I love eating, and I enjoy preparing my food — but I know many people do not enjoy the process, only the outcome. But they do not know that they are missing the most important part of the journey. Travelling the world, I learned that the most valuable lessons come not at the destination, but on the way to reach it.
The power lies in the process, not the outcome.
And because we all eat — every single day — the process of cooking is one of the most important ones which is largely underrated. Let’s be honest, most of us do not cook 3 meals a day — we prefer to take away, restaurants or someone else cooking for us. The most common reasons for not cooking ourselves are:
“I do not have time for that”, followed by
“I do not know what to cook”,
“cooking is boring” or even
“I actually only know how to cook pasta”
— and the list goes on. For those reasons, people choose more and more to eat out, and the most popular choice in our fast-paced world is of course fast food.
Why Fast Food Will Be the End of Us
Fast food is actually a quite new concept. The first fast-food restaurant was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. White Castle is considered the first fast-food chain in history. McDonald’s appeared on the market 27 years later. Since then, fast food has taken over the world. The country most addicted to junk food is undeniably the United States — where 37% of all adults consume fast food every single day.
Regarding fast-food chains, Mc Donalds still defends its place at the top — with 38,695 restaurants worldwide.
The list of diseases that come with this kind of nutrition is long: obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, indigestion, depression, high blood pressure, acne, high cholesterol, headache and much more. The danger comes not only from fast food but processed food in general. Our supermarkets are stacked with highly processed foods — to make them last longer and taste better. As a result, we completely lost the natural taste.
But processed and fast food has not been around for most of our human existence. So how did people survive without it? Easy — cooking their own food.
Why Going Back to the Roots Will Save Us
I am sure that most of our grandmas are still cooking their meals every single day. My grandma grew up on a farm — with chicken, cows, pigs and an abundance of vegetables. Back then, there was no Mc Donalds around, and going to restaurants was a rare occasion. People were still deeply connected to the whole process of food — from the earth to the plate. Nowadays, most children do not even know where the food they eat come from.
I asked my niece the other day “Do you know where this sausage comes from?” and she answered “From the supermarket.”
That is the shocking truth. And as we lost the connection to the origin of the food, we also lost the connection to the preparation. If you are hungry and without time, you just order something. Or you put a frozen pizza into the oven. I rarely know anyone who prepares their own pizza anymore.
I look at my grandma for inspiration. Every single day, three times a day, she takes the time to prepare a fresh and delicious meal for my grandpa and herself. I grew up with 2 parents that absolutely love to cook and try new things, that is why I still cultivate that love for cooking.
Eating makes up just one part of the whole — the magic lies in the process of preparing your own food.
How to Make Cooking Fun Again
I agree, eating good food is amazing. The world is becoming more health-conscious and there exists a lot of healthy fast food options nowadays. But I still think there is something very crucial missing — the actual act of cooking. I love to take the time to buy fresh ingredients and then create a recipe (I almost always improvise) with what I have. And it is so much fun!
These are my most important tips on how to enjoy the process of cooking:
- take the decision to enjoy the process
- give yourself the time you need, do not rush
- create an ambience that inspires you
- put on your favourite music
- move, move and move
- snack the hell out of the process
Everything depends on what energy you put into it — so if you decide to enjoy the process of cooking, then you will. Take the time you need, do not rush. We tend to stress so easily about the time we have and the outcome, it only makes us sick. You can only enjoy the process if you focus on the now, not on the future.
Another important factor is your surroundings. Make sure you are in a place where you feel comfortable and inspired. I put on inspiring music — mostly old Italian or French music — and I emerge myself in the process of cooking. I also like to burn some incense or light some candles, just to set the mood. Here you can be totally you and create the ambience that inspires you.
For me, cooking is a form of art, of creating, of unleashing creativity.
And my secret ingredient to a really fun cooking session: dancing. You do not need to be a professional dancer to enjoy moving to the rhythm of your favourite music. Movement takes out any negative energy and brings flow into everything you do. Of course, you can also add some singing to it, sometimes I even use some kitchen utensils as instruments.
And another very unique added value of cooking: the in-between-snacking. Before I start to cook, I serve myself a cup of wine and nip on it thought all the process. And whilst preparing, I obviously need to try what I am cooking — which means a never-ending joy of snacking.
I also always have side snacks at hand, like olives, cheese, crackers, fresh bread with olive oil, tomato with mozzarella, cacao nibs or salted nuts (the list goes on).
As you see, cooking can be a lot of fun. And after preparing your food like that, trust me, your food will taste phenomenal. Because anything prepared with love is good for us.
If you would like to see me preparing some delicious and healthy food, dancing around like there is no tomorrow, enjoy this video: