Recently, I have a new found joy for cooking. I used to spend hours of my day preoccupied by food, anxious around mealtime and at the grocery store, and collecting recipes that I never made. I often ate the same meals every single day for weeks to avoid discomfort! This may sound familiar to you, although our discomfort around food and cooking can vary significantly. Not only was I spending too much time thinking (negatively) about food, it also took away the enjoyment of food and cooking that I have recently discovered.
Cooking can be daunting, especially if you have never really cooked anything before. The reward of having a delicious tasting meal that you made is worth it. I recommend tackling the challenge by cooking one new meal per week. This is a gentle approach to cooking, and can limit unrealistic expectations. It can be an easy meal that you have never made before, or one with several ingredients and spices! Also, consider cooking for someone or with someone to make the process that much more enjoyable. Do whatever you think will be helpful for you to start your journey to dining well.
Through cooking, you can discover what dishes you enjoy making, what flavors you like, and what foods you dislike. For me, cooking is also a creative outlet! Trying new recipes, altering them to my taste, and putting dishes together are great ways for me to be creative. In my own experience, altering my thoughts and approach to cooking have opened several new doors that were closed before, like trying new cuisines or unusual dishes, or trying a challenging recipe. I have channeled my food, meal and grocery shopping anxiety into creativity and enjoyment. I promise this step is worth it.
● Create a less daunting week in terms of meal prep: create a shopping list to just go once per week, and have your dinners planned out ahead of time. If the recipe and time permits, think about preparing things ahead of time.
● Peruse our very own HartsSpace Pinterest page for inspiration on your cooking adventures and start your own board of recipes that you would like to try.
● Don’t overdo it. Start with one new meal per week and even repeat that recipe a couple of times. Create cooking habits that you are excited about keeping.