There are many ways to show our appreciation; cooking is one way that is not only nurturing to our bodies but also to our brains. In an article from Huffington Post, Julie R. Thomson wrote about the Psychological Benefits Of Cooking For Others. Cooking for others is a form of altruism which can make people happy and connected with others. According to Matthew Riccio, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, participating in an activity like cooking “can help to encourage a sense of trust, community, meaning, purpose, belonging, closeness, and intimacy. – all of which have been liking to things like increased happiness, decreased depression, and greater/more positive overall wellbeing.” If done with the proper allotment of time cooking can also be a practice in mindfulness. Enjoy the process, the smells, the taste and relive memories from your childhood.
Next time you want to do something to acknowledge the efforts of a co-worker, show appreciation or help someone in need – cook them a meal. A meal made from real food can boost energy and wellness. Cooking a meal is a gift for others – imagine not having to think about what you were having for dinner. Follow these tips to create the most value:
- Pick a recipe you are familiar with – tried and true, something that can be made ahead of time and reheated.
- Think about how you will package up the food – it can be helpful to keep take-out containers, jars, foil trays so no one has to return your dishes.
- Consider doubling the recipe so you have food for yourself as well.
- Print out your grocery list so you are organized for your shopping.
- Start with a clean kitchen – wash and put away any clean dishes from the sink or dishwasher.
- Get out all the ingredients and equipment before you start.
- Give yourself a 2 hour time slot to focus, give attention and enjoy.
- Final touches – give your recipient a copy of the recipe with a note of instructions for reheating.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few recipes you might want to try: