Monday, January 14, 2013

It's True What They Say..."Variety is the Spice of Life"!

When going out to eat, do you just stick to the usual? Maybe the usual for you might be American, Mexican, Italian, and Chinese over and over again. What about being adventurous and expand the experiences of your taste buds to other types of food like Soul food, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Indian, Peruvian, Thai, or Filipino?  It's always exciting to try out other textures, flavors, herbs, and spices that are delivered in a wonderful dish.

There are various reasons why we don't like certain ethnic foods. There might have been times you tried other certain types of food, but was eaten around a bad experience or memory. Sometimes this may cause a person not to like that particular type of food and is not revisited. I'm sure not many people are like this next example, but one person I knew has a strong running streak of racisim in this individual's blood (I know...sad), so this kept this person from enjoying a certain type of food for many years. Another reason why we might think we don't like a particular type of food is because we were never introduced to it, so our taste buds never cared for it in the first place.

As we move forward in life, let's do our best with God's help to let go of the past. Moving forward with a loving, positive attitude in life can help us enjoy each day more and more, despite the challenges we face every day. This may sound a little silly, but don't deprive yourself of some good food out there just because it was eaten on a difficult day way back in the past. That negative experience is long gone. Give that particular type of ethnic food a try once again. Treating yourself to amazing ethnic food you haven't ever tried in life or will revisit once again might give you a surprising, pleasant palatable experience.

It might be boring eventually to stick to one type of exercise activity over and over again, not to mention over use and burn out. It's best for our muscles and brain to engage in different activities to keep things fresh. So, the parallel here is if we eat the same type of food over and over again, our taste buds might get burn out. Therefore, during those occassional times you go out to eat, venture out once in a while on an ethnic or type of food you normally don't eat or like and add some variety to spice up your life a bit through good food!

What is an ethnic or type of food you are going to revisit or willing to try for the first time for 2013?  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Why Cook?

Cooking is just more than a means to an end. The end being able to eat something decent. Cooking is not just another chore. A chore which produces a product, which again is something decent to eat. If you look at cooking through those lenses of a means to an end or a chore, then that's what it is! However, if you view cooking through a different lens, then your outlook on cooking can be that.

Try looking at cooking as another technique to help you destress, unwind, and relax. You're thinking..."What????  That's ridiculous. Cooking to me is a pain!". Well, for those of us who do not have natural abilities to cook delicious dishes or have not gone to culinary school to become a chef might just dread cooking.

We don't have to have amazing skill to enjoy cooking. Entrees or side dishes can be made simply, but still be oozing with wonderful flavor. Even for those of us who are not culinary geniuses, preparing a simple dish can be relaxing. The act of chopping vegetables can be an opportunity to just let your mind go and enjoy the process. Stirring a pot of beans as it's boiling and adding seasonings can bring on a feeling of relaxation knowing that you will be enjoying something good in a few moments. The act of cooking is what you make it out to be.

I personally enjoy cooking myself. Of course, I have to admit the clean up part is not fun for me. However, I was not one to say I love cooking before! The more I learned to cook good for you, good tasting dishes, the more I became better at chopping veggies and everything else that needs to be chopped and the more the process of preparing meals has become enjoyable. I am human like everyone else though that can get tired from working so hard earlier on in the day, so I understand when cooking is the last thing on earth you want to do when you get home. But once I changed my viewpoint on cooking, it has made for a relaxing activity for me. Besides, when I cook I have control of putting healthy ingredients into my culinary creations and I get to save some dollars along the way by bringing lunches to work.

Again, preparing and cooking entrees and side dishes does not have to be fancy, contain a ton of ingredients, or contain a ton of steps to produce a delicious, healthy outcome. For me, the calming effects of cooking comes through the simple dishes. The satisfaction of knowing you have prepared healthy dishes for you and your family and a positive outlook on the cooking process will naturally have you cooking more in the future. Cheers to cooking more in 2013!   


What keeps you from cooking on a regular basis?