Have you heard of ‘Mindful Eating’? I run regular workshops on Mindful Eating. Basically, it is all about taking the time to tune-in to the smells, flavours, and textures of our food. If we practice “Mindful Eating” we enjoy and appreciate our food a lot more, find it easier to digest and tend to reduce our cravings as we feel more satisfied. I also recently discovered “Mindful Cooking”. I found that Mindful Cooking can be an extremely rewarding process. Let me tell you what happens when I engage in some Mindful Cooking:
1. It helps me find calm.
I really enjoy cooking and when I cook mindfully, I really try to immerse myself. My senses are stimulated. I love the aroma of home cooked meals wafting through my house. I try and tune in to things like texture, the taste, the sound, temperature. This helps to distract my busy mind and some of my crazy thoughts and emotions. It gives my thinking mind a rest and I find it reduces my overall stress. When I focus on the task at hand, I sometimes find that it can also change my mindset when I return to thinking about my problems or challenges in my life. I often see things with a different perspective-I look at things with fresh set of eyes-I have a renewed perspective.
2. I realised that is a wonderful form of self-care.
We all need to eat, don’t we? Mindful Cooking is therefore a form of self-care as we are creating something that can nourish ourselves. It’s an activity that we enjoy and can keep coming back to because it helps us feel better. It is a great way to nurture ourselves.
3. It improves my ability focus.
We live in a hyperconnected world these days and we are constantly pulled in different directions especially with technology. We are constantly distracted by our devices.By bringing the beautiful gift of mindfulness to the process of cooking, we can train our awareness. We can start with creating a calm environment without any unnecessary distractions like the television. You can methodically plan how you are going to go about cooking and really enjoy it by tuning into your senses. I also make sure that I leave my phone in another room so I can’t be interrupted. This really helps me focus.
4. I feel confident and satisfied when I cook mindfully. It is also safer to cook mindfully.
Mindful Cooking is a chance to be creative and when you focus on what you are doing and you produce something yummy to eat , you enjoy it and your confidence arises naturally..You are also less likely to cut your fingers or burn yourself when you cook mindfully.
5. Cooking mindfully helps me connect with others.
When I cook my favourite recipes, I find my senses are alive and they can also remind me of happy times or people in my life. Did you know that our sense of smell is deeply connected to our involuntary memory? For example, whenever I smell fruit cake cooking in the oven, I think of my grandmother. She was someone that I admired and loved very deeply. I think about all the happy times that I experienced with her. I also really love sharing food that I have cooked mindfully with others. We get to enjoy the fruits of my labour together -A another beautiful way to establish connection. I have also found that if I set a loving intention before I cook, this helps me be more methodical with the entire cooking process and the end product usually tastes great.
Think about it- have you ever had a great coffee made an angry person or by someone who is multi-tasking? There is an interesting aspect to how we experience and taste things that have been made with love and attention in my opinion.
Mindful Cooking for me is another enjoyable activity to help me lead a more mindful daily life.