I love cooking and it has been a hyperfocus of mine for a very long time. Today I just wanna share some tips that I’ve found help me when I don’t really want to cook anything and struggle to find the effort to feed myself.
Prep everything you can in advance.
If you find yourself hesitant every time you enter the kitchen because of all the prep work that often needs to be done, my first bit of advice is to prep everything as far in advance as possible. If I have a burst of energy after getting home from the grocery store or any time through the day, I try to cut as many vegetables in preparation for as many different things as I might use them in. Make some spiced flour in advance and store it as long as you need. Boil potatoes one night then mash them the next. Whatever you can do to make the in-the-moment work of cooking as easy on yourself as possible.
Clean as you go.
The overwhelming pile of dishes after I’m done cooking is often enough to make me hesitant to do so again in the future, and worse, puts a big pile of stinky dishes in my sink that I’m loathe to try and tackle. If you have any down time in between tasks, its a good time to wash some of your dishes, and as an added bonus helps pass any down time you might have. Wiping your stove immediately after you’re done using it (with careful effort to not get burned,) is much easier than cleaning a cold stove where food has cooled and caked on as well. Just be careful not to touch the burners directly. Sometimes, if I know a meal will still be hot for a few minutes, I clean everything up and then eat just so I’m not tempted to eat too much, get full, take a breather, then forget to clean up.
Set everything you will need out on the counter BEFORE you start cooking.
With the exception of things that have to be kept cold until the moment of their use, putting everything out can be very helpful in not getting overwhelmed by a meal that relies on good timing. Put all your spices in one area, meats in another, veggies in another, etc. and again, get as much of it prepared before you start going as you can. If you need to wash and batter some chicken, for example, it’s going to be much easier to prep your wash and your batter before you start cleaning said chicken. That way, it’s ready as soon as you’ve got it cut, plus you don’t have to wash your raw-meat hands in between.
Put your veggies where you can see them. Tempting as the vegatable drawer is, us brains have a problem with object permanence. If I stick my veggies in there, they are doomed to be forgotten and rot. It might be helpful to buy a fridge shelf to stack them on, but basically anything that goes bad quickly should be kept in plain sight so as not to get overlooked. I can’t tell you how many pounds of food have gone to waste simply bc I couldn’t see it and forgot about it. I try to make more grocery trips and get less food so I can keep a cleaner, more empty food storage area, but if you live far away from a grocery store or can only go a couple times a month the fridge storage shelf will probably become your best friend.
Don’t wait until you’re hungry.
Meal prep if you can, and if not, don’t worry. Just wait until a moment where you feel like you can get up and do it, whether you’re hungry or not. If you’re like me, most likely you WILL eat if given the opportunity, and hunger might actually make you LESS likely to cook something for yourself. If you feel like you might have the willpower to cook something, regardless of whether you’re actually hungry or not, try to do it. It’s nice to have leftovers anyway for those times where you just can’t do it.
Don’t beat yourself up if your food goes bad and you don’t have the will to cook.
I’ve been there. There are days when I beat myself up over spoiled food and end up practically starving myself just out of guilt. There’s nothing wrong with defaulting back to pre-made snacks, ramen noodles, or whatever you eat when eating is hard to do. It’s okay. Make sure you are eating in general, bc no one is going to have the energy to make themselves a meal if they’re weak from hunger. What’s most important is that you have food in your belly no matter which way it got there. If you feel like you might not be getting enough nutrients try a multivitamin or ask your doctor about them.
Feel free to add your own cooking tips and ask questions! Hope you guys found this helpful:)