Hey friends. Today is my stop on the blog tour for Cookfulness: A Therapeutic Approach to Cooking by Ian Taverner and I am bringing you a guest post. Enjoy!
Cookfulness: A Therapeutic Approach to Cooking by Ian Taverner
Published by: Clink Street Publishing
Release date: 29/10/2020
Where to find: Goodreads | Amazon
Summary: Create Space For The Happy Stuff!
This cookbook is crammed full of new and innovative ways, hints and tips, designed specifically for people with chronic pain and mental health conditions, by me, a fellow sufferer.
It is all to help you WANT to cook, not have to!
Cooking really can be a therapy. Cooking really can ignite your passions. Cooking really is possible!
If you are having a bad day, I want to make it better. If you are having a better day, I want to make it good. If you are having a good day, I want to make it great. If you are having a great day, good on you!
Why is this book important to you?
This book is important to me because of what it represents. It’s way bigger than just a cookbook, it’s way bigger than just a set of recipes.
It’s my battles and struggles, it’s my family’s battles and struggles, with years of my suffering from chronic pain and associated mental health conditions.
Over the years I’ve missed birthdays, Christmases, holidays, school events, parent’s evenings, daughter’s performances, you name it. All to chronic pain and mental health.
Over the years I lost hope, lost any self-worth, lost myself. I lost all sense of wellbeing, all sense of togetherness, the physical and mental pain becoming all-consuming.
It’s a life no one would want and no-one should have to endure. It is though, an all too familiar position for many, many individuals and their families. There doesn’t seem to be any way out, any way up, not even any way sideways.
Cookfulness represents our fight to scramble back up the mountain. It’s so important to me, and important to my amazing family, because it is how we’ve come back together as a family, how we are now able to look forward with some hope and some happiness. Cookfulness is a real symbol of our future, a future we’ve changed from one of Groundhog days and shared pain, to one of joy, of togetherness of opportunity.
I have a massively powerful vision in my mind. It’s a dinner table with 4 chairs round it, family eating, 3 are filled but where I’m supposed to be, its empty. I’m not there. That is what drives me now, to have that vision changed, I’m sat in that chair, I’m sat there in reality, I’m sat there. Not just sat there, everyone is eating my food, everyone is enjoying themselves, everyone is together!
Cooking was and is my beacon of light, my ignition, my reason for being. It’s gone from being a thing of terror, of anxiety, of so many potential disasters, to my role, my passion, my way to make mistakes and not let it control me, my way to be a real part of my family. It has given me back a role within the family, something I can largely be relied upon for, something I can genuinely say to my family “I made that!”
This book represents all of the chronic pain sufferers, often suffering without any happiness or hope for the future. It represents all of their families, loved ones, carers who also suffer badly as a result.
Cookfulness is so important to me as I really want to help, I really want to show everyone that they aren’t alone, that there is something they can do, can achieve, and there is a way to improve their quality of life.
Yes, it’s hard, yes it hurts like hell every single day, and it takes really hard work to keep going at it, especially when things don’t go as planned. But my absolute hope is that Cookfulness will help flatten down some of the massive bumps cooking, and indeed life, when living with such debilitating conditions, can put in your way.
My very real and very recent experiences of cooking and cookbooks are of them not being there for chronic pain sufferers. Everything I have done to get looking upwards again has all been distilled down to create Cookfulness, with so many new and innovative ways to help you start to cook, start to want to cook and start to love to cook.
My absolute and primary goal is that Cookfulness will be a real therapy, a real way to lift you, enthuse you, give you back some pride and give you a real reason for being!
It is so important to me and hopefully will become so important to many, many people.
If I can inspire just one person, one family, to give cooking a go, to give life a go, to try and grab a chance of a slightly better future, then I’ve succeeded.
The last reason Cookfulness is so important to me is, if I am lucky enough to have any proceeds from it, I am going to donate a portion to the NHS Centre for Pain Services in Bath. It is a place that inspired me, untangled me, where extraordinary staff do extraordinary things. I’d be truly delighted to have the chance to give something back to them for all they have done for me and my family.
I’m so passionate about this because it’s my life, our life, and I know just how powerful cooking had been for me, for us, and will always continue to be.
I want to see Cookfulness doing this for others, to be the spark you so desperately need, the catalyst for better things and your go to therapy for the future.
That is why this is so important to me.
I currently live in the New Forest, originally from the Isle of Man, with my wife and 2 daughters and our dog, Alfie. I’m a chronic fibromyalgia, arthritis, depression and anxiety sufferer and survivor!
Chronic pain conditions are often misunderstood, especially the devastating effect they can have on you and your family. I know first-hand how it can very quickly drag you, and those around you, right down.
I wrote Cookfulness to show fellow sufferers and their loved ones that you aren’t alone, you most definitely are not alone. I wrote Cookfulness to give people a real shot at improving their quality of life and bring back together disparate families, just as cooking has done for me, by giving a reason for being.
Learning how to cook again, how to adapt to how my body and mind were feeling and what they were screaming at me, how it really was possible to cook and harness the enjoyment and sheer pleasure of it, made me realise the real power of cooking. Cooking gave me a route, a path, some pride, some passion and, most importantly, a role and the drive to become a real part of the family again.
All my battles, defeats and successes, using very real and raw experiences, have been distilled down to create “Cookfulness”, a genuinely therapeutic approach to cooking!