Self-Care Starts In The Kitchen!

Kitchen from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Dru Kelly, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

We need to talk.

I’m hearing so often from people that they have limited time to spend cooking in the kitchen.

I get it. We’re all so busy working long hours; commuting; ferrying kids around; and just plain exhausted when we ARE home.

The thing is; eating; not just in terms of WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat, is so important to our wellbeing.

Obviously there’s going to be times when we just can’t (for whatever reason), but I believe it’s worth making damn sure that most days in the week we devote a certain amount of time to preparing at least one of our daily meals (ideally the main meal) in the kitchen.

No matter whether it’s a fancy schmancy dish, or you’re just whacking a spud in the oven to bake and heating up some baked beans; time spent in the kitchen is time well spent.

Maybe this is easy for me to say and I’m not being understanding of people’s lifestyles, but if you are so busy that you don’t have enough time to invest in self-care (of which cooking for yourself definitely is), I feel like this is not a sustainable situation.

If you’re a gazillionaire and can afford a vegan meal delivery service bringing fresh meals to your door every day – more power to you.

But even if you WERE a gazillionaire who could afford a vegan meal delivery service – this still isn’t ideal, because you’ll have little connection to the food you’re eating.

You won’t have gone through the creative (and oftentimes meditative) process of preparing and cooking your meal, which would’ve invested you with an emotional connection to it.

And I KNOW you guys are better than this but just in case anyone is about to utter these words; please stop with the ‘but I can’t cook‘ BS.

Can you read? Well then you can cook.

Yes you can.

Stop it.

No-one knew how to cook before they tried it. They just bothered their arse to read a recipe and follow the instructions. The more you do it the more you’ll learn what goes with what and get creative about adding and adjusting ingredients. Just DO IT. Because you CAN!

 

Here are my 4 sneaky ways of guilting encouraging you to get yo’ ass into the kitch! 🙂

 

1. Make kitchen time non-negotiable

Reframe kitchen time in your mind as something that is not up for negotiation. See it in the same light as cleaning your teeth; washing your clothes; wiping your butt…uh…sorry for that last one, but you get the point. Lots of people currently see it as something they can choose to do or not do.

You can choose to spend an hour cooking yourself a delicious meal, or watching a couple of eps from your current favourite box set and dialling some grub in. Let’s take the choice out of kitchen time and make it something we do automatically on most days.

 

2. Make your kitchen a place where you want to hang out!

‘But I have a crappy kitchen’ I hear you say.

Yup, me too.

Doesn’t matter how swanky or downmarket your kitchen is. Mine is a small kitchen in a London flat. It has old-fashioned units and laminate counter tops. However, I feel warm towards the space as I’ve spent many hours there cooking great food. I’m happy to be there as long as it’s clean and somewhat ordered.

Make the effort to always have clear and clean counter space. If you haven’t already, organise your pots and pans and cooking stuff so you know where everything is.

Your kitchen doesn’t have to be all shiny stainless-steel and granite surfaces; it just has to be a clean, pleasant space that you want to spend time in.

To that end…..

 

3. Cooking time is podcast or music time!!

Some may say ‘no, you must put your entire focus on the food you are preparing.’ I say pish! I’ve made a ton of meals to the accompaniment of my fave podcast or album and in my opinion it does NOT detract from the focus you give the meal you’re making or affect the end result.

Anything that makes you enjoy kitchen time and associate it with fun and relaxation is cool with me.

 

4. See kitchen time as an investment in your wellbeing

As much as exercise, meditation or any other self-care activity you partake in; time spent in the kitchen is an investment in your wellbeing.

If you can make it a habit as much as these other things are, you’ll feel the benefits both physically and mentally.

These benefits include:

  • You’ll be eating much better quality food than if you eat out or take out.
  • Restaurant and take-out food often contains way more oil than it needs to. If heart disease or weight loss is an area of concern to you, the best thing you can do is to cook your own meals.
  • The processes of chopping, stirring, mixing etc (depending on what you’re making!) can be surprisingly relaxing and meditative.
  • Even if you’ve done bugger-all else all day – by making a delicious meal you’ll get that sense of achievement and feeling that you’ve done something super productive.
  • You’ll be constantly learning about food. The more you cook, the better your food will get!

 

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