I was searching on NetFlix for documentaries or biographies so I could have something playing in the background while I was taping some hoops. I came across this one, "How to Cook Your Life" and who could resist with a title like that? Something pertaining to food, yeah, that's the one.
I didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed it and how I completely forgot I was suppose to be taping hoops. When philosophy can be woven together with cooking well, I'm all in.
Basically, it's about a man who was curious about how to make bread, found himself at a Zen retreat, became a Zen teacher and master chef and his life between and within the two. I don't want to give too much away, as it's definitely something worth seeing, but one major thing he said has impacted me almost everyday..."If you want to cook, cook...if you want to stir the soup, stir the soup" and so on. Yes, that does sound logical but do we do that? Meaning, when we sit down to eat or listen to a friend or any other thing we 'do', do we really just do that one thing? Aren't we more inclined to do as many things as possible during every activity we do? Here's what I mean:
A few weeks ago I went to lunch alone at my favorite Sushi restaurant. After I ordered, I began pulling out all sorts of 'busy' work that I usually have on-hand at all times. Phone, iPad, notebook, pens, highlighters, checkbook, bills, journal, etc. Just in case I run out of things to do I have multiple back up 'things-to-do'. When my delicious plate of sushi was set before me, I began to eat with one hand while returning emails with the other. I suddenly remembered that wonderful phase, "If you're going to do something, then so that one thing!" I realized I was eating but I wasn't really savoring my food, I wasn't really...eating. So I shut off my phone, powered down my iPad and put everything else away. Just my water glass and sushi remained on the table.
And it was divine.
I noticed how every bite became increasingly flavorful and sweeter. Yes, sweeter. Since rice will start to break down in the mouth, the more you chew the sweeter the taste. Oh yum! Instead of plowing through my food, I slowed down to take in the color, texture, temperature and changing flavors of my food. Sound a bit obvious? Could be. Did I feel satisfied and content without feeling 'stuffed'? You bet! And that wonderful orange they serve you after a sushi meal was even more orange-y, juicier, sweeter with such a light heavenly scent.
So please, put away everything, shut off the TV, no reading materials, no harsh conversations and no work. Because if you're going to eat,
and enjoy this one simple act.
Do one thing at a time, you'll feel better!