06/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Green Lifestyle

My passion is nature. I love how it makes me feel connected and at peace. When I listen to the sounds of early morning in my garden, I am reminded of the infinite possibilities that come with each new day. Loving nature is not the norm for everyone. Many like to think they are connecting with the outdoors, but some rarely make time for it. Our lives are busy and the world of espresso, business meetings, traffic and deadlines consumes us. Still, I believe that people want that connection, they want to be healthy and they want to be ecologically conscious. But when given a choice in life, often what is fast and convenient, what supports our finances, outweigh what is soothing, and nurturing to our souls. What I propose is that our connection to nature can come through what we eat and makes our inevitable stresses more easy to deal with. Food is the first step to becoming more healthy and environmental.

Everyone can agree that to show up in the world calmly connected and present is a great way to live. The outcome is well-being and energy. How can this be done? Start by looking at what you eat. Start by understanding that what you eat has everything to do with how you feel energetically therefore informing how you show up in the world. Who am I at work, as a mother, a husband, a worker or student? I want to show up present, making ritual and quality food that is as important as the work I do. It is an invitation to care for myself deeply.

Try to slow down, choose foods that come from close to where you live... support local farmers and cut down on your carbon footprint. The beautiful outcome of a life well eaten is that the environment is benefited by conscious choices. When you begin to see seasonal, local and organic food as a pathway to green it becomes easier to choose it, because you begin to feel better inside. When you make choices at the dinner table the choices you make in your environment naturally become more important to you. By eating clean, your body responds by giving you more energy. When you choose simple real food the benefit to the way you feel is profound. Your body can be the temperature gauge to how your life looks and feels. When you nourish yourself well, the end result is that you are connecting to nature and to your environment. It sounds incredibly simplistic but living well in your being guides a person to living well and caring for their outer world. When the temple of your body is held in awareness by filling yourself with pure food then it is natural to want to find a deeper connection with nature, which is the source of your nourishment and a pivotal key to your peace.

My ritual of sitting in the garden in the morning and listening to the birds on call and feeling a breeze against my skin and smelling strawberries that I planted myself is how the infinite possibilities of my life become clear to me. Knowing that I grow some of my food and that I will soon eat a breakfast that is connected to the earth, makes me feel good inside and I know that at some level I am doing a service to my planet while nourishing myself. Simplistic yes, but important too. So slow down, make time to eat with a sense of awareness that food is your pathway to energy, health and the environment.

My latest book is called Mariel"s Kitchen: Simple Ingredients to a Delicious and Satisfying Life and although a fabulous cookbook it is also a guide to becoming more green in your kitchen and connecting with food from a place of peace. It is the sister book to Mariel Hemingway's Healthy Living from the Inside Out, which is the lifestyle philosophy behind Mariel's Kitchen.