Mindfulness, food and cooking

mindfulness-sCooking is something many of us do every day. It can be challenging to whip something good together when you feel stressed about other aspects of your life. But, that can change.

If you change your attitude towards cooking and see it as an opportunity to take a break from the every day stress, you can turn it into a relaxing activity. Put on some soft music. Take a few deep breaths.

Rushing doesn’t save time. It only increases your stress level. This book includes exercises and mindful tips alongside recipes. Why not try them!

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being present. You cannot change the past and you do not know what the future has to offer. The only thing you can affect is the present.

We have all been there feeling down over something that happened yesterday or stressed about trying to get things done for tomorrow. But, we cannot change what happened yesterday. We can plan for tomorrow, but the only thing we can affect is the present moment. Mindfulness helps you to learn to be present in the moment. Pay attention to what is happening right now, around you, in your body, and with your emotions.

Paying attention in the present moment can be a challenge when you mind is ticking away. You’re distracted by yesterday. You plan for tomorrow. You argue with yourself about what you could have, would have and should have done.

But listen to the NOW. See the world around you. Learn more about mindfulness and practice every day. The hard part is to get it into everyday life and make it a part of your day. Cooking is an excellent time to practice mindfulness. When we cook, we use our hands. We use our eyes and we use our sense of smell. Cooking is active and at the same time cooking takes patience. Cooking is creative and there are moments to appreciate and marvel at.

Cooking is done regularly and you use all of your senses when you cook: Touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. Pay attention to what you do:

  • How does your body feel when you move? Your hands when you chop and stir?
  • What does the food look like? What colours does it have?
  • How do the ingredients and spices smell?
  • Taste the food, take a piece of pepper when you chop it, does it taste?
  • How does the water sound when it is simmering? The knife when it is chopping?

Observe how different it feels to cook and be totally involved in what you are doing – present in the now. When you eat, you can also take time to practice mindfulness. Instead of throwing food into your mouth, take the time you need to eat slowly, feel the taste, the texture and the smell.

Try to eat more consciously. You may want to block out all distractions, like television, radio, magazines, mobile and the iPad. Pause a moment before eating to get calm. Take a bite of food, and observe and feel what it really tastes like, when your mind wanders off, draw your attention back to the food again. When you are finished, pause and rest a little while before you rush off to the next activity. Enjoy and appreciate that you have given your body a nutritious and delicious meal. Enjoy!