One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to spend time in the kitchen. I love preparing meals for the week ahead and find the time very relaxing. When I was taking yoga teacher training we learned a lot about meditation. Prior to teacher training I’d never meditated. I always felt that if I was going to a studio for a class I’d rather just take a yoga class. But through our meditations in teacher training I learned that meditation comes in many forms.
Walking meditation is very popular. In walking meditation you focus on the world surrounding you and your breath. You tune into the movements in your body and the sounds around you. In the process you tune out your internal thoughts. I’ve always thought that running is similar. And quite honestly I consider running my form of meditation. It’s quiet time, time to focus on my breath and to observe my thoughts without judgement.
While I was in the kitchen on Sunday I felt myself relaxing completely. There is something peaceful about the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board, the water running in the sink, the feeling of warm water on your hands as you wash the dishes. I love just staring out the kitchen window to the back yard as I wash veggies or do the dishes. My mind started to quiet and was able to completely focus on the recipes.
Cooking not only helps me relax but it’s a way to spend time taking care of myself. I always love heading into a busy week with healthy food already prepared. On Sunday I prepared a salsa avocado chicken salad (recipe coming on Wednesday!) and then went on to make homemade banana nut muffins. I love cooking when I have the entire day to get lost in it. I have no reason to rush or hurry my way through and somehow that makes me enjoy the food more. I know when I’m busy this week and grabbing my chicken salad for lunch I’ll be reminded of how peaceful it was to prepare the meal and undoubtedly it will make me slow down while I eat.
So next time you are in the kitchen with some free time, preparing your favorite meal I urge you to slow down and relax. Focus on the process of chopping the veggies, preparing the meat or mixing the flour and sugar before combining the wet ingredients. You may find that you like the time in the kitchen a bit more…