God’s beauty, glory, power, creativity, and care for us is displayed all around us in the beauty of nature. We can find such peace in spending time in that beauty when we take a walk on a beautiful day, play with our kids in the grass, or work in the garden. It’s displayed in the array of colorful fruits and vegetables that nourish our bodies. That leads us to the first of three steps to finding joy in eating well.
Take a Little Time to Enjoy the View
My favorite section of the grocery store is the produce aisle, and I want to make it yours, too. The next time you make your way through that area of the grocery store, take the time to enjoy the view. The colors, the textures, the smell of a peach. Look for something you’ve never tried and put it on your menu for the week.
You might try the pluot, a plum-apricot hybrid that’s sweeter than either plums or apricots alone. If your pluot isn’t ripe, put it in a brown paper bag at room temperature (you can do this with other unripe fruits, too). Pack it in a lunch bag, eat it for a snack or add it to salsa in place of tomatoes for a new twist on a dip. You can even toss it in a salad with baby greens, goat cheese and walnuts drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
Enjoy Meal Planning and Prep
To get excited, start with the basics and learn how to put simple ingredients together. Clean up your refrigerator so you know what you have and can find it easily – being organized will help you meal plan. Ask around – your FP4H class, your friends, family — find out what their go-to meals are when they don’t have a lot of time. Knowing the recipe is tried, and true will make you more confident. Make a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goal for cooking at home. It might just be one night a week to start. Or it might be three times a week. It should be specific, but do-able.
Break Bread and Eat Together with Glad & Sincere Hearts (Acts 2:46)
Eating together can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, when we take the joy out of it, it just becomes another chore on our to-do list. It can be an opportunity to connect with family and friends, to turn off from our devices, and relax. It’s hard to find happiness at the dinner table when you’re focused on other things. If finding joy at mealtimes is difficult, resist the urge to have other distractions around mealtime. Sit down. Savor each bite. Be mindful about what you’re eating.
There is nothing better than eating something that you’ve prepared at home, especially when it’s nutritious and delicious. Odds are that if you have healthy options on hand, you are more likely to eat them. You will feel accomplished and energized. So, let’s find joy in eating well, enjoying the view, prepping our meals, and breaking bread with a glad and sincere heart.
Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 15 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes to communities.