My Cooking Rules
It was time for a change. A much-needed stint in California resulted in a thorough overhaul of our food and exercise habits. Sunny SoCal also became a reminder of other lifestyle-related changes, such as meditation, which is all too easy to let lapse in the busy New York social whirl.
In many ways, the change of scene is the best thing that can happen as sometimes it’s the perfect circuit-breaker. A new place often brings a new understanding of what can be done with food to bring health and energy levels to new heights.
And in many ways changing locations sort of took me back to school. I needed some cold hard facts about food and nutrition. Women have to get a complete understanding of the physiological changes hormones have on the body. Greater knowledge about the specific foods, crucial for total health, is what all women need. We all need to learn about body chemistry and to gain a complete understanding of what it is to have lots of energy and optimal health. How much calcium do we need and how can we get it? What sort of protein is best? Were all fats in food bad? What do we need to eat if we’re doing loads of physical activity? Does food or the lack of it affect mood? (And yes, it does).
I needed this information when I was in my teens and I didn’t get a lot of it until I was much older. But I now have a clear understanding that if we truly want to enjoy lasting health we need to get seriously equipped in the knowledge of what different foods do to and for us. I am still learning, but my jigsaw puzzle has a picture in it these days. So that’s progress. I now see my individual needs against the backdrop of the smorgasbord that truly is available. The ongoing task for each of us is to keep trying to find out more about what makes us individually run at our best.
It takes courage to begin, and it takes real perseverance to prevail, but what you gain is priceless. And it will set you free.
My cooking rules
It’s been quite a journey. Now, I’m back to cooking a lot and using organic natural foods as much as possible. I still change products from time to time but this is only because I am concerned about what’s actually “in” the foods I put into my body. I change something if I discover something better that I can be doing. I read produce labels obsessively (the one thing I still obsess about regarding food!) and I now take careful note of the manufacturing process of anything I buy. But – and this is key – it’s not a dieting thing. I no longer believe in the notion of “going on or off a diet” as I now believe we are all on one all the time. For me, it’s about my personal eating plan and how and what I plan to eat to operate at my best. I don’t always do what I know I should, but at least I now know what I should be doing. I have finally taken on the responsibility for my own health. My cooking rules!
Photographer: Geraldine Mills