Do you find cooking to be a chore? Today, most of us live in a world where we have a choice of what we eat with an endless supply of real food and the opportunity to prepare and cook the food in a kitchen. So I find it sad to hear that so many people find cooking to be a chore.
We no longer need to hunt for our food or grow it ourselves, instead we have beautiful food waiting for us in the fridge or pantry for when we are ready. How lucky are we? We also have the choice of what to consume, which is something we should be even more grateful for. Don’t you agree?
Getting in the kitchen and preparing a meal out of real food is something we are beyond fortunate to be able to do, it is an absolute honour to have this option and ability.
On the flip side though, food manufacturers would have us believe that everything needs to be quick and easy; takeaway, a sauce from a jar, pre-prepared and frozen meals. These foods may look like food, taste like food, although actually aren’t food, because most of them are full of chemicals, additives and preservatives. We are the only species on the planet that puts food and nourishment as our last priority, whereas every other animal on this planet it is of upmost priority.
So how do you move from eating ‘packaged food’ to finding love in cooking?
Below are my top 6 tips for you.
- Add atmosphere to your kitchen. Put on some music, put on a podcast, diffuse essential oils or burn some incense. If you are finding you are bored, uninspired or feel like you are wasting your time, make it a fun event. It makes the experience so, so much better.
- Get everyone involved and help you. Someone to chop the sweet potato, someone to sauté the onion, someone to stir the curry. When everyone helps, it can be fun. If you have kids, it’s great to involve them in the food preparation too, this can be done in a fun, involving educating way. Chat about your day, or dance to some music.
- Have all the ingredients ready to go in your kitchen. Buy spices in bulk, shop 1-2 times a week for your produce and meats, and buy organic canned goods (eg Ayam coconut milk/cream and tomatoes) in bulk. This will allow you to always be able to make ‘something out of nothing’, and stop you from feeling stressed or unmotivated as to what to EXACTLY eat that night, because your fridge and pantry are equipped for anything.
- Order your food online. When your goods come to your door it makes everything more convenient, easier and fun. Herbs, spices, meats, fruit and vegetables can all be delivered to your door. If you are short on time, it will mean that cooking will be the only thing you need to do in order to nourish yourself.
- Don’t make things complicated. If you have realised that your body doesn’t tolerate gluten and dairy – stop trying to replicate everything exactly. Get inspiration from recipe books, and make things as simple as possible; protein, vegetables, herbs and spices, done!
- Batch cooking is the best! Rather than just make one meal at a time, double or even triple the quantity, then divide it into meal size portions. After it’s cooled down you can freeze them. Then when you want a meal, just defrost it in the fridge overnight, and heat it up. For example you can do mince a number of ways – Bolognese, chilli con carne, shepherd’s pie etc
I’ll be honest, I never follow recipes these days! I look at various recipes from people who inspire me, and I then let myself free in the kitchen to create something that is usually combination of many different recipes. You can try this too, although if you are just starting out on this new way of cooking, I suggest you follow recipes to begin with so you know how things will work out.
Here are a few of my favourites;
- The Changing Habits Recipe Book (of course!)
- Pete Evans range of cookbooks
- Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
- Quirky Cooking by Jo Whitton
- Bulletproof by David Asprey
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- Deliciously Ella Everyday by Ella Mills
- Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton/My New Roots
Let me know if you try any of the recipes from these books or if you have your own favourite cookbook.
Happy changing habits
Changing Habits Nutritionist