Can healthy food make you happy? Or, can happy people make the foods we eat healthier?When I think about these questions in relation to the upcoming holiday season,it seems obvious that eating steamed veggies over brown rice, although healthy, wouldn’t be as festive as a big holiday dinner with all the fixings. But what if that same big holiday dinner, with all the potatoes and gravy, when prepared with love and positive intention could be just as nourishing?
On my recent retreat to Costa Rica, I had a huge “ah-ha” moment about food, people and celebration. We stayed at a beautiful yoga retreat centre where the majority of the foods were grown on the property and every dish was made from scratch and with love. The wonderful Marie, who cooked for more than 15 people every day, always had a smile on her face. Cooking for others and providing them with beautiful and delicious food seemed to give her such joy and true happiness. She apeared to be celebrating life and nourishment through her cooking. I couldn’t help but feel that the meals I was eating were filled with her positive energy and love. And without realizing it, I was saying YES to dessert more than I normally would.
The food was delicious and nourishing, and I set an intention to embrace that sense of happiness and positivity when I returned home to cook for myself and my family. And I have to admit I am not the best cook, nor is it one of my favorite things to do, however when I changed my perspective and gently reminded myself why I was preparing a meal – to nourish and sustain a healthy body – the finished product started to taste better, leaving me feeling full and satisfied.
So this holiday season when the stress of preparing meals in celebration seems like more hassle than reward, I invite you to set a new intention of health and happiness while when you prepare your holiday meals. Adding in fresh and locally grown produce doesn’t hurt either. Think of all the positive energy a local farmer puts in to growing food for your holiday table. Embrace all the positive aspects of preparing food for nourishment and happiness, and notice how much more tasty and filling your meals will be. And if you are looking for a quick fix in the kitchen, I’ve included a simple and healthy recipe for avocado vinaigrette to pour over fresh green salad or steamed veggies. It’s a household favorite that is super nutritious and delicious!
- 1 avocado
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 clove garlic
- Pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour over mixed greens or veggies.
Adrienne Kelly-Durys is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, 500Hr RYT and lover of feeling good in mind and body. She teaches Yoga and wellness classes at Balanced Life Yoga and specializes in detoxing and nourishment. Classes include Power Hour Yoga, Core Yoga and Strength Therapy, Power Hour +Bonus and Holistic Nutritional Consulting.
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