Exploring the Eight Dimensions of Wellness through Cooking

Members of the Student Wellness Committee want to encourage other students to pursue wellness, both for themselves and as role models for future patients.

Students have been writing about different aspects of the eight dimensions of wellness, as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Here’s the latest article, written by first-year College of Medicine student Krithika Sundaram, on the physical dimension of wellness. Watch The Pulse for upcoming posts!

When I entered medical school, I decided it was about time to learn how to actually cook. I set myself a goal of at least planning what I would be cooking, but soon I was getting caught up in my schoolwork. I was not eating very well and sometimes I would find it inconvenient to eat, so I would just skip meals. I was starting to get mentally and physically exhausted. 

About a month before fall classes were going to end, I realized that if I did not plan my meals better that month, I would not be able to get through the semester. For the last half of the semester I did some simple meal prepping with pasta and tofu wraps, but I decided that I needed to improve my skills so the same thing wouldn’t happen the next semester.  

So, over winter break I looked at different meal prep ideas and also got some cooking tips from my mom. I then tried these recipes to make sure I could make them and that they would taste good, so that I would not be experimenting when I was back in school.

I got my inspiration from watching lots of videos on YouTube and I decided that I would share these with you guys so you could get some ideas.

YouTube channels I learned from

Caitlin Shoemaker

She does a lot of vegan meal prep and general recipes that I really love. She has a lot of different recipes, so you can change up your meals. I also really liked her recipes because I am vegetarian.


I think everyone has a general idea about Tasty. I know some people think that the videos make cooking seem easier than it actually is, but I thought it was pretty helpful and this is coming from someone who is not really a good cook. Tasty has meal prep suggestions, too.


Goodful is very similar to Tasty and has videos about how people get paid to prepare meals for other families. These videos gave me more meal prep ideas.

So, those are some of my favorites that I use. In general, if you go through YouTube and type in the specific type of meal prep you want, you can find the option that suits your diet the best.

I know this may be a simple thing, but just googling a recipe that you want to try is easy too! At first I was very scared to cook in general and never believed I could follow a recipe, however after just googling some things that I wanted to try I found it really easy. For instance, I recently made this vegetarian chili that I just found on Google and loved it. You really do not know what Google has in store for you! Cooking may seem like a chore, but if you can take one to two hours to meal prep your food for a week it will help you have a happier week and maintain a healthy lifestyle to get you through the semester.

I know from my own experience this year that physical health is a huge part of the eight dimensions of wellness. I feel better now that I am planning my meals and able to cook better for myself. It’s a process but I’m proud of my progress. I wish you guys a great semester and happy cooking! 

Share this post