Fear. What does it have to do with eating and cooking? A lot. It’s what partially what kept us out of the kitchen for a long time. The fear of how it would change our lives — would we have no time left? Would we turn into crazy hippies and make everything from scratch?
And then, actually doing it — could we do it? (I was a notoriously dismal cook who had problems doing even the simplest tasks in the kitchen.) What if it didn’t work? What if our food turned out disgusting?
And what about trying to eat a “whole food” diet, which sounds so lofty and confusing? What should we eat? What if we couldn’t do it? What if we craved bad-for-you constantly?
Cooking has taught us a lot of life lessons, and one of them is to be bold. I’ve never done anything else in my life that has required me to fail more constantly. Failure has been as much a part of the process as success. We’ve had so many failed recipes you wouldn’t believe — and stumbles along the way as we tried to figure out the way we wanted to eat.
Cooking and mindful eating is not an achievement, but a process. The good thing is you don’t have to have it all figured out to start. You just have to be bold enough to dip one toe in the water. Yes, it’s scary — it requires you to jump out of your comfort zone, try new tastes you’ve never experienced, and try new skills you may have never practiced in your life. But the journey is so worth it.
So to you who are worried about how to start — whether you have the skills or knowledge, whether it will fit into your life, whether you could give up your favorite convenient food for a home-cooked version — we say, be bold! Try it out. All you can do it start — and expect to fail many times before you even start to see some progress. Cooking and learning about how to eat takes time to discover what’s right for you, your body, and your lifestyle, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But it can change your life.
How to start?
Find one recipe in a cookbook, magazine, or online for this weekend and give it a try. (We have started doing most of our weekly cooking on the weekend, which is a great way to get ahead for the week — if you don’t mind leftovers!) Here are a few inspirations for new or experienced cooks alike:
PS How does the image above relate? I chose our Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles to represent fear because I used to be scared of pickles. This, like so many other things, I had to get over when we started cooking – and now they are one of my favorite foods.
For a little more inspiration this week, check out our friend Erin from Naturally Ella’s post on loving your food. We’re looking forward to spending some time with her soon to brainstorm more ideas around how to spread the love of cooking and eating natural foods.
The Healthy & Whole project is a project to inspire home cooking and healthy whole foods eating, in order to improve public health. The goal is to provide inspiration and resources on how to eat a whole foods diet, become connected to your community, and care for others around you and the environment.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.