Come to Jesus in the Kitchen


Today, I ate an entire bag of orange Milanos for lunch.

Yesterday, I ate a 1 lb. block of mozzarella. Like an apple. Because it honestly felt like too much work to slice it.

The day before that, I polished off the box of Valentine chocolates my mom sent me. But then the ball was rolling, so I turned to the remaining fun-size Halloween candy bars on top of the fridge. And so I could feel good about myself, I ate three bowls of Cinnamon Life cereal. At the time, it felt healthy.

At one point this week, Trent made me a grilled cheese sandwich while I interviewed a source for a story over the phone. To return the favor, I threw a cereal bar at him tonight as we walked out the door. “Dinner,” I said with both shame and sarcasm.

But for real. That was dinner.

I went to the grocery store last Monday. I promise, I did. I got all of the ingredients to make lettuce wraps. Fancy lettuce wraps. But the lettuce, I hate to tell you, is wilting as we speak.

Why is feeding myself such a struggle? It’s a constant source of annoyance and guilt. I’m nursing still. If for no other reason, I should be eating healthier for my kid. There are plenty of reasons though, aren’t there? Let’s talk about hurdles. Time. Skills. Inflated expectations. Let’s blame Pinterest. And Food Network. And the robust local restaurant scene. It’s turned into this thing, hasn’t it? I have such aspirations for beautiful, plentiful, healthful, whole meals. But it’s the first thing to crumble when a work deadline is looming and Scout isn’t sleeping and before you know it, she’s eating wood chips out of the house plants and I’m gnawing at a block of processed cheese like a rat. Let’s talk about that. On second thought, let’s not talk about that.

Let’s talk about solutions. Do I just need to develop some cooking skills? Is that what’s holding me back? I bought this book a while ago to rectify that problem, but I’ve only cracked it open once. I burned three omelets in one week and haven’t touched it since. Or maybe I need to educate myself about nutrition. Maybe if I had a clearer understanding of what healthy food actually accomplishes for my body, it would be easier to commit to it. Coursera offers a free course on Child Nutrition from Stanford University. Possibly a start? Maybe I need to get inspired. Maybe I need to lower the bar. Maybe I need some sort of come-to-Jesus moment in the kitchen. Maybe you can help.

Advice? Resources? Speak to me. And speak up, will you? My stomach is growling.


  • olivia

    Burnt three omelets? Oooh I think a cooking class is in order! haha That’s my idea for a solution 🙂 And foodtv sucks nowadays. Try Create tv- I seriously learn so much about actual cooking from that channel!

  • talyn

    The Stanford class is great for a beginning. She’s a bit cheesy, but the things she teaches are really doable. But I see no shame in mozzarella and an apple as lunch. Sometimes I time myself on making things purely so that next time it’ll be easier to start. Making oatmeal really only takes 3 min. And 30 sec.of active time. I can do that. A knowledge of nutrition does nothing for me, but I like to save money.

    Good luck.

  • Kristin call

    Ok. I just freaked out about this last month. I feel like our generation is at a huge disadvantage because of information overload. I realized I’ve been cooking dinner for six years for my family and its STILL the most stressful part of my day because we don’t have our regulars. I rarely used the same recipe to make “waffles” or “lasagna” or “stroganoff.” So I decided to get rid of all the extras. I worked to find six dinners I could make quickly, easily with normal common ingredients and announced that we would shop for those six dinners (and 1 night of leftovers) each week. And every day at 4:30, I know I can either make spaghetti or taco salad or popcorn soup (one of our weird faves) etc. I know I will have all the stuff and I have the recipe written down. As we go, I’m hoping to find more “call family regulars” to add to the rotation, but so far being fed is so much better than having the pressure of a creative gourmet meal each night. Its currently working for us. Maybe this would help you too? And i have also had the brain power for a creative meal or two since, but dang it it’s nice to not have to think so hard every day.

  • Sam Frei

    Kristin’s advice is wonderful. If you started with something simple, like sandwiches or salads and focused on that, it may be easy. You can have a week with a different kind of sandwich for dinner, and then maybe try a week of salads after that. Then you have a chance to focus on one area at a time.
    Also, if you are interested in learning more, we hired a chef to come to our home and give us cooking lessons. We found her using the app ThumbTack. You should look and see if there is someone in your area. We have her come after Rachel is asleep and she’ll help us cook whatever we want. It’s been really fun, and we can dictate the frequency and it’s more personal. Good luck cooking!

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