I’m fond of saying that cooking is a dance. The food and our bodies ask for what they need to delight and be delighted in, to be nourished and nourishing, if we have the sensitivity to pay attention. It takes some experience and willingness to be open. Willingness to feel, sense deeper currents than just the following of a recipe. Willingness to touch the food - smell, hear, taste, see - really experience the substance that supports our bodies.
It takes a willingness to be quiet. Who leads in this dance may not be easy to feel. Our minds are full of the chatter of the stories of our lives. Where we have to go, who we have to see, what we have to do by when - and the ongoing pull and push between food and our bodies may be more subtle than those surface voices.
That dance is a vital one to pay attention to if we want to be healthy. Be connected with our true natures. If we want to be happy.
I’m not necessarily saying this dance will always be about eating what we might think of as perfectly healthy food. There are many influences on this dance, some cultural, some seasonal, some nutritional. Emotional. Our relationship with food is intertwined with our families, health, finances, creativity, communities, and history. It can be how we reward or punish ourselves. How we redeem ourselves.
It can include information we learn from books and health care practitioners, but, just as when we learn the steps to a new dance from an instructor, in the end things flow best when we make the dance our own. When we take what we’ve learned and see how it dances through us, how it finds it’s natural balance with the rest of the complexity that is our personal dance of life.
Our lack of relationship with food reflects on that list as well. If food is taken out of that equation, or if the relationship with food is too far distorted - you can sense the far reaching consequences.
All relationships take some energy and attention. A balance of energy and attention. If they don’t get enough, they will at the least go stagnant, at worst, die. If they get too much, they can be smothering, have a distorted and unbalanced effect.
What does your dance of body and food look like? What does it feel like from the inside? How much attention do you give it? Is there love in that attention? Compassion? Fun? Joy? Substance? Or is there fear? Denial? Tension? Resignation? Even hatred? Or simple unconsciousness? Boredom?
Let what you ‘know’ about health be applied through a lens of sweetness, even if you know you don’t do well with sugar on the physical level. Find safe ways to nourish yourself on ALL levels. Experiment. Be willing to fail.
In other words, be willing to learn. To change. But not because the slave driver in your head is lashing at you with a whip.
Do it because you love yourself.
And if you find you don’t love yourself - well then, that’s where you begin. We always begin where we are. Know that it is possible to love yourself, and to take care of yourself with love.
It’s just a part of the dance you haven’t learned yet. Or have forgotten. No big deal, we can all learn new skills. It starts with the desire.
Do you want to be happy?
Cabbage Tonic, aka Non-Dairy Innoculant
Gluten and dairy-free, salicylate free, candida friendly
- 1/4 green cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1/2 gallon brine made with Celtic or Himalayan sea salt, or Real Salt
Put the cabbage into a half gallon mason jar.
Make your brine. put enough salt in the water to make it too salty to be pleasant, but not so salty that you gag. (Thanks, Alyss!) Pour the brine over the cabbage. Cap tightly and shake well.
Leave on your kitchen counter or in a cupboard for 3 - 7 days, burping daily, until it has become quite active for at least a couple of days, or at least has taken on a sour flavor, not just salty.
Transfer to the refrigerator when it's done. Strain for a refreshing salty tonic, and use a couple of Tbsp when making veggie ferments that do not contain cabbage or cucumbers. You can use it for cabbage ferments, too, but it's not usually necessary. Great replacement for whey in recipes that use that for an innoculant.
Can also be used as an innoculant for nut cheese - which will come in a future recipe.
This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays.