I spend a whole lot of time in my kitchen. Making breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a family of three takes a good portion of the day. Whether I’m whipping up kale and eggs for breakfast, chopping sweet potatoes for dinner, or just heating up leftovers from the night before, the vibe in my favorite space matters. If you’re like me and you spend much of your day chopping, whipping, or sautéing, why not make the most utilized room in your home a sanctuary?
Why a Peaceful Kitchen Matters
According to author of “Organically Raised,” Anni Daulter, “When you start cooking with a sense of the sacred in mind, you begin to see how your love for everything wells up in your heart. When you cook like this, every stew is special and every grain of rice is a miracle.”
Additionally, in yogic philosophy, it’s clear that prana or life force is present in all living things, including food. This means that you energetically impact the foods you prepare. Therefore, a cooking space should be similar to where you meditate, a peaceful place where you feel calm and focused. Not to mention that if you don’t cook often enough, an inviting kitchen may remind you why cooking is so fulfilling.
Remain Mindful While You Cook
Take some time before entering your kitchen to center. Breathe deeply for a few minutes or close your eyes for a short meditation. Visualize producing tasty, healthy, fresh fare for you or your family. While you’re cooking, try and remain mindful of the meal you’re preparing. Make meal preparation a meditation and every time your mind wanders, allow it to return back to the activity you’re doing. Don’t do anything else besides meal preparation. For example, jumping to other tasks like laundry, cleaning dishes, or straightening up the house.
How to Make Your Kitchen a Sanctuary
Transforming your kitchen into a place of refuge is easier than you think. These steps can help you make your kitchen a place where you’re excited to create tasty, fresh meals.
1. Cut the clutter
First of all, get all the junk out of your kitchen so you have room to maneuver. Less clutter is calming and peaceful. You don’t have to declutter all at once. Take your time and move drawer to drawer, pulling out what you no longer need. Got two versions of the same tool? Time to say goodbye to one of them (preferably the cheaper one). Never used that garlic crusher? Why not give it to someone who might? Every item in your kitchen should have meaning. Don’t let a stack of papers build up on the kitchen counter, either. Every so often go through and trash what you no longer need.
2. Give it a scrub down
Now that you’ve cleared the clutter, it’s time to give it a scrub down. Throw together a simple, chemical-free cleaner made with half water and half white vinegar with about ten drops of lemon essential oil. Take everything off the counters and wipe them down. Wipe down all of the appliances, inside and out. Wipe up any food remnants from the floor.
3. Make it foot-friendly
If you’re standing on your feet chopping, slicing, baking, or just reading recipes, it can get tiring. Treat yourself to some foot support. Consider the casa pura Anti Fatigue Mat ($33) or the NewLife by GelPro Professional Grade Anti-Fatigue Mat ($72). Both mats provide the support you need so that your back and your feet don’t take a beating in the kitchen.
4. Add in some tunes
Nothing feels quite as nice as cooking to some good tunes. Of course, it depends on what you’re in the mood for, but keep the tunes as calming as possible. Instead of watching television or listening to the news, choose some music that keeps you mindful.
5. Make a kitchen shrine
Make a kitchen shrine filled with sacred items. Add some shelving to the wall in your kitchen to present your favorite items. Choose soothing candles, images of special people, vases of flowers, incense, or whatever moves you.
6. Add an herb garden
You can’t get much fresher than growing food right in your kitchen. And what better way to amp up your cuisine than with the help of fresh herbs? A small kitchen garden also adds life to your kitchen (literally!) and prana to the food you’re preparing. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Just choose a sunny spot and plant a few herbs that you use often.
7. Organize your pantry
Take some time to organize your pantry so you can get to everything you use regularly. Go to a craft store and purchase some mason jars to store your essentials like flour, sugar, nuts, seeds, etc. Make sure all your favorite staples are properly marked and sealed so they last a long time.
8. Clean out your fridge
Cleaning out your fridge isn’t the most fun, but it’s essential to a peaceful space. Remove all the items from your fridge and wipe down everything with warm soap and water. Check all the expiration dates on condiments before placing them back on the shelf.
9. Dump super old leftovers
In yogic philosophy, foods that aren’t fresh and alive don’t contain prana, or life force. After a day or two, leftovers also lose their life force. The bottom line is to make sure that all the foods you serve are as fresh as possible. Processed, junk foods are also worth avoiding for the same reasons.
Any tips for how to make your kitchen a sanctuary? Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen? How do you make it your own? Are you a mindful chef? We want to know! Drop us a line via Twitter @EcoSalon.