FINDING JOY IN YOUR KITCHEN
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The kitchen has a love-hate relationship for many of us. The dreaded “What’s for dinner?” can trigger an eye tick into spasm. In my effort to find joy in every aspect of my life, I’ve discovered a few key intentions when it comes to food prep, variety, and seeing the joy in my everyday dull of food choices.
See your food as a blessing
I’ve grown very fond of historical drama series both on television and fiction novels. Whether it’s medieval kitchen wenches or a somewhat more refined mansion in the countryside of England, one thing stands out: the lack of color in their food.
Have you honestly stopped to thank God you live in a country where fresh food is plentiful? Have you ever pushed your cart through the grocery store and stood in awe of the rainbow of produce that elegantly shines with vibrant colors uniquely designed to nourish the complicated system of your body?
I have never had to boil roots from a weed growing in the forest, or skin a rabbit and roast it on a spit. I’ve never felt the despair of not knowing where my next meal will come from or how I will make it through another harsh cold winter.
Treat meals as a new opportunity
“But I’m so tired when I come home from work, and the kids complain when I tell them what we’re having!” I hear you. I’ve raised three boys, and each of them has a different standard of what they deem worthy as a great meal.
Over the past year, John and I have eliminated much of our processed food. We no longer eat rice, the boys only get pasta a couple of times a month, and I don’t use any prepackaged food. That was a choice. Believe me, it is a sacrifice on my end to plan, shop, and prep real meals, but it came from a shift in my mindset.
I get to create a daily mealtime experience. By no means do my boys dance into the kitchen and sing my praises every evening. Not even. In fact, my youngest typically complains I don’t cook like his friends’ moms.
Play the color game
In my online course The SHINE Experience, Libby included a fun graphic that allows moms and their children to see how many colors in a week they can eat. Remember those television shows I referred to earlier? Potato mush, meat, whatever they could forage that was safe to eat. No rainbow to be seen.
Can you experiment with new fruits and vegetables to see what variety adds to your weekly repertoire? Eat the rainbow. Find joy by adding color.
When I treat my body with more respect as a temple, I instinctively gravitate toward healthier food. Blueberries are a fantastic food to reduce inflammation. Their sweet and tart combo offer a Superfood option.
Zucchini has a mild taste that we love to saute and use as a base for our Italian meals. On productive days, I’ll get out my spiralizer and make zucchini spaghetti. Place steamed or sauteed slices on your plate and top with meat sauce, chicken alfredo, or meatballs and marinara. Top with grated Parmesan, and you’ll never miss the pasta.
Ok, maybe you will. Alas, my boys haven’t come to my way of eating.
John and I prefer zucchini slices instead of cucumbers for dips, spreads, and cracker topper options. Use these “chips” for Buffalo Chicken dip, cheese and pepperoni stacks, or a ranch dip for a great Super Bowl snack.
FINDING JOY IN YOUR HOME WORKSPACE
Do you dread walking into your home office?
Today, take a few minutes and do an office audit. Ask yourself these questions and write the answers on a piece of paper.
What do I need to feel creative in this space?
What do I need to simplify to keep it organized?
What memorabilia is in my room that speaks to me?
How can I create a space that makes me feel happy?
What are my colors saying to me? Are they inspiring or dull?
If I could paint the walls a different color, what would it be?
I chose a pale butter yellow for my walls. This shade is cheerful even in the dreariest of winter days. Bash (Sebastien) offers company and comic relief!
My heart sang, it sang I tell you when I saw this artwork it in the window during a girls trip to Saugatuck, MI this past fall. The colors entranced me. It’s romantic and moody for that particular spot to daydream.
I simply Mary Poppins myself into the painting, and I’m whisked away to Paris. I just purchased a red umbrella to further my fantasy!
Are you able to see the little touches of fun and color I’ve sprinkled throughout my creative space? If it makes you happy, find a place of honor in your office. When you bring joy to your environment, you are more productive.
I hope you enjoyed some tips on how to bring joy to your home office space. We will be doing several blogs and videos on this in the future. It’s all about taking the simple things in life and creating a complete experience.
You’re invited to see our new Youtube channel and receive tips and inspiration on health, home, style, and travel. We are your Life Stylists, Anne and Libby, helping you find joy in your everyday dull.