Creating A Happy Kitchen
By Kendra Peterson, November, 2017
Happy, joyful, centered, mindful—these are some of my favorite words. They guide me through my days and help me keep my head on straight! They’re also words that weave their way into the fabric of two important aspects of my life: food and yoga. In my yoga practice, I strive to let the world melt away, to be present and centered in my body. I try to allow my joy and happiness shine through. I do the same when I cook and eat. As a chef, this has helped me grow and succeed.
While happiness can come from anywhere, the majority of my happiness comes from food—from enjoying a meal with others, from preparing food for my clients, from seeing a group of friends eating together and laughing. But others have a more ambivalent relationship to food. Many of my clients, for instance, are juggling food allergies and illnesses; others are picky eaters. Food, for some of these people, is a stressful topic. It’s something they contend with, rather than enjoy.
Here are a few simple ways that anyone can find food happiness: 1. Make the time to cook. It can be simple. Learn how to roast a chicken and then throw some potatoes and carrots in the pan. Learn how to make a simple marinara sauce or how to properly roast vegetables. 2. If you’re allergic to something, most likely there are 10 things you can substitute—don’t let allergies scare you away from enjoying your food. 3. Get inspired by food, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or allowing yourself time to flip through a new food magazine.
I’ve found that many of us are simply too busy to sit down for breakfast. But even if you just share a cup of coffee with your partner before you run out the door, you’ve now started your day with love. Try to take the time to enjoy your food and make meals an opportunity to connect.
Let’s shift how we see mealtime. Give yourself the pleasure of taking a few extra minutes to savor your food, of having a conversation with someone you care about, and I promise you will start to feel more joy and happiness.