I love to cook and in particular, I love to cook with plants. Not just any plants … more the unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices kind of plants. But I did not always love to cook.
Not too long ago, I truly hated to cook! It was very time consuming and caused me horrible anxiety and overwhelm. So, I would just avoid cooking and eat too much processed quick-to-prepare food. This transition to eating a more whole foods plant-based diet has been slow and at times a very bumpy road.
If anyone had told me a year ago I would someday be blogging about cooking, I would have laughed out loud! How absurd that I would not only be cooking but cooking plants? But yet, here I am hoping to do just that for readers like me.
My psycho-analysis for why I have never taken to cooking until how is 1) I did not develop this skill because I was not taught the practical basic skills of cooking. 2) I grew up in the age of ready-made, microwavable, and overly processed fast food (So, I really never had to “cook” in order to put food into my stomach) and, 3) Due to chronic health issues, I did not have the energy, mental focus or confidence to really try.
That is, until my body started to break ….
In 2008, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I felt like my world was falling apart that year. My youngest daughter was almost a year old. It was a hot summer and I could not walk right, utterly exhausted all the time, weak and terrified of my future. I had suffered from chronic pain of migraines most of my life, and later diagnosed with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, complicated by my slow and steady weight gain.
I felt powerless and like crap most of the time. My body could not tolerate the side effects of prescribed medications for my MS and chronic pain conditions. So I had to look to more other options and something had to change. It became clear that my body needed me to change my diet and start cooking real food. Eventually, I found my way to plants.
I Hated to Cook but I Love to Cook Plants
My nutrition journey has taken me through a very overgrown forest of conflicting dietary information. I have bookshelves and my Kindle is full of nutrition and diet books that in some way or another I have tried.
For years, I have tried tasty but complicated recipes, impractical meal plans, and restrictive health and diet programs. I can say with certainty, that there is NO one size fits all plan, nor do I believe diet needs to be an all-or-nothing approach. But, this blog is my journey to finding my own path to loving to cook, mostly with plants.
I do not label myself as a vegan. But, I do eat mostly whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed real food. Eating this way is easy for me and I feel better eating this way.
I have found ways to make cooking this way successful and hopefully, my journey will help you find yours.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Embrace Thy Kitchen
I have had to unlearn the hate and dread I felt when cooking and preparing meals. Instead, I have learned to embrace the learning curve and focus on my wins. This has helped me build a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and little victories when I make something that is delicious and healthy.
Yes, it is progress, not perfection. My fails in the kitchen are now just stepping stones to my successes, and make them only taste sweeter (no pun intended).
Simplicity is my mantra in the kitchen. Every day I cook, it is a practice, I make mistakes and I celebrate my cooking skills. In other words, confidence and creativity sometimes come together in the kitchen and that is what I want to share with you.
Eating Plants Is Cool
My family often enjoys my culinary creations too. It may sound crazy, but it truly makes me silently weep happy tears when I make a new plant-based recipe and my entire family loves it! Not every time. But my emotional reaction shows me where my life passions rest and how my journey brought me to Love to Cook and its creations.
I hated to cook, but now I don’t. It is my belief that sometimes what we struggle with the most in our lives is our greatest gift to ourselves and the world.
I know I am not alone in my history of fatigue, laziness, dread, and lack of confidence with a chef’s knife. I also know I am not alone feeling like crap a lot, needing to change my diet and health, and a love for adventure.
So, I hope you will forge your own path to love cooking as a way to feed your body, mind, and soul. If you are looking for healthy, simple, plant-based ideas to achieve optimal health, then you have found a home.
Please know, I don’t love spending hours in the kitchen. But I have learned how to make preparing delicious plant-based food a productive and pleasant experience.
Here is a little more about me and my background.
Cheers! To the journey of learning to love to cook plants!