Pick up your favorite fruit and really look at it—as if you’re seeing it for the first time. For example: take a peach into your hand, touch it gently with your fingers, feel the fuzzy skin. Kiss it, if you feel inspired to do so. Smell the peach. Cut a bit of skin and notice if the aroma is more fragrant under the skin. Slowly and consciously take the first bite, but don’t swallow it—just keep in in your mouth for a few seconds and notice any flavors that are released. It might be sweet and sour, maybe even a bit salty. Then finally, devour the first bite.
Close your eyes and take in all the delicious beauty that is given to you by this peach. Imagine how it travels through your body and nourishes your every cell with health and vitality. And if you find some juice running down your chin, don’t wipe it with a napkin, use your fingers and then lick it off of your fingers.
Take an afternoon off and dedicate it to cooking something fun. You can prepare any dish from the recipe section on my website. Let’s say you’ve decided to make chocolate sauce with strawberries. Linger and enjoy every step of the process. Drink in the aroma of the chocolate when you break it with your fingers. Lick your fingers when you see chocolate on them. Add the coconut milk slowly and enjoy how the black and white swirl together to create a delectable brown symphony of the most perfect aphrodisiac food on the planet. Once your sauce is finished, cool it to room temperature and use fresh strawberries (or just your fingers) to savor the chocolate sauce.
If you have a partner, have fun sharing. There can be much joy in slowly feeding each other by dipping each strawberry into a warm sauce and having your partner slowly take each bite. Have your partner close his or her eyes. If you have kids, they would love to be part of such an experiment! Of course, just eating chocolate sauce alone can be an amazing experience and a delicious meditation.
Decide whom you want to dedicate a meal to and what you want to cook. Maybe you want to invite a couple of friends to dinner and you want to make Moroccan stew with couscous.
Turn on some music that you particularly enjoy. The music doesn’t have to be Moroccan. It can be any music that lifts up your heart. As you prepare your vegetables and add your spices, try to dance as you move, skip from the stove to the fridge, if you would like, swing your hips as you mix your dry harissa powder into a sauce. Sing along with the music as you put all the colorful ingredients together and feel great joy in your heart from having such fun cooking.
Feel lots of love for your friends who are coming for dinner, and imagine that love flowing from your heart through your hands into the food. Think of how they will feel that love and take it all in.
Pick a nice summer day for a picnic. Prepare a wholesome, simple meal, such as homemade hummus, salad and bread, and go to your local park. It’s always fun to invite a friend or go with the family, but even by yourself, it can be an amazing experience to eat while surrounded by nature. Sit outside and take in everything that is going on around you. Hear the birds chirping and the leaves rustling, dogs barking, children laughing. Close your eyes and feel the breeze on your face. Sit on the ground and feel the earth under you before you take out your food and put it in front of you. Look at your food before taking the first bite and realize that the food you are about to eat is part of this nature that’s all around you.
Feel the connection between you, your food, and the whole universe. Say a prayer of gratitude for having the gift that nature so generously provided for you. Then take the first bite and savor it—bite, by bite, by bite.
Find your favorite Indian, Ethiopian, or Moroccan restaurant. In these cultures, people generally don’t use utensils and still use their hands or bread to dip into delicious curries and stews. Removing the barrier of a spoon or a fork can bring you closer to your food and make you feel that you are in relationship with it.
Experiment with using your hand as a spoon. Put a bit of food in the palm of your hand and push it into your mouth with your thumb. At first it might feel awkward, but you will be surprised by how much joy you can get out of touching your food with your bare hands and even licking your hands after your meal is over.
It’s an experiment, so don’t aspire to have a perfect result right away, and get over your fear of embarrassment. Just remember that most of the world still eats with their hands and loves it.
Find a nice afternoon and go to your local farmers’ market. It will bring you much closer to your food when you can meet the person who actually grows your food. Even if you don’t buy much—smell, touch, and look at as many beautiful ingredients as you can. Talk to the farmers; they have amazing stories. Find out what is in season and learn the nutritional value of everything you buy.
Once your shopping is complete, go home and cook that same afternoon. The food that you bought will be packed with the love these farmers put into their food and you will get the benefit of a meal packed with love and life force of freshly picked, seasonal ingredients.
In many cultures, food is considered sacred. Only priests are allowed to be in the kitchen. First, the food is offered to God; then, once blessed with love, it’s offered to the community. Even if you don’t believe in God, make a meal thinking of someone or something you deeply love. Imagine this food is not for you, but you are cooking it as a gift that you will give to someone you treasure. Any food cooked in the spirit of full love and devotion will nourish not only the body, but also the mind and heart, as well. Make any dish in the spirit of giving and your food will be infused with love for you and for others.
You will be amazed by how your own love that you infused in your food can feed others as well as yourself.