The Heart of the Home
The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. One of the reasons the kitchen is so important is because it’s the place in our home that most influences and nurtures our health and well being.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “made with love.” There is a truth to that expression as it is not just the food we eat that is contributing to our health, but also how we feel as we prepare and eat our food. Many people believe we actually impart our energy into our food as we cook, so we want to be sure to transfer positive energy.
One way to ensure our food is made with love, is to create a kitchen that is peaceful, healthy, and inspiring—and not only so that we impart that positive energy as we cook, but also so that we actually want to cook in the first the place!
How we set up and decorate our kitchens and what is in our kitchens including, the colors, the furniture, the appliances and how they are organized and maintained all influence how we feel about cooking and eating at home. Whether we are motivated or not to cook, whether we take time to sit down to eat and whether we are relaxed when we do sit down, can all be influenced by our environment.
We nourish and nurture our families in this space—not just physically with food, but often emotionally. The kitchen is a gathering place and for most families is the center for daily activities, communication, and connection. We want to make sure our kitchen and eating areas support us so that we can be present, calm, and available to these important everyday moments.
Below are five easy to implement suggestions for creating healthy, peaceful, and inspiring kitchens and eating areas:
Clear Clutter: Clutter will prevent us from cooking or make cooking stressful. Similarly, if our dining table has become the family dumping ground chances are we will not use it because we will not take the time to clear off the clutter before each meal.
Organize: Kitchens need to be set up to function efficiently. Don’t worry about “shoulds,” “rules,” or what you see in a magazine—make it work for you! The things you use the most (or want to start using) should be easily accessible. You will not use them if they are difficult to get to, so if you need to keep them out. Cooking utensils are easily accessible in a ceramic container next to the stove. There is no reason a food processor can’t stay on the counter. Clean pots that you use everyday can remain on the stovetop. What good is a Zen- looking kitchen if you never cook in it?
Bring in Nature: Plants, sunshine, flowers, and fresh air will bring vitality and harmony to a space. Connecting to nature in our eating areas reminds us where our food comes from. Wood tables, ceramic earthy pottery and dishes are other ways to bring nature indoors. The food itself can be the best enhancement in a kitchen or dining area. Fill bowls with fruits and vegetables. Place pots of herbs in the windowsill.
Make it appetizing: Make sure everything in your kitchen and eating areas is in alignment with preparing and eating food. Garbage cans should have lids or ideally be hidden inside cabinets. Brooms and mops should also be concealed. Views of bathrooms should be screened and if in view from the kitchen, the bathroom door kept closed. Art should not contain images that may be unpleasant.
Make it comfortable: Create a space in your kitchen so your family and friends can hang out when you cook. It could be a sofa and seating area or simply a few comfortable stools. Make sure your dining chairs are comfortable and support your family in sitting down (and staying seated!) for meals.
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