Because cooking is a divine act that nourishes the body. Yes. In ancient cultures, people compared the body to a temple. They believed that food was a gift and gave significance to nutrition. Even today, Hindu culture regards feeding the hungry as the highest act of charity.
Read Time: 8 mins
For wellness and wellbeing. Oversimplification?
That’s the problem with “simple”, it doesn’t sell and hence this attempt to convince you to buy my premise.
Cooking liberates you. It’s a tangible way to meditate. Cooking is therapeutic,
Cooking evokes your senses and the flavors create a pleasurable experience. Thanks to spices and the rich diversity of vegetables and fruits that grow on our planet.
If I have to put it in the perspective of different types of development skills;
Cooking is the best personal development class.
- Cooking teaches skill, Self-sufficiency, liberation, meditation, patience and resilience.
Cooking is the best business management class.
- Cooking teaches, planning, problem-solving, organization, teamwork, and communication.
Cooking is science in action, more so ever than taught in schools.
Cooking is therapy. It’s a stress reliever. It diverts your attention away
from negative thoughts and emotions.
Cooking brings health and saves money.
Let’s dig in a bit deeper to justify all the cooking goodness I am proposing here.
Cooking is Personal development:
- Skill: Cooking is an essential life skill one must learn. It takes practice to learn to cook and it teaches patience. The sense of achievement of making your first meal from scratch is rewarding and sends out confidence.
- Self–sufficiency: Cooking for yourself is a great way to become more self-sufficient. You don’t have to compromise on taste and choice which happens when someone else cooks for you.
- Liberation: Cooking allows one to express creativity and to experiment with new flavors and ingredients. You connect with the taste of your tradition and culture. Your first successful dish is a valuable moment that will make you appreciate and respect the person who cooks or cooked for you.
- Meditation: Cooking can be a meditative experience. It can help you to relax and to focus on the present moment. It teaches one to be mindful and aware.
Cooking is pure indulgence of senses which keeps one alert.
- Resilience: When things go wrong in the kitchen, you can learn to adapt and to make the best use of your judgment to save your dish. For example, finding an alternative ingredient or fixing a faulty soup. Every mistake made is an opportunity to improve your skill and every failed dish is a motivation to better yourself.
Cooking is Business management:
- Planning: There is no cooking without planning.
You need to gather ingredients and tools, and have to follow a recipe. Some ingredients need special preparation that may start the night before. for example, fermentation, brining and soaking. A missing ingredient or a wrong one can compromise the entire dish.
- Organization: cooking teaches one how to organize work stations, tools, cutlery and tableware, appliances and utensils. You need to prepare and have all these up and running to cook. It’s an organizational system.
Ever wondered how you couldn’t figure out where those containers went in the fridge and how mom did it? She must be some fridge wizard, impeccable storage organization skill!
- Problem–solving: With so many ingredients and tools anything can go wrong. Too salty, too spicy, missing ingredients and over cooking an ingredient. One has to think and act fast to come up with a solution. Cooking teaches you to make quick decisions to solve problems.
- Teamwork: Cooking with friends and family can be a great activity. The need to work together and communicate effectively foster better relations. Cooking teaches the importance of teamwork and communication.
Cooking is where science happens.
- Chemistry: Some ingredients are outright chemicals although edible. Acids, minerals and compounds sitting pretty on those shelves waiting for some culinary chemistry to satisfy your appetite.
Citric acid + hot milk — curdling—> cottage cheese!
The main ingredient for paneer tikka masala.”smack those lips now”
Oh, so you burnt food in the pan? No problem. Empty the pan, boil some water in it and add a spoon of cooking soda, let it sizzle and once it cool, scrub and bam, a clean pan.
- Biology: You get to deal with life in the ingredients. Prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and flavanol in the tea and hey, whey is my protein?
Fermentation is the growth of good bacteria in food that is beneficial for gut health. Fermented foods include pickles and sauerkraut, as well as cheese and curd.
You better start eating a lot of fermented food before it’s too late and someone forces you to eat poop pills. Yes, it’s a thing to fix a broken gut.
- Physics: Cooking involves using heat to transfer energy from the stove to the food. Heat comes in the form of fire, microwave or current flowing through a coil in the hot plate.
You try to boil some water and accidentally touch the vessel, and pull your arm back in a snap. That’s reflex action dude, practical physics.
Heat from the vessel transferring to your finger is conduction heating. You stick your finger in your mouth and then start blowing, ah relief from the burn, that is evaporative cooling.
Here’s one more, certain ingredients go in a specific order, the ones that take time to cook goes first in the wok. The first ingredient stops cooking and heat gets transferred to the next ingredient added. And so on until every ingredient cooks right.
Did you know that therapy is a branch of physics?
Cooking is Therapy:
- Relaxation: Cooking can be quite a task. But it can help you to take your mind off of your troubles and to focus on the present moment. The chopping, stirring, sautéing involves rhythmic movements that stimulate your senses and slow you down bringing calm and composure. Savoring the meal you prepared, strengthens your relation to food. And the overall experience is relaxing.
- Coping: Cooking can be a way to cope with difficult emotions. When you are feeling stressed or anxious, cooking can be a way to channel those emotions into something productive.
This is the best way to beat stress eating and emotional eating since you build a healthy relationship with food. Not only is cooking beneficial for the body but also the mind.
Benefits of cooking
- Health: Self cooking gives control over the choice of ingredients. This allows for substitution of healthier alternatives for processed food items such as oil, sugar, salt, and fat.
Also you have the liberty of having dinner for breakfast and a snack for lunch. Because one might develop love for certain food at a certain time. Eating becomes a pleasurable event without worrying about putting on fat since a balanced healthy meal cannot be over-eaten.
- Economic: Eating out can be expensive, especially if you do it often. Cooking at home is a much more affordable way to eat. Money saved is money earned?
Think about food wastages and all the litter one creates from take aways.
Cooking is cost-effective.
- Build relationships with food: Cooking gives an opportunity to experiment with recipes that will satisfy your taste.
When you put in the effort to cook, you develop an emotional connection with the food and are likely to eat a dish you might otherwise not.
- Strengthen & build relationship: Bored of doing the same chores because of a lack of skill? Learning to cook can benefit and improve relationships with your spouse or partner. Taking turns and switching chores beats boredom to a great extent.
At a social gathering, take the lead and cook something. Have your loved ones do “simple” tasks like preparing the ingredients while you take on the bigger role of putting it all together. Be a chef.
Cooking is a personal act that can teach us a lot of life skills. It can teach us about personal development, business management, therapy, the application of science, health, and economics. Cooking is a rewarding skill that can enrich your life in many ways and longevity being one.
Looking for a new hobby or a way to improve your life?I encourage you to give cooking a try and I can guarantee it will save a lot of money that goes to your therapy sessions.
With so much said, take your time to digest this information.
Challenge yourself and take the risk to go beyond eggs and omelets.
Head to the kitchen. The adventure is in there.
Can I cook? Yes. How do you think I figured out the science behind burning my finger?
I learnt to cook during the pandemic, thanks to my wife.
Okra & boiled peanut curry with chapathi, my dinner is served.
I will see you in another post.
Meanwhile follow, subscribe, like, share, comment and start to cook.