Food is Life

Food is Life-Are you Engaging with your plate?

Do you live to eat or eat to live? For me, I live to eat as Food is life. I do hope that by reading my post you will change your mind and the relationship that you have with food. Or a relationship that you probably once had with it, but forgot over time, due to being stuck in a rut and the pressures of life. Even if you never really thought about having a relationship with food, and only saw it as a fuel to your body, I do hope, my words will change your mind and like me you will begin to romance with your plate and make an effort to cook more.

Past connections

Cooking was a communal process back in the days of our grandmother. There was a beautiful rhythm that flowed in the kitchen. From chopping, mixing, kneading, stirring ingredients together, it included many people to bring food to our table. I grew up in a house where cooking was the centre of life. Family gatherings revolved around food and besides politics, food was the trending topic for discussions. 

Meals were cooked fresh from scratch. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were made only a couple of hours before consumption.  Lunch had not even ended and my Mother wanted to discuss dinner options.  Each meal was lovingly and carefully crafted with a focus on fresh ingredients. Local and seasonal produce was procured fresh from the market on a daily basis. There was no room for processed foods or snacks. My mother made sure of that as an expression of her love and care with a focus on her amazing cooking.

Table connections

Mom made everything at home including butter, condiments, yogurt, snacks, home made chips, ice creams, pies, cakes or cookies. I hardly remember buying anything from the bakery, as she had a passion for cooking and baking. Thanks to her, I grew up knowing good food. We ate together at the family table to connect and bond as a family. No television was allowed and no eating on the couch either. That’s what my mother learnt from her mother and the generations before, where family mattered most, in the hope that their legacy would continue through the family recipes and traditions to keep the future generations together.

Lost in Nostalgic Translation

Alas, things don’t always turn out as expected. In today’s neo-liberal society where everything is so structured and competitive, the focus has shifted. The little joys of life have been replaced by performance, skill, the pressures of the society, and consumerism. Everyone is running a rat race, no one has the time to just slow down, to cook or eat together. This whole ideology is feeding off people’s insecurities and vulnerabilities. We all seem to be lost in some kind of nostalgic translation. Seriously, don’t you miss the simple days of your mother’s kitchens and the authenticity of the innocent laughter that was shared over the family table? The innocent minimalism that we were so content with? I know I do!

Are you paying attention to your plate?

There were not many distractions like smart phone’s, social media or internet in the 1980’s. Life was simple and that simplicity reflected in our lives with a focus on family, food and cooking. But with the influx of social media and technology today, we have made our lives so complicated. Eating food seems to have become a mindless ritual. We don’t celebrate our kitchen and our plate anymore, the simple act of cooking that transforms nature’s abundance into culture, memories and togetherness. 

I have a few simple questions for you; how many of you really chew your food, eat in front of the television, or while surfing the net? How many of you live on takeouts, frozen and microwaved meals?

According to Michael Pollan, we have lost the real meaning of food and one of the loss is the lack of cooking at home and sharing it with others around us. In his Netflix series, ‘Cooked’ Pollan echos,  “We’re consuming food carelessly with no sense of ceremony, no sense of community.”  “When we learned to cook is when we became truly human,”. As after all food is life!

My cooking journey

Since my mother was already whipping up great meals, I didn’t learn to cook till I was in my twenties. When I left home in my teens, for years I relied heavily on packaged, processed convenience foods. It was easier to just buy a ready made meal and pop it in the microwave. Microwave, don’t even get me started on that! My husband and I made a conscious decision to never buy one. And four years later, I can confirm it was the best decision ever.

Anyways, when I was living alone, I didn’t cook for myself, it didn’t seem like it was worth the effort. Can you imagine that, did I not love myself enough to make an effort? Probably not, and my excuse was I am too tired after studying, working, blah blah blah! But nature has a way of mirroring things to you that you take for granted. I was definitely taking myself for granted with all the conveniently packaged meals. Soon it started taking a toll on my health. That was my signal. I knew, it was time for me to stop what I was doing and slow down. So I decided to pick up my apron and start cooking for some self care and love as that’s most important.

I was pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed the process. Why had I been missing out on this amazing activity, the most basic and sustainable act of life.  Also, I seemed to have the gift of my mother’s natural flair for cooking which had been passed onto me by default.  I loved how the simple act of cooking led to conscious eating, and a great engagement with not just my plate but the people I began to share it with. I loved visiting the farmer’s market, foraging for ingredients, trying out new recipe’s, experimenting with flavours and global cuisines.

Breaking Bread Together

Eating is a shared experience that brings people together on a table. While for some food is a source of pleasure, for others its a matter of survival. No matter the reason, the simple act of eating together connects people. It feeds not just the senses but the soul. After all food is the most powerful form of love. And I grew up in a family that loved sharing food, where hospitality truly mattered. So, to share my food with others comes naturally to me. I love how it connects and engages people over a shared common passion. The conversations, the shared laughter that flow, all powerful emotional connectors that create stories and bond people.

On my journey, I wanted to extend that love and connection to the people I met along the way. During my days of travelling solo, I reached out to people to cook and eat together. I cooked with some amazing hosts who extended their hospitality to me in their kitchen. To share their stories and eating together were some of the most powerful memories I have that linger till date.

Slow down to create stories around your table

Food invokes lost memories and sets the scene from the past. It brings back life experiences that we might have forgotten and food acts as a catalyst between the past and the present. So, don’t lose yourself in the nostalgic translation by eating take outs and processed meals everyday. Make an effort to cook and most of all to share that food with others. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant meal. Something simple like sharing a bowl of soup and a piece of bread. Or a cup of tea and a slice of cake will bring you so much love and joy. Slow down and give time to create beautiful stories around your table as what’s more important than breaking bread together. It’s these stories that count and bring meanings to our lives.

This video sums up my sentiments and the power of eating together. Hope it inspires you to slow down and focus on the little things around you. πŸ™‚

You might also be interested in reading my other article on Swedish Fika as the Swedes know how to do it right.

Here is something simple, easy and fun you can do to begin baking, slow down and engage with your plate.


  • Anuradha

    Indeed, i too remember the long chats n laughter around the dining table all through my growing up. Even now, the group is more intimate at the table than on sofas. Your write up has evoked memories as well as made me reflect on how much or how little i am connecting, communicating with the person across me everyday as we eat together – my mother. In between we had fallen into the mindless habit of eating on the sofa, watching tv. But thankfully we stopped that. And now, due to your post, i will again bring mindfulness into eating and eating with. I too enjoy occasional cooking and then like doing each bit myself. The video? I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nomadskitchen

      Thank you for sharing that beautiful sentiment. Am so happy hear that my post could inspire you. Food has that power and we often take that for granted. Love to you,the food you cook, the food you eat and the people you share it with on your tableβ™₯️😊

  • Vee

    Ok! So now I feel like I need to cook way more often πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Sometimes you just need a good reminder. So thank you for that. I definitely miss my grandma’s cooking! 😊

    • Nomadskitchen

      I am so happy to hear that I inspired you to cook more and that’s a part of loving yourself. So happy cooking, do share your journey here as I would love to hear from you.I bet your grandma’s cooking tasted of love. And, I bet you would cook as well as your grandma. πŸ™‚

  • Katie

    Family meal time is so imporant for building relationships and memories! We try to eat togeather every evening and the TV has to be off!

    • Nomadskitchen

      I love hearing that Katie, it’s so refreshing to hear in today’s crazy life. πŸ˜€πŸŒΌ

  • Nirupama jain

    So many memories of past with my family and relatives came in my mind,such wonderful time around the dining table with all types of discussion ! Wow very good write up 😍

    • Nomadskitchen

      Thank you so much Mummy, you are the inspiration from my childhood memories around the table and your amazing cooking 😍β™₯️


    I loved this post. We have allowed modern life and its demands to suppress our natural instinct to socialize with friends and family. I also came from a family like yours where every meal was cooked from scratch. I still try to do it today but it needs more planning than in the old days. No one seemed in a rush to eat and get back to sports practice or the gym or whatever. The video was a brilliant touch.

    • Nomadskitchen

      Hi Poovanesh, Thank you for sharing your beautiful sentiments and I am so glad that my post resonated with you. It’s really sad how we all seem to have lost the real meaning of what truly matters. But, I think soon there will come a time, where people like us will see the reality and come back to the old ways. Well, thats the hope, to return to a simpler time.

  • Mama Writes Reviews

    I’m in a season of my life where mealtimes are usually rushed and not as nutritional as they should be. When we do make time to cook though, we try to involve the whole family, and it’s some of our favorite memories.

    • Nomadskitchen

      Thank you for sharing, I do hope my article with inspire you and you will once again recreate those memories πŸ™‚

  • Alina | Cooking Journey Blog

    I totally agree with you! The food brings together people. Moreover, homemade food is like an act of love to show that you care about your family or yourself. And sure, it can be easy and simple.

    I can add that some moder cooks just share their food for the sake of instagram, not for themselves. And others just watch the cooking videos, like the photos and don’t try it at all.

    There are also services in the restaurants, where you leave your phones in special boxes before dining. This would sound so weird to our grandparents!

    Thanks for your post, I enjoyed reading it!

    • Nomadskitchen

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am so happy to hear that you share my views and its true some people get lost in translation with social media and forget what really matters. I do really miss the simpler days of your youth and grandparents. That’s why through my blog I aim to inspire and can only hope we can come back to a simpler time.
      Thank you so much πŸ™‚