Add love to cooking

Last Updated : 17 August 2012, 14:17 IST

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While shopping for groceries, we almost always look out for the ingredients and pore over its nutritional figures — the carbs, proteins, fat, micronutrients, vitamins. But these boxes lie. They are 30 per cent wrong. For they leave out a critical, sizeable ingredient. And that is love!

All of us know that love makes a difference. But if your logical mind is skeptical, consider the facts. Usha Abraham, a renowned nutritionist related an amazing study that she was part of. Conducted under the auspices of the UN, in villages in Karnataka, this study looked at the attitude of mothers and the difference it makes to infants and children.

They divided the mothers into two groups, the loving moms; who were caring, empowering their babies and were creative with their menus. The other group had indifferent mothers. The food both groups gave their children was identical nutrition-wise.
An amazing discovery was made, the children in the loving group were healthier and grew noticeably better. They were not just emotionally stronger but were physically healthier too. The love, the caring moms gave made the children’s diet 30 per cent richer.

Love makes a difference. Not just as soft parameters, but hard and solid parameters.
The first gift that comes from the ‘love is nourishing’ realisation goes to the often unappreciated housewife. Many housewives or those juggling career and home often wonder if their caring makes any real difference? Even if the ‘worked-to-the-bone’ husband or ‘school-burdened’ children don’t vocalise it, their bones appreciate it.

The other day, our domestic help, a capable woman, came to us and asked if she should buy olive oil for her children. Television and astute marketing made her believe that olive oil had miraculous benefits, as opposed to having marginal health benefits. We showed her that indeed she possessed the miracle food supplement — love! She became thrifty yet wise. She doesn’t just buy suspect, packaged atta, but makes it a point to get the grain and get it pounded in a mill, getting a healthy wheat, jowar, barley mix. Her family eats healthier. And there’s love in what she cooks.

Here are a range of scientific and spiritual tips for adding love to your food.
nSavour your food: Well, every mama tells her children that they should chew their food well. True. Here, we ask you to simply close your eyes and shut out your thoughts. Now smell a teeny bit that you are about to eat.

Savour it. Believe us, your rasam will taste richer than champagne. Now eat the rest of the food as if it were packed with treasures. It will be. Bring back the joy in cooking. Experiment. Dig out grandma’s recipes.

nThe Yogic Tongue Secret: Focus on the tip of your tongue for five minutes, mentally chant “aaah.” Do this for half an hour before every meal. In our experience, it improves digestion, stimulates appetite and curbs overeating.

nLove bites: There are many foods that speak of deep goodness, the apple for health, ghee for goodness, rose for love, mango for fullness. One food often condemned as unhealthy, the staple of lovers, actually brings numerous health benefits — dark chocolate. It not only helps one become mellow and loving, it also helps the heart. We often recommend that heart patients recover with a dark chocolate or two a week.
nTry candlelight dinners. It adds romance and also stimulates digestion.

nFamily sharing: Happiness increases with bonding. With TV and busy schedules, you may not get this to happen every day. But try and make it happen three times a week.
nBless your food and utensils. To invite love into one’s home, bless your food before you eat. You may use a specific mantra. Or simply say this prayer of gratitude: “The food we receive is blessed. Thank you.” The aura of blessed food is brighter and bigger. Similarly, bless your utensils too.
nShare your joy. The more we give, it is said, the more we get. Love doubles as it is shared.

Published 17 August 2012, 14:17 IST

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