Consider your current relationship with food and cooking. Do you see it as a means to an end? No matter what your perspective is, food and cooking are essential, highly valued parts of life, not just from a sustenance perspective but also as a mindful activity. According to the experts at the Dharana Retreat in India, cooking has the potential to be more purposeful and more meaningful rather than being relegated to a chore.
This is where Mindful Cooking comes in. As the name suggests, this is a new perspective to engage with the entire cooking process. Also termed conscious cooking, this method encourages being aware of each aspect of cooking, from the ingredients to the actual method and the health impacts. At the Dharana Retreat in India, the Mindful Cooking School exists to impart mindful cooking tips to you during your stay. The eventual aim is to teach you how to incorporate mindfulness into your cooking routine. Here’s how –
Part 1: The Source
A true Mindful Culinary Experience rests on the organic and sustainable production of ingredients that make up your dish. Disregarded initially as unnecessary, Organic farming has risen to prominence, especially when compared with industrialized, fast, and profit-focused conventional agriculture.
Ewa Remibialkowska, Polish Researcher from the Warsaw Agricultural University, notes in their paper that Organic produce has lower Nitrates and Nitrites, Pesticide Residuals, and Heavy Metals when compared with industrial agriculture. High consumption of these toxins leads to health complications such as cancer. Additionally, health-positive phenolic compounds and vitamin C are much higher in organic practices.
The Dharana Wellness Retreat sees its kitchens and Mindful Cooking School supported by the in-house organic farm, along with many local farmers practising sustainable methods.
Part 2: The Method
As one of the best Wellness Centres in India, Dharna emphasizes a focus on a philosophical approach toward food.
A food philosophy provides much-needed direction to the entire Mindful Cooking process. For example, Dharana’s Food Philosophy is rooted firmly in Ayurveda, focusing on seasonal produce and energy-efficient slow-cooking methods. The philosophy further empowers the farm-to-table ecosystem, ensuring that each dish is prepared from as fresh of ingredients as possible.
The Dharana Mindful Cooking School is a mainstay of the Luxury Health Retreat experience, especially due to the research that supports Mindful Cooking for Mental Health. Researchers Han, J. & Huang, Y identified that people who engaged in mindful cooking reported increased creativity, improved mood, and greater overall well-being. Additionally, research by Khoury, B, and colleagues establish mindful cooking as an effective way to reduce stress, anxiety and improve overall mental well-being.
Feeling inspired? Your journey of learning sustainable and mindful cooking practices can begin at the Dharana Wellness Retreat! Nestled in the serene Shillim Valley, the retreat focuses on conserving, sustaining, and healing through all its facets. To gain this transformative experience, click this link.