Food and cooking personally captivates me and whenever I allow myself to be fully involved in the kitchen and preparing a meal, I feel at ease and at my personal best. Food is pure love and it nourishes not only our appetites, but also our inner and beloved soul. With this “integration” between our emotions and our spirit coming alive, we become invested in our cooking, which can inevitably improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
“Love: Your thoughts and emotions go into your food as your prepare it,” states Cynthia.
Cynthia’s definition of love was brought to her students’ attention while preparing polenta in the kitchen; polenta requires a lot of attention and is highly dependent on the person preparing it. Cynthia asked her students to focus on their thoughts and emotions that flowed out of their mind while cooking. Are we picking apart past events? Are we daydreaming about the future? Are we focused on a test or the fight we had with our significant other? She observed small talk amongst classmates diminished; her students were concentrating more on the food they were preparing, and in the end the food tasted better!
What can we conclude about this symbiotic relationship between the food before us and the thoughts and emotions that we invest into it?
By cooking presently and channeling joyful and loving thoughts and emotions into the food, the food will respond with the same love and care right back at you. Cynthia states, “The food is begging you to be here now.”
In essence, cooking in the present is a type of meditation that allows us to be one with the food and with our thoughts. By cooking in the present and allowing all of our thoughts, behaviors, and reactions to be present with the food, in essence, we bring our mind, body and soul into proper unison. We bring the subconscious thoughts to life in the conscious mind. We let ourselves live in the present. We begin to make decisions that are clear and void of consequence; we realize that we have complete control of our thoughts and have the potential to change the negative; we see the world a little more bright and cheerful; we respect ourselves and the body we live in.
Let cooking be a place to release all the fear, anxiety, sadness, and frustration boggled up inside of you. Let it be a place of healing and resurrection. Then once complete, taste the food that was purely made with truth and honesty. Taste the food that was made with compassion and pure love.
½ head organic yellow cabbage
½ head organic red cabbage
3 large organic carrots
2 to 3 tsp. salt
¾ cup (homemade) natural mayonnaise
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
½ cup organic bleu cheese crumbles
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs. dried rosemary
Dash of black pepper
Dash of sea salt, or smoked salt for added flavor
1. Shred yellow cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots. Toss together. Sprinkle a couple teaspoons of salt with cabbage and carrot, and let it sit for about 10 minutes until liquid has pealed off. Dry cabbage and carrot with lettuce spinner, or pour out additional liquid.
2. Whisk together apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise. Pour over cabbage and carrot, and mix well together.
3. Top with bleu cheese, dried rosemary, and dash of salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
The Rosemary Goat Cheese & Cabbage Slaw was introduced into my life when I traveled to Bend, Oregon to run my first, but not last, half marathon with my friend, Jessica. A night on the town we met some friends and they invited us the next morning over for breakfast. Cooking up a storm in the kitchen, they prepared an amazing egg omelet and this coleslaw. I can't say that I have ever had coleslaw for breakfast, and to my surprise, this coleslaw was irresistible. What made it so unique was the smoked salt, which brought out the flavors in such a unique and delicious way. My friend also taught me that applying salt to the cut up cabbage and letting it sit for a few minutes helped to dehydrate the cabbage to make it less watery once the final ingredients were added in the end. Such a simple step, but one that I often overlook. So here's to coleslaw not just on your pulled pork sandwiches!
Cabbage as a cruciferous vegetable is a powerful healing food in respect to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties along with its abundance in glucosinolates, a natural cancer-preventative compound. Different colors of cabbage contain a variety of glucosinolates, which makes it important to include all colors of cabbage in your diet to get all of its beneficial properties. Like glucosinolates, cabbages richness in antioxidants, primarily polyphenols, helps to eliminate free radicals in the body for cancer protection. Like the saying, "apple a day keeps the doctor away," the same can be true for cabbage - "a cabbage a day keeps the cancer away." The anti-inflammatory properties of cabbage are important to recognize, as well. When we don't eat sufficient foods with anti-inflammatory properties, our bodies will become compromised and the inflammation will build up. This is especially true when inflammation is coupled with chronic day-to-day stress.
Studies have also looked at cabbage for digestive and cardiovascular health. For example, cabbage juice is a remedy used to treat stomach ulcers. The glucosinolates, antioxidants, and the amino acid glutamine found in cabbage will provide important health benefits to the stomach and intestinal lining. This includes managing bacterial colonies found in the digestive tract to help keep them at bay. For cardiovascular health, cabbage helps to lower cholesterol. In short, the liver uses cholesterol as the main building block of bile salts, which aid in digesting and absorbing fat. If fat is eaten with the cabbage, the fiber in cabbage will bind to some of the bile and instead of being absorbed into the body, the fiber-bile combination will be eliminated. Therefore, less bile means the liver needs to create more and will utilize cholesterol stores to do so leading to a reduction in cholesterol! One last note, studies have shown that it is best to steam the cabbage to receive its cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, et al. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 Mar;55(3): 224-236.
Kahlon TS, Chiu MC, Chapman MH. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage. Nutr Res. 2008 Jun;28(6):351-7.