The Kitchen: Shifting it from a place of shame to a self-care 

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“ At the end of the day the kitchen is a great place to start nurturing your self-love and worth”

This is a quote that has been on my corkboard behind my computer for the last few years, and I absolutely love it. This quote comes from one of my favourite content creators on Instagram Nasim Lahbichi (@lahbco). Hearing this quote while he cooked a delicious meal was a eureka moment. When I’m working with my clients I encourage them to play with their food, avoid eating habits that lead to stress around meal times (be that counting calories or following strict food rules)  and to have fun in the kitchen. Yet it seems to be a hurdle for many, especially those of us that have been stuck in the yoyo dieting cycle. At the end of the day, shifting your perspective of the kitchen from being a place full of “shoulds” and shame to a place of fun and exploration. This requires two things, skill development and a mindset shift. 

There are two mindset shifts that have to take place to bring about this shift to playfulness in the kitchen. The first is the shift to a growth mindset. When you are stuck in the mindset that we are either good or bad at any task there is no incentive to seek improvement especially if we are not “talented” in a certain area. This, however, is fundamentally untrue. Even the best chef had to learn how to cook at some point in their life, and they most likely sucked when they first started. All things, including cooking, are skill-based. Which means that there are clear skills, teachings and progressions that can be learned to become a better cook. So toss out that mindset that you are “ bad at cooking” with the compost, and learn the fundamentals like knife skills, baking, roasting and sauteing. These skills will take you far. Come to this learning experience with curiosity, start simple and have fun. 

The second mindset shift is the one that comes from the quote that inspired this whole post, cooking for yourself is a form of self-care. Understanding that your body is the vehicle that transports you through this life and how you fuel it will impact how it runs. You are worth the time it takes to cook, eat, and enjoy a meal. You are worth indulging in foods you enjoy and the foods that make you feel good inside and out. Just like we take care of our pets and our family, we are worth the time it takes to feed ourselves with food and drinks that we enjoy and makes us feel our best. In the modern diet culture, food is often framed as the villain or the saviour, yet food is just a tool to fuel our body, mind and soul. We can feed our soul what it needs with comfort food, our body with nutritious food to fuel it so we feel good in our skin, and our mind so that we can think and navigate the world we live in. 

So make time in your day to take care of the body we call home, it will take us far if you take care of it. 

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