Meet the Team

 
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Catriona Macdougall

Catriona is the founder and creative force behind Cook Yourself Happier.

She started Cook Yourself Happier in 2016 using her experiences of food and cooking to help her manage her own Bipolar diagnosis.

She is a professional chef with over 20 years experience in all catering environments from busy restaurants to a private chef for the rich and famous and has cooked in the UK and internationally.

Now she uses all of her expertise to help others through Cook Yourself Happier by crafting recipes which use ingredients proven to invoke a positive change in well being and mental health. She also spreads the message about the link between food and mental health by writing articles which have been published by mental health charities and by organising cooking workshops around the UK to show that anyone, regardless of cooking experience can make delicious, healthy meals.

 

Cook Yourself Happier Mission Statement

What is Cook Yourself Happier?

Cook Yourself Happier is a non-profit social enterprise which exists to help those effected by mental health issues by helping them to prepare healthy and delicious meals from scratch. All recipes and ideas are presented not only to include ingredients scientifically proven to improve mental health but also to provide a form of mindfulness through the act of cooking itself. The dishes themselves are chosen so as to provide a range of preparation times and difficulties to accommodate the mood of the cook on any given day.

What was the inspiration to create Cook Yourself Happier?

The inspiration came from my own struggles with mental health over the last 15 years which gives me an excellent understanding of the day to day difficulties faced. As a professional chef with 20 years experience I was able to improve my own condition through altering my diet and I am very familiar with the benefits of mindfulness that cooking can bring. As someone who has seen the benefits that this can offer I was eager to try and help others using the same methods.

Who is the target audience?

The content is primarily aimed at anyone in the UK or worldwide who suffers from any form of mental health issues at any time and who would like to improve their mental health via their diet. However the content presented can and has been used by those without mental health conditions and anyone looking for healthy, nutritious food.

What has been done so far to spread the word?

See our Media page for more details.

How will Cook Yourself Happier be delivered in the future?

Currently all content is delivered online through cookyourselfhappier.com and via social media. This has proven to be very popular and has received a lot of positive feedback and praise. Going forward, as well as continuing my blog and online recipes I would like to expand into new areas of content delivery which will help me spread my ideas to a wider audience. Currently there are plans to undertake the following:

  • Make online cooking videos to run alongside blog posts in order to demonstrate cooking techniques and also to speak directly to viewers to communicate any ideas or tips which may help them.

  • Run cooking workshops and demonstrations in community venues both locally and around the UK to invite the local community to see nutrition meals being prepared and answer any questions they may have in person.

  • Utilise a pop-up kitchen which will travel around the UK performing cooking demonstrations and speaking to local residents as well as community leaders and representatives from mental health organisations about the issues they face and the positive effects a healthy diet can provide. This would be recorded via video and either presented online as a series or edited together into a short film.

  • Produce a series of recipe cards alongside a major supermarket to be displayed in store which will allow readers to conveniently gather all required ingredients and the recipe / nutritional advice in one place.

  • Produce a recipe book which will include delicious, healthy recipes alongside professional photographs of all dishes and stories from my own experiences to inspire the reader.

What challenges are expected to be encountered?

As a single person endeavour Cook Yourself Happier’s main challenge going forward is to spread the word and make as many people as possible aware of what I am offering. I currently work full time and create content in my spare time. It is my dream to turn my passion into my job.

How can interested parties help?

Any assistance from an individual or organisation will always be greatly appreciated. In general that assistance could come in the following forms:

  • Spread the word - any kind of advertisement or promotional material will help to spread the word. This includes working alongside individuals or organisations running like minded projects who would like to combine our efforts and messages. Additionally word of mouth with friends, family and colleagues will help get the Cook Yourself Happier out there.

  • Expertise - The planned media projects in the future will involve expertise which I currently do not have in the form of camera work, sound, video editing and post production. There will also be a need for logistical assistance to move personal and equipment from site to site.

  • Financial - It is my wish to finance Cook Yourself Happier to the greatest possible extent myself but unfortunately this may not always be possible, particularly with some larger projects. Any form of financial contribution or sponsorship would be greatly appreciated and I would be willing to discuss advertisement and product placement in my content as long as it was consistent with the values of Cook Yourself Happier.