Mindful Cooking and Eating Could be the Antidote to Modern Life

By Dr Barbara Mariposa, author of The Mindfulness Playbook

If you ask a British person how they’ve been, quite often the response is “I’ve been so busy”

People seem to wear the ‘busy’ badge with pride these days and juggle so many things at once; work, the school run, exercise, cleaning, booking holidays, socialising. It’s perhaps no surprise that when you also suggest that people to slow down and be mindful for a few minutes each day, the usual response is “I don’t have time.”

But finding time for mindfulness is an essential way to nourish ourselves at every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Cooking and eating are just some of the many opportunities we have to slow down and savour the moment.

Taking time to really experience the texture, colour, flavour and smell of food as you cook it then eat it really helps you have a multi-sensory experience, which is wonderful for your wellbeing. Mindfulness is about experiencing, not thinking about experiencing!

Eating is something we do to sustain and enable ourselves in fulfilling a deeper purpose in life. It’s important to focus on the bigger picture as when the focus is on this expanded sense of ourselves, we will naturally nourish ourselves from a place of wholeness – not anxiety.

Controlling eating always comes from a place of anxiety, and no matter how wonderful the stuff we put in our bodies, we a) won’t absorb it properly b) won’t enjoy it so c) it won’t do us any good in the long run. Human beings are not machines that need ‘petrol’. Feed the deeper layers of being human, and feeding the physical will take care of itself, naturally, gloriously.

As a medical doctor with a background in psychiatry I’ve seen enough of the disastrous impact on mental health of obsessions around eating. Most food fads that somehow get mistaken for facts, campaigns that tap into guilt, self-loathing, anxiety, peer pressure, ridiculous media-derived norms. No. Bring back the fun, the sharing, the connectedness.

GLORIOUS! Soups came up with an ingenious way of promoting the concept of mindful eating and cooking by setting up the world’s first wellness shed. On October 19 at the Creative Debuts venue on Curtain Road in Shoreditch, GLORIOUS! launched this unique virtual reality (VR) experience in a beautifully decorated shed that was built by Tiger Sheds.

Whilst wearing a VR headset, people were invited to stir a virtual pot of soup as slowly as possible for one minute whilst listening to binaural music, which is scientifically proven to aid mindfulness.

I want to restore the sense of fun and enjoyment into eating, the sense of being able to trust our bodies to eat well rather than the recent trend towards control, right or wrong, good or bad. The great thing is that GLORIOUS! Soups are so tasty and you don’t have to give a second thought to whether they are good for you or not. Just enjoy!

Dr Barbara Mariposa