Dining is such a fun, creative experience nowadays, bringing so much Joie.
Used to opening the fridge and seeing “things” ready made to eat, now when I open the door I see what seems like “nothing”. Jars filled with random dressings and dips and an assortment of whole fresh veggies and leafy greens. Lots of food but umm…what exactly to eat?
I have fresh tomatoes ?, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and salt but no recognizable jar of spaghetti sauce, ready to pop open and pour into a saucepan for warming up.
It now takes imagination to put an unprocessed, fresh meal together, if I want something that is more than a plain salad. And yes, I definitely want more. There is real Joie in unique and different flavors, textures, a variety of colors and overall vibrancy.
It starts in my head before I ever open that door. What do I feel like? Sweet, salty, leafy, crunchy, rich, dense, crispy, soft, spicy…etc. Then I go from there and think what ingredients I have in that category, what is ripe in the garden and how you could build a meal from it. It’s quite a visual experience. A world away from how I used to prepare meals. I do still do meal planning, try out new recipes and shop for the needed ingredients but I also now shop for Raw & Living food staples: veggies, leafy greens, nuts and seeds to have a foundation upon which to create.
Just yesterday Kerwin is scrounging for a snack, opens the fridge door and sees “nothing”. I suggest a bowl of cereal. But the catch is we don’t have any sugar laden, fake food cereal boxes or a carton of ? milk?. Instead I say to grab one of those random, unlabeled jars that has fresh cashew milk, take out some home-made & dehydrated granola from the jar on the counter and add one of the ripe bananas that didn’t get frozen for smoothies yet, to make a bowl of cereal. But it took running through an inventory in my head of ingredients to come up with “cereal”. Getting into the spirit, he added goji berries – bonus! ?
Dinner tonight was an especially beautiful thing! Highlights were:
- The most amazing leftover Basil Vinaigrette, I didn’t think anything could beat my Basil Pesto recipe but this absolutely does.
- Crackers I’d dehydrated earlier in the week.
- Micro Arugula harvested from the garden
- Raw, Vegan, Sulfate Free Wine ?
Thanks to some prep work (gardening, dehydrating, leftovers) I had a couple of things on hand and was able to whip together a simple dinner that was simply delicious and eye-catching too.
A take away from my trip to Japan ?? is that eating starts with your eyes and as such, attention to presentation details is very important. It makes such a difference in your overall enjoyment of the meal. It’s like you eat less too when the meal is so pretty. ??
For example, storing the flax crackers standing up in a cute basket makes me smile. It’s a lovely display and it’s so fun to choose your next perfect cracker.
Drinking a glass of wine in pretty, well made wine glasses instead of the cheap stemless ones we have takes it up a notch. (Found the glasses at a garage sale! ??)
I am grateful for this journey we are on together. Sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal, that tastes AMAZING and is absolutely nutritious and healing for our bodies makes me pinch myself – is this real???
How far we’ve come!
I hope my sharing our story inspires you! I NEVER saw this coming and if it looks impossible from where you are, that’s okay. I was there too, scared to commit to anything past this immense challenge of 87 days without meat, added sugar or processed flours. It seemed almost insane! Definitely crazy. That is if you call deciding to listen to yourself this time, for the first time, crazy. To do it my way, win or lose, and just see what happened.
All you need to do is start. Start something. Start anything. ??
Here’s a look back at my Day 1 of 2017’s Year of Transformation, if you’re looking for a place to start.
You are also warmly invited to join my Joie to Your Health group on Facebook for more inspiration, recipes, tips, support, challenges, fun and of course JOIE! ?