The Valentine’s Day Meal as an Expression of Love
Throughout the history of humanity, people have prepared food on special occasions for friends, family and romantic partners as an expression of love. It has been this way for millennium. However, if we consider the foods we use today to express this love, we would discover that most of us are inadvertently harming those we love most by cooking or providing our loved ones with foods that promote disease. Consider a traditional Valentine’s dinner at an elegant restaurant – salad with blue cheese dressing, filet mignon, lobster or a combination of both, twice baked potatoes made with cream and butter, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, molten chocolate cake and champagne. Delicious? Perhaps, but at what cost? Aside from the lives of the animals and the environmental ramifications, what harm is this meal causing your loved ones?
By preparing a healthy purely plant-based meal for those we love, we make manifest our love in physical form. Preparing food that has not has not had to suffer and die for our enjoyment is powerful to be sure, but so is the ritual of cooking peacefully and lovingly for those for whom we care. When we prepare a cholesterol-free vegan meal of spinach salad with beets, grapefruit and avocado, almond crusted tofu, fettuccini with raspberry-shallot cream sauce, broccoli with egg-free hollandaise and chocolate orange pots de crème with coconut whipped cream and pink champagne, our loved ones experience pleasure in the delicious taste and textures of the food, but more than that, they know how much we care for their total well-being. This adds another dimension to our love. It doesn’t matter if our loved ones share our dietary and lifestyle habits or not – the message is the same – I love you. You are important to me. I want you to experience pleasure and also to be well. Each time we create a healthy, compassionate meal for those we care for, we send this important message.
People often tell me that their children deserve unhealthy foods like Happy Meals, hot dogs or pepperoni pizzas or they don’t want to deprive their kids of ice cream, Slurpies or candy as if these products were healing elixirs. These “foods”, which can more accurately be described as poisons are called “sometimes treats” and “sometimes” is often every day.
When we realize that we create everything in our lives and that we have the power to influence those around us, not through force, but merely by example, we begin to see the power of love in each and every bite.
– By Emily Barth Webber, February 2013. www.emilywebber.com