Imagine the honor of having Buddha over for dinner. Maybe it’s a strange thought, but seriously let's take a minute to imagine what that would actually FEEL like. 

It would have to be something special right? Something that allows him to ingest and digest what an honor this experience is for you. So you muster up the time to plan the menu. You consider his tastes, his needs, his health, his happiness and come up with a meal that feels right. You buy all of the ingredients with care and awareness…because after all, BUDDHA is the one who will be putting this food into his sacred belly, his clean and healthy body. Then you cut the vegetables, simmer the water, place the settings and pour the tea with a presence that conveys your deepest respect and gratitude. When you are done you realize that the table of your creation in front of you is your love in its essence. The smells, the colors, the steam from the soup. This is nourishment. 

What if you were the Buddha? What would happen if you chose to bring that kind of presence, planning and infusion of pure, unadulterated LOVE to how you nourish YOURSELF from the inside out?

This is an amazing notion, but is it possible? I have personally been experiencing how hard this really can be on a daily basis. Newly on my own for many meals during the week I’ve often found myself a bit lost. What do I make? How much do I make? I don’t want to make anything! Forget it…I just won’t eat. 

It can be difficult to cook for ‘just’ yourself. It’s true. It’s easier to stay out of the kitchen, save yourself the hassle and the dishes. Ordering out or picking up a prepared meal from the grocery store is real…and sometimes that’s the right answer. But I’ve been challenging myself to reframe the idea of cooking ‘just’ for myself. Why do we say ‘just’ for myself?  As though there is a hierarchy of people and we’re at the bottom of the barrel. “It’s just me tonight” insinuates an unworthiness, doesn’t it? As though if you were being asked to cook for even one other person then…that would make it worth the effort of manifesting love in the form of a cooked meal.

Are you worth it? I am.  

So let’s bring our inner Buddha home for dinner…

  1. Plan ahead. Consider what your body WANTS to eat. Our body talks to us so taking a moment to listen to its requests can really initiate the motivation to get to the store, in the kitchen and to the table. Lately, my body has been asking for salmon, broccoli and so much pesto!? I’m listening. 
  2. Cook once- eat twice. The idea is to make 2 different meals from the same 2 main ingredients. It’s such an easy way to have homemade, nourishing food that is easily and quickly available for you after a long work day. And you can still have some variation in your meals. Start with 2 main ingredients and prepare them bare…no seasonings. Then each night add the appropriate seasonings and additions for the meal you desire.        
  3. Make use of the crock pot even in the summer time. There are an infinite number of meals that can be created while you are not even in the kitchen, and there are few things more inviting than the smell of home cooked goodness waiting for you at the end of the day. Slow cooker meals don’t have to only be heavy stews and winter friendly. Here is a link to a wonderful list of warmer weather meal ideas. http://greatist.com/eat/summer-crock-pot-recipes
  4. Cook as though you are preparing for an unexpected guest. Make enough so that you can scoop out dinner and freeze the rest for the following week. This re-defines the idea of coming home to a frozen dinner. 
  5. Make it a date night. I have literally been lighting candles, playing music and creating an environment that supports being mindful, caring and attentive. It helps me remember that I am just as much devoted to feeding my heart as I am my body.
  6. More satiation = eating less. Preparing a meal with attention and intention feeds the soul as much as the body and allows for a level of satiation that can actually help you keep your portions in balance with your body’s needs. Savor each bite, feel how your body soaks up the nutrients and notice how the tendency to overeat goes down. 

It’s not difficult to cook for one, but it is a choice and opportunity to show your body that you appreciate it, and that you are grateful for all the delicious moments that you get to experience in life because of it. What you put into your body matters. If we want our body to soar in the direction of our heart’s desire then we need to nourish it as the miracle that it is. Choosing the response-ability, making the time to honor ourselves with the gift of food from mother earth, and crafting love infused meals with them is the first, and maybe the most important step in the creation of better health.