As JWD and I scribbled down our 2014 goals last week, one goal really stuck out for me: cook more and cook better. Goal writing is not a long-standing tradition for us (2013 was the first), but it proved itself worthy of a repeat. Before we talk cooking, let’s talk goals.
Thinking, writing, and talking about goals can be a powerful catapult to actually achieving them. The more time you spend with your goals, the more REAL and POSSIBLE they become. We like to write ours down, talk about them together, and then post them on the fridge for all to see. This keeps them front and center in our lives, constantly reminding us of what we value. This is key because goals are easy to forget in the daily bustle of life. Out of sight, out of mind. You must make an effort to keep them integrated into everyday life.
Now, back to cooking! Yes, I already cook quite a bit. It’s probably safe to say I cook much more than the average person. However, what many would categorize as “cooking” I do not. When I wrote “cook more” on my goal list, I meant actually cook. Chop things, knead things, sauté things, braise things, follow recipes, and most of all, enjoy and connect with the food while I cook. “Cooking” in 2013 was on auto-pilot… the same things on the menu every week and a lot of non-cooking type of cooking (ex: a bag of frozen veggies + tofu = stir-fry). So what’s the big deal about cooking? Why is it goal-worthy?
The heart and soul of cooking is about connecting with other humans, sharing, expressing love, nourishing our bodies, unleashing creativity, and taking it upon ourselves to fulfill one of our most basic needs. Cooking is now optional in our society. I am even guilty of fueling this notion. When I sit down with clients for our initial assessment I ask “Do you cook?” as if it is elective.
However, eating is not optional. At about the same time Americans excused themselves from the kitchen, obesity and chronic disease rates started to rise. We’ve passed off the important responsibility of food preparation to the food industry and they’ve proven themselves untrustworthy for the most part. It’s time to reclaim this duty. And by doing so we will also reclaim our health, our families, and a deeper appreciation of what we are capable of. Magical things happen when you use your five senses and raw ingredients to create something tasty and nourishing for yourself and people you love.
Cooking every day is not always realistic in our fast-paced jam-packed lives, but doing it whenever you can find the time will be therapeutic. Start small. Here is how I plan to reach my goal:
- Read more about cooking (I’m starting with Michael Pollan’s Cooked).
- Continue planning weekly meals and include new (and intimidating) recipes.
- Cook for others (watch for your invite in the mail (: ).
- Encourage others to cook more by sharing my kitchen adventures and teaching people what I learn about conscious cooking (keep your eyes on the blog!).
Think about your goals. Then write about them, talk about them, and display them for all to see. Map out a plan to make them happen.
And also think about getting your hands dirty in the kitchen once or twice this week.