Nourishment is found not just in the list of ingredients eaten and consumed by the body, but by the numerous acts of intent that precede its digestion.
I plan my meals on a weekly basis. I pour through cookbooks and online sites and magazines for just the right foods to feed my family. I strive for variety in textures and tastes and try to incorporate a melange of color into our flavor palette. Popping a pill would save me oh so much time, but would it nourish? I think not.
Part of the healthful benefits that come from our food is in the selection of the ingredients – picking out the most beautiful shining bell pepper, the plumpest ripe tomato, the avocado that will reach the stage of perfection on the day I plan to use it. Nothing beats the stroll out to our vegetable garden to pick zucchini off the vine and to fill up my basket with green beans that seconds ago were growing and half an hour later are steamed to tender crispness on my plate with just a hint of butter and a sprinkling of salt to bring out their simple, life-enhancing taste.
The cleaning and the slicing is therapy unto itself. The stirring and sauteeing and seasoning requires an intent that a pill cannot deliver. After all the shopping and preparing is done, there is the presentation. I pick out just the right bowl or platter that enhances the colors or ethnic origin of the dish we are about to consume. This prepares the eyes for the taste to come.
As we gather together, we ask a blessing for our meal and then we share. We share the taste and the talk and the company. And we derive nourishment from it all.