Spa Time for the Cook: The Mind Body Connection

Gentle Readers, today’s topic is a bit off the beaten path. Having spent a lot of time over the last year on the run, literally and figuratively, I was spending some time reflecting over a manicure. That’s when I realized how important various spa services have become in my life, and why.

Forced relaxation for the win!

Forced relaxation for the win!

Food and kitchen time have always been key elements to my happiness, and they still are. However, with my revamped lifestyle, I can’t always cook as much or for as long as I want, and I certainly can’t eat every single thing I want in quantities I might desire (talking to you pecan pie). But nature abhors a vacuum (and a vacuum cleaner too, but that is a blog for a different day).

Pretty nails do not mean giving up dessert. -- My new saying

Pretty nails do not mean giving up dessert. — My new saying

Over the last year, work/life demands have forced me to make choices about my time. One of them has been to get a monthly massage. Yes monthly. It’s great for muscles that ache from chopping, lifting, plane-sitting, running, Tweeting, etc. It’s a great self-care choice, and it replaces my natural tendency to “reward” myself with food.

This is not to say I don’t still see food as a reward, I do. Good food is a reward, for either making it or finding it. The challenge is not to file every dessert and fried item into the “reward” column, but expand the definition to include great meals with great company. I’ve found that spa services, in all their forms, help me do that. They provide balance.

Feet take a beating in the kitchen and beyond. Treat them nicely.

Feet take a beating in the kitchen and beyond. Treat them nicely.

A luxurious manicure, pedicure, or massage is restorative. It forces me to reflect, gives me so me time, and makes me a better cook, mom, employee, you name it. Knowing I have some rewards built into my life makes it that much easier for me to make balanced choices about food. I love food, a whole lot. It will always be a priority for me. But I’m feeling good about making it one I can live with, in all senses of that phrase.

How do you reward yourself for a job well done? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way!

Send your manicures, kitchen challenges, and crazy fruit pictures to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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It’s terrifying but true, next up it’s already Sunday! And that’s Weekly Menus time.


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