When we started this whole food blog thing – The Fitchen – we were just having fun. I had no idea what it would become. What it could become. Things are different now – still fun – but different. In the past 4 years, our baby side project has grown into a real, living, breathing job. Our ideas and our recipes and our lives reach millions of people all around the world.
When I take a minute to let that sink in, it’s like – whoa.
We have deadlines to meet and guidelines to follow. Relationships to build and maintain. This is serious stuff. And it comes with a lot of pressure. Good pressure, but pressure nonetheless.
Until this year, the blog ran on our schedule. We posted when we wanted, sometimes on a set schedule, sometimes whenever we felt like it. But as The Fitchen has grown this year, things have naturally been changing. We’ve had the opportunity to work with so many awesome brands – which is literally a dream come true. It’s a goal that we’ve been working towards for years. And all of the sudden, it started happening.
All of it started happening right about the time we were making the move from Indiana to Colorado. And apartment-hunting. And packing. And driving across the country. And unpacking. And camping. And hosting guests. And keeping it all together.
Sometimes find myself hustling too much and getting out of balance. Sometimes I need to slow down and reflect on why we started the blog in the first place. We started The Fitchen because we loved cooking together and deep down, that’s why we still love blogging. It’s the slow, quiet moments spent in the kitchen – talking to each other, laughing together, and making good food.
Time spent in the kitchen is how I unwind, how I relax, and how I keep everything in balance. Over the years, I’ve learned some amazing, simple ways to relax – all thanks to my kitchen. 💓💓💓
1. Listen to good, soothing music. I’m loving Trace Bundy lately. He does acoustic, instrumental songs – some original and some covers – all of which are really relaxing. Jack Johnson and Bob Marley stations on Pandora are two other great options.
2. Wash the dishes – by hand. I’m serious here. Studies have shown that it can be therapeutic and relaxing when you do it mindfully. It allows you to slow down and focus on completing a simple, satisfying task. It never takes quite as long as you expect it will. Even if you have a dishwasher, you should try this from time to time.
3. Rescue. I first discovered this affordable, anti-stress gold in high school and trust me – it saved my sanity during college exams, essays, and studying. Rescue has a full array of products these days – gummies, chewy pastilles in multiple flavors, droppers and mouth spray, melts, and creams. I’m a big fan of the pastilles, in particular. They’re gummies, but with the added benefit of chilling me out. Rescue products use a blend of five flower essences that naturally decrease stress levels. A lot of pharmacies carry their products and you can find them at almost any natural health food store – I only have to drive 5 minutes to find it in Colorado Springs. 👍👍 Here’s a handy store locator so you can find some of this magic in your area.
4. Bake something. This has been one of my favorite ways to de-stress for a long time. There’s something so relaxing about the slow process of baking. Choosing a recipe, pulling together the ingredients from the cabinets, following the steps, and waiting while it’s in the oven. I stick with recipes that I know and trust. Nothing new and fancy and nothing with too long of an ingredients list. The key is to keep it simple. ALSO – Bonus points for baking something that you can eat as a healthy snack the next day (like the recipe below!). Keeping healthy(er) munchies on hand definitely helps me fight stress.
5. Schedule a pizza night with friends. And when I say pizza, I mean easy pizza. Stress-free pizza. Pick up a package of flatbreads, some jarred sauce – check out the Italian and Indian sections of your local grocery store – a few fresh veggies, some shredded cheese, and maybe even some chèvre. Everyone can design their own pizza while chatting the night away. Bonus points for putting the phones away while you’re hanging out. (Ok – maybe you can snap ONE picture of your yummy creations for the Insta.)
6. Chop vegetables. It’s a methodical process that forces you to focus on the task at hand. No other distractions. The process of julienning bell peppers or chopping brussels sprouts can be very satisfying. Once you’re done, you have a big pile of beautiful, perfectly prepared veggies and a healthy meal ahead.
There are a million other ways to relax in the kitchen, but these are some of my favorites. It’s all about getting back to the basics. Cooking doesn’t have to be complex or intimidating or overwhelming. For me, it’s about the process of creating something and sharing it with people that I love.
Do you have any go-to tricks for chilling out? Any favorite recipes to bake or kitchen tricks? What are you listening to right now?
I’d love to know! Drop a comment below and let’s chat. 👇👇👇
– This post was sponsored by my friends at Rescue – all opinions are my own. I love their products and I love living stress-free. –Print
Vegan Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
These vegan pumpkin breakfast cookies are loaded with healthy grains, crunchy almonds and pepitas, and chocolate chips. They come together in one bowl in less than 25 minutes.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8
- Category: Dessert
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped or slivered
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 2 flax eggs*
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat the oven to 350º.
- Make flax eggs and set aside.*
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix together.
- Add wet ingredients and stir to combine. If necessary, use your hands to make sure everything is mixed well.
- Form the cookies into balls, about 1/4 cup of the mixture in each. Arrange them on the baking sheet and press down to flatten.
- Place the sheet into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown and crispy on the bottom.
- They keep for 3-5 days – enjoy!
*How to Make a Flax Egg*
– In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon ground flax and 3 tablespoons water.
– Stir together to combine. Let rest until it thickens. For this recipe, you’ll need to double the quantities.
*The Difference Between Rolled Oats and Quick Oats*
– You need to use both types of oats as recommended in the recipe because they act differently and play an important role.
– Quick oats are cut thinner and rolled flatter. They cook more quickly than rolled oats and have a different texture.
- Calories: 231
- Sugar: 7.5 g
- Sodium: 175.9 mg
- Fat: 12.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.5 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.9 g
- Fiber: 3.8 g
- Protein: 5.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g