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The Secret Ingredient – Preparing Food with Love Really Makes a Difference


I remember when cooking was something I dreaded, something I grudgingly forced myself to do everyday.

It seemed like all I did all day long was prepare food, cook food, serve food, clean up food, wash dishes used for preparing food…over and over and OVER.

Oh man…I KNOW some of you out there feel the same way!

It felt thankless, exhausting, and discouraging.

The secret ingredient

More often than not, I found myself slipping into despair and frustration, feeling resentment toward my family, with their constant demands and insatiable appetites.

It was a miserable way to live.

Something had to change…

I knew something needed to change, so I started checking out cookbooks from the library, in hopes that improving my cooking skills would help streamline the massive amounts of time I was spending in the kitchen.

Buried deep in one of those cookbooks, I stumbled upon this quote:

“If woman could see the sparks of light going forth from her fingertips when she is cooking and the substance of light that goes into the food she handles, she would be amazed to see how much of herself she charges into the meals that she prepares for her family and friends.


It is one of the most important and least understood activities of life-that the radiation and feeling that go into the preparation of food affect everyone who partakes of it, and this activity should be unhurried, peaceful and happy.

It would be better that an individual did not eat at all than to eat food that has been prepared under a feeling of anger, resentment, depression or an outward pressure, because the substance of the lifestream performing the service flows into that food and is eaten and actually becomes part of the energy of the receiver.

That is why the advanced spiritual teachers of the East never eat food prepared by anyone other than their own chelas. Conversely, if the one preparing the food is the only one in the household who is spiritually advanced and an active charge of happiness, purity and peace pours forth into the food from him, this pours forth into the other members and blesses them.

I might say that there are more ways than one of allowing the Spirit of God to enter the flesh of man.” 

-Maha Chohan, Electrons

To be completely honest, my first thought was, “What’s all this mumbo jumbo about ‘sparks of light,’ ‘radiation,’ ‘lifestream,’  and ‘energy?’ Do people really believe in this stuff?!?”

I scoffed…but the words wouldn’t leave my head.

I could not shake the truth in the words. I could not disregard them. I felt convicted.

This was the change I needed.

The Power of Food Memories

Food, emotions and memory are deeply intertwined.

If I were ask you about some of the best memories or moments in your life, I would bet many of them are connected to food and how it made you feel. When I think of my grandmothers, both of whom have passed away, the most vivid memories are of them are all related to food. Them cooking for me, eating meals with them, or the special treats they gave me. These are very positive memories and I cherish them.

Gosh, I feel all warm and fuzzy right now thinking of them…the tastes, the smells…they all come flooding back.

The secret ingredient

This quote made me consider what kind of memories and emotions my children would associate with me and my cooking.

Would they remember a mother who was angry, frustrated and resentful? How would the memories of that food taste in their mouths? Would their associations with food and cooking forever be tainted by my negative attitude?

Transformation of Thinking

I decided then and there that I would change my mindset. We can actually change brain pattern by flexing our “brain power” and repeating specific thoughts, the same way you can build muscle in the body by repeating certain motions.

I made a large copy of the quote and taped it on my kitchen cupboards. Several times a day, I would read it. While I was cooking and preparing food, I would whisper the words to myself, driving out any negative thoughts and filling my mind with thoughts of love and thankfulness instead.

I imagined my love for my family traveling down through my fingers and into the food I was touching, praying that the food I prepared would bless them (and yes, it felt really weird at first!).

The secret ingredient

Instead of rushing to prepare and cook food, I slowed down. Waaaaay down. Working hard to rearrange my life so that cooking would not be hurried. Prepping as much as possible the night before or stretching ingredients into several meals. I did everything I could to make it peaceful. I turned on music that made me happy.

Sometimes, I even forced myself to smile while cooking.

The transformation was slow but steady. I actually began to enjoy cooking! Instead of feeling irritated and annoyed, I saw cooking as a way to bless my family. A way to keep them healthy and happy.

I was filled with gratitude that I had the opportunity to show love to my family in such a tangible way.

The secret ingredient

Now, I don’t want you to think that everything is all rainbows and butterflies every day at our house! There are still days when I feel tired or discouraged and just don’t want to cook.

Days when I say to myself, “What? They need to be fed AGAIN!”

Days when I get frustrated that I spent an hour cooking and my kids say, “Ewww! I don’t want to eat that!” (I bet that never happens at your house, right? Ha!).

Days when the dishes pile up and I get overwhelmed.

Days when we break down and order pizza.

I give myself lots of grace – some days are just hard and it’s ok to acknowledge that. Thankfully, I don’t feel that old resentment, frustration and anger that used to weigh me down.

“Food Is God’s Love Made Edible”

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a silent prayer retreat (and yes, as an introverted mother with boisterous household, the retreat was AH-mazing. I highly recommend it!). It was a lovely time of renewal as spending hours in silence (silence!!! Can you even imagine it?!?). Praying about my roles in life and asking God how to live with intention.

The hermitage - silent prayer retreat

When the noon meal was served, the silence was broken for about 1 minute as our leader prayed for the meal and closed with the words:

“Food is God’s love made edible.”

Yes. This. Amen. I tried to hide the tear that slid down my face.

As we ate the simple meal in silence, I actually could feel God’s love filling me, just as the food was filling my stomach. As the quote says, “…there are more ways than one of allowing the Spirit of God to enter the flesh of man.” Truly there is something sacred and beautiful about eating food that is lovingly and deliberately prepared by hands of people with servant’s hearts.

The secret ingredient

I went home filled with peace and contentment, inspired to do the same for my family – prepare food lovingly and deliberately, so that their hearts and stomachs would be filled at the same time.

The Secret Ingredient…LOVE


Last summer, our family went to a potluck with a group of friends. I can’t remember exactly what dish I brought to contribute. However, I do remember one of our friends coming up to me, eating my food and saying, “This is so delicious. You know, I know what your secret ingredient is.”

“What?” I replied feeling confused. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s love” he said with a smile on his face. “That’s the secret ingredient.”

I laughed him off and joked about it. Yet his statement has stuck with me, silly as it may seem.

He was right.

The secret ingredient WAS love. I was excited and looking forward to gathering with my friends. Pouring that energy and happiness into the food I prepared. Praying that the food I made would bless my friends.

Is it actually possible that food prepared with love tastes better? Call me crazy, but I say yes.

Spreading the Love – Cooking with Kids

I challenge you to ponder the words from the quote and put them into practice. There will be countless opportunities for us to choose between preparing food with resentment and grumbling…or with joy and love.

Maybe you are struggling with negativity in the kitchen. Feeling like cooking is taking over your life and preventing you from spending time with your kids. Perhaps the Kids Cook Real Foods e-Course could be a solution for you.

Not only will you be teaching your children valuable life skills, but you will also be shaping their attitudes and memories about food for the rest of their lives. You will be creating long-lasting positive memories for them, as you work together in a peaceful, unhurried and happy way.

The secret ingredient

Slow down. Be conscious of the thoughts and feeling you put into your work in the kitchen.

Love will shine through and bless all who receive it. What a gift for our loved ones!

Do you think that food prepared with the Secret Ingredient tastes better? Care to share some of your favorite food memories?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

18 thoughts on “The Secret Ingredient – Preparing Food with Love Really Makes a Difference”

  1. I used to hate, loathe, abhor, and despise doing dishes. But, I read that old quote, “Dirty dishes have a tale to tell: They say we eat and we eat really well.” I began praying for my family and thanking God while I did dishes and now, quite a while later, I no longer hate doing dishes. It’s just a thing I do and I really don’t mind them at all.

    I look forward to putting this information into practice with cooking. It took decades for me to realize I really didn’t like cooking, but it’s probably more of not making enough time for what it takes. I do love your encouragement to cook with love. THAT’s the part I intend to hold onto.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

      Over the years I’ve realized that walking into a kitchen with a lot of dirty dishes makes me feel, “Nobody is taking care of me.” When someone else does the dishes, I feel very loved. But as I said above about making food for myself, when I do the dishes I am loving and caring for myself by creating the clean kitchen I need. (Even if nobody else cares!)

  2. Thanks for a great article and a wonderful reminder! I think I often forget about slowing down and putting live into my food, because I’m too busy thinking about all the other chores I want to get through…
    On another note, at what age can I start teaching my children to cook? I have an almost 4 year old and a 1 year old.

    1. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

      You can start right away! How much you can do when depends on your children’s interest and physical coordination. My oldest (now almost 12) has always been extremely coordinated, and until he was about 6 he was very interested in learning to do anything adults (especially me) were doing–so he was adding ingredients to the bowl, making balls of cookie dough, etc., at about 18 months! I started letting him use a paring knife when he was 3, and he was as much of a help as a distraction, anyway, and learning useful skills. Here’s a story about his attitude to cooking at 3 1/2. He gradually became more and more helpful until he got the idea (from peers?) that helping around the house is “work”–now he helps in the kitchen once a week or less, but he still volunteers a lot at church to help set up food, set tables, etc. After his sister was born when he was 9, he made 2 or 3 family dinners per week of easy foods, so I know he can do it even though he often prefers not to! He did recently make a batch of cookies 90% solo.

      My little one is 2 1/2 now and has shown little interest in helping in the kitchen so far. She’s more typical in coordination so would be likely to spill things–and sometimes she spills or breaks dishes on purpose, which is something my son never did! What’s really made a difference for me is that she’s happy to play by herself while I’m cooking, whereas her brother really did not like to do ANYthing alone until he discovered computer games–so I don’t “have” to get her involved in the kitchen. I expect to encourage it more within the next year, though.

    2. Hi NB,
      4yo is awesome to start working on learning to cook! They don’t need to be around heat necessarily at that point, but slicing bananas with a butter knife, helping measure, pour, etc – all awesome skills. I actually teach a class online for kids cooking, and you can see what we teach the young age group here: Our busy minds definitely get the better of us moms, I hear you there! 🙂 Katie

  3. Charlotte Edwards

    Thank you, this is a lovely post! Preparing food is not my favourite part of being a mum and I can find myself feeling resentful about the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. It’s great to be reminded that preparing food can be more than just a rudimentary series of actions to produce fuel for sometimes (often?!) ungrateful consumers, but instead it provides endless opportunities to deliberately love our families!

  4. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

    What a wonderful article! Wow! Definitely, life goes better when I am cooking lovingly and mindfully because the act of cooking feeds my soul, but the effect on the food is noticeable too. When I am feeling awful and I prepare food for myself, making it just right for myself is an act of love that helps me feel better.

    When I was 12-19 years old, I had a lot of opportunities to cook at Girl Scout camp, and I noticed the feeling of love for each of the people eating that was triggered by making food for them. Later I was a Girl Scout leader, and cooking together was one of the things many girls mentioned when talking about their best memories of the year–because it’s fun, it makes you feel useful, but also it’s an opportunity to love one another.

    I’m going to come back and read this again! Really nice article.

    1. I love that part you said about cooking for yourself is an act of love! Yes, I do that too – make myself what I call “magical healing soup” (bone broth, vegetables, herbs and quinoa), and guess what? It ALWAYS makes me feel better. I know it’s mostly in my head, but our brains are very powerful!

      And I love the comment about cooking with the Girl Scouts! Such wonderful memories you are creating with them.

  5. Beautiful article! A great teacher taught me the importance of “blessing” your food while you are preparing it and before you serve it. I even practice blessings
    for something as simple as pouring a glass of juice.

    To be grateful, give thanks and bless food to be safe, healthy, nourishing and satisfying is a great mind/heart habit that benefits everyone!


  6. Right on! If I am crabby when I cook I can taste it. While my family may not identify it, they can also taste when I’m hurried or not in the mood to cook. I try to keep perspective by reminding myself that we will not be going hungry that meal or the next and being thankful for that. Also, teaching your kids to cook can be a lifesaver (unless of course it’s the end of the day and you just want to be left alone to cook ????).
    God bless!

    1. Ha! Yes, sometimes I just want to cook on my own as therapy now! But I really do need to be teaching them more because I’m ready to transfer some of the responsibility over to them.

      I want them to positive associations with food and eating meals with family. I don’t succeed every day, but I keep trying!

  7. THANK YOU for this post! I really needed it. I have never really enjoyed meal preparation and it’s been worse lately. My kids are always hungry it seems and one of my daughters now has a ton of food allergies and I can spend an hour or more cooking a meal everyone should like and get more discouraged when I just hear just complaining. My attitude has gotten worse. And I grew up in a household where my mom would resentfully prepare bland food and then never sit and eat with us. I don’t want to be like that! Really! I do want to change. So thank you for sharing your struggle and the practical ways that you sought to change it. God bless you!

    1. Awwww, Lisa. So glad this helped you out! Change IS hard, but totally possible. And again, I don’t want to pretend like everything is perfect over here. We have bad days, but the good days outnumber the bad, which counts as success in my book! The complaining is really hard… I’ve been working at not taking it personally, not getting offended. My kids are starting to get to the age where I can say “This is what I made for dinner. If you don’t want this, you don’t have to eat it. But I’m not making anything else.” They can either go hungry or cook their own dinner. They always end up eating at least a little bit of what I make, because now that I’ve been teaching them how to cook, they know how much time/involvement it takes and they don’t want to make their own dinner. 😉

  8. Slowing down will help in allll areas of life.
    Esp with kids involved. We have to stop rushing n shooing off the kids to “get stuff done”. Working with kids takes TONS of time. But whats the pt of the kids otherwise?

    1. Absolutely! I have another quote written on my kitchen window – “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Hurry causes enormous amounts of stress in our lives (and causes mistakes and accidents when we’re rushing and make stupid choices). Our family does everything possible to reduce hurry. Usually, that means saying “No” to lots of good things, simply because doing those things would cause us to hurry. I always try to leave LOTS of room for running errands, driving to practices, etc. Then, if for some reason, we run into a delay, we still have plenty of time and we have no stress. It’s been a real game changer!

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