Change Your Mindset: Cooking

Elizabeth Picardi

It's 8pm, you've been on your feet for over thirteen hours and you're exhausted. First thing when you get home is to figure out how to feed yourself; however, when you open the fridge you have some limited ingredients and you're not quite in the mood to cook -- yet again you open up your favorite online order app and order delivery. What should it be this night? A pizza sounds good.

Particularly in the United States we have lost our ability to cook and take care of ourselves. We preach that self care is ordering take out, getting facial masks, and sitting on our butts. Yes, we all need R&R sometimes but self care isn't just having others take care of you -- but taking care of yourself! By making several mindset changes you can look at activities like cleaning out your fridge, cooking your own food, and getting your daily exercise in as self care. Today, I am going to share with you how to get past several roadblocks that might be preventing you from reaching truely taking care of your body and mind.

Taking the time out of your day to cook yourself a delicious nourishing meal is not a chore - it is a privilege, something that you should look forward to (YESSS!! You should get EXCITED about cooking for yourself). Next time you have the opportunity to cook for yourself practice this: think of it as an enjoyable activity that you can look forward to. Instead of, ''I have to find something to eat,'' think, "I'm going to create something good for myself.''  Throw on a podcast, listen to your favorite album, or invite company to cook with you. 

But why do we view cooking for ourselves as a chore? As something that is taking away from us? Well, there's grocery shopping, the dreaded fridge that is full of condiments and old take out, and doing the dishes. 

First let's talk about grocery shopping. Grocery shopping takes time, usually grocery stores aren't that nice and decorated with ugly tiles and florescent lighting, parking, shopping carts. It sucks. Well, how can we make this better? 

Grocery Shopping:
1. Let someone do it for you. There are many grocery delivery sites. Some stores will even pack or deliver your groceries for FREE. This is a huge time saving factor if that is your main concern. 
2. Go to nicer markets (if it's a financial possibility): shop at farmers markets, utilize CSAs, and go to your local butcher. Not only will you be supporting your local farmers and butchers; however, the quality of the food you get will be MUCH better and your food will taste MUCH better. Also, local shopping is better for the environment and local business. 
Fridge Hygiene:
1. Open your fridge
2. Ask yourself this: "How does it feel when I open my fridge?'' Does it feel organized or chaotic? Do you even HAVE a variety of whole foods that are easy to prepare and/or ready to eat?
3. Take the time to clean out and organize your fridge. Personally, I like to have some lean protein cooked and ready to eat as well as carbohydrates and vegetables that are easy to sauté up. Prepping ingredients as you go is a lot less time and planning intensive. You also have more ability to change up what you eat day to day while easily eating healthy food. 

1) Carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits

2) Dairy and Tofu products
3) Higher glycemic carbohydrates: cooked pasta, rice, bread ect.
4) Eggs, egg-whites, milks
5) Cooked lean protein 

1. Use positive words when talking about cooking for yourself
2. Cook food that you like to eat and brings back happy memories. Make your food look good and season your food well so it is enjoyable to eat. Don't cook or eat foods you do not like -- there are way too many foods out there for that!
3. Cook with friends. Make yourself accountable, find a cooking buddy and share recipes with each-other that look fun to make. 
4. Document and share your meals! Have pride in the food that you make and eat.

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