How Cooking Leads to Health Beyond Nutrition

By Amanda Paa – Updated January 12, 2021

I know I’m not the first one to tell you that good health comes from a combination of things, intertwined within our mind, body and soul. Often we think of nutrition and physical activity first even though mindfulness and self-care are equally as important. Admittedly I was one of those people throughout much of my life until I had one of those lightbulb moments a few years ago that I wanted to share with you today on behalf of Silk. I’m happy to work them on this project, to help us all learn from each and support each in other feeling good about ourselves both mentally and physically.

Sometimes I think we get overwhelmed trying to do it all: eat like this, do these exercises, schedule time with friends, be mindful of how much you’re relaxing, etc. But isn’t it funny how sometimes all those things can start to fall into place when we start to focus on each of them separately?

When I took some time to reflect on what has impacted my overall wellness, I realized that much of it began to fall into place with one small change several years ago. One that had a multitude of positive effects on my health beyond nutrition, one that I think you’ll find realistic and limitless:

I’m so grateful for the balance and healthy changes that I started to experience…..

1. Newfound Creativity: I’ve been a Type A person since I came out of the womb. I’m the the girl whose American Girl doll that she got from Santa is still in the box, still with the plastic around her necklace, afraid she might get dirty. I was fearful of trying new things because I might not do it right. But when I began to cook, I felt much of that thinking move to the wayside. Since I didn’t really know what I was doing anyways, I didn’t have anything or anyone to compare myself with. Instead it became a game for me to try a new recipe or pick up an unfamiliar new ingredient from the market and see what happened. It was the thrill of the unknown rather than the fear. And wow did it feel amazing…. something that I knew I didn’t want to let go of.

2. Satisfying Friendships : After realizing that cooking was something I really enjoyed I decided to get involved with the local food community. If you live in the Twin Cities, you know how blessed we are to have so many supportive folks who celebrate everything food. There are several different groups, but Fortify is where I have met friends that I know will be a part of my life forever. They are talented, down to earth and caring souls that bring me a sense of belonging and happiness.

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3. Soulful Meditation: I never would have guessed how relaxing working with food could be. Chopping vegetables, pitting a bucket of cherries, patiently stirring creamy risotto, or rolling out a beautiful pie crust – they all bring me a sense of calm. I stop thinking about the rest of my worries or parts of the day that might not been ideal. Even though I’m focusing on what I’m doing, my mind is free.

4. Being More in Tune With Your Body: When you’re closer to the food you eat, the more you start to learn what your body truly needs and makes you feel the best. Every person’s body is built differently, so we must adjust accordingly. The only way to figure that out is to pay a little more attention to how you feel physically and emotionally with the nutrition side of things. I’ve found that it has improved my body image too. There’s a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes from being the one behind your nourishment.

I know that cooking is not the end all to living a healthy lifestyle, but I truly believe and am grateful for the balanced wellness it has brought to me. Once I got a taste of the happiness it brought me, it was hard to stop. And so my hope for you is that you are maybe a little inspired, to start cooking if it’s something you aren’t used to doing or even just being more in the moment when you in the kitchen, allowing yourself to see the wonderful ways that it can bring us peace. I’d love to hear below if you’ve experienced any of these things or others from being in the kitchen.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk but all opinions and text are mine. I feel strongly about living a full, healthy and happy life and I’m glad that Silk does too. You can visit their website to find more ideas for incorporating soy protein into your healthy lifestyle, learn about their products, or visit them on Facebook.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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September 9, 2014


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