How cooking helped Ian get his life back

Wednesday 4th November 2020 6:23 am

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Ian Taverner has written a cookbook aimed at people with chronic mental and physical conditions

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A Manx father who lives with fibromyalgia and arthritis has written a cookbook aimed at people with chronic mental and physical conditions.

Ian Taverner, grew up in Ballasalla, his parents both being teachers at high schools in the island. He said he cherishes memories of playing golf at Castletown, rugby for Ronaldsway and playing in a band in Toffs during TT.

Having worked for Ramsay Crookall, Ian left to work in Ireland and Guernsey, he and his family have now settled in southern England.

Having lived a fit and healthy life with a young family, running half marathons and playing golf and a passionate cook, in his mid-thirties Ian began suffering from pain, depression and anxiety which would rob him of his career and hobbies.

Diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia and arthritis, it was an exclusive programme run by the NHS National Centre for Pain in Bath which he credits with giving him ’hope and a desire to make life worth living again’.

It was also this programme that made him think he could start trying to cook again. He told the Manx Independent he loves cooking bolognese and garlic bread for his family, he said: ’Simple as it sounds, it is a real family favourite and always goes down a storm.’

Inspired by his success, Ian wants all sufferers of chronic pain and mental health issues to feel that they can find purpose, self-esteem and meaning in the kitchen, which is why he wrote ’Cookfulness’.

He said: ’Chronic pain and mental health sufferers can see wanting to cook as the biggest hurdle. Not being able to, or wanting it is the biggest hurdle.

’I wanted to create a new kind of cookery book which is optimised for symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog to make the barriers to benefiting from the therapy of cooking as few and as easy to navigate as possible.’

The book doesn’t look like your average cookbook. It contains moral support for those who want to take up cooking, as well as handy tips to make cooking easier on days when they are most struggling.

As well as family meals, Ian has provided recipes for smoothies, curries, egg dishes, stir fries and sweet dishes.

Ian has also included tips on what utensils, basic herbs and spices people should have in their kitchen and provided important recipe steps in bold. To help his readers to relax in the kitchen, Ian has even included playlist suggestions.

The book is on sale today from or from bookstores for £14.99, with part of the proceeds going to the NHS Pain Centre in Bath.


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