Hi - I'm Rachel Jelley, and I’m a conscious cook. That means that I adore food so much that I spend my life doing delicious things with it, but i also hold a broader view around the roles food and cooking play in our lives.
Basically, I'm here to show you how to fall in love with food again. It's time to bring love, joy and sacredness back into our kitchens. Food exists to bring us joy, but sadly it's become a victim of both the 'wellness' movement and the ridiculous body image standards that have pervaded our society for many decades now. I'm here to tell you that food is not your enemy. It's not here to shame you, terrify you, make you fat, or make you sick. It's here for you to cherish, it can fill your belly with love, and I'm here to show you how to use it to do just that.
I believe in connecting with nature in your kitchen
Modern life is a tough gig emotionally and one of the many things we're missing is the peace and wonder that comes from connecting with nature. Fortunately, our kitchens are PERFECT places for us to learn to reconnect with nature - it's what we work with in there after all! And by reconnecting with nature we reconnect with ourselves. We just need to remember to pay some mindful attention to what we're really doing as we chop, slice and dice.
I believe in loving your body, no holds barred
Food can actually teach us to love and revere our own bodies. There are many foods that resemble parts of our own bodies - have you ever looked closely at a shelled mussel for example, or a fig torn in two? Vagina central. Not to mention melons, mangoes, apricots and lemons - or a fruit for every boob as I like to say. And my brothers let us not forget your noble rambutans. These foods are there to remind us to think about the corresponding parts of our own bodies, and appreciate their beauty. Just as no two figs, melons or mussels are the same, no two bodies are the same, and nor should they be. Food can help you learn to revel in your uniqueness.
I believe in learning to truly feed yourself
By listening to our bodies, we can learn how to truly feed ourselves. Your body intuitively knows what it needs at any given time, we're just used to telling IT what we're going to give it, not letting it tell us. The practice of letting your body tell you what it needs is called intuitive eating. There is so much misinformation out there about what you should and shouldn't eat, it's so incredibly freeing to stop buying into all those rules and all that deprivation and simply trust your body.
I believe in meditative moments in the kitchen
There's so much comfort and joy to be had in the rituals of food preparation. We're all so quick to dismember our food, there's actual prizes in TV cooking shows for the person who can 'break down' their hapless chicken the fastest, rip through a bowl of onions or hack up a poor pumpkin into chunks with the speed of light. What if we just slowed down for a second, paid attention to what we're actually doing with our hands, and enjoyed the process just as much as the result. Just think about the meditative moments provided by kneading bread or pasta dough, rubbing butter into flour, or slowly stirring a soup pot. Meditating while cooking dinner = totally possible.
I believe in infusing food with love
We can feed sacred love straight into our bodies by infusing the food we're eating with energy and love - in other words, blessing it. This is actually really easy. Simply pop your hands on your food and think a beautiful thought of love for whomever you're preparing it for (yourself included!!). Imagine yourself breathing that love into the food through your hands. Take a few deep breaths, concentrating on breathing in the love, and that's it! Your infusion is complete.
I believe in ancient wisdom
Ancient cultures worshipped nature as their religion, and every turn of the wheel of the year was celebrated with a thanksgiving for the gifts of the seasonal harvest. Food was precious and sacred. Harvests were blessed by priestesses and priests before being distributed to the community. Food was used in offerings to the gods and in sacred rituals, and of course in medicine and healing. Gods and goddesses protected the harvest - ancient cultures recognised goddesses of agriculture, grains, feasting, the hunt and the harvest. I'm here to bring some of that ancient wisdom back to our modern kitchens.
I spend my days doing delectable things with nature’s gifts in my Newtown temple of deliciousness - Hearth & Soul. I also hold seasonal feasts to celebrate the solstices, equinoxes and other junctures of the seasons.
I hold conscious cooking classes at Hearth & Soul where I teach you how bring everything I've talked about here into your kitchen. We learn to connect with nature in our kitchens, to infuse love and energy into our food, and we enjoy lovely meditative moments along the way. We talk about loving our bodies and learning to feed ourselves, and we have an absolute ball unleashing our creativity and making delicious food that nourishes both our bellies and our hearts.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more - I’d love to hear from you xx