As humans we are naturally inclined to create things. The word "create" means to bring into existence or cause something to exist. Yet all the time we hear people saying "Im not very creative". Think back to when you were a kid, remember how many things you made or CREATED? Why did we stop this? Its obviously an incredibly important human need to create things yet we were taught to sit at our desk and only create things that others (teachers, bosses, organizations) asked us for. When was the last time you created something just because you felt like it?
[I just created a new snapchat where I will be posting cooking videos, pictures, yoga poses and other healthy lifestyle tips. Add me! @lukepechmann]
There are a few skills that I consider essential to a human. Cooking being one of the most important. If you can learn to choose healthy, local and fresh produce, store it, prepare it and enjoy it with others your life and health will improve. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mother and father who both enjoyed and practiced cooking. My mom would make incredible fresh baked bread, muffins, zucchini brownies, chicken dinners, salads and much more. My dad could bake incredible pies, make wonderful crepes and had a legendary Midwest favorite: Tater Tot Hot Dish!
What information are you putting into your body?
Food is information. The foods you are eating are downloading into your body and cells and either communicating with your body that times are good (efficient levels of micro-nutrients, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates) or times are bad (low levels of micro-nutrients, high levels of carbohydrates and processed foods (lots of cereals, bread, pasta, wheat).
Low levels of good fats (grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, duck fat, grape seed oil) high levels of bad fats and hydrogenated oils (Canola Oil, cooking sprays etc). Low levels of quality proteins, & low mineral levels. You see its simple to get lean and have the body you want if you understand this key concept: Feed your body quality information and your body will provide you with quality results.
The reason its so easy to eat a whole box of cereal if you're hungry is that your body is getting trace amounts of vitamins and minerals and is therefore telling you to continue eating ALL of the cereal in an attempt to meet your bodies minimum levels of micros and minerals.
The ways that we obtain and prepare food massively effect this process as well. The reason I'm consistently getting people to start cooking is so that they build a good relationship with the foods they are putting into their body and send themselves a positive message like "I created this healthy balanced meal and now I get to sit down and enjoy it".
Try my favorite Omega 3 Supplement here.
The creative process starts with you selecting the right organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and meats (If you are a meat eater). Go explore a farmers market and actually talk to the farmers and growers. They want to hear from you they want to teach you about the produce they grow. The process continues as you wash these products and begin trimming or cutting them for your meal. You are caring for, cleaning and essentially building a relationship with the foods you are about to consume.
The best way to learn how to cook: EXPERIMENT
The first thing I remember learning how to cook was pancakes from scratch. My dad would make amazing pancakes and crepes from scratch and I naturally wanted to learn how. He had a nice recipe and he would get out the booklet and follow it every time. I quickly learned how to make these pancakes without the recipe or without measuring whatsoever. I realized cooking was just like building stuff with Legos; there is no right or wrong way, its the most fun to experiment. You may be a follow the recipe "to the T" person but you can always experiment with small details like spice combinations or heating methods. I began making different types of pancakes, experimenting with types of flours, sweeteners and fruits.
The original recipe called for bleached white flour, white sugar, canola oil, baking powder, eggs, milk etc. As I explored the field of health and nutrition I began substituting the ingredients with healthier ones. I used buckwheat or coconut flour instead of regular flour, I used raw honey instead of white sugar, I used coconut oil or grass fed butter instead of canola oil, sometimes I used coconut milk or flax milk. The point is that I realized the fun came from experimentation and the health came from being unconventional.
I remember experiencing a shift in my thinking when I ate at some restaurants and had meals that weren't as good as mine or my parents. It wasn't until years later when I got really good at making salads, barbecuing or slow roasting meats, making smoothies etc that I realized how much I disliked dining at restaurants. 99% of the time I eat at a restaurant I know that I could make the meal taste better, with better ingredients (local & organic), with better cooking methods and make it much more cost effective.
I challenge you to take one meal that you typically LOVE to eat at a restaurant and learn how to master it yourself in a Paleo, Vegan or Keto friendly way. What you will find with some practice is that yours will taste better, you will feel better having created it, you will feel better about the ingredients that went in to it because you actually KNOW where they came from and that your overall attitude towards cooking will change.
Post your meal on facebook, twitter, instagram or snapchat (@lukepechmann) and tag me in it!
One of my favorite books on 80/20 cooking is by Tim Ferriss its called "The 4 Hour Chef" I highly recommend it.
Be creative my friends!