Self Care Through Cooking

Cooking and the art of making meals has always been at the forefront of my own self care routine. Ever since I was in grade school, I found joy in cooking, I always helped my mom with big holiday meals, I was a cook book junkie, and I was even enrolled at a four year culinary school for a hot minute before I realized that I desired the traditional college experience. For me, cooking has always been personal, in that I love the unique creations that come about within the moment, there are no real mistakes in cooking, it is all about experimenting, and learning. Let me just say…that it took some hard work and self-love, but I was finally able to find a safe place with food again…and having a healthy relationship with food is possible!

Keep in mind I am purely talking about cooking and not baking, as baking is all about measurements and accuracy…. therefore, I do not excel at baking…. But for those of you that do, please share your tips, tricks, recipes or just your story!

I’m very aware, that cooking is incredibly intimidating to many people, it seems like a chore, and to most people, cooking does not feel like self care….but it is important to remember that self care is personal, the same way that recovery is personal, therefore keep an open mind…maybe you will learn something new about yourself!

Learning how to have a healthy relationship with food can be an incredibly emotional, and painful process….and this surprises many within their own recovery, so I remind you to be gentle with yourself and make sure to reach out for support from your care team, if anything is triggering to you or your recovery.

One misconception that so many people have, is that individuals with eating disorders don’t like food…this is a blanket statement, a generalization, and quite frankly just silly! Most individuals with eating disorders, or individuals within recovery LOVE food, but the relationship with food is the real struggle, because remember an Eating Disorder (ED) is much like an abusive relationship, in that ED controls everything that you do, what you want to do, or any other relationship you have…. and one of the first relationships that ED destroys is your relationship with food… so again, I remind you to take the shame away, be gentle with yourself, and understand that finding a healthy relationship with food is so incredibly important, it WILL happen for you, and by practicing constant self care, you will rekindle that relationship….I promise! So for self-care’s sake, here is one of my many stories about cooking for self care!

Seeing that I only have about two and a half weeks left at home, I am soaking in as much family time as I can possibly get! Every Sunday night, since I can remember, our family gets in our pj’s around 5pm, we enjoy a glass of wine or drink of our choosing, gather around the TV to watch a movie, a show or listen to music, and we make dinner and just relax before the week starts! This has been somewhat of a ritual, and it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, because no matter my history with ED, I have always found joy in cooking, and family!

There has been quite a bit of crazy in my life as of recent, but my parents have always taught me to embrace the crazy, embrace the bad, and find some happiness within the cluster of life! Therefore, last night, as we gathered around the TV, I stood in the kitchen surrounded by sounds of laughter, the heat from the stove on my hands and face, and the aroma of my personal masterpiece, and made a beautiful, nutritious and delicious meal for the family and myself to enjoy.

I put somewhat of an Asian twist into an Indian dish, and made it my own….delicious, and fun!

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I prefer not to use recipes, I go off of my own experience and imagination…which is part of the fun!

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Saute, saute, saute! I love mixing frozen veggies with fresh veggies….it saves you money and allows for a fun medley of flavor and nourishment! I went with tofu for the protein, but any animal protein or legume would be a great substitute!

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Embrace the crazy right?!…

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The final product! Delicious, nutritious and self care!

As we continue on with our workweek, don’t forget to practice self-care! I challenge you to find that unique gift that you have, bring it to life, and make it a part of your weekly self care routine, like I do with cooking!

Let me remind you, to stay accountable, take away the shame, learn from your mistakes, and utilize the support of your therapeutic care team!

Cheers to a beautiful week full of craziness, chaos, hard work and self-care! So let’s self care it out People!

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