Minimalism + Food = Soul Food

Vegucated Kitchen was originally launched as a hub where I could share the food I created since I had so many folks ask me for tips on how I eat and for the recipes of mine that they had tasted. I have been surprised and elated by the feedback I have gotten since starting Vegucated Kitchen,  and am thankful that my readers and exposure continues to grow. I feel privileged to be able to share how a plant based diet has transformed my whole life and how others can easily do the same.

Recently I discovered The Minimalists, a duo of handsome friends, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who share their journey with the lil ole idea of minimalism (read: life changing superpower). Minimalism is to most people what vegan is. It’s a word you have heard of but dismissed as some extremist mumbo jumbo. Just as I hope Vegucated Kitchen proves that vegan isn’t a cult or rabbit food, or cardboard, I hope to show you the same is true of minimalism. I may be new to minimalism, but it has already improved my life profoundly. It may be a lil ole concept but the positive ramifications are limitless.

These days food and minimalism are very important to me. Fortunately I do think that they fit hand in hand. Minimalism isn’t about deprivation (just as food shouldn’t be) but about living purposefully. intentionally, with vigor, for a reason and deliberately. Remove the crap that gets in the way and make room for pure bliss.

My food, like minimalism, is like this. Cut out the crappy fluff that we use as a convenient crutch but really offers no added value to our lives (meat, dairy, etc.). Replace it with the finer elements of the human diet that are tastier, healthier, and finer quality (plants!). What could be more simple?

Food is the essence of our existence, but it also a cultural phenomenon. We use it as entertainment on one hand, but as a thoughtless object in the same moment. We will pay a small fortune for a ‘fine dinner’ out with friends and spend countless dollars on wine of a certain price point. All along we boast about the cut and flavor of the ribeye and the fine vintage of the wine but that’s it. We don’t take the time to understand what went into getting the dinner to us. We don’t think about the poor steer that gave his all too short and miserable life confined to third world prison camp conditions in order for us to go out and celebrate, oh uh what were we celebrating again? Oh yeah, it’s Tuesday! and Mark has been at his job (that he hates) for 5 years. Cheers to Mark and what a fortunate reason to kill an intelligent animal.

Perhaps if each steakhouse had a feedlot onsite, folks would take a second thought before ordering for dinner the handsome long eye-lashed sweetheart they made eye contact with on the way inside. In fact I bet they would have been so drawn into those deep brown eyes that they  couldn’t help but pause to pet his soft fur and wet pink nose.

Would they be so ready to run in and eat another steak if they had just met him? I really don’t think so. Perhaps these kinds of heartstrings don’t exist for everyone, but having the feedlot on site would still open eyes in other ways. Maybe a patron would be concerned about the conditions of their dinner standing shoulder to shoulder up to its knees in poop. And if the sanitation concerns didn’t get to them I feel very confident that the SMELL would. A steak wouldn’t taste so good over the stench of a feedlot.

We have to get back to a point where we ask questions about why we do what we do. Why do we eat what we eat. Is it good for us? Is it ethical? Is it sustainable? Is it the best choice I can make for my body, my mind, my karma, the earth and the greater good?

The plant based food I eat tastes better to me than any omnivore foods ever did. Don’t get me wrong, I had some delicious omni foods in my life. But now I really taste my food. I really know my food. I am eating with a purpose. I am eating mindfully.

I know where it comes from and how its ‘treated’ and what it means to my body and the world I live in. Since I am more aware of the value of these foods I treat them like the jewels that they are and mindfully prepare them into a meal. This doesn’t mean its complicated preparation but it is deliberate. The taste of the food is what makes it divine and my heightened awareness makes me savor it even more.

There is also something so nourishing about my food since I also know what it isn’t. I know that the planet can sustain me and other humans pleasantly this way. I know that one less cow, pig or chicken is going to die for my pleasure. I know that I am disease proofing myself from the most common killers that are so prolific these days. Each bite I take I have pleasure of knowing I am doing my part. I am adding value to myself and the world around me. The food heals my body and the food heals my soul.

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