I love to eat, so naturally it makes sense that I love restaurants. But I love them less now than ever in my life.
Whether it was from living on the isolated island of Kauai or in a tiny pueblo in the mountains that shifted it or just a natural falling away as I listened to my body more as I began to study Ayurveda, I’ll never know.
This is a long distance from my days as a New Yorker. The seven years I spent there was a time of eating out constantly — usually 4-5 times a week. It was a hobby — tracking a new restaurant opening in my neighborhood, trying foods from around the world. But I began to live with the constant problems of acne, eczema, gas, and guilt about spending money and calories. I could not fully enjoy the gift of a lovely restaurant meal because they were such a part of my routine.
I still love when people are doing creative things at restaurants. I just choose for this to be a treat instead of the norm. Because the more I eat food that I have cooked, the better I feel. Even if it is simple, like roasting turnips and potatoes, scattering them over quinoa and garbanzos, and then serving them on top of mixed greens with a lime/olive oil vinaigrette.
I cook no-brainer food. I make my meals in less than an hour with any ingredients I have on hand. The key is to have:
a basic template for daily meals;
lots of grains and beans and veggies on hand;
and a sense of joy about the whole thing.
Let a restaurant meal serve its real purpose: the offer of a retreat into a rich sensory experience. But let 90% of your diet serve you by being grounding, nourishing, and homemade.
I’m running a retreat here in Merida this February with my husband where we will teach the fundamentals of cooking with Ayurveda and love. We’re calling it the most unique Ayurvedic cooking retreat you’ll ever find. This is because we’re not only focused on learning Ayurveda for home kitchens, but also on discovering your inner dialogue about food and cooking. When you are aware of what you tell yourself about the act of nourishment, you’ll see the path to feeding yourself from a place of joy.
Come on down to our casa, located in the heart of Mexico’s safest, most cultured cities. Your life — and your meals — will never be the same.