Today, I made a point to eat only food purchased at a grocery store for my meals. Living downtown, and working in a location with a convenient café, it is easy to form habits around buying lunch (and maybe even breakfast… and coffee…) after stepping out the door. Coffee shops abound, lining the streets, restaurants are everywhere, and food can be purchased at all hours of the day – prepared by someone else. Not only does this drain the pocketbook more quickly, but there is no guarantee that the “healthy” meal you are eating is, in fact, nutritious and delicious.
Truthfully, Portland is quickly becoming a hub of all kinds of healthy-style, organic, gluten-free, free-range, locally grown, sustainable restaurant food markets in the Northwest. (You’ve all seen Portlandia, right? I admit to only watching the first episode, and promptly stopped because… Well, it’s not fiction, folks. That’s everyday life here, and it is as cliché as it looks. And I love my city!). Even though you know the hen’s history and where it came from, you may not know all the details of preparation, seasoning, and cooking methods. Variables that make a big difference to the GF, diabetic, high-cholesterol, high blood-pressure, and others of the population with dietary-restricting conditions.
The only problem with cooking your own meals is that it takes time. Working a full-time job, cooking, training for a marathon, doing the laundry, posting a blog, and maintaining a social life suddenly feels like way too much to do. I frequently cook quick, very simple meals. Or chop things up, throw them in a glass casserole, and put it in the oven to bake so I can continue to putter around while my dinner cooks itself.
A girl can find herself daydreaming about having a personal chef on days where she worked late, needed to do laundry, sort through the mail, and sew a couple of pillow cases… AND get up early to run the next day!
I sometimes wonder what it is like for celebrities. I’m sure many of them have personal chefs. And trainers. And housekeepers, for that matter! What do they do with all that extra time? Read books? I miss reading books…
Do they work together to create a weekly meal plan? Do they eat the same thing for breakfast every day? Do they not get a say in any of the food they consume? Do they secretly hate sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts?
Do they miss cooking?
I love baking. I get less excited about cooking, but I just adore baking. I started out with cookies and desserts, but quickly learned that MANY things can be baked – sweet potatoes, squash, chicken, casserole, frittata, vegetables… Kale chips!!! There is something about preparing the food: washing, chopping, seasoning, and placing it in the baking dish in the oven, waiting for the miracle of heat to turn the pieces of food into a warm, aromatic dish.
Baking has somehow become my stress-relief. I don’t have to think about anything other than what I am doing with my hands, find myself singing, and just having a good ‘old time preparing delicious and nutritious food stuffs for myself. As much as I think that it would be great to have a personal chef to give me back some of my time during the day, I don’t think I can give my pleasure of cooking my meals to someone else.
Now… If I could get a cooking coach, that I would consider! Consultation and coaching when diving into brand new recipes, or to give you prompts when you run out of ideas… That would be very helpful.
Do you find yourself enjoying cooking your meals? What kind of satisfaction does it bring you?
Have you ever had a personal chef or considered hiring one?
I’d love to hear from you!
With joy in running, cooking, and nourishment…!