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It’s 6:00 and you’re standing in the kitchen.  Your brain is still racing from the hectic work day and your tummy is rumbling. Before you reach for the take-out menu or the microwave, take a minute to be more mindful about how you nourish your body.

Sure, food gives you the physical energy you need to get through the day. But have you ever considered that the simple act of cooking can make you feel more connected to your innermost self? Soulful cooking means preparing good food with good intent.  Here’s how.

Make your kitchen a meditation zone

At Rituals, we’re very aware of the benefits of meditation. But if you think you need to set aside 20 minutes to sit on a pillow and chant a mantra, think again! You can meditate anywhere, including the kitchen. Let the day’s hectic activities slowly fade from your memory and simply be present. You’ll notice your mind wandering to more restful places, your muscles feeling relaxed and guess what—that’s meditation.

You are what you eat

We’re all guilty of occasionally sacrificing health for convenience when it’s dinner time. But when you choose local, seasonal ingredients instead of what’s fast (and often salty and fatty!), you’re treating yourself twice. The nutrients keep your system running and you have the peace of mind that comes with respecting yourself. Healthy ingredients like vegetables and lean proteins fuel the body and honour your soul.

Cherish the moment, not the chore

Eating a good meal is a feast for the senses. Cooking soulfully is, too. Rather than going through the motions on autopilot and hurrying towards the end result, take a minute to experience the sights, smells and textures involved in meal preparation. Doesn’t the garlic and onion smell heavenly when it hits the warm olive oil? Listen to that sizzle when you turn the chicken breast over in the pan. Being mindful of these small moments of pleasure adds so much to your daily routine. Issac Cronin, author of The Mindful Cook: Finding Awareness, Simplicity and Freedom in the Kitchen wrote an entire book on the subject, along with many recipes that put mindfulness at the forefront of food preparation.

Tonight, when you’re feeling short on time and long on hunger, give these things a try. You’ll see that soulful cooking is its own reward. The bonus is a healthy, delicious meal that you and your loved ones will enjoy much more when you acknowledge the care and attention that went into it.

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