Guest Post by Pia Le Cannu
Let me state first the obvious: to be alive implies to have appetite for life. To me, appetite is like a good laugh or an eye shining with intelligence. It is the clear expression of our presence and of our will to live.
Appetite is not only a physical reaction, not only a body need. It is much more than this. In my point of view, it is also something we are given, and that we can work on, expand, lower, improve… It evolves with time, with facts of life, and definitely shows an aspect of our personality.
As far as I am concerned, the more I think about it, the more I am struck by the love my mother gave us – me, my brothers and my father – when she cooked our meals. She came a long way, no one had ever taught to her how to cook. But she thought that cooking was one of the fundamentals of love. Sure, they are many many ways of expressing love, but that was hers (among others!) and I am very sensitive to it. She took the utmost care to give us the best possible food and prepared it without counting hours. She nurtured us with love and food so that we would grow into courageous adults with solid bones, good teeth and strong nails!
For sure, she has passed on to us this link between time, love and food. For instance, I remember the last summer we all spent together with my family. My 3rd brother, aged 25, would go in the kitchen and spend maybe half an hour shelling and grinding pistachios so that we could all spread some on the top of our salads. It felt like it was actually spreading love over food. It was the cherry on top of the cake, it would not change the whole taste but it would make everything more meaningful.
Just picture the action of sharing food. Splitting a biscuit in two, giving a slice of the apple you peeled, giving a taste of your plate, and so on. It is an act of generosity that is beautiful. It acknowledges the presence of the other person and somehow, by sharing you might have less food but you will get something more.
I think that food is also closely linked to the love you give to yourself. It is easy not to see the importance of treating you good, by all means: a good sleep, healthy relationships, positive thinking, doing sport… Our lives and the society we live in kind of rush us into forgetting about ourselves or into obsessing about things that are not worthy of so much attention. During my yoga teacher training, I realised that I am what I eat. I never thought about it before, but if you visualise this idea, it can be scary! I truly believe that over the years, we build a closer relationship to ourselves; we learn as we grow older, each year that passes has its lessons soft or tough. I think this one – you are what you eat – is a milestone for anyone, because it grasps the idea of eating mindfully and joyfully and the positive circle that this creates.