Add a little love to your plate

Fear is your Friend | Chef Gretchen Hanson

I’m going to make a few suggestions about how to add in love to your food. Each of these suggestions is guaranteed to create happiness, so only add in as much as you can handle. Pick one or two and  ADD IN for this week.

*Create a partnership. Pick a friend, lover, spouse or all three to begin this project together. Build buy in by asking for help. “Hey, Michael, you know how worried you are about my forgetting to eat during the day? I’m trying to change that. Would you help me by being by partner in this project?” No one in the history of ever, has ever said no to that kind of self deprecating request.

*Plan time. Plan a time to shop and a time to cook and a time to clean up. Actually put it in your calendar and make sure that everyone has their tasks. You don’t like to wash dishes but you like to chop? Well that is what a partner is for. Everyone pitches in, everyone takes part. In our house Michael preps, I shop and cook, Holly and Hadyn clean. Michael cleans again.

*Make meal time family or friend time. Whomever your family or friend group consists of, have them present and internet-less for the duration of the meal. A good rule of thumb is you should sit at the table as long as it took to cook the meal. While that is ideal, it is not always realistic. We have the minimal rule that no one gets up (or picks up their cell phones) till everyone is finished. Since I include Hadyn’s vegetables in the FINISHED category, sometimes we are sitting there for a very, very long time. Oscar Wilde said it best, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives”

*Drink a glass of red wine. Not a whole bottle. Just one or one and a half glasses. Loaded with anti-oxidants and happiness. Save that last half a glass to have with a square of dark chocolate at the end of the meal. Slowly sip and savor and let melt in your mouth. If one glass isn’t enough, then probably wine should be on a FOODS THAT PLAGUE ME list.

*Have the basics & Learn the basics. Knife, cutting board, good heavy skillet, stock pot. Stay tuned, we will be reviewing setting up your ‘mise en place’ on Facebook live at 5:30 pm January 18th.

*Eat with deliberation. Follow the meditation exercise posted tomorrow if you want to see how this is done. The key is making sure that each mouthful serves a purpose and you are present while you are eating.

*Eat your rainbow. Choose colors of vegetables and grains and beans for your plate. Different colors equal different types of antioxidant happiness. Make a practice of trying to have at least a couple of different colors at each meal time.

*Green is the color of true love. How do I love thee let me count the ways…I love thee with kale, chard, spinach, bok choy and all the deep leafy greens of the garden. You want healthy and happy? That’s green power my friend. Makes your brain groove and lubricates all those necessary spots for true love.

*Get down with brown. The best part of every grain or rice is the chaff that surrounds it. Processing removes this bran and turns it pearly white and devoid of the natural fiber. Eat your rice and grains unprocessed. Your poops will thank you.

*Remember the  FOODS THAT PLAGUE YOU? Make a mental note from yesterdays exercise and plan to add in the foods from the HEALTHY AND HAPPY list to take their place.

*Sit down and chew. For heaven’s sakes were you raised in a barn? Sit your fanny down in that chair and take time to chew each bite before you swallow. That’s better. Now try being present with your food rather than on your phone. Or on your computer, Gretchen.

*Don’t get tired. Every project hits a crash point after a couple of weeks. No one is looking so why am I doing this anyway? You are doing it for you. You are doing it for your family. You are doing it for me. It’s important to all of us that you are healthy and loved.

*Believe that each bite you take is nourishing you, because it is. Feel your #foodislove because it is.



One Response

  1. Nice article. We do the same in our home. The one who cooks doesn’t clean up, usually. However, I tend to clean up as I cook. Cleaning up after a good meal can be rewarding because you can grab a few extra bites or spoons full,especially on Mac n Cheese days or a great soup night. Love you Gretchen! Peace and Love, Your Boys❤️

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