Day 79 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

The ‘Dawn’ of Health

I am a neat freak. I cannot leave the house without making my bed; I cringe at dishes in the sink, water stains on the mirrors and unfolded decorative towels. Yuck, after reading this last sentence, it should come as no surprise that my life is, what some might call, a little wound up at times. But today, as I came home to a messy kitchen (a rarity in this house!), I thought, as I scrubbed pans, wooden spoons, and bowls of all sizes, how Unexpected Health suds up in our life…while doing dishes.

The chore that sends  most people (besides Donna Reed) into a tizzy is actually filled to the brim with health. Now of course, there are obvious health benefits to doing the dishes: antibacterial dishwashing liquid comes to mind. Obviously, removing the germs from your dishware is healthy. But the Unexpected Health that can never be washed away with the leftovers is that washing dishes means that you dirtied dishes; dirty dishes means that you cooked something; hopefully, you cooked something healthFUL for yourself and maybe even someone else…and nourishing your body with healthy foods is healthy.

OK, so not everyone who dirties up a kitchen is cooking healthy foods…of course not. But, the more often you choose NOT to eat the processed, packaged, frozen, pre-made, and ready-to-be-eaten-after-two-minutes-in-the-microwave meals, the greater the likelihood you will cook. And I have found that (at least within my community) if you cook, you may just squeeze in a few leafy green goodies into the stir fry, salad bowl or chicken dish. But you can’t create these culinary concoctions without dirtying up a few dishes.

I made a mess yesterday. I had a pile of dishes in the sink and on the counter this morning. But, I woke up not feeling agitated by the mess I had made; I was bubbled over with happiness by the healthFUL meal I had prepared for myself…along with a little savory soup I made for a friend. Although I created dirty dishes, I also encouraged clean eating.

It is easy to get busy. Our lives are hurried, so it makes sense to grab the quick, ready-made meals in our freezers. But, when we take the time to nourish ourselves with ‘live’ food (no, food that comes in box is NOT live!), we are promoting life–and health–in us. So the next time you debate whether to pull out the microwave meal or dig through your fridge’s “crisper” drawer, choose to dirty up your dishes and cook yourself a meal. You may have more of a mess in the kitchen…but you’ll definitely have LESS of a mess in your life. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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