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What we carry

I have been cooking a lot more recently. Not because I am a marvelous cook who loves the art of it, but because with my health issues exploring food options that are not the way people predominately eat in our culture seems to allow me to experience some relief with my symptoms. I am not a good cook. I often make jokes about my own cooking. However, one of the lessons I have received from practicing various skills over years and sometimes decades, is typically, one does improve. Or at least, one / I can hope. What does this have to do with a picture of me with a ten pound weight? What has made cooking easier for me to delve into is not always obvious connections.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge cooking requires a certain amount of time and space. At very least, to learn how to cook if one is not skilled at it requires time and space. Mistakes will be made, some will be inedible, This requires additional time and resources to eat, or at very least having had a consistent enough supply of food in the past that missing a meal is merely an inconvenience. Time is required to shop for ingredients. Also, if like me you are using ingredients that are less processed at the point of purchase - additional processing time may be needed to be done before cooking. All of this can add up. I want to acknowledge this because when we talk about people being healthier as individuals, we often ignore the resources that they are required to have to start the process to be healthier. Do people have access to those resources which might be in the form of time, money or community support ( community support can mitigate some of the requirements of time and money, but only if the community has enough resources in order to aid its members )? I am grateful at this time I have the resources to experiment with working with ingredients that seem to be providing my body more of what it needs.

Now to the I as individual and some interesting things I've realized regarding myself through cooking. It is better if I start with only a few tools, in ordered not to get overwhelmed or overstimulated. I have been cooking most things in either a single pot or on a caste iron skillet. I am slightly enamored with caste iron. I like the flavor I feel caste iron imparts to the food. Cooking with caste iron also admittedly less rationally, connects me to history that feels rooting and grounding. However, maybe It is just because that skillet weighs in at 9 pounds that I feel grounded! That pink weight you see me holding out in front of me is 10 pounds. I physically cannot manage the caste iron skillet with one hand very well. I can hold it for short periods of time with my right hand, but not the left. So here I am, strength training my left arm for food. Is there a better reason to strength train? This has led me to do light weight training during the pauses when I am cooking. Which I have started to really enjoy. One of the reasons I am not terribly talented at cooking, is I just do not find it that engaging for me. Therefore, in the past a lot of things would burn. There was really a lot of burnt food in my past, y'all don't even know. Now, I've started to keep some light weights around the kitchen and do simple repetitions as I wait. For me, this seems to be the perfect way to make both activities much more gratifying. I hope in that post inspires you to explore combining things, dare I say the ingredients of life, in ways that work for you, Not for the sake of multi-tasking, but because it brings a bit of pleasure to your day.

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