Therapeutic cooking – A recipe for a healthy mind

Therapeutic cooking is based on the idea of cooking with purpose and presence. It is a time where you can create a personal sanctuary in your kitchen and have a mindful, meditative experience. Therapeutic cooking in particular can be helpful to those who struggle to switch off in yoga or traditional meditation practices.

Recent studies have found that cooking can boost mood, and have positive effects on self-esteem and overall quality of life.

It’s important to remember, therapeutic cooking doesn’t mean buzzing around in the morning, throwing some fruits into a blender and throwing it back as you dash out the door. Just because you’re making it in your kitchen, doesn’t mean you’re creating a purposeful and connected experience for yourself.

In order to reap the benefits, there needs to be a more mindful approach. This includes connecting with things you may usually overlook, for example deeply focusing on preparing the food – smelling and tasting the ingredients, adding seasoning to suit your taste buds in that particular moment.

Remember, this is not about working on your cooking skills, but rather to utilise existing skills in order to create a sacred space and renewing experience for yourself.

Therapeutic cooking can:
• Help you feel a regained sense of control
• Help give a sense of power and purpose
• Distract your mind from that worrisome to-do list
• Help build a connection to your food
• Help build awareness of the types of foods you’re consuming
• Help you develop a better appreciation for flavour and smell.

The idea of taking time out to put together a nutritious meal for yourself is one of the greatest practices of self-care. Just remember, to get the most benefit, you have to really focus on what you are doing. Watch the knife blade cutting into a vegetable and hitting the cutting board, focus on the even slices and the shiny edges, hear the sound of water boiling, smell the fresh herbs as you crush and include them. Discover the bliss in therapeutic cooking.

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