Got the “what’s for dinner” blues? 5 great tips to help

Hello. My name is Suzy. I’m a Life Coach. And I have no freakin’ clue what’s for dinner.

Sweet child of mine, oh how I love seeing you after school.

That smile.

That face.

Those eyes.

And then you ask that question.

Before hello.

Before you utter any other word.


“What’s for dinner?”

(Enter nails on a chalkboard sound here – that’s how I feel when I hear this.)

Oh, how I hate that question.

The truth of the matter is that, more days than not, I have no clue what’s for dinner.

It’s funny. When the kids were younger and I drove to pick them up from school on my days off, the question came in the sports field as we walked to the car to go home.

Now, I’m a midlife gal. I’ve been dealing with this question for more than a decade.

My oldest two kids have gone to university. My youngest is in Grade 12. He comes home on his own, throws his stuff down and heads straight into the kitchen…and is often both starving and disappointed. He’s a foodie, so it’s probably a bit worse for him emotionally.

So what is my problem?

Maybe there’s some insight I could get from my mom.

I remember asking my mom how she did it all these years. I came from a large family. She’s a great cook and always seemed to come up with yummy ideas. It’s a ton of work to cook for so many people – her husband, 5 daughters and now their families. I’ve only been cooking for MY family for 21 years. I couldn’t fathom how my mom found the energy, motivation and creativity for making family meals all for about four or five decades!

Maybe there’s inspiration in my surroundings.

I used to have a super ugly kitchen in my first house. Kind of like the Brady Bunch kitchen, only I had yellow everywhere they had orange and white everywhere they had avocado green. Back in the day, I thought the Brady’s kitchen was the most fantastic kitchen ever…and Alice was the best cook! Here’s a link to a scene from their kitchen, to remind you (from a copyright perspective, I wasn’t sure if I could embed the video, so just to be safe):

Now my kitchen is GORGEOUS! I remember thinking that I would be a better cook when I had a better kitchen. The kitchen in our second house was 50 years old when we moved in and had to be renovated. How happy was I!

kitchen reno
kitchen reno

But now, 9 years later, I’m not a better cook and not really enjoying my time in the kitchen.

If you read my blog, you know why I’m not loving my kitchen.

Is it that I’m tired? No.

Is it that I don’t have enough space? No.

Is it that I don’t have the right appliances? No.

The answer is simple. It’s my thoughts.

Thinking is always the cause of our problems, our perspective.

Thoughts are sentences in our mind. They are what we think ABOUT the facts or circumstances in our lives.

So what’s going on up there for me? After doing some thinking, I found two thoughts that I’m thinking without my permission. They aren’t serving me…yet I think them anyway.  coaching_pin_thought22_pinterest

Thought #1: I don’t like the pressure of having to come up with ideas for dinner.

Thought #2: Work is more important than cooking dinner.

EWWWW. Nothing like seeing and owning what you’re thinking. That second thought really sticks out and I don’t like it.

When I think that work is more important than cooking dinner, I feel like rushed.  So…what do I do? I don’t spend that much time meal planning and cooking. What’s my result? Work gets a higher priority than cooking food for dinner.

Gee, what a surprise. My result proves my thought!

I can really see that my thoughts are so negative about dinner – planning, prepping and cooking.

Wow. There’s some work to do here because I don’t like my result.

It’s glaringly obvious too because my son loves cooking and is highly motivated. It’s something that we could be doing together and having fun with.

So, I asked myself how I would like to feel when I’m thinking about preparing dinner. I would like to feel excited. Excited to eat something delicious and fresh. And excited to share something meaningful with my son before he leaves for university. He knows so much and is eager to share it with me too!

I realize that I would have to think something very different from what I’m currently thinking to feel this way.

So I’m trying this thought on for size: “Making dinner is a fun thing I can share with my son.”  I genuinely feel excited when I think this. MUCH BETTER!

Are you also grumpy about dinner? Here are a few tips to help!

  1. Figure out what you’re thinking about making dinner. Your thoughts are creating your feelings. Is it the grocery store parking lot that’s the problem? Is Costco driving you crazy? Do you just need more ideas? If you’re not sure, identify your feelings first and work backwards.
  2. Decide on purpose how you want to feel about meal planning, prepping and cooking.
  3. Think carefully about what thought you would need to think to create that feeling.
  4. Practice thinking that thought. Seriously. Write it down. Work on making this new thought a new habit.
  5. Consider surfing on Pinterest for inspirational ideas. Food is super fun on Pinterest.

I love talking to clients about helping them create the results in their lives that they really want. It can be big and scary, like about their career, losing weight or regret-proofing their life OR more mundane, like feeling better about making dinner!

Ready to bust out of YOUR midlife funk? Start here.






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