Cooking As If Your Life Depended On It

In the delightful film, Julie and Julia, the story revolves around two women whose lives were saved by learning how to cook. Julia Child went on to become the doyenne of home cooking, while Julie Powell went on to write a successful blog about cooking her way through Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Even though they prepared foods loaded with butter, beef, sugar and cream they were able to nurture their husbands and friends with the energy and mind set they brought into the kitchen. In other words your state of mind can influence the state of your health and your ability to heal from serious disease or a minor illness.

When I studied the science of Macrobiotic cooking I was taught how my energy and thoughts can affect the vibrational energy of each meal I prepare. It is not just my energy that can affect the food, but other factors as well such as, the length of time a dish cooks, the temperature used, and the way each vegetable is cut. Even the type of heat used in cooking is thought to have an affect on the body’s nervous system: a wood fire (calm), a gas flame (less calm), electric coil (agitating) or a microwave oven (very agitating).

In Healing With Whole Foods, food researcher Paul Pitchford speaks of the invisible energy that is imparted to the food by the cook and that this in turn affects anyone who then eats that food. He offers a few suggestions for being aware of your intentions in the kitchen:

1. Food prepared in anger imparts anger.
2. If the cook is being too thrifty and not meeting everyone’s nutritional needs there can be a feeling of deprivation and then excessive binging (on not-so-nutritious food), leading to even more expense.
3. When the cook is feeling rejected, the food will most likely be rejected, too.
4. Cooking in a hurried or chaotic manner can result in anxious, chaotic thoughts and actions.

So, note to self, pound the pillow rather than the chicken breast when angry with spouse or children. Then take a moment to calm down and let go of the anger before stepping into the kitchen.

To many people cooking is a form of meditation, a time to quiet the mind and listen to what their body needs; perhaps a bit more protein, some extra oil, or a serving of sweet vegetables to balance the salt from yesterday’s chips. If we are in a rush we can overlook what is really needed and if we are ill we can only cause further depletion of energy. Cooking for optimal health with love, intention and integrity may not be exactly what Julia Child was writing about, but in her way it is what she brought to her cooking, and inspired so many others to do the same.

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.


Marian L.
Marian L4 years ago

Great article! Thank you.
"Cooking As If Your Life Depended On It." - It does!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Well, I'm in a fairly good mood and not mad at anyone, so I guess I'll head for the kitchen and make some breakfast.

Jose P.
Jose P7 years ago

so true...viz funny scene in the movie Like Water for Chocolate: the girl cries into the wedding cake batter and makes all the guests sick later when they eat it.

Kristen R.
Kristen R7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this.

Aaaaaad Dddddda
Aaaaaad Dddddda8 years ago

so grandma's cookies WERE filled with love :P it makes sense now

Laurie T.
Laurie T8 years ago

he hee heee this article brings back the memory of how I, one evening beat the daylights out of a piece of lean beef, as I pictured some anger inside. Needless to say, the poor slab of beef was as tough as nails, just like my mood. So now a days, I get frustrations out with a 3" nail pounded into a plank of wood, rather than a flank steak. My foods are prepared in a relaxed, happy environment now and it shows in the quality and flavor of each meal!

Beth H.
Beth H8 years ago

Janine, that sounds.....AWESOME. I cannot say that I have had such an experience personally, but your description brings up a longing feeling for one. Thanks for the great comment.

janine k.
janine k8 years ago

The commentary about the cooking on the fire vs micro was incredibly spot on~When I lived in a cottage with a dutch door and a beautiful fireplace I could cook on, The vibes were sensational. During a blizzard, I roasted root vegs. individ. apple pies with pastry I made and I bought steak and roasted that on the fire and got my husband Scotch, I even had some. We sat in wing chairs by the fire on a table I made out of an oldfashioned wood piece from a restaurant remodeling, very rustic. It was the best dinner I have ever made. The wintery snow through the windowpanes which leaked air like mad added the perfect touch. Yes, the wood fireplace is better, the microwave can't touch it and I long for that cottage where a horse could walk by as well as an ostrich and you were always happy cause it was so down to earth.

Margaret C.
Margaret C8 years ago

Cooking is very therapeutic, so is mindful eating. I recently lost my dear mother, and in the last 3 months of her life, we ate together often. After her passing, we celebrated her life with lots of food, all her favourite foods at her favourite places or at home.

As Rebecca M. mentioned we can be thankful to the animals and plants for feeding us. If we put too much worrying thoughts into the eating, the food will taste bad. Like the joke says, "It's mind over matter, if you don't mind, it won't matter."

Instead of cringing about where the food came from, we should just buy & cook the healthiest ways we can afford (I know it's difficult at times) and show the megacrop farmers by our actions. Eventually, it might take a few decades, the market always dictates the production practices.

Bon apetite!

Jeanne Allie
Jeanne Allie8 years ago

I'm afraid I don't have the leisure to wait til I'm totally at peace with the world and with myself til I cook. We try to live as self-sufficient a life as possible, and this necessitates a certain amount of food preparation a day for someone in the house for all 5 of us to have 3 meals a day. So, cooking is not a hobby I have that I can indulge in when my mood is right. On the other hand, along with other activities each of us here does each day, food preparation is something done for the good of the whole family, mostly with ingredients we have produced right here, or produced by our neighbors; as such, it is an activity that creates a sense of well-being, love of self and others, just as other daily necessary chores.

Also, a quick note: if you saw the movie "Julie and Julia" you really should read the book. As usual, the book is far superior.