The evolving art of good & pure cooking and eating: introduction
You’ve got to understand the situation we have going on over here… 4 guys, 2 babies, and 1 chick(pea). Planning meals could sometimes be akin to climbing Mount Everest, for the first time, on crutches, without a guide, in the dark, or something like that…
Ok, so I’m the chickpea, in case you’re wondering. For the first time in my life, I am finding myself really feeling the pressure of having to provide meals to my family. My family of 7 (all praise & thanks be to The Almighty) is large and diverse enough that feeding us all has become a real challenge.
I have a mental list of what I would like… no processed foods, all or most organic, very little to no sugar, flexible enough to serve babies, kids, teens, and adults.
For the past three years, I’ve been actively trying to change our eating (and purchasing) habits. I’ve both succeeded and failed at this… if you start down this path, you will find that there are a lot of elements to consider.
Firstly, for those of us on a tight budget, it would be cost. It is an unfortunate reality that prices of food grown without the use of poisonous chemicals cost more than those grown with! I would make the argument though, that can we really afford to keep consuming poisons and toxins, can we?
Next, what type of food to choose? Gluten-free? Dairy-free? Nut-free? Vegan? Fermented? Raw? Ok, you get it… you and I are clearly not the only ones on a mission to change what we eat, and the way we eat. What I’ve found is that whilst I am willing to try new, not-so-great-tasting, new-age-ancient-grain kinda things, the rest of my family (minus the babies of course) are not keen on this.
Thirdly, good & pure… for me, this is probably the most important factor in my change. We are supposed to consume what is good & pure, but what does that mean in today’s world? I don’t have the all the answers, but information is easy to find, in this, the era of Dr. Google, Mufti Google, Professor Google, and whatnot, and you will find sufficient evidence to suggest that everything that is supplied to us under the banner of “food” is not really fit for consumption. We have to, though, do our utmost best to find what is good & pure.
The Prophet's (saw) guidance concerning food and drink
Al-Musnad (by Imam Ahmad) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “The son of Adam (as) never fills a vessel worse than his stomach. The son of Adam only needs a few bites that would sustain him, but if he insists, one third should be reserved for his food, another third for his drink and the last third for his breathing” … taken from the invaluable resource, Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet by Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyah.
I’ve found this book to be an essential item within our family library. Why, you ask? Well, simply because it is comprehensive and offers practical advice from the Prophet (saw) on a myriad of ailments and illnesses, and even spiritual afflictions, as well as, it contains an alphabetical list of individual food items mentioned in a hadith with their benefits, harms, and/or recommendations with respect to eating or using them.
Ok, so what’s next?
Well, in the coming articles, I will outline the process I used to “clean up my act”. My hope is that this will be a useful tool for anyone trekking this path.