The Healing Power of Cooking


I admit it.  Although I value a nutritious, whole foods diet with meals from scratch, I often spend my Sunday furiously running through my to-do list to prep for the week ahead.  Drink coffee- check.  Full speed ahead: Laundry- check.  Clean house- check.  Prep for patients- check.   Fill gas tank- check.  Cook and prep food- check, check.  Cooking becomes just one more thing on the to-do list and I wish that I could get it done as fast as possible. 

BUT, this week I cooked without a timeline while listening to the amazing Chef Jason on KHOL Jackson Hole Community Radio, The Grand Table.  I listened to jazz music while…..wait…for…it….ENJOYING COOKING.  Never thought I would say that.  He taught the listeners all about food and its history and it was FASCINATING.  

It was the first time since I can remember that I SLOWED DOWN, took the time to enjoy the moment in front of me, enjoy the music and the knowledge, and just forgot about my long to-do list.  I highly recommend you try this.  Think of it as cooking meditation.  Stress is a huge issue in our current health care landscape and has been linked to every disease from heart attacks and strokes to autoimmune disease to cancer.  Two of the most powerful players in my treatments with patients include stress managment techniques and healthy food.  Cooking combines the two as a recipe for healing the mind and body.  Next time you are plopped in front of the TV, think about taking time for yourself and your family in the kitchen instead.  You can thank me later. 

Chef Jason has a voice made for the radio, and weaves stories of food like a silk tapestry.  Who knew food could be so entertaining?!  Here’s the outcome from my enjoyable Sunday afternoon.  Not pictured: me dancing around the kitchen for 4 hours with a grin on my face. 

You can listen live at: Sundays at 10 am (Pacific Time) or or download the podcast (The Grand Table on KHOL Jackson Hole Community Radio) through iTunes

-Dr. Laura

Laura Neville