I’ve lost my cook­ing mojo

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health and well­be­ing.

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH -

I used to en­joy cook­ing nu­tri­tious food but re­cently I’ve re­ally lost my cook­ing mojo. I can’t be both­ered and I am tend­ing to buy more take­aways, which I knowaren’t as good for me. Howdo I get my love of cook­ing back? Thanks, Jane

Hi Jane, That’s an in­ter­est­ing one. Any time we lose an in­ter­est or a pas­sion it’s worth tak­ing a lit­tle bit of time to re­flect on what is go­ing on around this. Are you more stressed? Tak­ing on more work com­mit­ments and so on? There could be a num­ber of rea­sons here. How­ever, it’s not un­com­mon for the main chef in the house­hold to be­come sick of cook­ing, par­tic­u­larly when you add in time pres­sure and hun­gry chil­dren. We can of­ten get into a rou­tine of cook­ing the same dishes, which is help­ful for ef­fi­ciency but not nec­es­sar­ily for a cre­ative out­let which cook­ing can most def­i­nitely be.

To re-en­gage your in­ter­est in cook­ing I sug­gest go­ing to the li­brary and get­ting out some new cook­books. Try some re­ally dif­fer­ent op­tions like Middle East­ern, Moroc­can or In­dian cui­sine. Or dust off your cook­book col­lec­tion at home and aim to cook at least one new recipe a week. Get back in touch with what food means to you. Let it be nour­ish­ment and re­con­nect with the joy and value of cook­ing de­li­cious and nu­tri­tious meals. Por­tion con­trol is a big is­sue for me. I eat well but I eat too much. What’s the best­way to man­age por­tion con­trol with­out weigh­ing food/be­com­ing ob­sessed with it? Thank you, Claire

Hi Claire, Por­tion con­trol is most def­i­nitely an is­sue for many peo­ple. Es­pe­cially if you’re from a fam­ily where more equals bet­ter, or your par­ent/s like to dis­play their love through large quan­ti­ties of food.

Aside from the emo­tional rea­sons why we might serve larger por­tions such as a stress­ful day, anx­ious or over­whelmed feel­ings etc. there are a num­ber of ways you can re­duce or man­age your por­tion sizes. Here are some easy tips: Serve din­ner on a smaller plate. Eat slowly and chew each mouth­ful 20 times. This takes time – be pa­tient! Give it some prac­tise and it will be­come a habit. Start with chew­ing each bite 10 times.

En­joy the tastes and tex­tures of

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