Thursday, September 4, 2014

Food is the Foundation Upon Which We Build Our LIves

Christina Pirello of "the fantastic plant-based PBS cooking show "Christina Cooks" is one of the chefs I admire most (and she's a yogi too).  I had the pleasure of meeting Christina at my local WFs and quickly understood how she became so successful.  She's a master of culinary arts and nutrition, deeply passionate, hard working and she has a huge personality.  What I enjoyed most about seeing her in person was to taste her personality in her cooking.  In other words, the food she creates tastes positively full of passion and personality -- which you could see in how she moved in the kitchen.
As she was cooking she was smiling, laughing and talking to the audience.  She told jokes and shared personal stories, some serious and some light.  She moved through steps of her recipe effortlessly (though not without effort) like sequences in a beautiful vinyasa flow. And like a yoga instructor, her explanations guided us perfectly through the experience.  I'll never forget what she said about cooking stress:
The way that you feel affects the food you cook.  If you are stressed-out, rushing, or constantly searching for things, your food is not going to taste as good.
I took away so much from the class, even though I'd made the recipe she showcased before.  The art of cooking is a union of mind and body.  It's not just how we feel when we cook, but the consciousness and the decisions we make.  We choose with each meal we eat whether we are fighting disease or promoting it.  Christina has a wonderfully sensual way of writing about the art of cooking over at HuffPo where she describes this:
When we cook for ourselves, we decide how we'll feel every day. We decide how we'll behave, how we'll handle stress, how we'll interact with our families and friends. The kind of food we choose and prepare is the fuel that operates us. Think about it. We put superior petrol in our cars so they'll run smoothly. But we think we can subsist on drive-thru. Make sense? Not to me.
I highly recommend reading this piece.  It is such a beautiful piece of writing.  And definitely check her shows on PBS too. She has a remarkable story about how she cured herself from leukemia by changing her diet dramatically.  If you like what you see and want to learn more, she offers classes through her website.  Thank you, Christina, for sharing your art, wisdom and passion for cooking with the world.

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