There’s nothing quite like the feeling of cooking a satisfying, healthy meal for yourself. You get to take distinct ingredients and bring them together to create something flavorful and life-giving. What’s more beautiful than that?
But as joyful and healing as the kitchen can be, it can also be a source of stress for many of us. Life is busy and sometimes we’re just too tired or uninspired to whip up a plate of goodness. On those days, cooking can feel more like a task we don’t have time for than a privilege.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, tootsie—cooking ruts happen to all of us, but we’re gonna get you back into your groove in no time.
So if takeout has become a near-nightly occurrence or you’re starting to think you’d rather eat chalk than THAT same boring meal again (you know the one!), then this list is for you.
Ready to fall back in love with the kitchen? Your body, mind, spirit, joy, energy, immunity, waistline and mood will thank you! Try one of these simple tips…
1. Keep your freezer stocked with inspiring meal starters.
When mealtime comes around and my tummy is already rumbling, I find it intimidating to start with a completely blank slate. Know what I mean? Thinking straight while hungry—never mind coming up with something creative to cook—is NOT easy.
That’s why I keep go-to staples in my freezer to help revive my inner chef. That way, I’m not starting from scratch when I get into the kitchen. Veggie and fruit mixes, falafel, pre-cooked whole grains, veggie burgers, and even burritos are some of my faves to keep on hand.
Trader Joe’s is great place to get frozen goodies. Have you had their cauliflower gnocchi?! Ugh… SO good! Amy’s and Dr. Praeger’s also have great options. Look for stuff that’s organic, gluten-free and plant-based, and avoid high sodium content or long, complicated ingredients lists.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not advocating for you to heat up a TV dinner every night. I’m talkin’ about healthy frozen basics that can serve as a jumping off point. Then add your own twist! Turn that veggie mix into a yummy stir fry with a homemade sauce, or make a fresh side salad and guacamole to have with your burrito. Not only does this make your frozen foods more exciting, it also helps you flex those cooking muscles!
2. Experiment with raw foods.
Eating light, bright meals filled with fresh fruits and veggies is easy during the spring and summer, especially when our favorite produce is in season. Personally, raw fruits and veggies are year-round staples in my household (daily juices and smoothies are a MUST), but I know that many of you aren’t exactly craving crisp salads and raw, chilled soups during the colder months. Instead, you might be reaching for those warm, tummy-filling treats at every meal.
The thing is, raw foods are SO good for us! And I don’t know about you, but when I’m not getting enough of ‘em, my body tells me so. I’ve found that making a conscious effort to incorporate more raw foods into my meals, especially in the winter, is a surefire to get out of a cooking rut.
Need some ideas for making raw foods a bigger part of your diet? Check out my top 10 tips for enjoying more raw foods here!
3. Mix up your routine with new recipes.
Cookbooks collecting dust? Here’s a great way to bring some excitement back: Grab one (here are some of my all-time favorites) and choose a recipe you’ve never made before.
If you’re having trouble deciding, just play recipe roulette! Close your eyes, start flipping, then stop on a random page. Open your eyes… and voila! Whatever you landed on is your new recipe, so let’s get cookin’ good lookin’!
Another tip: When it comes to incorporating new recipes into your routine, I encourage you to go slow. It can be easy to feel like you need to revamp every meal to reignite your spark in the kitchen. But when you take it one recipe at a time, you give yourself the chance to enjoy the process and figure out what really gets your taste buds tingling—it might not be what you’re used to!
Need some easy, nutritious AND delicious recipes to add to your repertoire? Join my Crazy Sexy Recipe Club! Members get access to exclusive free content like bonus recipes, extra love notes from me, a starter pack that includes 9 gorgeous recipe cards and other awesome goodies.