Healthy Habits

Mindful Munching Wildcard

Mother and daughter cooking together

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

For many, cooking may sound like a chore. However, it doesn’t need to be a rushed or dreaded experience. Cooking offers a wonderful opportunity for us to train our minds to be present while honing a useful skill. Whether you’re chopping, slicing, whipping, marinating, or kneading, the art of mindful cooking presents the opportunity to live in the moment. In applying attention to the details of what you are doing, you will likely discover an increased calm and clarity in the kitchen. You never know, it might even make everything a little tastier, too!

Complete three of the following activities to find more intention in the kitchen this month.

  • There are five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (a savory taste). The flavor of a dish is derived from a combination of these basic tastes and can be enhanced by the temperature, colors, texture, and consistency of the foods used. Notice the flavor, texture, or temperature of what you are eating during all your meals today. Focus on one and savor the sensation!
  • Bring all your senses to the meal. When you’re cooking, serving, and eating your food, be attentive to color, texture, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them. As you chew your food, can you identify all the ingredients, especially seasonings?
  • Cooking is a fun activity and, as a shared practice, can boost connectedness with others. Involve friends, family or even neighbors in the cooking and eating experience. Invite friends or neighbors to join you for a cooking night and share your favorite recipes. If that sounds intimidating, order in and rank your favorite dishes based on flavor, texture, and color.
  • Involving kids in the cooking process increases their exposure to new foods and increases familiarization. For simple, kid-friendly recipes and ideas, visit foodnetwork.com.
  • It’s important to find ways to enjoy yourself and have fun with both new and everyday endeavors. Dance as you roast vegetables, sing as you swirl pancake batter, allow yourself to experiment, mess up, and, for the sake of preserving positive change, make everything fun!
  • Set the intention to thoughtfully plan, prepare, and consume your food this month. This is a great way to nourish your body, mind, and soul!
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