So we’re midway through January and of course, still stuck in Covid lockdown. Last Monday was classed as ‘blue Monday’ – with everyone supposedly feeling fed up. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling that way until I kept reading about it everywhere, then I started to doubt my somewhat chipper self. Sure, I’m fed up with the lockdown and obviously with all the Christmas decs packed away, the house feels a little bare, but I always think of January as the opportunity to start afresh, it’s almost exciting. No January Blues here…yet. Spending time cooking is always a good way to relax and there’s no better way to help banish the blues than to put some love into your cooking.

Invest in Yourself

Without wanting to bore, I do think that enjoying good food helps with a positive outlook and I don’t just mean good ‘low-calorie diet’ food. Eating can be such a social pleasure even if you’re on you’re own. Take time to invest in yourself. Just like the movie with Julia Roberts (Eat, Pray, Love), the ‘Eat’ refers to the main character’s time in Italy where she discovers a newfound passion for eating good food. First of all, there’s’ the choice of food to be eaten, actually taking time to decide what you’re going to eat, it’s an important decision. Think about what you really feel like eating, don’t make do with what’s left hanging around the fridge (unless it’s just one of those days). Then there’s the preparation. Spend time lovingly preparing your meals (yes – I know that when you have kids, work and dogs to walk – this might be a little bit Mary Poppins) but spending time (doesn’t have to be much) preparing your meal really does relax the soul. Stabbing a microwave meal with a fork might be rewarding if you pretend it’s someone you don’t like – but it won’t cut it in the same way that gently sauteing some onions in a pan will. Just look at Jamie Oliver’s face every time he opens his oven door and pulls out a beautifully cooked dish. He’s genuinely excited. It might just be a lasagne or a sausage casserole, but that’s not the point, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you’ve put the love in cooking it.

Tomorrow is a New Day

Some days will always be better than others, but if you’re having a slightly pants day (and I’m guilty of having a few) remind yourself that tomorrow is a brand spanking new day. If you intend to have one chocolate digestive but find you’ve soon eaten the whole packet, don’t beat yourself up. It happens. Instead, go to bed and remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and you have the opportunity to start again. It’s definitely not the worst thing in the world, tomorrow, you can get back on the track. In fact, don’t buy biscuits, make yourself a treat instead. The chances are that you’ll enjoy what you’ve made so much more than anything bought. I can guarantee you, you’ll want it to last longer and will eat a smaller portion, you’ll be more aware of what you’ve eaten because you’ve invested your time in it. You’ve put the love in. Trust me.

So if you’re making resolutions or just thinking of how to improve your overall mood. Think about how you cook and what you eat. Whether it’s just for you or for your family and friends (not long now!) invest your time in what you’re cooking and reward yourself, as L’Oreal like to remind us – because you’re worth it.

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