In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”
I am a little behind in my writings but I thought I would answer this one. Red Pill, Blue Pill. It sounds so easy, so convenient. No thinking involved. One could just pop a pill and go along their merry way. No fuss, no mess. It sounds a bit sterile to me.
I haven’t always had a good relationship with food. I think there are many of us that could say that in one way or another. When I first started cooking when I was a late teenager, I was not really interested in it for myself. I did the whole domestic thing for my family because that is what I was taught was right. I didn’t do it out of some deep, emotional bond to cooking or food. I had a husband, and children. I came from a very traditional family background so that is what was done. You have a meal every night on the table for your family. At first, I was okay with that. Blissfully ignorant, one might say. I proudly got dinner on. Here’s where it got fun. Husband #1 would be late. Not twenty or thirty minutes late. He was hours late and no phone call. We would wait for a bit but after a while the children were hungry and they really like that whole sustenance thing. We ended up eating and saving a plate for Dad. Sometimes he would come home and not eat it at all or complain. After years of that, I just got sick of it. When someone doesn’t appreciate the work you are putting into something and you aren’t doing it for yourself you tend to lose the joy of it. I cooked for the kids and then would grab dinner for myself after they were asleep.
Why I am divulging this? I am sharing this because I now realize that the problem wasn’t really about him. The problem was about my reasoning and my motivation to cook. Yes, I felt disrespected and unappreciated. Don’t get me wrong. It really pissed me off. What I realize now is that I had no connection to cooking. I had no connection to food. I had no passion for what I was doing or why. I think on some level, his not showing up gave me the excuse(for lack of a better term) to just not bother.
For many years, it stayed this way for one reason or another. Things were not good. (That is probably like saying Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain and wind) My life did fall apart. I lost everything I loved and I lost myself. All the while, food and cooking took a back seat except for what was needed for the little ones.
I really don’t want to get into how I lost everything but I did. I also gave up everything that gave me joy and happiness in my life. Some things in life are taken and some are given away.
When I finally started getting things back together, it took me a long time to get back in the kitchen. What truly motivated me was my health. I have several major health issues that are chronic. I have several allergies and food intolerances that are caused by my health issues. I had to make some changes in order to function through my day and not be sick 24/7.
My quest to feel better led me to start researching. I researched recipes, food info, labeling, different styles of diets(Paleo, Vegan, GF, Clean Eating, etc…), organic eating and gardening vs. GMO and pesticides. I found that some foods are inflammatory to my conditions. Before I realized it, I was interested in food. (It may have been an evil plot by food to suck me in all along) I was trying new recipes. I was trying them out on family. Better to experiment on those you love 🙂 Husband #2, Partner, and kids were all loving the new stuff. I felt a sense of accomplishment and dare I say, excitement about cooking.
I was and am seeing food in a whole new light now. This is how we fuel our bodies. They run well when we are properly nourished and we are consuming things that are healthy for our particular bodily needs. Healthy food can taste good. (Still don’t like Tofu no matter how it is prepared) I have learned to explore different cultures through their cuisine. I know where the traditions come from. I have learned how food can bring people together for real conversation and bonding. As hokey as it may sound, food can bring you happiness and help you create or have happy memories.
Most of all, it is something that brings me peace. Everything can be going badly, things can be loud and chaotic but cooking helps me find focus and a moment of meditation. The cutting, sauteing, blanching, baking, simmering, adding herbs here or a dash of salt there helps shut everything just for a moment.
I may have been caught unaware by this love of cooking but it seems to be just what the doctor ordered. I have a much healthier relationship with food now. I feel better physically and mentally. I am able to share something with those I love and they share their love right back because of food and cooking.
No red pill or blue pill for me. Those pills will not compare to what I have gained through food.