Stewing over home cooking

13 April 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

My kitchen is covered in dirty dishes, I have mushroom risotto stuck to my jeans, butter in my hair and the smell of apple crumble is in the air.  This is where I find myself at the end of day eleven of  ’30 days of home cooking’.  Yesterday was not so pleasant – I hated food, never wanted to think about an oven or stove ever again, and almost gave up.  These are the ups and downs of someone who doesn’t cook trying to spend thirty days straight eating only home cooked food.  Who knew it would be such hard work?

It all started a month ago, when my doctor recommended that I take the birth control pill to regulate my low iron and vitamin D.   I decided I needed to change my lifestyle.  Obviously something was wrong – working two jobs and eating out twice a day was catching up with me. I was tired, not healing as fast as I used to, and generally feeling like I was falling apart. The last thing I wanted to do to fix it was start on medication.

Thus began my attempt at fixing my body before it fell apart completely, in the most natural way I knew how – by food.  Don’t they say it takes thirty days to break a habit?  I didn’t want to pump my body full of chemicals, preservatives and processed foods any longer.  With the rise in diabetes, obesity and cancer, I don’t want to become part of those statistics.

I have had my good and bad moments.  I spent a couple of days eating mostly raw veggies, fruit and almonds because I had no time or energy to cook (not very fun, by the way).  One of my jobs is working in a pub, and the sight and smell of fully loaded nachos at midnight when the last things I ate were a few carrot sticks at 5pm is heartbreaking. But ultimately I am reconnecting with my community, learning to cook fresh food, taking time for myself and appreciating all those people in the world who cook for their families every day.  I have even inspired some of my supporters to cook more and become aware of exactly what is in the food they eat.  

You can follow my journey on my blog at and please share ideas for me on what to cook on my suggestions page. I have 19 more days to go and I can only get through it with help.

Lindsay Schwietz is a freelance writer in Toronto, Canada.  She also works as a producer of the Toronto Youth Theatre and a server at a pub to pay the bills.  Lindsay has a Graduate Diploma of Journalism from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.