Growing up , I was used to being behind the dorm kitchen or following my maitre d watching her cook and peel potatoes. She was a feisty lady , her hips big and her eyes squint as she tastes her food . She frequently licks her upper lips and constantly adds her homemade spices.
It’s funny, she was always alone and everyone seems to sympathize her for being a spinster. Her cat Oulie purrs as he sits next to her, however, the funny thing is she never felt happier . She laughs with no care and her food can put a smile on anyone .
I never noticed it until I embarked on a special journey with food . Being bullied all the way from primary to high school , I suffered severe depression and anxieties . I never knew what those words meant until later in life , I always thought those emotions meant something bad was about to happen. I just sat there crying and hoping it would stop . However , I had my own vision though on how successful I could be and I was afraid that these problems are going to paralyze me from ever reaching that point in life.
I took refuge in the kitchen , from cooking burned eggs till burning my upper lip trying to grill cheese on a fork ; I enjoyed every moment of it . I watched Gordon Ramsay and his cooking all my life and tried to imitate his skills up to my understanding . I was prone to injuries and I was laughing .
The joy I had expanded as I traveled all around the world , I constantly searched for the best and the worst foods in that country and never hesitated to try them . My friends sometimes find that disgusting , but for me, it’s an amazing story .
Until then , I thought food has nothing to do with a person psyche , however, I realized that every time I indulge in different flavors it triggered a different part of my brain . It triggered a memory and it triggered different emotions . I decided to look deeper .
How does your diet change your mood ?
Why do we crave chocolate during menstruation and why do we look for oysters as aphrodisiacs?Why is it people dine with cheese and berries to induce love or look for a warm pot of stew to feel safe?
When spoken theoretically , it all doesn’t seem to make sense but when you analyze your everyday diet you’ll soon notice the slightest change in your mood. From rumors and investigation finally, I stumbled upon a gold mine,
Japan one of the most revolutionized as well as fantastically awkward countries has been the pioneers of female Ramen noodles .
Ramen noodles are every Japanese bread and butter. Like how every European enjoys potatoes , they enjoy that long slimy noodle. Eventually, they created flavors that cater to women’s emotions with the aim to lift their spirits as well as give them a positive energy to go through day to day life . Ramen is generally eaten by people in their mid-twenties to those who are in their late forties , with such a large number of people who enjoy this delicacy (half of them are women) it’s important to find a way to include mental health in their diets . On the other hand , chef’s in Tokyo are currently experimenting in Feminine Ramen broths , with one currently being the pioneer ;chef Nozu is taking this industry for an indefinite ride.
It was a small step , however, I decided to expand it and experiment cooking with myself and then with others . During a dark period, I started cooking as a form of self-medication for depression .I preferred slaving myself in the kitchen as a choice of an alternate reality , the truth is my emotions reflected in my cuisine . It reflected the pain I was going through and it showed in those who ate my food . Often enough after eating they too seem to be under the moon about their emotions. A full stomach but a sour cloud always loomed during those cooking sessions .
On another occasion , before falling head over heals in a relationship ; I said the only way to get him to notice me is to cook . I started with the least amount of knowledge on what I was doing , but during the process, it felt natural . Me and the food were in tune . I felt oxygen and my hormones of love and happiness surging to my brain charging it as I made the final dish .
However, the question is , did those who ate it feel the same ?
Yes they did ,
The enjoyment of the food was felt throughout the room . Despite it being spicy , I saw some even licking their plates clean . That night as if it was an aphrodisiac , everyone was tuned in the mood for love — even my steel-hearted man. It was a trigger , however, after observing through various trials and errors I realized food is one way to trigger emotions that expected and unexpected.
In the progressive sense, if you’ve been through the “Hangry” phenomenon then you would realize how food can change your psych from bridezilla to Godzilla.
Recently recognized by the Oxford Dictionary- it’s when someone becomes extremely hungry and angry at the same time . Their anger is irrational and it goes on in small bursts , they crave for food which packs a punch or savory . When a person is going through the phase of being “Hangry” you can never satisfy them with a bar of chocolate or a pound of chocolate cake because they would be full but they wouldn’t feel fulfilled .
Food is a roller coaster ride you never get off.
You put in anger in a bowl , you make the world angry on the other hand when you put in love you get love in return . Like alcohol it’s hypnotizing and like the sea, it’s calming.
My personal journey with food took me through various paths, for those who go through severe depression and anxieties , you’ll know that you can heal but the disease will never go away. All you can do is take control of it , like riding a horse you hold it by its reins and never let it control you.
In this journey , your diet and what you eat is important . Identifying your emotions and matching the right palate to it, isn’t hard — it’s actually all the way back to our roots . Our ancestors , despite the culture and heritage, they based food on various aspects one of it is psychology.
As for how food was my light , why not make it yours and travel back in time to where we all started?