Cooking has always been stressful for me. It was an arduous task of shopping, preparing, and cooking up foods until I joined the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program. As a Registered Dietitian, my kitchen skills have been somewhat short on confidence. This, in part, was the lack of connecting the nutrition world to the culinary world in our training. Prescribing a diet was not really helping the client when they entered their own kitchen and didn't know how to translate it or even know how to shop. And how was I going to make it easier for them if I could not help myself?
Lack of experience, hours of the daunting task of finding a recipe, followed by the ingredient overload, just increased my anxiety through the years. The quick meals, unplanned grocery store visits, processed "healthy" foods continued to ensue. The prescribing of diets in work also continued. Until the path less traveled called my name.
Amidst this unprecedented time, a leap of faith, and stirring up of a passion for food and more knowledge, the kitchen has been my north star, my one real constant. Joining the Academy of Culinary Expert program has enhanced my dietetics training, challenged me, and made me better equipped to inspire and guide individuals. Now more than ever, we need to feel hope, simplify our life in whatever that looks like to you, and take time for what really matters. Through all the planning, development, and actual cooking I have experienced with this program, I realized that food is medicine. We need to share this with the world and go forth confident in our abilities to transform our own life not only in the kitchen but in whatever we endeavor to do.
Simple ideas to build confidence in the kitchen
- What kind of foods are you passionate about it? Find recipes for those specific foods that you're interested in and start there. Then venture outside your food comfort zone. Places to look are Pinterest, follow Instagram for ideas, watch YouTube videos.
- Start your own catalog of recipes and commit to cooking at least 1-2 times a week, trying new recipes. Have your family get involved for fun, taste testers, and help you clean up!
- Tour a store and feel inspired by the kitchen products and gadgets.
- Turn on the music, cook, and feel your stress reduce. Becoming familiar with this feeling will make you want to revisit over and over. As stress decreases, confidence increases.
- Have fun taking pictures of your creations and post; involve friends and a community of like-minded people for encouragement.
- Notice how you’re feeling from a health perspective, cooking from scratch and putting real whole foods in your body. This will inspire you to continue the journey into the kitchen.