Dubrovnik FOOD Story

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30

July

2020

Cooking therapy – yoga for the brain

Pandemic and adjusting to the new normal changed our life approach. It turned our lives upside down and forced us to juggle in not so normal conditions. During the lockdown, then in postcorona time to now second, or just prolonged first wave of Covid-19, I've cooked a lot. It just helped me to stay focused and switch off from the endless bad news that we were exposed to every day. I am not a meditation type of person, even though I tried several times to get into that healing practice but it ended with less success. My brain is just overflowed with information that circulate too quickly. But when I cook, it just happens like on those relaxing yoga classes when my brain goes to another dimension and only calm, constructive thoughts flow. By scrolling through the recipe trying to imagine the finished dish, then preparing all ingredients, planning the steps of cooking makes me feel that I have all the control in my hands. At least in my kitchen and even if I couldn't control anything else around me. Cooking with my family helped us to bond and to feel safe together and it was such a rewarding experience. Even before we were connected, but because we were so busy we didn't have enough time for longer preparation, for gathering more often around table and just chatting about food. We were chopping, slicing, making doughs, rolling, boiling, baking and it made us so much happy. Just with inviting someone to your kitchen you can create sense of community. Many times I watched movie Julie and Julia as it just proves how doing something with huge will and lots of practice added can make everyone an expert. At the beginning of the pandemic I would caught myself oftentimes trying to stick to the recipes from the cookbooks as I was trying to do the same but of course, soon I would quit from that plan but you never know, maybe I will return to it one day, being new Juliette. I’ve realized that cooking at home:: - can teach us patience by waiting and trying to get that perfect flavor - can teach us mindfulness, with all our senses being fully activated in the kitchen, especially by smelling, tasting, touching we forget everything around us, our mind becomes grounded in the present moment. - it helps in leading healthier lifestyle since during the time in the kitchen we’re away from the PC or phone screens so it’s also a digital detox - can exercise our creativity and make our life happier - can help us build better self-confidence (especially with so many cakes thrown into the garbage). And what can stop us not to do that more often? As Buddha said: „When you prepare your own food you give to the food and food gives to you.“ So don't feel resistance to cook, maybe just chopping when you are nervous or stirring to calm down. Scientists published that serotonin which is our happy hormone is produced in our gastrointestinal tract,meaning eating healthier can improve our mental health, and that is the most important, isn't it?