5 Ways to Reduce Overwhelm in the Kitchen

This week began my 5-Day Cleanse and I wanted to share some things that I know will be helpful for you. I’m glad to be reminded of them every time I run a Cleanse/Detox group program online.

One lady, (I’m going to call her Toni because I like the name) emailed me before the cleanse and shared with me some concerns. These are probably ones that we have all questioned ourselves now and then. 

From Toni:  “I am feeling overwhelmed with the grocery list.  I’m not the best cook nor do I feel very comfortable in the kitchen.  Although this is something I am trying to learn, I am still worried that since I have to make all my meals, I am going to fail and fall back on take-out.  How do you suggest I start slowly?”

I emailed Toni back and we scheduled a time to talk over the phone that afternoon.  I believe I helped her feel more confident.  In the process, she reminded me of how to simplify my own “overwhelm” at times. Here were some of my/our suggestions as we talked together.


  • SMALLER/SHORTER TRIPS TO THE GROCERY STORE: Since she was feeling overwhelmed about the grocery shopping, I suggested she choose just a couple of meals at the beginning of the week, make up a list of the items she needed to purchase, and then repeat that and make a second trip to the store mid-week.
  • RECRUIT HELP FROM THE KIDDOS: Toni has two grown children in the home.  I encouraged her to include the kids in the cleanse.  Each one could pick out a recipe for lunch or dinner that they wanted to try, and they would help in the kitchen to prepare that meal.
  • BE BRAVE – EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN:  When Toni said that she wasn’t comfortable in the kitchen, I did remind her that she wasn’t alone.  I never was either.  For years, with my work schedule and work I brought home every evening, preparing a healthy meal was not on the top of my “to-do list.”  I did begin, what I call, “experimenting” and I asked friends and family lots of questions.  Now you can google any questions you have and watch videos of people cooking in the kitchen for help.  So I  encouraged Toni to begin experimenting too.  Yes, there will meals that flop but there will also be meals that you will really like.  Toni is a creative woman, like most women are, so I know she can do it.  And with the help of her kids in the kitchen,  bringing them into the mix will build confidence in their abilities and only improve their lifestyle habits and overall health.
  • KEEP A WELL STOCKED PANTRY:  I am regularly reminded that when I plan ahead and keep a pantry stocked with nutritious foods, I don’t get hangry.  I encourage Toni to do the same.  With the help of a “Stocking Your Pantry” handout that comes with my Cleanse, little by little, Toni can begin adding good food to her own pantry.  She will feel more confident being able to put together a nutritious meal especially when she is short on time.
  • COOKING ONCE, EATING 2, 3, OR 4 TIMES:  As I went through the list of recipes with Toni, I asked her which ones she thought she would like to try.  There is a Coconut Yam Soup that appealed to her so with two grown kids, I encouraged her to make a double batch and freeze the leftovers.  She was drawn to making simple Cauliflower Rice too and eating more vegetables.  I was reminded myself to cook up a batch of quinoa and roast all those veggies in my refrigerator.  This helped me by making sure I was getting good nutrients in my body for a few days.  My lunches are planned for a couple of days.
  • 5-DAY CLEANSE/10-DAY CLEANSE:  Toni did say that she wanted to start slow.  I reminded her that starting out slow could be as simple as extending her 5-Day Cleanse to 10 days.  Instead of looking at having to plan all her meals for 5 days, choose 1 meal a day to prepare and do that for an extended period of days.  The recipes are simple and nutritious and ones that can be used over and over again. This would help Toni gain more confidence in the kitchen.

At the end of our phone conversation, I asked Toni if she felt better about her choice to participate in my 5-Day Cleanse.  She said that she did.  She felt some of the pressure lift off of her and she was reminded that this is a step-by-step process and appreciated me taking the time to talk with her. 

When people want to make a change in their health, making smaller adjustments in lifestyle habits stick better than the “do it all” mentality.  There are some personalities out there that thrive on making big changes all at once and that is absolutely fine.  What works for one person doesn’t work for all.  Finding what works for you, realizing there are more than one ways to get results, and having the support, encouragement, and accountability from others makes it even easier.

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