Making Cooking An Enjoyable Experience

As a self-taught chef, it took me years to build confidence in the kitchen and to view cooking as something other than stressful.  I had to do a lot of experimenting, read cookbooks, watched Youtube videos, and learned from friends, but with time I found ways to make cooking a pleasurable experience.  I’m no Martha Stewart, but I’ve mastered various cooking techniques and cleaning methods, and finally figured out a way to successfully cut a goddamn onion without crying. Huzzah!

Kitchen preparation is equally as important as the cooking process.  When you eat, you absorb not only the nutrients but also the energy of the food. Macrobiotics, a dietary philosophy centered around health status, location, age, gender, etc., follows the premise that every action on the food affects the quality and nutritional value of the meal.  Every single slice or chop, the speed of the stirring, the quality of the food, the mood the cook is in, as well as the cleanliness and order of the kitchen, is consumed with the food.  Ever heard the expression “Cook with love?”  Aim for that.  Cook with love, and you’ll taste the love.

Keep a Clean Workspace

I want you to imagine two different scenarios.  In the first one, you walk into your kitchen about to cook and everything is a mess.  Crumbs and wrappers litter your counter and dirty dishes pile high in the sink.  In the second scenario, you walk into your clean, clutter-free kitchen about to prepare a meal.  In which situation do you imagine you’d be more excited or inclined to cook?

More than likely, you chose scenario two. Having a tidy workspace always makes the task at hand more inviting.  According to the Japanese, both cleaning and cooking should be a meditation.  Messy spaces can affect your happiness and heighten stress levels, while clean ones have the opposite impact.  I’ve found that I am so much more in the mood to cook when I have the space to work.  Of course, for some, cleaning can be a drag to do after a meal, so this brings me to my next tip.

                                    Clean As You Go

Julia Child says, “In professional kitchens most chefs enforce the ‘clean as you go’ rule, which prevents unsightly messes from building to unmanageable levels and removes clutter, which can distract even the most efficient cooks as they chop, grill, and plate through the evening.” (source: PBS.org)

Cleaning as you go may sound like a lot of effort, but it’s not. I swear, adopting this kitchen habit has totally improved the entire cooking experience.  Not only does it keep counters clutter-free throughout food prep, but there’s much less mess to clean up after the meal is over. For each meal I cook, I now put a paper garbage bag, compost bag or bowl on the counter as my designated scraps bin (I highly recommend composting to reduce your carbon footprint).  I work on a cutting board and prep each item one at a time, pouring scraps into the compost bag as I go. Each prepped food goes into a bowl to keep things separate.  It takes hardly any effort at all. Look how tidy everything looks in this photo below:

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Have Fun With It

If you aren’t having fun yet, then pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some music, and get your family or friends to help out.  If I find a recipe online, I like to print it out and read through all the directions before I start so that I know exactly what to expect.  I’ve neglected to read through the whole recipe only to find that I wasn’t prepared for some of the later steps.  This would completely halt the cooking process or throw the timing off. Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices and seasoning and always choose fresh, quality products.  The fresher and more seasonal your ingredients, the more delicious and nutritious your food will be.

Good luck and happy cooking!

 

 

 

 

My Mother’s Day Picks

May has totally creeped up on me and mother’s day is only six days away.  Since your lives are busy I thought I’d inspire you with some last-minute gifts for mom.

Essential Oils

Immortelle__38132.1407635769.1280.1280Immortelle- A beautiful blend of powerful essential oils, Immortelle Anti-Aging Blend is formulated to protect and nourish skin while helping to reduce inflammation―a major contributor to the aging process. Supporting skin health at the cellular level, these essential oils sustain smoother, more radiant and Lavender_lgyouthful skin.

Lavender- The most popular oil, lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities. For topical, aromatic, or dietary use.

Lemon_lgLemon- Another favorite, this essential oil powerhouse is cold-pressed from lemon rinds to preserve its delicate nature and potent properties. Lemon is known as a powerful aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser that can be used to complement many other oils. Diffusing lemon in a room can cleanse the air and uplift mood. It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaning booster. For aromatic, topical or dietary use.

Diffuser- There are three methods for using essential oils: aromatically, topically, or New product shots with some blank mockupsinternally.  I love putting my oils in a diffuser either during the day or by my bedside at night, especially since it turns off automatically after a few hours.  Putting the essential oils in the diffuser makes the room smell amazing, and is a great alternative to synthetic air fresheners.

What Is Essential Oil?

Essential oils are natural compounds from plants that have been used for thousands of years for holistic healing.  Plants produce essential oils to protect themselves from bacteria and fungus, deter insects, and slow decay.  Essential oils embody the regenerating, protective, and immune-strengthening properties of plants.  To extract the essential oils from the plant, plant material is steam-distilled at a precise temperature and pressure.

How to use essential oils

-Aromatically- inhale oil directly from an open bottle, use a diffuser, rub a drop of oil between the palms and inhale, or drop on a shirt collar or pillow.

-Topically- apply to the affected area or to the bottoms of feed for spot-treating pain or irritated skin, boosting the immune system and providing systemic effects.

-Internally- ingest the oil using a capsule, add a drop of oil to a drink, or cook with certain oils.  Some oils you cannot ingest (eucalyptus, cedarwood, cypress, arborvitae, white fir, or wintergreen).

Why choose doTerra essential oils?

Essential oils vary greatly in quality, so it’s important to get your oils from a trusted source.  Many “essential oils” on the market are of poor quality and contain fillers and synthetic ingredients.  These will provide little or no therapeutic benefit.  The chemical constituents of the oil is one of the factors in determining the purity and therapeutic value of an oil.  These constituents can be affected by a number of variables: the part(s) of the plant from which the oil was produced, soil condition, fertilizer (organic or chemical), geographic region, climate, altitude, harvest season and method, and distillation process.  doTerra essential oils are Certified Therapeutic Grade and has the correct chemical composition and is 100% pure essential oil, unadulterated by fillers or artificial ingredients, free from pesticides or heavy metals.

Want to know what my favorite oils are or have general questions?  Email me at jessicakhealth@gmail.com or pay me a visit at www.jkhealthcoach.com.

If you’d like to browse more oils and products or purchase some for your mom or yourself, check this site out: http://mydoterra.com/jessicakleidhealthcoaching