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The Cure for Lonely Kitchens

(hug your hand-mixer + let the sparks fly, baby)

Having spent years in the hospitality industry trying to make guests happy with good food and stellar service, I do understand the lure of being pampered, and I got pleasure from making someone’s day a bit brighter. Who doesn’t appreciate someone cooking for us? At the same time, by selling animals and animal products, processed foods, and salty-sugary-fatty dishes on menus, I also (unintentionally) contributed to unstable eco-systems, animal cruelty, and heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune ailments, and cancer. Putting it that way, it sounds sinister, doesn’t it? When I look at what some of my career choices created, I admit that I feel regret, and I take responsibility for being a part of the problem. With WPF, I'm keen on contributing to smart and sustainable solutions until I'm food for fungi. 


Because we're enticed by sexy restaurants and convenient take-out, and since we seem to be living maxed-out-busy-lives, some of our kitchens have become lonely echo-chambers gathering dust bunnies in the dark. Then, when we manage to squeeze in a few moments to go grocery shopping, an average of 30% - 40% of the food we buy rots and ends up in a landfill – the very worst place for organic matter. Healthy kitchen habits have not been developed, and we let expensive red-leaf lettuce wilt into brown sludge, suffocating under a colorful package of mold-happy corn tortillas. One cure for our lonely kitchens lies in three steps: wake up, make a choice, and take action. I'm aware of a backwards reality we engage in:

We always seem to have enough resources to FIX a problem, but we never have enough to PREVENT one. 

When the diet-and-lifestyle inflicted, chronic disease diagnosis slaps us out of our busy stupors, we suddenly find time for doctor’s visits and surgeries. We slow down, for a while anyway. If we’re really paying attention, we add shopping, cooking, and hanging out with our pots and pans to our routines. Evidence-based info is abundantly available about what’s actually making us sick (and sadly disconnected to our kitchens): stress; lack of healthy sleep and fitness and love; addiction to electronics, click-bait headlines, and food; unexpressed emotions; being ostracized and abused; junk and processed foods; animals and animal products; the high salt-sugar-fat Western Diet; and eating out... like, a lot. 


We have an opportunity to continue down the rabbit hole of unwise choices and denial or take the road towards optimal nutrition. Experts continue to implore us to eat more fresh food, more veggies and fruits and company. They tell us to exercise our sedentary bodies, unplug and breathe deeply every day, get food-system educated, be kinder to ourselves and each other. And they beseech us to cook at home. However, the comfort-zones we know intimately are far more alluring than the health freedoms we've not yet experienced. In the long run, making new choices in favor of cooking WPF at home is smarter than getting sick (and dying) from a preventable disease. Food shopping is way cheaper than a doctor.


Here are ten primary factors which have possibly contributed to an inability to get out of our own way: 


  1. food and/or beverage addiction

  2. our reptilian brain that wants to devour high-calorie (junk/animal) foods and beverages

  3. clever and truth-twisting marketing tactics

  4. mis/disinformation in over-abundance... everywhere

  5. pressure from friends, family, and peers to stick with the status-quo

  6. cultural realities and entrenched belief systems

  7. fabulous restaurants and sexy happy hours

  8. foggy brains that create imbalanced priorities, while getting advice from nutritionally inexperienced physicians

  9. stubborn impulses to reject intelligent change fueled by the need to be right

  10. fear of being judged after choosing a more nutritious, humane, and sustainable path

One brilliant solution? It's five meters from our lazy-chairs waiting for us. It has a source of water, a place to store cold groceries, a machine to heat food, and toys to play with. Our kitchens are at the heart of our social circles, of our souls. Begin from wherever you are at this moment. Then, get out your chef knife and cutting board and crank up the music. When we eat power salads with... 


arugula, spinach, hulled barley, lentils, tomatoes, pickled beets, red onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, parsley, oregano, lemon-tahini dressing, and pepitas... 

our bodies are like sponges, thirsting for life-giving nutrients like a shriveled up wanderer in the Mohave Desert. Food keeps us alive; some foods can kill us, too. We could take action and spend time in our kitchens or remain hidden in the rabbit holes of disbelief or addiction. Our beloved kitchens can help us heal, but comfort zones and ego resistance (and laziness) seem to have taken over our desire for health. Oops. 


Shifting a lifetime of habits requires that we put in the EFFORT it takes, perhaps more effort than we’ve known before. Cooking for some people is like scratching a chalkboard. Got it... Giving up French baguettes warm out of the oven, slathered with Irish butter at the local bakery feels too foreign for many of us. I love crusty-bleached breads on a Sunday morning, and I struggle with my food-junkie brain as much as anyone. I just love feeling light-hearted, brain alert, and physiologically healthy even more. The classic Cost-Benefit Analysis keeps me aware of smart choices for my body and brain. And... conventional bakeries can lure me in, too. Yup, I so get it. 

From caves to cul-de-sacs as has been our custom for thousands of years, let's make kitchens the center of our lives once again. 

Wake up, make a choice, and take action. Let’s lean into having the time and resources to prevent a health problem NOW, so that we don’t have to cure one next year. Please seriously consider cooking more at home and spending time slicing mushrooms and leeks, creating soups, sauces, and salsas, roasting rutabaga, and baking CH Cookies. I can't imagine a pastime more life-affirming than cooking and taking good care of our body and brain. Cooking with whole plants, which are gifts from the Universe, is one of the most self-loving, creature-loving, and planet-loving acts a human being can do. Cooking WPF for people we care about is one of the most superlative ways to show gratitude and kindness towards each other. It's time to fall in love with our life-promoting kitchen once again. 

It has been lonely long enough.

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