(hint: it has to do with cooking…and being a time guardian)
the air here is crisp and clear, and the trees are gracefully dropping their leaves, with bare branches reaching to the sky. there is quiet and stillness in the woods, and I hope you’re feeling your own version of that in your life.
you might notice that your body craves slowing down, along with the rhythms of nature right now.
you might also notice that our culture asks us to do just the opposite at the holidays – speed up, do more, buy things, and be social – eep! that might make you want to curl up in a little ball, and put your paw over your nose, because what you really want is to feel cozy and slow, with lots of quiet time, good books, and hot cups of tea. yes yes!
for those of us who are sensitive, empathic, and energetically gifted, this is a really important time of year to ponder how we can move at a pace that feels natural, good, and peaceful for us.
to that end, this little article is about how to create and protect time for relaxing and magic…by using a nifty cooking tip that’s super easy and useful.
this is the most important part – if you start using this cooking tip and discover you have more time in a day (and you will), that time isn’t meant for working more, answering more email, running more errands, starting another project, or showing up for more people or causes. that inclination is an ingrained aspect of the fast-paced, exhausting trance all around us, so please be careful about ‘filling up’ your newfound time with more busy. nope!
instead, with the time this frees up for you, I invite you to be a champion of the time this creates. if you gain a half hour a day, maybe it feels good to sit and look at the trees instead of checking something off your ‘to do’ list. maybe instead of more doing, you enjoy a really slow walk or cup of tea, spend time with your animals, read a book, or just simply rest.
that said, let’s meet the cooking tip that makes more time for slowing down…
I notice that my sensitive clients are often super organized as a coping strategy in a sometimes overwhelmingly disorganized world. in particular, I’ve heard a lot of women talk about taking hours to prepare food for the work week, and how a nourishing thing like preparing food has become another burden. gah!
wonderful health coach phoebe jenkins (thanks phoebe! you rock!) shared this cooking tip with me, and she’s graciously given me permission to share with you. it changed my life, and now I have more time to be slow and putter about peacefully in my day because of it. woot!
first, think about how much time you spend making lunch and dinner in a day. half hour? an hour? more? make a note, because your inner champion gets to be a guardian of time that gets freed up with this cooking tip. I used to spend about an hour and a half (ish) making lunch and dinner in a day. now, I spend about 30 (ish) minutes…so my inner champion knows to safeguard that extra hour, so I can mosey and be slow.
you make breakfast every day, right?
yep. so here’s the tip: as you make your breakfast every day, start making one ‘food staple’ a day. a ‘food staple’ is a simple carb, protein, veggie, or sauce, and if you rotate making one of these a day, you’ll always have prepared, healthy food on hand that you can ‘mix and match’ into a healthy, awesome meal at any moment. oho!
example: on monday morning, while I’m making my savory oatmeal anyhow (nom nom), I toss two bunches of asparagus into the instant pot for 3 minutes. I mix olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, pour it over the cooked asparagus, and pop it in the fridge. veggie staple, complete! meanwhile, my oatmeal finished cooking, and it’s time to enjoy brekkie.
here’s a sample week of daily staples and sauces (to keep staples interesting):
MONDAY VEGGIE: asparagus (3 min instant pot)
TUESDAY CARB: yam (20 min instant pot)
WEDNESDAY PROTEIN: split peas (15 min instant pot)
THURSDAY SAUCE: vegan basil pine nut pesto (10 min food processor)
FRIDAY VEGGIE: rainbow chard and garlic (5 min stovetop)
…then keep rotating preparing a veggie, carb, protein, sauce…so there’s always a backlog of staples and sauces you can mix and match in a day for any meal.
you can see how you could saunter into the kitchen on friday (in the above example), and snorf down a beautiful lunch of fresh pesto over asparagus and yams with zero prep for lunch (yum!). that evening, you might enjoy split peas, asparagus, and peanut sauce (from sunday).
it’s a super healthy, easy way to eat. and it makes time in your day. that time isn’t for ‘filling up,’ but instead for slowing down.
I really mean this…this helpful time hack is not (!) offered so you can ‘hurry up and do more’ in your day, but instead slow down. if you try this, and you feel like you’ll save even a half hour in a day, I invite you to try putting the time you save cooking into your actual calendar for ‘sacred slowing down time’ and then, be a guardian of that time, so you can relax and enjoy your life.
I’d love, love to hear how it goes when you implement this in your life…and how you relax and slow down with the time this frees up for you. happy cooking!
ps – if your ears perked up at ‘savory oatmeal’ here’s my recipe, using the ‘food staples’ tip from phoebe above. simple, and super yummy.
pps – if you’d like to work together in a session series, we work practical strategies like this into your life so you can enjoy living more, and also bring in magical healing to learn why busy or overwhelm appeared in the first place. I’d love to work with you – you can learn more here.