Mindful Cooking, Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is defined as the state of being conscious or aware of something (Oxford Dictionary). When I cook, I think of all the ingredients/condiments going into the dish being prepared – are they healthy, fresh, do I know what they are made of? I think about the outcome/long-term effect of what I am cooking – will it kill me slowly or make me feel better? Basically, I am mindful of what I am putting in my body.

Being mindful about food means I avoid deep fried foods – no more dodo, no more french fries, less puff puff, no fried meats (when it’s within my control – that’s at least 95% of the time).

Yes, I am a puff puff lover, I actually started a trend of making this at home on Fridays and taking some over to my cousin’s place. I had to stop this as I needed to reduce the oil content in what I cooked and ate.

I still eat puff puff, fried plantain, french fries and fried meats occasionally as I can’t always control what’s available to eat plus having them once in a while won’t kill me.

Reducing deep-fried foods has made a difference physically and it has also changed the way I think about food. I am now even more experimental when cooking, always looking up new recipes and ways to cook certain foods.

So what do I cook/eat? Lots of veggies. Sautéed veggies are a favourite.

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Sauteèd Vegetables – made with a teaspoon of coconut oil
I basically use whatever veggies I have at home – courgette, carrot, green beans, bell peppers, cabbage (occasionally). I use coconut oil since it’s a healthier oil that

Another favourite of mine? Sautéed greens – I use either local spinach or ugu (pumpkin leaf). Why local? Simple – they are affordable.

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Grilled red snapper, sautéed ugu, grilled plantain and pepper sauce

Greens are perfect in eggs. I simply sauté them and add everything else.

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Spinach, garlic and sausage omelette made with a teaspoon of olive oil 

 

There are two starchy vegetables I love to cook – Plantain and Sweet Potato. I am such a plantain lover, it’s ridiculous. I boil it, steam it, grill it, bake it, pan fry it, add it to a one-pot meal… oh for the love of plantain.

Sweet potatoes, my second favourite. I boil it, bake it, grill it, make it into a porridge, have them in fritters. My favourite is the grilled version, seasoned with herbs and dry pepper. Yum.

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Grilled sweet potatoes, grilled croaker and sautéed vegetables

I have not cut out my favourite foods, I just eat healthier versions of them. I see food as medicine. My goal is to be so healthy that my trips to the doctors will be almost nonexistent, with the exception of yearly check-ups.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Basically, I am conscious of what I cook, conscious of the food items I buy, conscious enough to avoid the unhealthy stuff majority of the time. Why am I so conscious? I want to become the best version of myself, while living life to the fullest. I shop healthy, so I can eat healthy. Mindfulness is a choice, it’s part of the healthy lifestyle.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

 

“It’s Not the Years in Your Life That Count. It’s the Life in Your Years.” – Abraham Lincoln

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