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It all Comes Back to the Kitchen

Pass on the Powders and pills.  Get rid of the prepackaged bars and get cooking. 

Have you ever noticed that at every party, everyone ends up in the kitchen? It is the common meeting place in busy households for everyone to come together.  Conversation becomes deeper around the table vs in front of the TV.  It is Grandmas domain where she makes her special dish. It is little Lucy’s favorite place, feeling so grown up helping mom prepare dinner.

 

In our fast-paced society, everyone is looking for the easy way out.  The quickest way to get healthy, the least amount of effort with the biggest payoff. Drinking shakes and juices, eating prepackaged bars and  popping miracle pills  by the handful.  Not to mention the amount of money being spent on these products.  What people don’t realize however is that the more of these convenient big promise items we purchase, the further we get to finding the results we are looking for, lasting health and happiness with a lean appearance. We are placing our health in the hands of chemists and manufacturers whose main objective is profit. We become disconnected with food and forgetting how to nourish ourselves claiming lack of time to prepare a meal.  I consistently question this claim  when I overhear water cooler talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones or the amazing play on the game the night before.  Do we really not have time or are we not using that time well.  In order to reclaim your health, it all comes back to the kitchen. Let’s get cooking:

Commit to cooking 1 meal a week.

Simple enough right.  This shouldn’t be too much to ask.  Out of the course of the week, assuming 3 meals a day, we consume 21 meal a week.  So cooking just one of those should be more than realistic to take on.  But here’s the catch, it must be from scratch. Prepare whole foods meals, nothing from a box or bag, that’s cheating.  Plan  a pocket of time, get some groceries, put on some music and get cooking.  If you are not skilled in the kitchen this is the only way to improve. You may surprise yourself. There is a sense of pride that accompanies a meal prepared by your own two hands. This initial low commitment will create a habit, a basis to build from.  One meal will lead to two, two will lead to three and so on.  Not every dish will turn out and that is OK. Learn from it and do better next time.  The flops turn into great stories to tell.  I once filled my entire house with smoke thinking that wax paper would replace parchment paper trying to bake valentines treats for the first Valentines with my now husband. I scraped off the wax and served them anyway.

tacos

Feed your taste Buds

Do you have a favorite dish at a restaurant that makes your mouth drool just thinking about it?  Why not learn to make it yourself?  Look up a recipe ( Everything is accessible online) and try your hand at recreating Chef Pierre’s masterpiece on your own.  9/10 times I have tried this I am more impressed with my dish than the one at the fancy restaurant with the hefty price tag.  Part of this may of course be it is the sweet taste of accomplishment.  But it allows you to add in a little more or a little less seasoning according to your taste.  Portion out a little more or less to suit your needs. And possibly the best part, lick the spoon like when you were a kid.  Point being here, cook something you will be excited to eat not what you think you should be eating.  If you hate kale, don’t plan a meal around it just because you heard its good for you.  Your taste buds will change over time, but for now, let’s keep it simple and cook a dish that will make your taste buds dance.

Take a Class

Do you have a handful of recipes that you keep making repeatedly?  With this rotating menu are you happy with the results you are getting in the mirror? We often get in a routine, also known as a rut, with our skills in the kitchen.  Perhaps it was recipes passed on over the years or self-taught skills that are limited.  Somewhere inside you know you should be doing something different to get a different result but the process can be daunting.  Why not get yourself out of your comfort zone and sign up for a cooking class.  It’s one thing to read a recipe or watch a cooking show but the impact Is 10-fold when you are immersed into a learning environment where you get to see firsthand how simple it can be to create a delicious meal. The best part about this experience is you get to eat your homework!! Make a day of it, grab a friend and instead of going to the local pub for a drink and deep fried appetizers, exchange gossip while learning a new skill.   Give yourself the opportunity to become more comfortable with preparing foods that will support your goals.  There is never shame in asking for help.  Not sure if the same can be said for stubbornly doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

cooking class

Offer to host

I am sure you’ve heard the term, “Breaking Bread with people” Food has a magical way of bringing people together.  In the age of cell phones, texting and emails, we don’t often enough connect with people face to face and share a meal, a few laughs and create memories. So put it out there, invite your friends and family over and show them what you can do.  This in itself will cause you to step up your game in the kitchen.  Choose  a theme and get creative.  It is a great way to explore different types of cuisine and appreciate different tastes.  Ideally after a successful evening, the offer then gets extended your way and you will get to enjoy another homemade meal.  At one point we had created a monthly dinner club.  Each one of our friends would take turns hosting and choose a different theme.  It was always really good food and even better company.  A fantastic way to keep connections strong.  And it all comes back to the kitchen.

dinner party

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