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Cooking for Spirituality

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Written by Sujata Shah

You can't afford to be on the spiritual path if your body is not healthy. One of the most important things you can do to have a healthy body is to nourish yourself with food. You may have heard the word "prana," simply defined as life force. Fresh, alive foods are high in prana, while food prepared too far in advance or highly processed foods have very little prana. Eating foods high in prana will automatically boost your life force and deepen your spiritual practice.

I have heard Andrew say this often, "Once you know how to cook, you will never have to rely on anyone else." You don't have to be a master chef or necessarily even a great cook to feed yourself well. So if you have been putting off cooking because you think you are too busy or don't know how to cook, here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Stock your kitchen with very few ingredients - cooking is about using the same items in different ways to create new meals. .

  • Find a recipe book or a food blogger/youtube channel that you like and stick to it while you are new to cooking. A couple of my favorites are Pinch of Yum and the Minimalist Baker.

  • Start a notebook of your favorite recipes so that you don't have to keep searching for new recipes. After a while you will memorize your favorites.

Meal planning

Two of your meals should be the same every day. Maybe you eat the same breakfast and lunch every day or the same snacks every day. We eat the same breakfast (oatmeal) and lunch (vegetable smoothie) each day and it seems to work for us.

  • Planning/preparing meals more than a couple of days ahead is a waste of time, effort, and food - nobody likes to eat stale food. Stale food is depleted of life force (prana) and your body already knows this.

  • Buying about 10-12 ingredients gives you plenty to work with; buying more can become wasteful


Here are 2 lists. One to stock your pantry and one list of items you will likely need to routinely have on hand. Jot down your own ideas or swap items as needed.

Pantry/Refrigerator List: olive oil, soy sauce, peanut butter. Salt, pepper, sugar, salad dressing, cinnamon, soup bullion, canned beans,, pasta, pasta sauce, quick-cook oats

Basic weekly grocery list: bananas/fruit, avocado, spinach, onions, garlic, eggs/meat, carrots, milk, hummus, pita or bagels, snacks (nuts, pita chips)

With the above ingredients, you can prepare meals for at least 3 or 4 days; here are some ideas:

Breakfast - oatmeal with toppings of choice

Lunch - smoothie (spinach, carrot, fruits, banana, peanut butter, soy milk, cinnamon)

Dinner - pasta (day 1), salad (day 2), bean soup (day 3)

Try it for a few days and see how you feel. You don’t have to stop eating out altogether but notice how you feel after you eat out compared to how you feel when you cook for yourself. I know that I feel much more satisfied with a smaller quantity of food prepared at home compared to eating out.

Bonus, eating at home helps you save money!

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About Andrew

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At the age 17, through the guidance of his older brother Chris, he discovered the path of Buddhism. His journey with the practice has taken him across oceans and deep within himself. As a Zen bodhisattva, he works towards helping others find their own path without reward.


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