My Kitchen: Building a better relationship with food

Sarah took part in a Ministry of Food cookery course at the Community Kitchen as part of her recovery from an eating disorder. She was looking for a relaxed, sociable and safe environment in which she could start to feel more ‘normal’ around food.

“My fondest memory of the course is from ‘burger week’. The music was on, people were chatting, it was fun and I felt comfortable being there. I’ve taken with me back to my home life something of that experience so, for example, I now put music on when I cook.

“There was a lot of support on the course from the staff which made me feel safe being me. For me it was a place where I could really be myself and not “Sarah the patient” or “Sarah with the eating disorder”.

“I liked the fact that I could come as I was, even if I struggled that day or wasn’t at my best. I knew that coming to the class, even when I’d had almost no sleep the night before and I wasn’t well, would make me feel better. It was an anchor in my week I looked forward to.

“I liked being invited gently to try new things, as well as being encouraged to adapt things to my own taste and experiment with different ingredients. I learned that recipes are frameworks and not prescriptions so I’m now playing with them and using different ingredients. I like chopping onions so much now, that I tend to eat more of them because of that.

“I also learned different ways to cook rice, and many tips about how to avoid wasting food. The one I remember most is how to use cauliflower leaves when I cook, something I’d never thought of before.

“I achieved a lot, things I wouldn’t have achieved in any other way. I’ve grown as a person, improved my social life and met new people. I am generally happier and more comfortable in groups now.”

Please note that names in case studies have been changed. Read more case studies here.

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