I love cooking. I really do. I love the creative process of blending spices and improvising to create a meal that is delicious and healthy. I like finding substitutions for common “bad guy” ingredients (I’m looking at you cream!). It truly gives me great pleasure making food with love for my husband and friends.
But to be honest, my energy peaks in the hours of 11-4. When it is time to cook dinner, I very often do not want anything to do with the kitchen. I get the worst cravings for Korean-Mexican fusion (yes it is a thing, and it is delicious!). The laziness and cravings are the worst if I work late, or do an evening exercise class. Next thing you know I’m sitting in front of the TV with a plate of Kalbi tacos. Bad health coach, bad!
I’m sure I am not alone in this struggle. That is why I have compiled my 5 best tips for overcoming what I like to call, “cooking apathy.”
1. Be prepared
Being prepared enables good behavior. At the beginning of the week go to the grocery store and buy some key ingredients. The guilt of having food in the fridge that will go bad if its not used should be enough to get you into the kitchen. If you have ingredients on hand you can whip something together before you finished typing “grubhub.”
2. Make meals in advance (duh)
This may seem obvious, but this is the best way to avoid cooking apathy- if you do the work in advance, then you don’t need to worry later! Always make more than you plan to eat and you can save time and energy for later meals in the week. Another variation of this: invite your bestie over and make freezer meals. Prepare all of the ingredients for several slow cooker meals, and then you will have meals on hand for days when that your couch + SVU marathon win the struggle.
3. Find a recipe that sounds so delicious, you can’t wait to try it
Pinterest, a new cookbook, that thing your friend made last week you couldn’t get enough of- all of these are pure gold for cooking motivation. ‘Nuf said.
4. Enlist help
Many hands make light work. If you are living with your best GF, try splitting tasks. You make the entrée if she makes a side. Or bring your fi into the mix as sous chef or cleaning duty. I am not blessed with a husband who enjoys cooking. If you have a man that has skillz in the kitchen, put him to work! You could switch off days making meals for each other. So sweet. Now I’m jealous.
5. Make it a ritual
I am trying to instill good habits for my marriage. In my ideal world, every night would be the two of us eating at the table enjoying a delicious homemade meal and a glass of wine. That is not always possible, but it is something to strive for. Eating at the table helps us to reconnect at the end of the day and it inspires me to get cooking! Extra credit: turn the phones off while you eat! No interruptions = more time with your boo.
If all else fails, have a healthy eating out plan so that you aren’t shoving kimchi fries in your face. One of my favorite nearby restaurants has a Buddha bowl on the menu. You can’t go wrong with brown rice, green veggies, and tofu! It is so yummy and a nice splurge if you just can’t muster up the strength to get it together in the kitchen!
What's your favorite way to overcome cooking apathy?