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.
4. Reassess what is in your kitchen: Look at what types of foods are in your pantry and in your fridge, grab each item and ask- Does this item fit in any of these lists? If it fits into your “eat this” list, set it aside to put back in its place once you are done with this assessment. If it falls into your “I could take it or leave it list”, set it aside with a note ( sticky note, piece of tape to mark it or a marker to identify that it is in this category). The note is necessary so you can assess later whether you actually need it for your meals or if you are not even consuming them regularly. This will help you weed out what should always be in your kitchen, in your meals, and available at all times and what is unnecessary.
This brings me to the final list. If you have identified that there are foods that you do not want to be eating, don’t keep them in your kitchen! You are allowed to be unapologetic about throwing out things that are not doing you any good. You can be very sustainable and eco-friendly about how you dispose of things, if you feel inclined. But you should not feel like you must keep ingredients that are not serving you. Bring them to a food pantry if they are sealed, give them to a neighbor, etc. I will bring up one final point, you may be the only one in your household that wants to make this change, and I understand that. If you have had a conversation with others, and they feel that they want to consume different foods than yourself, then designate separate sections of the kitchen that reflect who is consuming which ingredients and simplify through finding the common ingredients that most will be satisfied with. Most people will be happy to adjust in this way. This will help you feel less inclined to consume those foods that you feel are not serving you energetically.
5. Find resources that will support your growth. Join a group of people that are following a similar path as you, support can make a huge difference as to whether you keep with it or give up. Listen to podcasts, read articles and blogs, and do your research to expand your understanding. Join a class that will help you gain the courage and make you feel empowered in your journey. Learn all that you can to help you stay consistent and help you get back up when you fall. It is only failing if you don’t keep trying, it is a journey, not a destination.
Reader, you are not alone. There is a growing movement in which people are trying to find more balance in their lives. Your food journey can be a huge part of that evolution. Clean foods and balanced nutrient consumption will help you feel alive, focused, and ready to take on other chapters in your life. I am here to support that journey. Find your freedom in life, with food freedom at the core.
If you feel connected to this post, please feel free to comment and ask questions. Find connections and join the movement to better your life. You can look for resources on our blog site, sign up for our newsletter to keep updated with other free resources, and look for our cooking classes that can support your growth.
About Becky W.:
Chef, Cooking Instructor, and Owner of Becky's Pixie Kitchen.
My goal is to impact as many people, through my passion for food, in order to improve their lives with physical health, mental health, and quality of life.
At Becky's Pixie Kitchen we create cooking classes for the community to help kids and adults who want to cook at home, by providing instruction that promotes enthusiasm, encourages curiosity and focuses on the important pieces that make techniques and recipes easy and repeatable.