A Tasty Path to Wellness

Krithika Sundaram, a second-year student in the College of Medicine, contributed the following article as one of the educational initiatives sponsored by the NEOMED’s Student Wellness Committee as part of their peer-support series on the eight dimensions of wellness. The eight dimensions that this student and staff committee supports include: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual wellness. The concept of eight dimensions of wellness comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a U.S. government agency.

The 2020-21 academic year has been extremely hard. Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic come as a surprise; it was also a huge adjustment. 

I was in my first year of medical school, close to finishing my second semester, when the pandemic hit and quarantine was imposed. I went from being able to balance my studying – by  hanging out with friends and going to the gym – to  moving back home and studying by myself in an isolated room. I felt anxious and stressed because I was not able to go out and do the hobbies that I loved. I knew that I needed to do something relaxing, so I decided to start cooking multiple different cuisines.

When I first started cooking, I was more focused on meal prep than on a relaxing hobby. With the pandemic, I wanted to develop cooking as a hobby to help relieve my stress, so I could  better focus on school.

I started out with Indian cooking, since we had all the ingredients in my house. Then I started to broaden my horizons by incorporating different Mexican, Italian and Moroccan recipes. When I started to use cooking as my study break, I felt like prioritizing my wellness helped me to learn more in my classes. In addition, my family reaped the benefits of eating all my cooking! 

I encourage all of my peers to find something that they love to do, so that they can incorporate it into their schedule to relieve their stress and anxiety. If cooking as a wellness activity sounds interesting to you, I would highly recommend it, but the goal is finding any hobby – especially  during these times when a lot of your hobbies might not be available – that  can help relax and motivate you to continue studying. 


Vegetable Kurma

This recipe is for a famous Indian curry. It consists of a very creamy gravy prepared with an assortment of vegetables of your choice.

Moroccan Stew

Initially, I was hesitant to try this, but it turned out to be very good!

Krithika’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s always good to have a little dessert, especially after a long day of studying. This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s a lot of fun to make, especially with friends and family.

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