I never thought that becoming a mother would make me a better cook, but you know what – it has!
The second I learned that I was pregnant with our daughter Audrey, I started to become more conscious of the food I was putting into my body. Mind you, I was never a bad eater—I don’t consume a lot of processed foods—but dining out was my standard, and there was never any meal prep on the agenda. Ever.
Once I started becoming more aware of the foods I was choosing to eat and enjoy, I started seeing it as a form of self-love. I was not only nourishing my baby, but I was feeding my body and mind at the same time.
While pregnant, I was eating a lot of vegetables and fruits and started cooking at home more regularly. The last trimester, however, is not even worth mentioning from a healthful standpoint. By that time, all I was really interested in were sweets and was overeating. I really just couldn’t help myself.
Since Audrey came into our lives, I have become an even better cook than I could have imagined. I spend a lot of time preparing fresh meals for her, which in turn means our whole family is eating better.
Food is really important to us. Wine pairs beautifully with food (hee hee), which is a bonus. We are also a family that loves a wide variety of flavours and spices. Before Audrey, Mike and I would dine out a few times per week. We liked hitting up the local hotspots as well as eclectic dives and a diverse collection of ethnic restaurants. Dinner time has always been a time for us to slow down, to connect, and there is nothing better to do this over than delicious food and amazing company.
Surprisingly, I find that I actually don’t miss dining out as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, we’re very social and still dine out, but these days we often prefer to entertain at home.
I get excited to go grocery shopping for fresh ingredients to prepare delicious meals at home. We often have the leftovers for lunch the following day. It used to take me 15 minutes to whip up a dinner, but that was just “getting it done”. These days, I take my time, thinking through the steps and enjoying the process. I think about the farmers who grew the fruits, vegetables, and spices I use. I think about how the animals were raised and how far they had to travel to nourish our family. It feels good to be putting this kind of effort and energy into something so important.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “slow food”, that is what it’s all about: the process, the people, the origins, the philosophy – all the steps it took to get to your table. It’s really quite amazing. Because of this, I feel more passionate about food and cooking, and it just feels good to know that I’m bringing something important to my family, a concept that goes beyond the food itself.
Audrey is 13 months now. She is such a great eater and is quickly turning into a little foodie. She expects the freshest foods and enjoys trying new things. Even at this age, she has the appetite of a teenage boy.
Of all the deliciousness that love brings to my life, food has become a way for me to express my eternal love, devotion, and gratitude for its many blessings.