The kitchen is our happy place…in theory. It’s the hub of all our healthful endeavors, where nourishment becomes personal, tangible and fun. But during during busy seasons, things can take a dark turn. Think stacks of unwashed dishes, piles of cookie crumbs from our late night tasting session and a dining table turned into a gift wrapping station. Elise Museles, certified ‘Eating Psychology’ and nutrition expert, is showing us how to bring the magic back into our kitchens — and why it matters more than just on the aesthetic front..
There’s no doubt about it: The kitchen is the heart and soul of a home. It’s a place for good food, even better conversation and filled with moments of creativity and face-to-face connection. We nourish our families from our kitchens — and all that is even truer during the holidays, when food is central to so many of our traditions. But, let’s face it… it’s a busy time of year, which means that mealtimes can feel extra stressful and even more chaotic.
How To Make Your Kitchen More Magical Right NowInstead of all the craziness that goes along with the season, take a moment to transform your kitchen into a sanctuary, worthy of the memories that you’ll create inside. It only takes a little time and attention to make your kitchen functional and welcoming — your family will thank you (and you’ll thank yourself!) when your kitchen feels like a calming and centering place to be. Here are some easy (and fun!) ways to make your kitchen more magical right now:
Declutter your cooking (and eating) space to declutter your mind. It’s not easy to sit down to a meal when all you see is a big mess and tons of stuff everywhere. While it’s fun to acquire new superfoods, cookbooks and, of course, kitchen gadgets, all that can ultimately weigh you down.
Get in the holiday spirit and set aside an hour to toss or donate foods and appliances you no longer use. When you clean out your physical environment, your internal environment will naturally feel lighter as a result. Make room in your kitchen for you.
Sit down to eat. Sitting down for meals can do wonders for your sanity — especially during the hectic holiday season. And your kitchen should be the first place that comes to mind. Standing up like a short-order cook while your friends and family make requests keeps you from relaxing over a shared meal and connecting with them in conversation. Commit to spending mealtime at the table. After all, you belong with your guests and family at the table — end of story. Take a seat.
Entertaining does not mean entertainment. Inviting guests into your home can be a source of great pleasure, but for too many of us, it’s also a source of great stress.
Your guests aren’t there to see you turning your back to them as you pull a perfectly risen soufflé out of the oven, worrying about whether it will fall. They want to be with you, in your element, relaxed and happy. They’re just as satisfied with an easy meal, capping off the evening with your tried-and-true festive cookies — and a face-to-face conversation.
Simplify planning, whip up favorite crowd pleasers, let it go and be fully present.
Me time in the kitchen is like meditation. The kitchen isn’t just a place to bring people together — it is also a valued place to escape. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, head to the kitchen for a soothing latte and a few moments away from all your screens.
If you need to destress, pull out the cutting board and prep veggies for salads and fruit for smoothies. The rhythmic motion of chopping is an instant stress release, with the added benefit of getting food ready to eat ahead of the holidays. Make your kitchen a place of respite — even if that just means some time alone washing the dishes and looking out the window. Find your peace (and savor the result!).
You deserve a place at the table. (Your devices do not.) Your kitchen is a space built around the comforts of social interaction: cooking for yourself and others and sharing meals together, and the holiday table is no exception. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to treat it like the special place that it is. Remove phones and other devices that serve to take you farther from the loved ones you have gathered around you to celebrate the season. Disconnect — and connect.
From stories told around our tables to meals cooked in our ovens to glasses raised among friends, our kitchens have the power to bring us together and create incredible memories. And what could be more valuable during the holiday season than having a calm place to experience those sacred times? Make your kitchen your sanctuary, and then enjoy the peaceful and delicious results.