Brain Eating Stress and the Cooking Solution

Relaxation Photo

If relaxation time is hard to come by, consider that time making meals can double as stress-relief time

We all know stress isn’t a good thing.  But who knew that it literally eats holes in our brain tissue?  As explained by Houston neuroscientist and author David Eagleman, “Stress is underpinned by particular hormones that circulate through the body and the brain.”  Within the brain, “stress literally chews miniature holes” in the tissue.

That ought to send us racing for the relaxation room!  In planning a relaxation strategy, however, keep in mind the fundamental advice offered by Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University:  “You can’t save stress management for weekends or holidays.  It has to be done daily.”

Great, now there’s one more thing for the daily To-Do list!  Before that thought sends you into a bout of aggravated depression, consider this possibility:  Maybe you don’t need to try squeezing another half hour of relaxation time into an already over-scheduled day.  Instead, transform the time already spent making dinner into relaxed and creative time.

It may take a little imagination** to even envision dinner making as something that’s not one of the stressors chewing holes in your brain.  We’ve been carefully programmed to believe that cooking is so stressful and impossible that frozen pizza is the only option.  In truth, however, dinner making can be a great zone-out time, where you get lost in vegetable chopping, flavor combinations, the colors, the smells. . . . maybe the lovely glass of wine you sip while sautéing and stirring.

How does a person get to a place where cooking is a creative outlet instead of stressful drudgery?  It’s a simple learning process.  The more you know, the more uncertainty, fear and stress are replaced with confidence, comfort and calm.

Our meal making classes are all about sharing the skills that make cooking easeful and natural–and a time when you can unwind doing something that’s tactile and sensory.  Join us and save a few brain cells!

**We’ve got a couple good posts on how imagination is a key tool on the healthy eating journey:   and

Note:  Information and quotes from “The Consequences of Stress, A Shrinking Brain, Memory Loss Can Result,” Leslie Barker Garcia for The Dallas Morning News, from the Daily Camera, March 14, 2012, p. 3B





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