Big Toe in the Water

And now for some GOOD news!

Yes, we are living during very challenging times, but we still have to eat!!

Today I would like to invite you to try mindful cooking.

1) Notice the story you might be making up in your head right this very moment. Are you immediately judging yourself or others? (“I can’t do this…they make it better than me…I make it the best…”)

[Since Mindfulness is a practice of compassion, try not beating yourself up if you notice any judging! Relax. It’s a practice so please give yourself some time to learn it.]

2) Whatever you are preparing in the kitchen today – whether pouring cold milk onto dry cereal or creating a three-course meal – I would like to invite you to use all your senses.

  • What are the colors you’re seeing? (Describe the colors you notice to yourself, as if you’ve never seen this item before in your life!)
  • What do the ingredients smell like? (Notice the odors without judging them as good or bad. Just notice them. And be aware if a story forms in your head around something you have smelled – perhaps it triggers a memory. If this happens, then kindly escort your attention back to the present and notice the smells in the here and now.)
  • What does everything feel like in your hands: the food…the utensils…running water…the food packaging (notice if it is a cardboard box, plastic, or some other type of material)? (Uh oh, did another story just start?)
  • Do you hear any sounds while you’re cooking? The sound of stirring…mixing…? Perhaps you hear birds singing or chirping outside? Do you hear the voices of others in the distance who may be sharing your space?

3) Did you think I have forgotten about taste?  (No worries – I haven’t!)

Are you judging yourself about how good of a cook you are? Worried if it doesn’t taste perfect? This is a great opportunity to practice letting go!

4) Today I decided to make applesauce. (Spoiler alert: I am not a professional cook.)  This involves apples and water…and a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. (No sugar needed, since that was already included in the apples.)

Are you wanting to give me advice on how it could be better? Do you have thoughts one way or another on the omission of sugar? Yes, those types of thoughts quietly count as judging. I would like to invite you instead to see if you can begin to include acceptance into your daily life. Accepting that however you or I make it is how today’s applesauce is going to taste – and that is just fine. Practice not wanting it to be any different than how you experience it.

So, now my last question for you is: what are you mindfully cooking today?

EXTRA CREDIT: try this same #mindfulness “cooking” exercise with those living with you at the moment! And – for extra extra credit – you can easily do this mindfulness practice virtually with others. (Just have fun!)

Top Photo Credit: Sarah Gualtieri

Harriet Stein brings Mindfulness Programs to organizations of all sizes to transform employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.


Mindfulness is now being incorporated by organizations to lower healthcare costs, support employees in staying focused which improves their performance, and reduce levels of stress.



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