With active schedules, meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking can feel like a tedious chore. But with a shift in mindset, these mundane, but necessary tasks can be rather remarkable—turning simple ingredients into a meal that will nourish the body and soul.
Being mindful and present allows focus on the little things. The sizzling of garlic and onions, the smell of freshly cut basil and thyme, and the satisfaction of cutting through a perfectly ripened avocado, can bring you into the present moment and create an appreciation for food.
Upon entering the kitchen, check your mindset. If you begin food preparation with an ‘I don’t like this,’ attitude, the cooking process will certainly not be fun. Turning on your favorite playlist or Podcast, or pouring a favorite beverage, and giving yourself the time to appreciate the process, the more joyful it will be.
Give your kitchen a tune-up, making it a space you enjoy cooking and gathering in. A great time-saving hack is to re-organize the cabinets so the most common cooking items (spices, kitchen gadgets, and utensils) are conveniently and strategically placed. Declutter the countertops. Even a small kitchen feels larger when the countertops are cleared of unnecessary items. Add new kitchen rugs and dish towels to freshen up your space.
The right kitchen tools will make your cooking experience efficient. A sharp knife, a favorite cutting board, stainless-steel cookware, a lemon juicer, and a garlic peeler are among my favorite gadgets.
For some, cooking alone is a dream, but it does not have to be a singular affair. Consider asking the family to help. Cooking connects kids to their food, helping them become curious to try new foods.
Often the hardest part of cooking is deciding what to make. Schedule a day of the week for menu planning. When creating your menu, utilize your weekly calendar. Consider doubling a recipe one evening, saving the leftovers to serve later in the week when work or a child’s after-school activity tightens the schedule. Create a concise grocery list. By doing so, it will keep you organized, and it can save you money, too.
Make a family favorite meal! Cooking and eating are not just about good health, but also about enjoyment and connection with the ones you love.
Have fun with food! Try something you have never tried before. Experiment with new recipes and new ingredients. If something does not turn out right, just try again next time or discard that recipe and go on to a new one. Progress over perfection, my friend!
Let the joy of cooking become your new passion!
XOXO- Coach Rina