Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cooking Can Be Fun: How to Increase Your Motivation

If there is one reason I don’t cook more often, it is lack of motivation. Even though I have the time to cook and I would love to sit down and eat a home cooked meal, sometimes I still end up eating snacks all day or making something out of the freezer. But I am learning to motivate myself more by planning my meals in advance and creating a better kitchen environment. Here are my best tips:

* Plan your meals ahead of time, and shop for the week. Make sure you still have a variety of ingredients on hand, just in case you need to satisfy a craving. That will definitely get you to cook!

* Look up recipes online or in cookbooks, especially ones with photos. This gives you ideas and helps you plan meals, and if something looks particularly good, you will be driven to cook it.

* When you do cook, make it fun by watching TV or listening to music. Even if you are not within view of the television, you can always watch YouTube on a laptop or play your favorite songs on an iPod. If you have none of those things, bring in a friend to tell you jokes!

* Get others to help you. You would be surprised how much better you feel if your child does some mixing or your husband does some chopping. And if you can get someone to help with the dishes, that can also make you feel much better about cooking.

* Try adding your favorite ingredients for eating and cooking. You can add your favorite vegetables or spices to nearly any dishes, from casseroles to soups. It can really make cooking more fun and make you more proud of the finished product. But make sure you taste it before you add too much!

* Don’t keep convenience foods in the house. If you have a lot of frozen dinners or precooked soups, you will reach for them all the time. Not buying them will save you money and get you eating your own healthy, home cooked meals.

Hopefully now you will enjoy cooking so much that you will do it every day. If you have any other advice for sustaining motivation, leave them in comments.

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