As a way of introduction to Our Kitchens As Wellness Centers, may I repeat an old cliché and what I consider to be a simple truth, “We are what we eat!” What I found over thirty (30) years ago is that the “food” we choose and take into our bodies — whether it be actual physical food that feeds our bodies, or the metaphysical food that influences our thoughts, and/or whatever exists in the visible and energetic environment surrounding us — has a dramatic effect on our physical health and immunity as well as our emotional health as well.
Whether we are in great or in poor physical and/or mental condition, we have influenced this condition through the many ways that we nourish ourselves, both biologically and psychologically, as well as what we expose ourselves to. Developing the ability to determine the different kinds of nourishment we need is fundamental to creating a healthy life.
The knowledge and practice of selecting, preparing, and eating wholesome and nourishing foods that are uniquely structured for the way our bodies were designed to give us the biological foundation as well as the freedom and the confidence to live in this world without the fear of getting sick, and is of vital importance for our sustaining health and long-term survival.
Where does this begin? Right in our own kitchens! Our kitchens are actually our personal alchemical centers where we create our own wellness! The kitchen is the heart of our home, the hearth from which we nourish ourselves, our families, and our communities. The kitchen, along with our understanding of the power of food in our lives, is what empowers us to take our health into our own hands.
How do we transform our kitchens into wellness centers, thereby creating the health, happiness, and peace that we all seek?
- We equip our kitchens with the best tools and supplies: A gas stove, quality cast iron pots, pans, ceramic cookery, pressure cookers and pans made with stainless steel, glass or ceramic teapots, a sharp vegetable cutting knife, wooden or bamboo cutting boards, and quality cooking utensils.
- In clean glass jars, we store healthy condiments such as high quality sea salt, natural soy sauce, powerful medicinal foods like umeboshi plum, miso, and bulk foods such as whole-wheat pastry flour and an abundant variety of: grains, dry beans, dried sea vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
- We store in our kitchen and/or refrigerator organic plant-based seasonal foods, vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein, such as tofu and tempeh (vegetarian bean burgers) and seitan.
- We come to the “service” of cooking in our kitchens with a dedicated, committed, and loving attitude. Cooking is an art, a form of meditation in motion, and service to humanity.
- We develop an understanding of how to select and pre-pare nourishing wholesome foods that will optimize our health.
Because “we are what we eat”, and because food provides the biological basis for our health and well-being, the knowledge and understanding of the cook who selects and prepares our food is paramount to the quality of our health. In essence, the cook becomes a “food doctor.” Hippocrates said: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food.”
The way I came to the understanding that our kitchens are wellness centers was through the study of Macrobiotics, an ancient philosophy of a natural and holistic way of life for humanity. Macrobiotics has been a profound philosophical guide for me to understand the power of this food on many levels.
I began my macrobiotic journey in 1977 studying macrobiotic principles of health and philosophy for a period of three years at the Kushi Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts. My experience with healing, both personally and through what I have witnessed with clients, has reinforced my understanding of macrobiotics and motivation to share its teachings.
I have found inspiration in hundreds of books that all come to the same conclusion: eating a whole-foods plant-based diet is the most important fundamental practice one can do to recover health and ensure wellness. This is real health care! (Some of these inspirational books are listed at the end of this article.)
In essence, the ideal food for human consumption is organic plant-based whole foods …