This is a special release from inside the Fundamentals eCourse. Enjoy!
We’re all capable of learning new routines – especially if we have a little help to get our head around the possibilities. But maintaining those routines can be a harder challenge. When the thrill wears off of trying something new, we’re left with the choice to keep something up… or let it go. So it is important that not only do we keep pressing forward and learning new healthy skills in our kitchen, but that we do it in a way that we can keep up and maintain that momentum.
Now I’m not saying that you’ll be doing and juggling everything at once. There are seasons in the kitchen just like there are seasons in the garden. If you’ve got mountains of produce to preserve, you’ll be busy with that for a time. Some tasks last all year and others phase in and out with the availability of the food, or the tastes of the family. For instance, you might not want to eat sprouts year-round.
Still, when you’re learning new routines and want to add something into the rotation, you can do some things to encourage your success – rather than failure – in establishing those routines. Let’s talk about those.
1. Remember Why
Why do you want to embrace God’s food? You might have many reasons – to give Him glory by embracing His design, better health for you and your family, to lose weight, to use your food dollars to support the livelihood of a local grower… Remember these reasons, and keep them in the fore-front of your mind for inspiration. Write them down and stick them to the fridge or above the kitchen sink. Remember.
2. Give Thanks To God
Being of service to our families – being able to cook and provide good, nourishing food is a blessing! Teaching our children to know the source of their food and how to cook it themselves – this is one of the life’s most important lessons. Being with our children, cooking together – that’s Real Fun! As a GNOWFGLINS reader, Lisa, wrote, “The glorious messes are all worth it, especially as I teach my children to work in the kitchen and they learn at a young age those things I had to start learning with a house full of toddlers and babies! Real food produces much revenue: good health, a good work ethic, and an appreciation for God’s provision and majesty in those amazing enzymes and bacteria! May we rejoice in the process as well as in the final product of our hands!”
Communicate with your family. Tell them what’s happening in the kitchen, share your reasons for seeking God’s foods, ask them what their own reasons are. Show them the beauty of a cultured food that can flourish indefinitely, growing itself and nourishing us along the way. Help everybody come on board as they embrace the vision, too. (And realize that sadly, not everyone will embrace it.)
4. Everyone Needs Time
Give everybody time to adjust to the new way of cooking and eating. I guarantee – not everyone will like everything you make in this eCourse the first time you make it. Fact of life. We get used to certain tastes and textures from the world of industrialized food, and these take time to change. If family members are coming out of eating mostly processed foods, their taste buds are trained by the unreal flavors, and excess sugars and salt. So give it time. Don’t be discouraged. Try and try again. There is hope. Real food tastes awesome, and I believe most people eventually come around.
5. Treat This Like A Job
Devote yourself to getting healthy and learning the new kitchen skills like you would approach a job. You’ll have a task to complete each week for the eCourse. Don’t consider it optional. Do it.
6. Don’t Undermine Your Efforts
I’m not exactly sure how this looks for everyone; it depends on the person. If you have a weakness for something (and everyone does), don’t let it get in the way. For someone, it could be procrastination – putting off work in the kitchen until it is too late in the day or they’re too tired, so it doesn’t get done. For some, it could be keeping processed snack foods in the house, which get eaten (you know they will). What’s your weakness? Identify it and put it to bed – don’t indulge it.
7. Know Your Strengths
What time of day do you work best? Do you prefer to work in silence or with the music blaring? Can you get anything done when the baby’s awake? Do you like to improvise or follow a recipe exactly? In the beginning, when learning new skills, capitalize on what you know you do best. Don’t stray too far from your comfort zone. Now, you do have to stray a little in this eCourse, but because we’ll take things one week at a time, it will stretch you a little at a time, not everything all at once. Give yourself the best chance for success by working within your limits. (On the other hand, don’t expect 100% success because that’s not realistic.)
8. Think In Cycles
Think of everything in 8 to 12 hour cycles. Thinking ahead just that far will put you so much further in the game. Think today what you need to soak for tomorrow’s meal. We will learn many of these cycled techniques in the eCourse, but what I’m telling you now is the principle behind it. Think today what breakfast is going to be tomorrow – if sourdough pancakes, get the batter fermenting. If muffins are the snack tomorrow, get the dough soaking. If you need stock tomorrow, get those chicken bones in the crockpot tonight. There are some tasks that ask you to think a few days in advance – for example, sprouting beans, or sprouting grains for sprouted flour. Once you adjust to thinking 12 hours ahead, this will seem like a breeze, too.
9. Clean Up As You Go
Keep up with clean up. From an emotional stand point, it is just so much easier to face the kitchen when it is not backed up with dirty dishes. I went without my dishwasher for a few months last year, and until we figured out how to keep up with all the dishes, I hated to be in the kitchen. Hated it. Then we got a system that pretty much worked for us while waiting for the dishwasher to be repaired and my feelings about cooking totally changed.
10. Be A Tool Minimalist
Spare yourself loads of dishes by using less tools, not more. Measure dry ingredients, then wet, so you can reuse bowls, and measuring cups and spoons.
11. Prep Extra & Scale It Up
Prep extra when you’re doing it. Need an onion, dice two (but plan to use it soon). Soaking a jar of nuts? Soak two (or three). Make bigger batches. Your effort goes twice as far. Make a big pot of chili and freeze half for next week. Cook a big pot of rice, and use it in meals for four days instead of two. If you switch up the sauces, which we’ll learn in the lesson on skillet dishes, no one will feel they’re eating the same meal for four days.
12. Enlist Help
Enlist the children. My children load and unload dishwasher, wash dishes by hand, put away dishes, soak sprouts, cook simple dishes. Everything they can do frees me up to do other things. And we all benefit from the team effort.
13. Revisit Your Routines
Real Life changes – we add new activities, new routines, and have ever-changing needs. Be willing to revisit your routines – what is working? what doesn’t? what routines can be altered to accommodate the changes?
Whether or not I see you inside the eCourse, I look forward to seeing you at the GNOWFGLINS blog – and I pray that God blesses you and your family with abundant health and happiness!
I’m sharing this post in today’s Fight Back Friday at FoodRenegade.