just relax

Brown Rice Lessons

Cooking brown rice has taught me some great lessons. Growing up, we were a white rice family. Those little bags of Uncle Ben's (racism in advertising, btw) went KER-PLUNK! into the boiling pot of water and minute later...voila! White rice served beside the entree of the evening. Usually chicken.

I learned a bit more about how to cook rice as I became a health coach. But, yeah, there was no rinsing, soaking and cooking rice from scratch where I grew up. There was NO TIME!

That's what I was taught, anyway. Was there time? Maybe. Probably.

Over the past two years, I have taken to cooking rice by myself. No box. No plastic bag inside a box. No refined white rice in a plastic bag inside a box.

I buy it right out of a bulk bin at Whole Foods for $1.19/lb (on sale this week!) A pound seems to be about 2 cups. 2 cups = 4 cups cooked. 4 cups cooked = a lot of meals for my and my girlfriend. Buying in bulk is good for the environment and good for my wallet!

While it sounds pretty easy, the process of pouring a cup of rice, adding it to a pot and letting it cook has taught me some great lessons about cooking and about life.

Here's the biggest takeaway:

do your best to set something up for success (add rice to the pot with water in reasonably measured amounts), put a lid on it (literally, not metaphorically), leave it alone and it will be fine.

Cooking brown rice (I eat brown because it includes the bran which is the fiber part of the rice grain. Strip that bran off and you might as well be eating table sugar) struck me a great metaphor for the way I want to approach life.

If you constantly mess with rice as it's cooking by lifting the lid, stirring it, making sure "it's ok"---you're going to mess it up. Really a lot.

Just setting it up correctly and leaving it alone, coming back once to see if it needs anything...it will just do its thing and be ready and delicious for you in about 25 minutes.

Set it up, turn your attention to other things, don't obsess, just relax.

Good advice for all of life.