In France it’s okay to eat Frogs. In Australia it’s okay to eat Kangaroos and in India they regard cows as sacred and don’t eat them. Jewish people don’t eat pigs and English people don’t eat cats or dogs, in fact they are repulsed by it. And that is the way I feel about eating any animals. There is no difference between them. They are all sentient beings, just as we are.
If we believe that some animals are okay to kill and others are not then we are entering into something called ‘speciesism’ – which is regarding one species as being superior to another. Some people used to do this between races of people – classifying one race as being superior to another, which is called racism. There is a general global consensus now that these attitudes are ignorant and unacceptable.
If a person eats meat then I hope that at least they are not deluded by their cultural conditioning which favours the life of one animal over another. If you refuse to eat certain animals then at least consider the notion that all animals have personalities, all are sentient beings and all are equal. So, if you feel disgusted by the thought of eating cats why don’t you feel disgusted by eating other animals?
I understand that people may feel it is difficult to eat a good vegan diet in a society where it is not the mainstream way of eating, and when alternative products may not be readily available. But this is why I hope to show people how easy it is to be self-sufficient and make your own alternative foods like rice milk, nut milk and tofu. They are much easier to make than you think. And through the process of cooking you can have fun 🙂