Cooking up my recovery – follow-up


The cooking work continues.

I announced a while ago that I was going to start cooking as a conscious way to deal with my TBI symptoms

I reported in again that it helped me with my agitation and impulse control.

It’s all good.

What’s more, I have been realizing over the past weeks, that I have been able to take on more and more at work, and get a lot more done, than I have in a long time. It’s pretty amazing, really, how much I manage to accomplish. Some things get lost along the way, of course, but overall, I have a pretty strong reputation as someone who can juggle a lot of things and make progress.

Cooking, I believe, has helped me with this. The practice of preparing supper each night, going through the steps of organizing the ingredients and preparing more than one food item at a time, has helped me find a “flow” to my work, and that’s pretty amazing. I used to really struggle with getting the rice or pasta on the stove at the right time. I would miscalculate the timing, and one dish would be hot, while the others were cold. Or I’d completely forget about one of the dishes, till it was too late to start it.

This has gotten better. I have gotten better. Not only am I better able to handle my anger and agitation, but I’m also better at going with the flow and coordinating my activities. When I focus completely on the task at hand — preparing supper — it clears my mind and relaxes me, and I can get into a “zone” that’s healthy and happy.

It’s good.

And then I get to eat what I’ve made — which is usually a good thing 😉

Sometimes I’ll completely space out and screw things up, but that’s just one of the things I need to improve.

I think I’ll start looking for new recipes, actually. I’ve got the usual dinner down. I would like to start cooking a more varied selection of dishes. I expect this is going to be a bit of a challenge, but if I make the room for it and I plan for it, I think it can be good.

Main thing is to not overwhelm myself with the newness — give myself time to acclimate and get into it. But I think it will be a good thing to do.

And I get to taste the rewards 🙂

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

6 thoughts on “Cooking up my recovery – follow-up”

  1. BB – I agree, food prepared at home is the best, and often the healthiest choice out there. A psychiatrist I met a couple of months ago is writing a paper on how food affects mood.

    He encouraged me to quit drinking 8-10 shots of espresso daily, and told me about the effects of “caffeinism,” which can produce symptoms that are indistinguishable from those of anxiety neurosis, such as nervouness, irritability, tremulousness, occasional muscle twitchings, insomnia, sensory disturbances, tachypnea, palpitations, flushing, arrhythmias, diuresis, and gastrointestinal disturbances. The caffeine withdrawal syndrome and the headache associated with it may also mimic anxiety.

    I drink 2-4 cups of coffee a day, which is about a third of what I was drinking, and I’m sleeping better, too.

    Recently, my wife and I have switched to organic food, and again, I feel better. There are a few changes in the way things taste, but for the most part, it takes less than a week to get used to the difference.

    The brain is an amazing organ, and the food which we feed it clearly changes how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general.

    To learn more about the brain, please visit



  2. Hi Mark –

    One of my “tricks” for making sure I can sleep at night is to regularly have a double-espresso around 2 pm. I make a point of not having any caffeine after 3 p.m., which helps me sleep at night. And on the days when I need to nap in the afternoon, I just skip the afternoon coffee, and I’m out like a light.


  3. It is interesting to me how your skills that you are gaining in the kitchen seem to cross over in the work area. I wish I could cook. It’s not so easy for me just to try.


  4. Caffeine. Without caffeine – in mega doses – I could not function. I have been prescribed at various times psychostimulants such as Ritalin but they caused major issues for me. The good effect on my thinking really peaked in the first three months and was rapidly outweighed by the bad.

    I have been told that too much caffeine can also make you fatigued – and I believe that might be true – and I try to spend the weekends ‘off’ – but it’s critical for me. I never have a problem going to sleep.


  5. Ah, yes – caffeine. I’m having my morning coffee right now.

    Just watch out for the calcium leaching. Coffee leaches calcium, which doesn’t bode well for the bones. But I’ve read that if you supplement to offset the leaching, you can compensate – and not have to leave your coffee behind.

    I’ve also read that drinking a lot of coffee has been shown to prevent dementia/Alzheimer’s in older women. Six cups a day or so? Or the equivalent. Not sure if someone has refuted that, since I read about it three years ago or so, but for some, that’s hopeful news.


Talk about this - No email is required

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: