Two weeks ago I was honored to be a guest speaker for my friend and colleague Gracy Obuchowicz over at Beautiful Life Self Care. Gracy is a fabulous yoga teacher and hosts groups of wonderful women in transformative self care work to make their live more vibrant.
On the call, Gracy and I spoke about ritual, and we dove into many of the ways in which I actually live my daily life.
In my career, most people know me as a yoga teacher and a chef. Even many of my friends know me as someone who might prepare an 8-course meal just for fun on an average weeknight. When folks eat my food at my Supper Club, on yoga retreats, or other events, I am always delighted by their newfound enthusiasm for vegetables. My hope is that people will walk away with a love for food that inspires them to go home and make magic in their own kitchens: to be curious, to play, and to discover the healing power of preparing your own meals.
I’m the first person to admit that when I cook I am celebrating: I cook to celebrate time, I cook to celebrate whatever exciting, beautiful produce I find at the farmer’s market or grow in my garden, I cook to bring people together in community. When I make meals for other people, this celebration is expressed in food that is not just an ordinary kale salad, but a full palate of tastes, colors, textures, and smells. As one diner recently said, “Hannah’s food will make you laugh”. (Thank you for that James!)
But what about everyday eating? What about cooking and shopping and taking care of one’s self through food in a way that’s actually DOABLE and manageable as a busy New Yorker? (or wherever you live?!) This is where the math seems to get more complicated, but the strategy for success is actually the reverse: SIMPLIFY.
Simplification. Easier said than done, right? It’s true, it’s not easy to reduce the amount of things we do, the amount of projects and commitments we take on. And what I’m suggesting us the incredible task of self-care: by spending TIME in the kitchen, by choosing one’s meals and making them by hand. How the heck could this be simpler?
As I say in the interview, it all begins with intention. Before I head to the grocery store, before I write out a list, in my mind I know what it is that I’m trying to create for myself. I know the kind of diet I’m interested in having, I know the kind of wellness I’m interested in achieving, long before the meals are on the stove top. When you head to the store with your body’s best interest in mind, you are very likely to make purchases that support your body’s best interest.
It doesn’t take much. Three minutes is ample time for considering your overarching goals. Here are some questions to jumpstart the process:
- How do I want to feel in my body in general? After a week’s worth of eating, do I want to feel nourished, whole, satiated? Do I need to feel excitement, change, accomplishment, confidence?
- Do I currently feel this way or do I need to make some changes in order to achieve this feeling?
- What is my body craving right now? Do those cravings align with how I want to feel at the end of the day?
- What is ahead of me in my week? What can I realistically expect from myself?
Starting to ask these questions is the first step towards greater awareness and feeling aligned in your body. Once you give yourself permission to ask the question, then you open yourself up to a huge range of possible answers. Anything is possible if you imagine it first.
Listen to the podcast below to hear the entire interview. I’d love to hear your comments! Please share below.