Cooking at Home: A Journey Towards Balance
This is a letter to you. I am fully aware that this may be an unusual format for a blog post, but it fits the moment and my theme.
I want you to know that you are seen. I want you to know that the struggles of cooking on a consistent basis are real. I am here trying my darndest to make it easier for you. I am creating free content as well as paid classes that help those who are choosing to eat out less and cook at home more. I am designing this to fit those who know some basic preparation techniques, but still feel like it takes forever to prepare and cook a meal. If you fit this need (description), let me tell you that there are many ways to easily and quickly level up and make it easier to cook at home on a regular basis. I also know what this would mean for your health, your budget, and your lifestyle. Freedom to cook whatever you want, easily is within reach, I promise!
Now on another level, there are plenty of people out there who do manage to cook at home on a regular basis. And I am here for (you) too! We get tired of the same recipes, and the same ingredients over and over. We get complacent and sometimes we realize that the dishes we are making aren’t doing much for our energy or our health. I have discovered several techniques and learned enough about recipe construction over the years that make it easier to create new recipes on a daily basis. This helps us expand the variety of foods we make without killing our budget. It allows us to test out new ingredients and makes it easier to have variety and loads of flavor in each dish!
The reason I am writing a letter overarching these two groups of individuals today, is because I know that I can help fill both needs. Whether you feel like you need the techniques for speed or would like to expand your knowledge of recipes, you are in a place of growth. You are here because you are choosing to improve your culinary abilities, not because you feel the need to make this a career or a hobby, but because you want to expand self-growth. You have an understanding that to be able to do more at your job, to do more for your family and to give yourself more time to do the things you love, food is an integral piece to that lifestyle puzzle. I don’t mean to aggrandize it, but I feel strongly that having a good meal can energize and transition your day for the better. If we take the steps to better understand where energy comes from, we can be passionate about what makes us feel good, and then get better and better. Food and water are our energy sources. Exercise can increase your energy, as long as your initial source of energy allows for that exercise habit to form.
So, here we are in this understanding that eating can help many other aspects of our lives, what now?
Let’s start with a few easy steps that can get us in a better place for launching this new culinary journey for our soul.
1. Assess your kitchen: Look at the kitchen space you have and ask- Is this working for me? Does it flow for ease of use? Look at the pantry or cabinets and ask- Do I have the things I need to make the foods I want to make? (Don’t worry if you have no clue what to look for, the next few questions can help you out) Do I have oils and vinegars (or other acids like lemons)? Do I have a variety of spices and dried herbs? Do I have easy access to fresh herbs?
Look at your dry foods and ask- Do I have healthy grains and other carbohydrates that will help me feel good and energized? Do I have supplemental vitamins that will help me better digest the foods I consume so that nutrients assimilate into my body and can give me energy? (It’s ok if you have them elsewhere in your house, I suggest you discuss this need with your doctor, but most of us are missing certain nutrients that can easily be remedied by this).
2. Assess the foods you eat: Look at the meals and snacks you eat daily. I suggest keeping a food journal or use an app to help you track. Important note: Do not judge your consumption of foods right away, there are many different foods that hold nutritional value and many that do not, but be neutral about your intake. You cannot assess correctly if you are automatically judging yourself. Take the time over a few days, a week or even a month. Ask yourself the following questions: Am I eating the same foods all the time? Am I eating the same types of food when I eat at home? Am I eating the same types of food when I eat out? Am I getting enough healthy proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates to help me feel good and energized? Am I eating foods with a lot of unintelligible ingredients in them? Am I eating foods with a lot of sugars in them? Am I missing vegetables in my diet?
3. Assess what you want to eat more of and eat less of: Look at the changes you would like to make to help you gain more energy for your day. You can do some research at this stage. Search for the things that will help you, food wise, improve your certain needs for extending your health and energy. (We are slowly working on providing more information and resources for you in these areas).
Make an “Eat this” list, a “stay away from” list, and a “I could take it or leave it” list.