The most important ingredient?

I believe that Awareness is the number-one ingredient for a healthy and happy body and life. I am therefore spelling it with a capital A.

Health is so much more than the absence of disease. It means bursting with vitality, being full of life force, radiating positive vibrations and having all the energy you need to do all the things you love to do. You allow your body to function with ease and pleasure by being aware of how and what you feed it, by listening to its messages and heeding them, by lovingly practicing self-care, by consciously relating to yourself with kindness and understanding, by honoring your body for the things it does for you, by keeping your negative thoughts in check and replacing them with positive affirmations.

Happiness is a big word. But when you master the ability to notice the little things that bring you joy and to relish them consciously, you will find that you do not need that much to be happy. The glimpse of a bird on a tree branch, the first blossoms to emerge out of the snow, the purring of your cat or the smell of freshly baked bread can easily uplift your spirits. All you need is the Awareness to notice them.

Awareness means to be present and awake to feel, see, hear, taste, smell and sense what is going on right now in this very moment. Life is but a string of millions and millions of moments. The more aware you are, the richer and fuller your life can be.

We live in an action-packed, fast-paced time. Because we are so busy doing, most of us have forgotten what it is like to simply be, listen or observe. We overlook the need to slow down once in a while, to stop and reflect.

What is holding you back from having a rich and fulfilling life?

… excerpted from my new book COOKING WITH MARIKA