Kitchen Therapy – Charlotte Hastings

If you know me in real life, you will know that food, and the making of food, the cooking of food, feeding people, feeing my family, helping other people to access food, is part of what I do, so this book, Kitchen Therapy, by Charlotte Hastings, is right up my street, or maybe it’s right in my kitchen. Either which way, I really enjoyed reading it, and if you are someone who uses food and feeding people as a love language or your act of service, then it’s one for you. If you are looking to get back to the practice of eating and making food and the communal act of food as being central to life and community, this is also a good read for you too.

This post does contain affiliate links, which will be marked with * for your reference, and if you click through and make a purchase, will earn me a small amount of income.

kitchen therapy

Kitchen Therapy explains the rationale behind the use of food – cooking and eating it – as a therapeutic endeavour. Rather than focusing on physical nutrition, Kitchen Therapy directs attention onto the way we feed ourselves within social and nurturing environments, using the cooking process to understand ourselves and build a healthier, more integrated future, together. In a mechanised, materialistic world focused on what we can measure, this presents a return to the kitchen as a place of creativity, of nurture and connection, a place where one can listen and respond to the needs of the psyche. 

For me, food is not just about the nutritional content that we put into our bodies to make them work for us. It’s about the act and art of making meals, preparing food, choosing to feed people well, the things they enjoy. It’s also about showing love and care for people. Food can be personal, but it can also be community, and I think we have forgotten some of the basics of how eating together, and eating “well” (and not just calories and nutrition content)

I believe that sharing food, making meals and feeding people shows care, in a world where sometimes people either don’t feel they are cared for or people have forgotten how to care.

So this lovely book*, Kitchen Therapy, is a brilliant back to basics on a lot of what I believe. It’s full of examples, and studies of human behaviour, as well as practical advice on how we can use food and the spaces we call our kitchens to practice both self healing and also contribute to the the healing of the world around us. Because the author has worked in the caring profession for many years as well as having trained as a psychodynamic therapist, this book definately has a very professional flavour but that makes it a better read and also a great learning tool.

There are recipes, insights on mental health, guidance and practical tips as well as inspiration to make you feel that even if you are only at the start of your journey in the area of food meaning love and care, that you are on the right track.

I hope I haven’t put out too many spoilers, because the whole point of this post is that you should read the book for yourself.

About Charlotte Hastings:

A recipe of personal and professional experience, skills and passions have fed into the creation of Therapy Kitchen. People and communities, how and why they tick, have been an abiding fascination; through my practice of teaching, cooking and talk-therapy, I have been able to develop this interest, whilst finding a place of usefulness in my community. Being able to express ourselves creatively and feel connected to our environment, are key aspects to our well being, which I focus on in my work, for myself and with others.

You can find more Kitchen Therapy here on Instagram or on her website here where she shares more of her work and insights.

Posted in Book reviews and tagged Charlotte Hasting, Food is love, Kitchen Therapy.

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