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The Real Reason You Don’t Cook

The Real Reason You Don’t Cook

Photo by BruceTurner

Photo by BruceTurner

Yesterday I told you that cooking is the habit that has had the biggest, most positive impact on my life. But unless you’re already a regular cook you probably thought this was super depressing.

People who don’t cook inevitably groan when I suggest that cooking is the solution to their problems.

Cooking? Ugh. Something about it just makes it sound like so. much. work.

Even struggling your way through one meal is a pain. Taking the time and effort to actually learn to cook regularly? That’s just nuts.

Or at least there’s no way you could do it right now. Maybe you’ll do it this summer or something. (Translation: it will never happen)

But I also told you yesterday that there was something deeper lying underneath your aversion to cooking. Because the truth is that if you really found cooking rewarding, then you’d figure out how to make it happen day after day.

So what is it exactly that separates those who cook from those who don’t? What is it that can transform cooking from a tedious, burdensome chore to a fulfilling, creative endeavor?

I did months of research, talking to people about their experiences in the kitchen. It was clear people understood the value of cooking at home and truly wanted to develop the habit, but something hadn’t clicked.

Over and over I heard that grocery shopping was a pain. That it took too long and often required multiple trips to different stores.

I heard that meals didn’t turn out well, and would result in criticism from family or flat out refusals to eat.

I heard that cooking was too much effort after a long day’s work.

That deciding what to make was too much of a burden and required too much planning.

That lots of food would go to waste, either through not being used or from dishes being too large.

I heard that cooking for one wasn’t worth the effort, and that cooking for a big family was too much effort.

Over and over people told me they don’t understand how to make meals taste good, how to get themselves and others excited about what they cook.

But I also spoke with people who DO have a regular cooking habit.

For these people (myself included) grocery shopping is easy, and takes only about 20 minutes a week.

They are confident that they can make delicious food, and find it easy to throw something together in a pinch with pretty much anything they have on hand.

They know intuitively what tastes good and how much food to make, so waste isn’t a problem.

For cooks, deciding what to make is a fun, creative process and not a crushing burden.

The whole process, including cleanup, is only mild to moderate effort, and the reward is real and tangible.

For them, cooking is totally worth it.

What makes it so easy for these people to maintain their cooking habit?

They have learned to cook without recipes.

When you can cook from your intuition instead of from a recipe you can make something from almost anything you have at home. And you can certainly improvise if you are missing an ingredient or two.

It means you know what tastes good together, and how to fix a dish that is a little “off.”

You develop a sense of how much food is appropriate to cook for your family, and can easily adjust how much you make according to how much you’ll actually use.

When you’re bored of a dish always tasting the same, an intuitive cook knows how to change it up just enough for it to feel fresh without reinventing the wheel.

Grocery shopping is easy when cooking is a regular part of your life, because most of the things you need are already in your house.

And when cooking is a habit, it feels natural and doesn’t require a ton of extra willpower.

Learning to cook without recipes is the secret to building a lasting cooking habit.

This isn’t to say that cooking from recipes is innately bad. Recipes can be a great source of inspiration and guidance for things you’ve never tried to make before.

I often use a recipe (sometimes several recipes) as a template for making something new.

But I am not a slave to recipes. If I want to swap out the spices or the meat type, or add a sauce, or put an egg on it, I know exactly what to do.

Knowing how to cook without recipes is another way of saying I have developed a cook’s intuition. And this is a skill you can learn.

Cooking feels difficult because it is a combination of several different skills that must be used together. But anyone can learn to cook without recipes with the right strategy.

Tomorrow I’ll explain how I taught myself to cook without recipes after not touching a stove for the first 25 years of my life. I’ll also show you how you can learn to do the same.

Do you think recipes make it harder or easier for you to create a cooking habit?

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Just how important is a mattress to a good night’s sleep?

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Tomorrow Sleep hybrid Mattress

It's that time of year again, the weather is getting cooler, the days are growing shorter, the leaves are falling and the fireplace is going strong. That means it's time to stay in and get cozy. I love nothing more than sleep and cuddle time, but I have a confession to make, I'm not great at relaxing and not a good sleeper. I've never been someone whose head just hits the pillow and bam, I'm out.

tomorrow sleep hybrid mattress and memory foam pillowNo, that would be my husband (so jealous). I lay there for awhile thinking. Sometimes I'm planning, thinking about what needs to get done, sometimes I'm replaying a conversation, sometimes I'm thinking about work, or stressing about a problem. You name it. And sometimes, I'm just uncomfortable, tossing and turning, trying to find just the right position.

I'm also a particular sleeper, I have to have a box fan on high and I wear an eyemask from Brookstone that I can't sleep without. I know this makes me sound high maintenance (not going to deny it!) but nobody likes me when I'm tired and cranky. And don't even get me started on snoring. Thank god my husband isn't a snorer, we would have never worked out ;-)

I know how important sleep is, I stress it all the time. Sleep is your time to rejuvenate and repair. Chronically not sleeping enough will lead to weight gain, and many health issues including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Sleep isn't something to skimp on.

To help me sleep better and wake up more refreshed, instead of hitting my alarm 3 times, (so not a morning person, see above) my husband and I have been thinking about getting a new mattress for awhile. We've looked around and the cost always seemed so prohibitive. We also weren't sure which to get, there are so many options. I've had the same mattress since before college, and it was my parents before that, so fancy mattresses were not something we knew anything about.

That is, until Tomorrow Sleep contacted me. WOW. They sent me a king size hybrid mattress, medium firm, with organic cotton sheets and memory foam pillows. I'm obsessed. I get into bed every night and just sigh, "OMG this is so comfortable". I don't know how I've gone so long without a mattress like this.

And, it inspired us to redo our room. We not only got a new (king size vs queen) mattress but a new bed and headboard, a new rug and new comforter set (organic cotton and fair trade from West Elm). Our room is seriously nice now. I call this our cloud bed, the mattress, comforter, and pillows are like falling into a cloud. Tomorrow Sleep hybrid Mattress

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress: What You Should Know

What is a hybrid mattress?

According to US-Mattress.com "hybrid mattresses combine two or more support systems, usually memory foam layers along with an innerspring system. Hybrid mattresses are a great way to experience the pressure relieving benefits of memory foam while retaining the classic feel of an innerspring mattress. Hybrid mattresses combine an innerspring system with memory foam (or latex) to deliver the benefits of both technologies. Hybrids allow sleepers to enjoy the perfect blend of sturdy support and contouring comfort."

Tomorrow Sleep's mattresses are American made (love that) and constructed by craftsman right in Charlotte, NC.

Tomorrow Sleep Holistic Sleep System

What I love so much about what Tomorrow Sleep offers, is that it's not just about their Tomorrow Sleep Mattress, it's about so much more. As you read above, sleeping is not easy for everyone, so they've taken into account many things that contribute to a better night's sleep. They offer:

  1. A Hybrid Mattress (got it, love it!)
  2. Memory Foam Pillows (got them, so comfy!)
  3. Plush (hypoallergenic) Pillows
  4. A Sleep Tracker Monitor (high-tech sleep support!)
  5. 500 Thread Count Sheet Set (got them, soooo soft!)
  6. Comforter
  7. Mattress Protector
  8. Drapes (want these!)

10 Tips to Help you Sleep Better

In addition to the wonderful things Tomorrow Sleep offers to help you sleep, I've found a few behaviors that really help me personally:

  • Turn off all your devices and TV at least a half hour before you go to sleep.
  • Do not, I repeat, do not check your email before sleep.
  • Journal your thoughts from the day, get it out so your mind doesn't keep you awake.
  • Focus on gratitude, either write down, or say 3 things you are grateful for right now - it puts things into perspective and lowers your stress levels so you can fall asleep easier.
  • Don't drink anything 1.5 hours before bed to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
  • Practice legs up the wall for 10 minutes (it's so relaxing and probably the single best yoga pose for you).
  • Pick a mantra to focus on, inhaling one thing, exhaling another - for example, inhale "I am relaxed", exhale "everything is as it should be".
  • Have an orgasm (or several), nothing else leaves you feeling quite so satisfied and relaxed.
  • If you're in a relationship, avoid waiting until you get into bed to start problem solving major life events, save that conversation for when you are rested.
  • Don't consume caffeinated beverages after 1pm (depending on how sensitive you are, you may want to cut out the caffeine or stop after your morning cup).
  • Bonus Tip: I've learned a mattress makes a BIG difference, so invest in a good one.

My Overall Review of Tomorrow Sleep's Hybrid MattressTomorrow Sleep Hybrid Mattress

Pros: This bed is heavenly. It's so comfortable and just the right balance of soft and firm. It's comfortable and supportive. I love the memory foam pillows and the sheets are so soft, they are the nicest I've ever owned, and keep me nice and cool. I've been waking up aches and pains free, and actually feeling rested. When one of us moves, the other doesn't get woken up because we don't feel it. It's awesome. Falling asleep has also gotten easier, and my husband loves the bed too. The first time he got in, he had the biggest smile on his face. We feel spoiled.

Cons: I've found myself kicking off the covers in the middle of the night. It could just be the duvet itself, we have had a heat wave in New York the last few weeks. I think we are going to purchase Tomorrow Sleep's mattress protector to keep our mattress nice and also because of its cooling technology. The memory foam pillow is awesome (see pic of Przemek above), but maybe a little bit high if you are a stomach sleeper (like me). I adjusted in about a week though. I have no cons for the sheets, they are perfect, 500 thread-count doesn't stink.

Special Offer to my Readers from Tomorrow Sleep

If you are looking for a mattress, I have $100 savings to offer my readers on any Tomorrow Sleep purchase over $500. The best part? The mattresses ship for free and there's a 100 day trial so you can make sure you choose the best mattress for you.

To take advantage of this offer, use the code: FOODIE100.

Offer expires 12.31.17.

The post Just how important is a mattress to a good night’s sleep? appeared first on Whole Foodie Booty.

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