Everyone has the occasional rough day – and taking the time to prepare a meal you enjoy is a positive way to boost your mood when you have one of those days.
When you’re having a really busy day, and maybe feeling a little bit tired, it’s easy to categorize cooking among your other day-to-day chores, but it’s so much more than that. Cooking is an opportunity to nourish your spirit while nourishing yourself and your family.
An Expression of Your Creativity
One thing that’s especially wonderful about cooking, is it gives you the opportunity to express your creativity. You can increase or reduce ingredients to adapt the flavor.
If you’re a little low low on one ingredient, you can explore the substitutions you have in your fridge or cupboard. You can also just wing it, and combine some of your favorite foods to create an entirely new recipe.
An Opportunity to Nourish Yourself and Your Family
One important reward of indulging in a cooking session, instead of just throwing a quick meal together, is you can explore the healthy ingredients that accommodate a specific dietary plan.
This is great news if you’re trying to lose weight, or just taking on a keto diet or exploring your gluten-free options.
A Chance to Spice up Your Routine
If you eat the same few meals over and over, enjoying a cooking session gives you a way to mix up the flavors, try new recipes, and make changes to some of your commonly enjoyed meals.
Don’t want to change a favorite recipe? Consider serving it with a different side dish.
You’re in control when you’re cooking, so you set the rules and you can take dinner in the direction that makes you happy.
A Comforting Reward Awaits
A good meal is comforting. So, if you’re cooking something in response to having had a rough day, you get to enjoy the sensation of preparing something wonderful and nutritious for your family along with getting to eat that wonderful, comforting meal when you’re done cooking.
Whether you make traditional comfort foods, like pasta, or you make something lighter and lower in carbs, you get to savor the experience of knowing you created a wonderful meal while you’re enjoying the food.
A Connection to Your Family History
If you have the recipe for ‘Grandma’s pot pie,” “Uncle Ed’s chili.” or “Mom’s secret oatmeal cookies,” you have the chance to enjoy a sense of connection to your family’s history. As human beings, it’s normal to associate flavors and scents with people we love, and food is typically a strong part of the human bonding experience.
That’s why making a recipe that was passed down from parents or grandparents is so significant, and why it can do so much for improving your mood if you’re having a rough day.
Give yourself permission to make a meal that’s as complex, or as easy to make, as you want. The rewards you gain are internal in the form of positive vibes and external when you get to sit down and enjoy the results of your cooking session.
By: Laure Justice