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TIKitchen Bootcamp: What are You Waiting For??

A couple of months ago, a good friend told me that she needed my help. She'd alluded to this in the past, but this time was different. Now she said to me, “Maris, I need you! I want to eat better, I need to set up my kitchen better and I want to be able to have people over and actually cook for them. It's time!” She had been in her own new apartment for several weeks and wanted to now dial-in her space and start cooking healthier and regularly. We talked, made some plans and an outline of priorities.

I said, “Okay, let’s DO this! I’ll see you on Saturday, 10 a.m., not sure exactly how long we’ll need...”

I came over and, armed with our cups of tea, we got right to it.

Sadly, I neglected to take “before” pics but I will tell you that it wasn’t too bad to begin with; I’ve seen and helped with varying degrees of disarray or need and can respond accordingly. In this instance, my friend just needed some inspiration, streamlining, guidance and direction.

Part 1: We sorted, organized, (re-)arranged, considered and her kitchen shifted that day from a mere repository for [somewhat] randomly-placed stuff to a more functional and enjoyable space. More often than not, I find that people have much of what they need, already; sometimes another perspective can make all the difference.

Part 2: We then assessed the food stocks, dietary concerns and preferences. We discussed strategies and filled-out her Monthly Meal Plan template.

After about 8 hours, we were both happy and satisfied with our efforts. It was fulfilling to look at her freshly-beautified, newly-“dialed-in” digs but even more so to know that she was excited and felt more comfortable, confident and prepared to move forward with her desire to get healthier and to entertain, baby!

I’m delighted to report that it (my friend’s kitchen redux) didn’t hurt, at all. She had wanted to do something like this for a long time and took the bold step of asking for it and DOING it. My friend, and lots of others like her, felt a deep longing and a lack of knowledge and, at times, motivation. She knew I was there for her and she reached-out to me. If you're interested, I've shared her experience and reaction with you below.

Have You been wanting to make positive changes for the New Year?

Do you want your kitchen look, feel and work better for you?

Do you have health concerns or ever been told that you need to make some dietary modifications for yourself or a family member?

We can talk gluten-free, (pre-?)diabetic, vegan, omnivore, Your Basic Healthy Overhaul, whatever

But, in truth, it’s not really so Basic but something much more: I am uniquely qualified to take my clients on a, let's say, "Holistic Journey" through the kitchen, from food and menu to lighting and art, if that is, in fact, what someone wants… This is why I call it a Bootcamp: we are building a better, stronger foundation for Your healthier future, and maybe your family's.

I’m offering my help and the promise of a compassionate and [surprisingly] enjoyable process as I help you to re-shape the way you cook and eat, starting simply with your Way of Being in the kitchen, if that’s what you need and truly want.

I wonder if it’s something that You crave? If so, you know how to find me. ;)

Intuitively and Gratefully Yours,

Marissa J.

Starr's Testimonial:

Marissa empowers and inspires. I hired Marissa for a kitchen makeover and meal planning session. My relationship with food was out of control and it was affecting my self-confidence. I desperately needed some new energy and inspiration in the kitchen. I would buy food without knowing what I would cook, then look in the fridge and feel like there was nothing I could easily make for myself or serve when I had guests. Even though I was spending hundreds of dollars on food every month, I would end up throwing it away and often wind up eating out.

Desperate to improve my relationship with my diet and food preparation, I met with Marissa for an initial consultation. She listened to my concerns and my desires - I live alone and work full-time so coming home and cooking dinner 5 nights a week doesn’t appeal to me. I wanted to do weekly food prep, but had no idea where to begin. Marissa took notes while I talked, then about a week later, came to my house for what would be one of the most valuable transformations I have ever experienced.

Marissa came in with a clear understanding of my needs and a plan to deliver what I had asked for. We went over the materials she had created for me - a folder with her basic pantry items she keeps on hand for a well-stocked kitchen and fillable monthly calendars to use for meal prep. She asked me to note which food items I was drawn to. She walked me through how she keeps her kitchen organized and stocked, piping-in with knowledge about how to use each product or store it, what to look for when purchasing and so on. We made a list of kitchen tools that she recommended I purchase (e.g. crock pot, good quality knives, etc).

Based on the food I liked and already make, she created categories (grain, meat, soup, casserole, etc) for me to focus on (rather than just handing me recipes) for a weekly food prep session that not only provided me with the structure I needed but the flexibility that empowered me to take ownership and get creative in the kitchen. Each category was meant to overlap in some way, so for example, I would pick a grain and meat for the week, like wild rice and chicken, these would then become the basis for several meals. I could use these items in my soups and casseroles. I was getting really excited at this point because I could see all the possibilities that, with some planning, were attainable.

After the meal prep lesson, we launched into reordering my kitchen and cupboards. We went drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard as Marissa highlighted organization, functionality and simplicity. I was stunned at what a difference this made to my kitchen and how much more user-friendly it has become.

The best part about this session was Marissa’s explanations as to why she made the suggestions and improvements she did. She gave me the knowledge to consider my kitchen, tools and food as my ally rather than an obstacle. This session provided me with the foundation to take control over my life again.

Show yourself some love and hire Marissa - it was one of the most valuable days of my life and a true investment in myself.

This meant so much to me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

- Starr Culver

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