“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a  perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live”

– Lin Youtang

 

Twice this week I had reminders of the modern speed of living. Early in the week a colleague posted on Facebook about the convenience of buying “cauliflower rice” all ready to go, and then another colleague posted a link to a lovely article reminding of us about the importance of slowing down. From one extreme to another, basically…

This picture of the cauliflower rice, really got me thinking. What speed are we living at when we don’t even seem to have time to chop a head of cauliflower for dinner? Do we need more things to simplify our lives, or do we simply need to slow down a bit?

Trust me, I am all for keeping it quick and simple, hence why many of the recipes you find here have just a couple of core ingredients and are straightforward enough to make. Many of the meals I make for myself take less than 30 min to put together.

So when you can buy a head of cauliflower grounded up, in a plastic bag and for triple the price, I’m not sure if it is true convenience or just very clever marketing!

mindful living

Of course I’m not the first one to mention neither the speed of modern day living or the benefits that can be had if we slow down. But it seems like it is something that we all (or most of us at least, myself included) need to be reminded of on a fairly regular basis. Though how do we do it? Like how can we achieve balance in the midst of our full on lives?

Back to the pre packed cauliflower rice…

Here are my take aways; Don’t fall for that kind of clever marketing! You’ll be paying triple the price for convenience that is minute. I love cauliflower and it is a really useful and versatile vegetable. One that is also packed with important nutrients that can support the body’s detoxification system as well as being cancer protective. And it is one of the cheapest vegetables around, which usually does NOT come wrapped in plastic. (I have a thing for vegetables being  wrapped in plastic.)

To make a quick meal  from it, i.e. “cauliflower rice”, which is finely chopped cauliflower and quickly cooked in boiling water,  all you need is a sharp knife. And a pot of boiling water, of course. It will take just minutes. I promise!

The other thing that I feel is slightly off with the idea of cut and pre-packed vegetables, aside from the plastic packaging and the fact that much nutrition has been lost in the process, is that when eating this way we lose connection. Connection with where the food comes from. Connection with nature and perhaps even connection with ourselves.

Or maybe we are already feeling disconnected and out of touch…?

mindful living

Rather than seeing cooking and feeding ourselves as an inconvenience or just another thing to tick off on our to-do list, we can flip it on its head and look at it as a way of engaging in a creative endeavour. As a way of being mindful and present in that moment. And as a way of taking care of ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I eat the odd take away, bag of chips from the chip shop or even a bar of chocolate as a snack… But over the years I flipped this one on its head too. So now, rather than getting stuck in a cycle of guilt that I happen to have these types of foods, on occasion, I try see these occasions as cues.

 

Why am I feeding myself on autopilot?

 

So when I notice that one meal of mindless planning, turns into a second grab-and-go one, that is my cue to look at what it is I need to change and improve upon  in my life, to bring things back into balance and practice some selfcare!

And just like one of my clients came to realise for herself is, “cooking is selfcare”.

Or like the brilliant Harvard Researcher Ellen J. Langer puts it;

“My research has revealed that our mindlessness can be very costly and that an increase in mindfulness results in an increase in competence, health and longevity, happiness, creativity, charisma and makes us more satisfied with our work, to name a few of the findings.”

 

So this week, how are you going to take care of yourself?