Cooking fatigue is a real and you may find yourself dreading the daily trip to the kitchen to prepare one more meal.
You made the decision to cook more at home so that you and your family would have nutritious meals each day. You’ve bought the latest cookbooks that promised “cooking made easy” and you made a plan of action to do this.
Week one went great.
Week two wasn’t too bad.
Week three found you looking for more recipes.
Week four you’re dreading the thought of coming up with another menu.
That’s when cooking fatigue sets in and nothing appeals to you anymore. You’re tired of looking for recipes and coming up with three meals a day. The thought of giving up and going back to eating take out really doesn’t appeal to you, but it’s looking better every day.
Wait! Before you give up, let’s look at how you can get excited about cooking again.
1. Give yourself a break
I’m not suggesting you revert to fast-food take-out, but you can order from a local restaurant that offers healthy meals. Or use one of the meal delivery services that offer a variety of healthy meal options.
Check your calendar to determine your busiest day and plan to take your break on that day. Pre-planning your meals and your cooking breaks will allow you to stay on track with your healthy meal preparation.
For recipe inspiration, check out my Eating Well for Life 5 Ingredient Recipes digital recipe book.
2. Take time to meal prep
You may find yourself rushing out the door in the morning, working through lunch, and coming home in the evening ready to crash on the couch. Then you hear the most dreaded words of the day, “What’s for supper?”
You can either respond to this question negatively, or you can smile and you’re your family know that dinner is served. That’s the beauty of meal prep.
Pick a day to plan your meals for the week and prep your veggies, batch cook your grains and meats and be ready for an easy week ahead. Prep your breakfasts and lunches too. The wonderful part of meal prep is that anyone in your family can prepare their meal on their own.
Take my “Meal Prep for Beginners” course and learn how to easily make this a regular routine in your life.
3. Invite family and friends into the kitchen
Do you have children at home? A partner?
Invite them to join you in the kitchen to help you prepare the meals. This is especially fun when you’re meal prepping. Bring them into the kitchen, share the menu, and then let each one pick what they would like to prepare.
You’ll find yourself enjoying your time in the kitchen as you teach little ones to cook or having a conversation with your older children and partner while everyone is busy with their dish. To make more fun, let each family member meal plan a day each week and then join in together to prepare the meal.
Meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday, Pizza Wednesday, Soup Thursday, Fish Friday, and on it goes. Day in and day out, nothing ever changes.
Talk about cooking fatigue. There is no inspiration when you know what you are preparing every day of the week. I overcame this boring process by meal planning for a month with the goal of not preparing the same menu for the entire month. That’s 30 days of something different. Do this one time, and you’re done.
You can use the same ingredients with different recipes. Give this a try and find yourself ready to prepare your meals.
5. Open your door to company
Have friends and family over one or two nights during the month. When you have someone else to prepare a meal for, you’ll find yourself excited about what to put on the table.
With today’s technology, you can invite others over virtually. Get with your bestie virtually and cook together. This is especially fun when you live alone and in need of some company while eating your meal. You are only limited by your imagination.
Eating out is not always your best option, especially when you’re trying to eat healthier, but cooking three meals a day can put a strain on the most creative cook. Find a happy balance for your lifestyle and family and don’t let cooking fatigue drive you out of your kitchen.
Use this meal planner to help you plan the week ahead.