I strive to live a life that is Zen (mindful, non-judgmental, and in the moment).
And… I’m a work in progress.
To tell you the truth, I started thinking about this stuff about 7 or 8 years ago, but didn’t become serious until a few years ago, when I made meditation a top priority.
Fast forward to today, and I’m pretty damn Zen. Most of the time.
I create a mindful presence in the kitchen as often as possible, because it makes for the best kitchen experiences. And, would you believe? It helps me create the most delicious food ever. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about putting “love” into their food. I try to create “calmness” and infuse that into my food. (I put some love in there, too.)
Here are some tips to help you quickly get Zen in your kitchen starting today.
7 Things to Get Zen In the Kitchen
Here are seven things I do to get Zen in my kitchen. I adapted them from zenhabits.net.
1) Do things deliberately.
Have patience and and take your time… feel yourself flow with your actions. One way to help yourself do this is not being rushed when making food.
Tip: Before making a recipe, take time to sit down and read the recipe. Read through the ingredients and picture them in your mind. Imagine the steps you’ll take as you review the directions. Then, when you’re ready, make the recipe and take your time with each step.
2) Don’t multi-task.
Doing things in a Zen-style also means doing them one at a time. This is hard for most people, myself included.
I mean, aren’t women prized for the ability to multi-task? Well, it can calm us down if we start doing things just one at a time so it’s a good idea to at least try.
Here are some tips: For starters, here’s an obvious one: When you’re in the kitchen, keep the phone and television turned off while you’re preparing your meals. Then, while washing produce, for example, simply wash your produce, and put your focus on just washing the produce. Feel the fresh produce while you’re washing it, smell it as you cut it, be mindful and observe it … these are all ways to be present while preparing your food.
Then, when you eat, just eat. Don’t do the mail, don’t talk on the phone and don’t turn on the TV. Simply eat your food. Taste each bite and experience all of the flavors and textures exploding in your mouth.
3) Do each task completely before moving on, and each step of the recipe, in the same way.
Put your mind completely on the recipe. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished.
4) Do less in the kitchen (and in life).
Simplify. If that means you cook your salmon the same way every week, so be it. If it means reducing the number of spices you keep in your pantry, that’s cool. Sometimes less is more.
5) Rituals Are Special.
Having a ritual offers the activity a sense of appreciation and importance. I have a ritual for making my daily Bulletproof Coffee or delicious matcha green tea. In fact, drinking matcha tea could amp up your zen-ness by increasing your alpha brain waves.
When I think of those activities in that way, as special, they become even more exciting to do.
In fact, I can’t wait to do them each day because I feel so lovely and relaxed in the process. I’m sure the anticipation of caffeine has nothing to do with it. ;)
6) Timing can be everything.
“There are certain times in the day of a Zen monk designated for certain activities. A time for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly.”
I, too, designate time for my activities, such as selecting the recipes for the week, as well as making my shopping list. I also designate time to shop. When I get home from food shopping, I have a designated time where I put stuff away in an organized fashion and prep my produce, if needed (washing some of it, proper storage, etc).
7) “Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.”
“Cooking and cleaning are two of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness.” Put your whole self into those tasks, and do them mindfully… with patience and passion.
Be grateful you have food to prepare, a house to clean, and an able body to do those things.
Enjoy the moment (it’s all you truly have). Love your life and get zen.
I’m going to add one more…
8) Put an Om wall decal on your wall.
I put the wall decal you see in the picture above (from Amazon.com here) on a wall near my kitchen. It’s a friendly reminder to relax and get my Zen going.
Thanks for reading,