Sure, we all know we should eat less processed and more home-cooked meals… but that’s easier said than done, right?! Trust me, I get it. I’ve been known to order pizza in a state of exhaustion more than once. But I know how important it is to cook for my kids, so I make it a priority as much as possible (with non-toxic cookware, of course). Note that I didn’t say it’s a priority all the time!
I know I’m not alone with this struggle. So when I met Britney Shawley, I had to learn more from her. Britney is a Mindset Coach, specifically focused on helping others find the joy in cooking. I invited her to be a guest expert for the VIPs in my signature program, The Healthy Home Method. Our conversation was so great and touched on so many practical tips, I wanted to share a small piece of what we talked about with all of you.
I hope you find this as interesting and helpful as I did!
Mindfulness in the Kitchen
When I teach others about how it is that they can bring love and joy into cooking, it always begins with mindfulness.
Mindfulness by definition is: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
When we are conscious and aware during the Act of Cooking, the energy we are carrying literally affects the food. I bet you have had a meal that was out of this world delicious, yet it was so simple. It was the LOVE that made it so good. It’s the Mindfulness that brings love into our meals, naturally.
Mindfulness takes you out of the thinking mind (often fear/ overwhelm) and places you into this Now moment where your heart, love and soul is. It is from this mindful place, where you will do your best work and cook your best meals.
That is because mindfulness gives us the extra boost in motivation and energy we need, to do what we need to do, instead of being caught in the thoughts about it and talking ourselves out of doing it.
Mindfulness is a way to be fully present in this now moment so that we can enjoy exactly where we are… even if that’s doing the dishes.
Here are 3 steps to help you to bring Mindfulness into the kitchen.
1) Start Your Day Right
When you wake up in the morning, decide for the kind of day you want.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to feel when I cook today? What do I even want to cook today?” When you set your mind right as soon as you wake up, and decide to have an enjoyable and calm experience in the kitchen, you are far more likely to have that experience then if you leave it to the moment to happen.
You are learning to be fully engaged in choosing the thoughts you think and the feelings / responses that you have to every situation in your life. A big way, to have a big step in the direction of success in this area is to set up your own Morning Routine.
2) Plan Ahead
When you take some time on, let’s say a Sunday for example, to decide the meals you want to make the upcoming week, you are allowing yourself to be prepared. You are also actively taking stress off your future self through this one simple task.
You can spend 20 minutes planning ahead / meal prepping. Or you can spend 1 hour chopping vegetables, making soup, making hummus, washing greens, prepping some small tasks for the busy week ahead. How much time you devote to Planning ahead is up to you.
This also allows you to take all those extra thoughts and stress off your shoulders when it comes to meal time. Why? Because you already planned ahead, you already know what to make, you decided on the exact meal you will make that day in the morning and you no longer have to think about food until you pick up that recipe (or pull it from the memory bank) when it’s time to cook. This step of Planning Ahead helps to save so much time and stress I cannot express it enough!!! You will then be able to BE mindful as its not 5pm and the kids are hungry, you’re hungry and you have nothing de-thawed or ready.
Final thought here… when you think about the meals you will make for the upcoming week, write down the recipes that you’ve decided to cook on your white board! (You can get one with magnets on the back for the fridge.) You can then reference this white board in the morning to decide what to cook that way, and take out any meat, soak beans or grains and get ready to have a mindful and enjoyable kitchen experience.
3) Ask for Help
The best way I can demonstrate the power of this tip is to tell you a story.
I have a client who has been working with me for a while. She came to me because she wanted to feed her children healthier meals and she wanted to overcome the overwhelm that she feels when it comes time to cook.
There was one day where her family was coming to visit. She felt extra stressed and strung out. She was not sure if she would get everything done on time. She hit a point while making food that she got very very overwhelmed. She did not know what to do, but then she remembered what I told her. I told her to ask for help.
So she took a moment and stopped cooking. She turned off the burners so she could fully pause and quiet her mind. She prayed and asked for help, and peace, and calm and the ability to get through this meal without falling apart inside herself.
She then breathed deeply a few times, turned back on the burners and got back to cooking. Within 10 minutes family arrived and they were eager to help. Because she was now calm, she was able to direct her family as to what to do and how to help and they ended up having a happy, enjoyable time communicating and cooking together.
This was the first time her family cooked with her in the kitchen, and it bonded them like nothing ever had before. She called me the next day so excited to share the power of asking for help to overcome overwhelm.
You don’t have to do it alone. This is an ask and receive universe, and when we ask for what we want, its given us.
Britney Shawley is a mindset coach, educating on how to make cooking an enjoyable act of love. You can find her at www.wholeandhealthykitchen.com and on Facebook. She has created a package for you to learn how to set up your own Miracle Morning Routine.