Personal Cooking Service
How It Works:
On an agreed upon day each week or every other week, Lindsay shops, comes to your home, cooks, stores the food in containers and cleans up.
A preliminary interview helps us get to know one another. Schedules, health concerns, diet interests and goals and why you would benefit from having my service in your life are discussed. At this time your kitchen equipment and start up ingredients are reviewed, and any questions you might have are answered.
Placing Your Order:
When you decide to work with Nourishing Spirits and we have scheduled a cooking date, you may choose up to five different dishes, and call in your order prior to the day of cooking.
Enough food is made for five or more meals, depending on how much and how often you choose to eat. Your servings are not compartmentalized, but stored in large containers allowing you to distribute the food as you like; perhaps freezing some or sharing some with guests.
The service is $24 per hour plus the cost of food. The food bills range from $35-$85, depending on what you order from the menu. And the total bill, including time, generally runs from $140-$225.
My time begins when I arrive at the store and ends when I leave your home. It is possible for me to cook on days when you are away, as long as you feel comfortable and a key and payment arrangement can be made. I am available Monday through Friday and prefer to work from 10 AM to 5 pm I like to have a once a week regular schedule with my clients and appreciate as much prior notice as possible when you are to be out of town. The time period, including shopping, cooking and clean up to make enough dishes for most of your weekly meals is usually 4-5.5 hours. There is a daily minimum of 3 hours.
Personal Cooking Service Details • Helpful Hints • Nutrition
Personal Cooking Service Details
This task can be arduous and time-consuming, but I have learned how to do it efficiently as well as sensitively. Shopping usually takes me 1⁄2 hour. I shop at the store that I feel is the cleanest and has the best and broadest selection. I try to follow the best ethics I can considering that I want to bring the best quality of food into your homes and tummies. When I shop for produce I pay attention to color, texture, size, energy or feel, cleanliness and weight and choose according to my own scrutiny and intuition. When shopping for fish I choose the pieces that have the highest vitality with good color and texture. I care about the effect my work has on the environment and therefore I use clean reusable plastic containers when buying grains and beans, mesh bags for produce and cloth bags for carry out.
I buy organic whenever possible. I believe it is truly healthier and more supportive for the Earth and all of humanity. Grains, beans and soy products are usually easy to get organic. With produce it can be more challenging. Usually seasonal vegetables are organic. And I hope to provide you with a list every three months of what produce is in season and what and when items can be bought organic. You can keep this in mind when choosing from the menu list if organics is very important to you. For myself I feel 80% organic is good. Sometimes I feel like more variety and flavor at different times of the year and thus will buy the occasionally non-organic vegetable. If you are very strictly all organics, I appreciate your dedication and will shop accordingly, but please keep in mind that it will limit what I can make from the menu list.
I purchase items that are locally grown or made. I feel strongly that buying local contributes positively to the health, economy and strength of our community.
Where’s the meat, dairy and sugar?
As you will see in the menu list, I do not cook very much meat, only lamb and poultry. I feel that regular use of a lot of animal protein is not necessary for the well being of the planet, considering resources and all of humanity. I use very little dairy products in cooking. I feel that excessive dairy consumption puts extra strain on the body’s physical, emotional and mental vitality. There are several recipes in which I use eggs or a small amount of butter or yogurt; in these recipes I can substitute ghee (clarified butter) or soy yogurt, or if you are strictly vegan I can leave them out. I do not use refined sugar in cooking. I believe it is taxing on the body, leeching vital minerals and nutrients and again unnecessary. I use other, gentler sweeteners including maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, amasake, honey and apple juice, and in some cases unrefined cane juice crystals.
I do not judge others for their choice of including any foods in their diet; and I believe that anything in moderation is okay. I also know that it is important for some to include meat and dairy for health reasons; you can add them to many of the dishes I cook. But, I have found, being in the health industry for some years and through my own dietary development, that there are wonderful alternative choices available.
What are all these weird ingredients?
Most of my cooking training is in macrobiotics, where I learned to use all kinds of wonderful ingredients including sea vegetables and fermented products that are healthful and can even be medicinal. Many are included in the start-up list with brief descriptions.
Everyone has some food or flavor that they don’t like to eat whether from allergies, personal conscious choice or just plain distaste. I understand this and can modify many of the dishes to fit your needs. When we meet, I have you fill out a form stating anything you are seriously allergic to, things you strongly dislike, or things you only prefer a small amount of.
When I Cook:
I require a lot of focus on the work I am doing, as I often have several dishes cooking at once and putting positive energy into the food takes a lot of attention. Therefore, I appreciate very little distraction when I am cooking. However, I do like to chat occasionally with my clients as a way for us to get to know one another and I appreciate feedback on my cooking.
Health in the kitchen is very important to me. I use a clean taster’s spoon, wash my hands often and always wear a head cloth or hat. Also I think it is best to keep pets out of the kitchen when I cook. I do make a big mess… don’t be alarmed; I make sure the kitchen is spotless before I leave. And, I do appreciate the kitchen to be clean when I arrive, with a clear counter space and sink, so I can get right to work.
Pool resources with a friend: For many single people the thought of a personal cook can seem impractical. If you are interested in having this kind of support in your life, but for cost or other reasons are not able to commit on your own, I suggest finding another person who is also interested. There are many considerations when choosing a person to share food with. What your individual likes and dislike are and developing a system for choosing the menu each week, picking up the food and payment. Once you have worked all this out, I will cook at whomever’s kitchen is the best equipped and make enough food for each of you to have throughout the week.
Imagine a new kind of party in which you serve healthy, tasty meals without the stress of preparing them yourself. On occasion I am available to cook for a party of 6 or more. Please give as much prior notice as possible.
Massage and Reiki Therapy Sessions
I am available for private massage or reiki. I have a professional table to bring to your home and charge $60.00 for 1.5 hours or $45.00 for 1 hour. Please make appointments in advance.
When I cook I can either leave the food in the cooking containers so that you can distribute them according to how you desire or I can store them in the refrigerator if you are not home. I recommend sturdy glass or plastic containers. The dishes should be kept in the refrigerator unless they are going to be eaten within one day. Most of the dishes are good for up to four days, some longer. Freezing some of the food can be a good idea when you are at the end of the week or need an extra helping for a guest. Soups and stews, fish, breads and beans freeze well.
Reheating and Serving
Many of the dishes will need to be heated before eating. I strongly recommend taking the few extra minutes to use a stove or oven method rather than a microwave. Many dishes can be heated in a pan or pot as is, or with a tiny bit of hot water added. I know this might be a challenge for some of you when you are very busy, but I think vital nutrients and the energy that I put into the food gets damaged in the microwave. Use your own sense of creativity when serving. Often times, when entertaining, a sprig of parsley, crack of fresh pepper, or addition of homemade condiment can make all the eye-pleasing difference.
Creating Inspired Leftovers
There are many ways to make leftovers taste fresh, new and creative throughout the week. Making a soup is an easy way to use up tasty vegetables or beans with the addition of a little leftover grain or pasta. Learning how to combine the flavors and add new ingredients can be fun. Also try stuffing tortillas, making a sandwich, topping pasta or creating a casserole. By making the leftovers a secondary part of the meal instead of the star it can feel like a welcomed addition.
It is good to think about what you want to choose from the menu list with the whole week in mind, including your schedule, energy level and moods. Choose dishes that you know will be the bulk part of the meal and add your own side dishes. Soups are always good for lunches or dinner with a little salad and bread or grain. You might want to order two soups or two main dishes. Think about what it will be easy for you to add near the end of the week – like boiling pasta or putting up a simple grain, steaming some simple vegetables, making a salad, or having tortillas. Sometimes, you might want a well-planned meal to share with company; or you might have a few dinner dates planned and can work your meals at home around this. By taking a little extra time to think and plan ahead you can gain support, from the one-day service I provide throughout your whole week.
Eating a diet of whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, proteins and unsaturated fats helps the body regenerate, stimulate and strengthen itself and can be used for healing or as a form of preventative medicine. Food is a great tool to help the body, mind and spirit move forward. However, consuming too many refined foods puts the body in reverse, causing strain and using precious energy stores. Following are a few nutrition guidelines that you might find helpful.
Different types of foods require different enzymes and amounts of time to digest . When too many or too many incompatible foods are eaten together the body gets confused and can react with decreasing nutrient assimilation, gas, pain or bloating. Fresh fruit requires an half hour to 45 minutes to digest while carbohydrates take up to 3 hours and proteins up to 5 hours. It is best to eat fresh fruits (especially melons) alone or prior to other foods, and try to eat less complex meals.
Digestion begins in the mouth where important enzymes are released. By taking the time to relax and chew your food you help your body receive the best absorption and energy.
Acid and Alkaline
The natural PH of the blood is slightly alkaline; however, the body can easily become acidic due to poor dietary habits, stress, illness or lack of exercise. By including alkalizing foods such as millet, umeboshe, chewing well, exercising and thinking positive you can help your body stay in balance.
Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, chard, spinach, beets and rhubarb, are best to minimize in one’s diet because they tend to make the blood acidic, slow digestion, speed heart rate, block B vitamin absorption, and can contribute to arthritic and rheumatic symptoms.
The following types of foods as well as herbs, sea salt and natural condiments in your diet you can give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong:
(rice, barley, millet, quinoa, etc.) include complex carbohydrates, proteins, B and E vitamins and give the body good energy to use throughout the day.
(black, garbanzo, adzuki, pinto, soy and soy products, etc.) are rich in complex carbohydrates, fats and are a simple, vegetarian form of protein.
Nuts and Seeds
(sesame, cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds) and unrefined oils (sesame, canola, olive) also provide good protein, fats, calcium and vitamin E.
Leafy greens and legumes, carrots, broccoli, kale, lentils, peas, onions, leeks, cabbage, squash, etc., are full of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin A, C and B, iron and calcium.
(kombu, nori, arame, hiziki, etc.) are nutritious wonders full of calcium, iron, protein, B vitamins and trace minerals. Fish(salmon, cod, halibut, etc.) is also a good source of protein and vitamin B12.
Cooking for Retreats and Workshops