Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
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 the mind 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’ll likely discover an increased calm and clarity in the kitchen. You never know, it might even make everything a little tastier, too!
To be more intentional in the kitchen, try the following suggestions:
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 your meal. 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, try identifying all the ingredients, especially seasonings.
Cooking is a fun activity and, as a shared practice, can boost connections 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. Visit cookingwithkids.org for ideas to get kids involved in cooking. 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!