Maximize your time in the kitchen by feeding your brain
As someone who spends quite a big of time cooking alone (not just for myself, but for clients and class preparation), I totally get that cooking can feel mentally and physically draining. It's no wonder that after a long day of work, many people want to just throw something together and watch a little TV to distract from stress and get a little entertainment. Even if you love to cook like me, it's not always the most appetizing way to spend your time.
That reason is why I was so excited to get into podcasts a few years ago. For those of you that don't know, podcasts are basically audio files of online radio shows. You can download them to your phone or iPad and listen to a show on your favorite topic while you commute, are getting ready, or are cooking dinner. Here's a guide to get you started if you are new to the podcast scene.
It sounds like an overstatement but podcasts really changed my life! I look forward to getting into the kitchen now so I can learn something new and my cooking time has become a time to not just feed my body but to feed my brain and creativity as well. While their are podcasts on all kinds of topics (including plenty on food!), my favorite ones are on entrepreneurship, design, self-improvement, health and personal finance.
Here I've listed some of my favorite go-to podcasts if you are looking for some mental stimulation while you make dinner. Podcasts are great for weekend meal prep and driving to and from the grocery store as well.
My favorite podcasts:
Financial journalist Farnoosh Torabi brings together personal finance with entrepreneurship in her 3x a week podcast. She frequently interview high-profile celebrities like Tim Gunn or Tony Robbins, startup founders, or book authors about their money stories and how they built their careers. I like the show because of her diverse guests and personable style.
99% Invisible is a design podcast out of Oakland, CA that examines the unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our world. It's an "NPR-style" podcast in that it's highly produced storytelling versus more causal interview-style shows. True to the title, each episode dives into a fascinating topic--like how missing children's photos started appearing on milk cartons--that you never knew you'd be interested in. Great for pushing yourself to learn about new things.
The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson is consistently one of the top ranked health podcasts in iTunes. A personal trainer self-educated in nutrition and other areas of health, Shawn has different episodes focusing on topics like sleep (which he also wrote a book on), special diets, infertility, skin, and many other areas of health and wellness. Bonus for the ladies? Shawn's velvety voice will certainly keep you company in the kitchen or on your commute.
This podcast from NPR interviews entrepreneurs and founders on how they built their companies. Many are rags-to-riches stories and even stories of business I didn't think I'd be interested (like the episode on Edible Arrangements--fascinating and heartwarming!). This is totally a series that you could burn through and be high on inspiration afterwards.
Happier has been one of my favorites since I started listening to podcasts. Featuring the author Gretchen Rubin (whose book on good habits I've written about before) and her hilarious TV writer sister Liz Craft, Happier features content on how to build good habits and have more happiness in your life. The crux of Gretchen's work is knowing yourself better so you can create habits that will stick. I find myself constantly using her framework to make myself break bad habits like procrastination.
Chalene Johnson made a name for herself in the fitness world creating workout programs starring in workout DVDs. I learned about her later through this top-ranked podcast which is part personal development and part health and wellness. Chalene is a mom of 2 teenagers and a wildly successful business woman. The Chalene Show is almost always just Chalene and a mic speaking about the top of the day (ranging from how to motivate yourself to GMOs in food to doubling your energy), but she is such an energetic and clear speaker that I always find myself interested in what she has to say.
In the One Part Podcast, host Jessica Murnane interviews designers, authors, and many well-known folks in the food space like bloggers Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker. One Part Podcast features very conversational interviews (versus highly structured ones) and Jessica's style seems to help her guests let their guard down and open up. Each guest also shares a favorite plant-based recipe so good food lovers have a bonus to look forward to in each episode.
Being Boss is an inspirational and how-to podcast meant for creative entrepreneurs (designers, photographers, makers, and yes, chefs!). Hosts Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson call on their experience building design studios to help other creative entrepreneurs build side-hustles or full-time gigs doing what they love. As a business owner, I love being able to get information and tactics wherever I can so I love listening in on their behind-the-scenes conversations. Even if you aren't an entrepreneur now, if you've ever thought of building a side gig using one of your talents like calligraphy or web design, Being Boss is a good place to start.
There are lots more podcasts in my queue but I would love to hear your favorites! Let me know some podcasts to add to my list in the comments below.