Would you let me into your kitchen?

On January 23, 2014, in General, by Anne Bergman

Many people do: working with someone who’s brain is wired for finding kitchen solutions, might be just the ticket to eating the way they want, and regaining control of their kitchen and meals.

There are some though, who are embarrassed.  I recall one phone conversation during which the person said they would appreciate my help. This family was going through a dietary change. Between finding the extra time and money to acquire the new ingredients, and still more time to do more homemade cooking, things were tough.  Add to that a small dose of picky eaters, and it’s easy see that some support and coping strategies would be welcomed. They knew that there are many ways in which The Kitchen Director could simplify, organize, strategize and prioritize kitchen space, stuff and plans.  But.

The kitchen was old and plain,  unrenovated, and maybe a bit dustier and stickier than this homeowner was comfortable with. Money had been tight, health concerns had taken a lot of time and energy, growing children and life’s challenges combined to keep this kitchen in it’s 1990‘s state. The deep embarrassment regarding that room prevented this family from inviting me in to help with their dietary changes, their time constraints.

Other families I have spoken with are fearful of what changes might happen when I show up.  Changes to where things are placed, or changes to the diet, or changes to the roles and responsibilities; these can be terrifying for some.  The partner who finds these changes exciting and motivating is usually the one to call me.  Both must be united before I can come in.

There are many ways to work around fears and concerns, but the first step for anyone offering to help must be to ask many questions.  Initially on the phone, if the kitchen space is too sensitive.  A conversation with everyone in the family, is a great way to get some of the issues on the table.  It’s a conversation most couples and families don’t normally undertake on their own.

Think about what the conversation would look like for you.  Are you happy to hang out in the kitchen? Do you prefer eating alone, amongst adults only, or with the whole family?  Is there some particular task that you abhor in the kitchen? (Personally, I would do just about anything before washing leafy greens, even though I love eating them.) What are the ideas or feelings about grocery shopping. How does each person answer these questions?

Let me know how your conversation goes.  What was the funniest comment? Were there tears? Boredom? Accusations? Any “aha” moments for the family?  Would you let me into your kitchen?


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