5 ways to find motivation to cook

I hate Martha Stewart.

Okay, hate is a strong word. I don’t really hate her. I actually find her recipes and tips to be very helpful and delicious. But you can’t deny that she portrays the vision of the ultimate housewife. Someone who effortlessly cooks everything from scratch, managing to impeccably decorate her entire house while entertaining large numbers of guests, all while never breaking a sweat.

Let me be clear with you: that is not real life.

Chances are if you’re human, there are days when your house is a mess, there are no clean dishes left, and there’s nothing in the fridge. It happens. Even to me, it happens. And when life is crazy busy, chaotic, and feels like you’re being pulled in multiple directions, cooking may be the last thing on your mind. 

Good thing you have me in your corner, amiright? I’m no Martha, but I am here to remind you why it’s essential to cook home-cooked, healthy meals. Because when we cook with our own two hands, we give our bodies more nourishment than can ever be found in any restaurant, prepared food counter, or meal delivery service.

In case this week is nutty, or you know it’s coming up around the corner, I’m sharing 5 ways to find motivation to cook, even when you really don’t want to. Read on…

1. Remember your WHY.
With anything challenging in life, reconnecting to your "why" is the surest way to restore purpose and passion. What does this mean? It's simple. Ask yourself WHY you're doing it. Why do you love your career? Why do you cook family dinners for ever holiday? What is it about these things that make it sooo worth it? 

When it comes to cooking, ask the question: Why do I cook? You probably have a ton of reasons that are personal to you, but just in case you need a place to start, I have a list of Top 10 Reasons to Cook. Reconnect to your reasons, and hold those close to your heart every time it's time to get in the kitchen. This will give you that little boost you need to get into the kitchen, bring more love to your food, and make it ALLLL worthwhile.

2. You can start small.
Cooking can feel like the tallest mountain, especially if you're new to the kitchen. Whether it's your first rodeo at the cutting board, or it's simply not your favorite activity, start small. When the cooking tasks are simple, quick, and easy, you'll feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you get everything done. Perhaps you start with what you know (fun fact: I started with tuna salad and scrambled eggs!). Or you pick 1 new recipe to try each week or month, so you continue to build on your food knowledge. Once you get the hang of those smaller tasks, you'll gain more confidence to keep growing your kitchen skills. Before you know it, cooking will feel like a breeze. 

3. Start batch cooking.
Batch cooking means setting aside time once a week to prepare mix-and-match dishes that enable you to feel nourished during even the busiest week. Yes, it does require a little planning ahead -- thinking about the menu for the week, spending a few hours on a Sunday afternoon or Monday night to grocery shop and prepare meals for the coming days. But the way I look at it is, a few short hours once a week actually adds hours to the weeknights of our lives, so when we batch cook, we have MORE time and energy to live our lives later in the week. 

This is what makes batch cooking so brilliant. Once it’s done, IT’S DONE. You have so much time left in your week to get back to your social calendar and to-do list, and don’t have to even THINK about what’s for dinner. Knowing I'll have more time to myself is so unbelievably motivating. It’s a no-brainer.

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4. Cook with friends or someone you love.
Community is everything. When we include our favorite people -- whether it's a gal pal or a significant other, the healthy lifestyle we're working towards is so much more sustainable. We can cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, and dare I say, even have FUN (gasp!).

I love throwing dinner parties for friends. Potluck cooking dates are great, too; I'll bring the protein, you bring the veg, and we'll cook it when we get to your house. However you approach it, spending this time with others will take the chore out of your cooking and motivate you to actually get cooking in the kitchen.

5. Turn to gratitude.
Whenever I loathe something -- whether it's a task, situation, or person -- I can count on my old friend G to bring me back. Gratitude, that is. It's that little act that brings me back to what's important in life and sets my head straight. Cooking is one of my favorite ways to express gratitude.

Next time you want to thank someone, send them a healthy homemade treat, or treat them to a homemade dinner. In my experience, this small little act of gratitude speaks volumes (and selfishly makes me feel like a million bucks). Making others and myself feel amazing? Well, there's nothing more motivating than that.

 

Now I want to hear from you. What motivates YOU to get cooking? What are the tools you use to get you back into your kitchen when life gets crazy? Share in the comments below, and who knows, maybe you’ll inspire someone else to get back in their kitchen!

Happy & healthy,
Michelle