As you can tell, I talk a lot about food on my blog. That is because the greatest influences in reversing disease in my patients are food choices. As a strong promoter of the “food is medicine” mantra, I stress how important home cooking is for good health. What many people don’t know is that I did not always like to cook. What’s more is that I did not know how to cook. I was not the kid that grew up helping my mom bake biscuits. Instead, I was the latch-key kid that could make a mean grilled-cheese until mom got home from work. Then I grew up and became more of the Carrie Bradshaw-kind, storing sweaters in my oven. No, I’m not proud of it, but those grilled-cheese sandwiches got me this far in life. The truth of it all was that not knowing how to cook was often frustrating, embarrassing, and made me hate the idea of ever cooking altogether. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I moved away for my first job, got serious about my health, and I began learning how to cook [edible] meals.
If you are anything like me and find cooking to be more like rocket-science than a form of relaxtion, here are some ways to help you not hate cooking so much. Habits can change with practice and over time.
- Create a kitchen space you enjoy spending time in. Paint the walls a new color. Buy a new appliance to play with. Swap out your current decor for a new set of mittens, aprons, placemats, etc.
- Make it host-friendly. If you have an island, sit stools in front of it. If you have an eat-in space, fit a small table and 2 chairs there. This way, you can have friends or family keep you company as you work on creating something to eat.
- Try new recipes when you are not pressed for time. Frustration will make you resistant to trying it again. Use a lazy Sunday afternoon or a day off with nothing else planned to experiment.
- Try recipes that are fool-proof. They must have very few steps. It must take 1/2 hour or less to prepare. With the exception of the main fresh items, the ingredients should be easily found in your kitchen pantry and fridge. Sweet potatoes are pretty foolproof and they make any meal tastier. Pasta is easy. Many veggies cook quickly and act as a great base for any meal.
- Play your favorite Youtube video or music playlist for energy pumping motivation.
- Try a food delivery membership service like Blue Apron or Plated. They ship the food and explain step by step how to prepare tasty meals.
- Pick one meal to practice. Make it every week until you are very good at it. Don’t make it every day or you will start to dislike the meal. A few days in between will break up the monotony.
- Buy or make yourself a darling apron. This might inspire you to get cookin in the kitchen.
- Offer to cook something for a friend that you know won’t hurt your feelings. This coerces you to pick a reasonable recipe and actually put time into practicing since there is someone expecting a meal from you.
I’m still learning how to cook, but I’ve come a long way. Not only am proud of my dishes, but I feel I have more control over my health. If you hate the kitchen, don’t give up on cooking just yet!
Here are two of my favorite sites for foolproof recipes. If you follow exactly what they say, you will get the perfect dish every time!