Do you like to cook? I did not used to like it.

First of all, I did not know how … so that was a challenge I did not want to take on. It was basically muesli with fruit, oatmeal with cinnamon or eggs; those were my go-to meals.

Second, it was not fast enough. I preferred an In-N-Out Burger.

I finally released some of my fears when I had a family. I realized I am not just cooking to eat the food anymore, I am cooking to share a nutritious meal with my family and actually enjoy it.

For example, when making tomato soup I began to notice how amazing the journey was for these five tomatoes to land on my cutting board. First, I thank the farmers who planted the seeds. Next, I thank the earth, sun and rain, which helped the plant grow into a fruit. And then I thank myself and my children for picking the tomato from a local organic farm near me.

With this sense of gratitude I start cooking the food and I believe this positive state of mind also enhances the flavor and taste of the food I cook.

I now also take my time to cook, instead of being in a rush. I use all my senses while cooking to help me be in the moment. I love how amazing the food smells each time I add another spice. I feel the heat coming off the stove. I see the steam of the boiling water and I am thankful I have all my spices.

So, enjoy preparing your meals with all your senses to keep you in the moment and notice then how cooking can be a joyful experience.

Ditteke Ederveen-Gorman writes from Keene. She has been helping people to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives, so that they feel happier and more peaceful. A former model and actress, she writes, teaches and speaks about mindfulness to adults and children. Visit her blog at www.dittekeyogablog.wordpress.com.