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August 11, 2017

How Cooking Can Be Therapeutic

How Cooking Can Be Therapeutic

Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Many people feel intimidated by the concept of cooking at home, while others are more comfortable with it. Whether you are experienced or are just a beginner, cooking can be good for your mental health.

Apart from the obvious aspect of being able to control what goes into your dishes, monitoring calories and unnecessary additives can be very soothing. Here’s how cooking can be therapeutic and work wonders for your general wellbeing.

Creativity

Cooking may not seem like a creative task, but it really can be. Beginners may want to start out by simply following recipes, the structure of which can provide an idea of how flavours and methods work. But once you gain a little more confidence, you can try adding to recipes and making them your own. You may even get to a point where you push the cookery book aside and try your own dishes, designed and catered to your tastes. Add extra chili if you enjoy heat or grate over some zest for colour—the possibilities are endless. Being more creative with ingredients will make mealtimes more fun and give you a huge sense of satisfaction upon eating.

Structure

Cooking involves a combination of creativity and structure. Meats, vegetables and carbs all have their own cooking times—baking especially is time dependent. While this can make some people feel stressed, it adds a sense of structure to your activity. Conquering time management and organising multiple elements at once is a valuable skill that can be transferred into other areas of your life.

Routine

Coming home and prepping your food can become part of a daily routine. Having a routine can vastly improve your sense of accomplishment and make you feel more secure. You may be surprised how quickly home cooking can become part of your daily schedule if it is upheld. Having a routine can also organise the mind; that can certainly be therapeutic and make the concept of dinner sound less chaotic.

See also: Learning to Cook With James Martin 

Balance

Eating out can be a wonderful treat but, often, we are not fully aware of all the ingredients in what we are eating. The nutritional value of a dinner out may not be as positive as we expect. Cooking for yourself extinguishes this uncertainty: you construct your own meals with ingredients you have sourced and with seasonings you have chosen. No additives, no chemicals and no surprises.

Social

Cooking can seem like an introverted task but it can be quite sociable. Preparing a meal with a companion or even as a group can make it far easier and more enjoyable. One person can be in charge of chopping and prepping, the other of cooking and assembling. It can bring people closer and improve intimacy, allowing you to learn and work as a team.

Umami

The end goal of any culinary session is to eat something delicious. The most amazing part of cooking for yourself is that you get to dine on whatever food you fancy, whether it is a rustic pizza or a fragrant curry. Anything your heart desires can be made possible, all you need to do is roll up your sleeves.

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