How to make your kitchen a healing hub?
Some people are totally into their kitchen, some others not at all. In Ayurveda, we consider the kitchen a healing hub for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. The way someone keeps their kitchen shows how much emphasis there is in the household on nurturance, abundance and fullness.
A while back a neighbor invited us over for a get-to-know-your-neighbor gathering. A very thoughtful invitation indeed. When I entered the kitchen to drop off what I had brought I immediately got the sense of the house and the inhabitants’ well-being and feeling for life. The kitchen was devoid of food, had no kitchen tools around and the only food in the fridge was what people had brought for the party. I felt a sense of sadness and loneliness. No place to lean back into warmth and comfort.
On the opposite spectrum, when I go over to my friend’s house who is an upcoming midwife I am greeted with a kitchen that is full of food from her garden, a bountiful of veggies on the counter, a number of pots on the stove steaming with home-cooked food for lunch, sprouts growing in the corner. There is always a sense of warmth, abundance and nurturance in the air. It warms my soul.
Why is the kitchen such a healing hub?
In the kitchen we prepare all the meals that feed our bodies. And “what we eat we become”, literally. If we eat food cooked in a loving and nurturing environment, that is what is going into our food. If we eat food that is grown with love and nurturance that is what we eat and ultimately become. We don’t only eat the substance called food but also the energy that went into that substance to grow and prepare it. That’s Ayurveda 1-0-1.
We don’t only cook our meals in the kitchen but we also store many precious substances in the cupboards. Remedies for gas, bloating, hyperacidity, elimination, skin disorders, systemic dryness, excess mucous, dry coughs… the list is endless. Just open your spice cabinet and know you are looking at a medicine cabinet.
The kitchen is also a place of connection. Where family and friends come together to chat, to hang, to share. Have you ever noticed that the best parties start and end in the kitchen? Parties where you walk away with a warm feeling in your heart, a feeling of love. I certainly have had that many times.
If you are anything like me, you will love to be in a home where a warm, nurturing energy resonates from the kitchen. I can’t picture anyone not wanting that. Maybe you don’t have it in your home, or you don’t care much for cooking, but I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying the heartfelt warmth that comes from a cared for kitchen.
What does your kitchen feel like?
Take a moment just now and imagine your kitchen. Drop into the feeling of your kitchen.
What does it feel like right now?
- Scattered or organized?
- Overwhelming or calming?
- Neglected or cared for?
- Empty and stale, or full of the season’s abundance?
- Cool and empty, or warm and welcoming?
- Is your kitchen a forgotten element in the house or a sanctuary for healing?
None of those descriptions are good or bad in and of themselves, it is just a matter of what kind of feeling you would like to create in your life.The central question that you need to ask yourself is this:
Is the kitchen supporting how I want to feel?
Personally I love to have a kitchen that exudes warmth, abundance and love. If you want that too, read on.
How to transform your kitchen into a healing hub?
Here are 7 ways to transform your kitchen into a healing hub:
- Store life affirming foods in your kitchen: Consider each kitchen cupboard to be a room in and off itself. And like any other room in the house it makes sense to keep those rooms organized and clean. Take a couple of hours and empty all your cupboards, get rid of any old, stale or expired food items. Clean the shelves and only put those foods back that are life affirming. If you have only life affirming foods in the house, the likelihood that you are only eating life affirming substances is very high.
- Fill your cupboards with ingredients you can pronounce. Got any processed food items that contain ethyxylated diglycerides? Cellulose? Calcium propinate? Ammonium sulfate? If you wouldn’t cook with them yourself, why let others use these ingredients to cook for you? It’s dead and lifeless and will make your spirit feel that way too. Those un-pronouncable ingredients have been produced in a laboratory by humans not grown by nature. And how intelligent are humans versus nature? Laboratory produced foods don’t have any prana (=lifeforce). And besides, most of that stuff is cancerous too. Pull out any processed food items … crackers, cereals, veggie burgers, cans etc … and read the ingredient labels. Get rid of any items that have ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Source your food from places that grow with love and respect. If you have a local farmer’s market go there. If there is a CSA, sign up for that. If you have friends that have their own chickens and keep them in a loving way get your eggs there. If you have a place to grow your own veggies, do it. Organic food from the grocery store is one answer and certainly a good start. Locally, consciously grown food is a step further. You will feel the difference in your kitchen big time.
- Use spices: Spices are magic. They not only provide flavor for your food and make it taste good, but they have all kinds of healing properties for digestive disorders and beyond. Get your spices from the bulk section at a natural food store rather than in a jar at a conventional store. The likelihood that the spices are fresh is much greater. Buy spices whole rather than in powder whenever possible. Grind them yourself in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. You will be greeted with the most divine aroma and joy.
- Keep your fridge stocked with food. The idea is that whenever it is time for a meal, you can just open the fridge and be inspired to cook a wonderful meal without having to go the grocery store every single time. Having your fridge full of nourishing foods is warming to the soul.
- Get tools to create yummy things with ease: I am a big fan of nourishing quickies. Not the kind you are thinking of, good lord. I am talking about meal quickies. One of the best purchases I have ever made was a high speed blender. I got a Vitamix. That thing wasn’t exactly cheap, almost $450 to be precise, but it comes in handy when I don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen and want to prepare something nourishing quickly like a smoothie or a blended soup. A crock pot is another time saving item.
- Leave your kitchen clean. Wash the dishes, put any food items away, shine your sink and your counters. It will give you an elated feeling the next time you step back into your kitchen. It will entice you to eat clean, fresh food, rather than old and stale food. And by the way, you don’t have to turn yourself into a gourmet chef to create warmth in your kitchen. There are many time-saving recipes you can cook that are nourishing and warming to the soul.