The fact that my whole life revolves around cooking nowadays is really funny for everyone that has known me for awhile. I used to really dislike cooking! A LOOOT. And everything that had to do with it. Ever since I was little I had an aversion to washing dishes for example. I remember those days when I first moved out of my parents house and had to wash dishes for 2 hours because I didn’t do it for so many days in a row… I know, gross.! Can anyone relate? 🙂 Not that I love doing the dishes now, but I am ok with it.
I was never a big fan of cooking, but especially after living in NYC for awhile and getting used to ordering and going to restaurants on a more frequent basis, I totally got sucked into this whole “I don’t cook lifestyle”. The thought of coming home and having to stand in the kitchen for 20 minutes felt like the biggest punishment and going grocery shopping felt like a burden. I am originally from Germany and when I told my grandmother that my boyfriend at the time and I go for dinner almost every night she thought we were completely nuts. And even my friends in Germany rarely go out for dinner. It is completely normal for everyone over there to cook fresh food pretty much every night. My german peeps thought that the amount of money we used to spend on not cooking at home is insane. And I have to agree. It is a huge expense that is quite unnecessary, and let’s not even talk about the health benefits of home cooking. 🙂
But we all know that once you have been sucked into comfort, it is hard to “give it up” again. I was kind of forced to change my habits due to health issues. After I decided to focus more on my wellbeing, which meant adopting the autoimmune protocol, I had no choice than to cook my own food. The time had come for me to reconnect to my german roots. 🙂 And what an exciting journey it has been!
I am going to share with you 6 tips that have helped me to go from really disliking everything that had to do with cooking, to starting a food blog and being obsessed with creating new recipes. If I can get excited about cooking, you can too! Also make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook: ” Quick and Health – Easy home cooking for busy people” featuring my favorite quick recipes and tips and tricks on how to get your cooking game going.
Tip number 1: Make cooking part of your daily routine.
What I mean with that is to accept it as something so normal as brushing your teeth. It seems quite logic that preparing your own food should be part of our daily routine. We just have forgotten how to do it and got used to the comfort of packaged foods and take out. I used to get really angry when coming home hungry and having to cook first. But in other countries that is pretty much normal. And if you change your approach it doesn’t feel so painful. Think about this: It probably takes longer to order or wait for your food in a restaurant than whipping up an easy dish. If you are really hangry, grab some nuts or a fruit to get you in a better mood. You will get used to making this switch and after a few weeks it will be your normal routine.
Tip Number 2: It is all about your mindset.
This is closely related to tip number 1. Once you change your mindset it suddenly becomes really easy. Sounds pretty straight forward right? If you keep telling yourself how much you dislike it, it will be very hard. If you catch those thoughts flip them around. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. There is always something positive to focus on! Let’s take grocery shopping as an example: If you are like me and you don’t have a car, carrying shopping bags around can be quite painful. Changing my mindset helped me so much with this. Instead of complaining in my head how heavy the bags are, I just thought of it as a great workout. What a time saver and great way to multitask to carry bags around instead of having to go to the gym to lift weights.
Tip number 3: Have groceries at home.
A little planning goes a long way and it will soon become second nature. Pick your least busy day to get your grocery shopping done. Find a way that works best for you and experiment with different routines. You could pick up your groceries on your way home, or do it on your day off, whatever works for you in the long run. Just remember to never go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
Tip number 4: Start small.
Start with recipes that are simple, have few ingredients and don’t require any fancy cooking skills or tools. Nobody wants to continue doing something that is too time intensive and doesn’t feel rewarding. The more cooking you do the easier it will get. One sheet pan recipes are a great and easy way to starts. Simply add some meat or fish to a baking sheet, and chop up your favorite veggies. Add some olive oil, season, and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Tip number 5: Entertain yourself.
I always make sure I am entertained when I am doing something in the kitchen. That is one of my biggest key elements to success. Unless you really have to focus, a lot of the work in the kitchen can be a bit boring. Chopping, peeling, cleaning up etc. doesn’t really require so much thinking. I use a headset and put my phone in the pocket of a jacket or my apron and catch up with friends and family members while I am cooking. Or I listen to podcasts, TED talks or watch a show in the background. That way time just flies by and you get two things done in one.
Tip number 6: Make it fun.
Make a date out of it and cook with a friend, family member or your significant other. Make sure you pick someone that will support your mission and is positive. You could even organize a cook out.
I hope these tips will help to get your cooking game going. Have you tried any of these or do you have other tricks that keep you motivated to cook? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.