Rediscover Your Kitchen

“Never has a culture spent more to remodel and techno-glitz its kitchens, but at the same time been more lost as to where the kitchen is and what it’s for.”

– Excerpt from Joel Salatin’s “Declare Your Independence” from the book Food, Inc.

We “oooh” and “aaah” over granite counter tops, wood cabinets, festive back splashes, and light fixtures; but, how often do we actually use our kitchens? Be honest with yourself. When is the last time you did more than fry an egg, bake a frozen pizza, microwave a potato, or just-add-water to a brownie mix?

As a society, we have become so far detached from the purpose of our kitchens. Our hectic lifestyles and busy schedules lead us to simplify our eating habits and purchase pre-prepared foods that require minimal heating time. If we have to take out more than a baking sheet or spoon, forget it – we will order take-out.

The result of this fast food eating lifestyle is malnourishment and weight gain. Frozen dinners and packaged meal helpers do not contain nearly the amount of vitamins and minerals that fresh produce does.  Frozen and packaged meals are also high in sodium, additives, and preservatives, and they can be high in fat, sugar, and non-food nutrient substitutes. By making a habit of eating pre-prepared foods, we are essentially trading our health for the sake of convenience.

What happened to the culinary skills of America? Why do we freak out at the thought of having to cook a meal? Why are we so afraid of our kitchens, so insecure about our capabilities, and so darn lazy?

These days, we make cooking into a chore. It takes time, resources, seems expensive, and requires some planning. At the end of a long work day, the last thing we want to do it exert ourselves, let alone cook.

This way of thinking must stop!

We must dust the cobwebs off our pots and pans and start to play in the kitchen again. We must buy fresh ingredients from our local markets and spend a little time chopping, sautéing, and marinating. We must have fun in our kitchens and turn dinner time into a group activity. When we regain our cooking confidence, we regain control over our health and our lives.


Are you already a home chef? Fantastic! Keep up the good work and continue discovering new flavors, techniques, combinations, and fun ways to present your masterpieces.

Are you new to the kitchen? Start gradually by steaming veggies, boiling rice, frying eggs, and sautéing onions. Do you not know how to do any of these things? Look it up on the internet! This online wellness center has a growing collection of resources you can use regardless of your experience level. Do some web surfing and pick out your favorite recipe sites so that you can build an arsenal of meals ready to be prepared at a moment’s notice. Better yet, ask your mom! Someone in your immediate family is or knows a home chef. Go them for some tips and even plan a night to cook a meal together.

Most importantly, begin to change the way you think about the kitchen and about cooking. Begin to find value in fresh, home cooked foods and notice the impact it has on your health.


  1. Annie says:

    I LOVE to cook, but some nights I just don’t feel like putting forth the effort. Pinterest has a LOT of great homemade freezer meals. I like the idea of taking a few hours during the weekend to chop veggies, add seasonings, and divvy everything up into containers. Then, during the week, there are perfectly portioned meals ready to just heat up in the crockpot/stove/oven. Plus- you know exactly what is in them!

    • Rachael says:

      Great tip, Annie! Pinterest has so many delicious, healthy, fun, and convenient recipes and ideas. And you are right – when you prepare your own meals, you know exactly what is in them. One way we can take control of our health and lives is to know what we are putting inside our bodies. Keep up the good cooking!

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