Sitting in a waiting room some time this summer, I picked up a health and fitness magazine and started leafing through it. (Sorry, I can’t remember which one.) But I remember a small feature on how women’s mindsets affected their workouts. It seems that when a group of slightly overweight women were asked to describe how they felt going in, about half said they felt fat, and needed to exercise to lose weight. The other half said that they felt fit and strong, and wanted to lose some weight.
In the study, the first group, who were motivated by feeling bad about themselves, quit their workouts sooner. The second group, who felt fit, well, they worked out harder and longer.
I didn’t realize that this bit of information would stick in my mind, and bounce around for weeks. I couldn’t help but extrapolate the lesson to all areas of life. Are you working on your career, filled with angst about not being as far along as someone else? Are you facing challenges, and feeling more fear than confidence?
But what I see most, as a cooking teacher, is the affect that a mindset has on your ability to get healthy meals on the table. As with the women going to the gym, people who walk into the kitchen feeling beaten are more likely to give up.
As someone who cooks for a living, I may have a few more skills than the average home cook. But really, anyone can get a meal on the table, with a sharp knife and the right mindset. The real difference between a cook and people who flounder in the kitchen is really confidence.
The cook has the fit and strong mindset, just transferred to the kitchen.
She is fearless. She enters the kitchen like a warrior, knowing that she will conquer, not like a victim of past battles. It may sound silly, but that shift in attitude will make all the difference.
Julia Child once said: “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
In the spirit of cooking like a warrior, I created a quick recipe for a smoothie that will charge you up. Juices and smoothies are fast, energizing pick-me-ups that help you stay nourished and upbeat as you move through the day- maybe even to plan your meals and hit the store.
This is a real meal smoothie, with mangos and a chunk of creamy silken tofu in the mix. The kicker, though, is the red chiles. As you slurp your creamy delicious smoothie, there is an undertone of heat that will awaken your mouth, and zap your brain awake. Perhaps, even awaken the warrior within.
Ignite your inner fire, and stay confident until it’s time to make dinner.
Cook like a warrior!
Mango Chile Smoothie
1 large mango, about 2 1/2 cups of cubes, frozen
2 small Red Fresno Chiles, or one hotter red chile, seeds and membranes removed
1 frozen banana
3 slices peeled ginger
1/2 package silken firm tofu (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup soymilk
Put all the ingredients in the blender and process until thick and smooth.