Why I’m cooking for one

Here’s what I know about cooking for one from all my single clients.

It’s really hard. 

You’ve got to shop, prep, cook THEN clean up all by yourself.

Somehow, even with all the right intentions, it just never feels worth it.

Over the years I’ve laid out countless, successful strategies for my single clients to get them to put themselves first in the cooking category.  They lovingly shop, make gorgeous dishes just to their liking, and prove to themselves that YES they are worth nourishing themselves.  This is more than slapping together a bowl of rice, steamed broccoli and slab of tofu.  What I ask of my women is different.  Deeper.  I show them how to find their inner deserving diva and feed her fully. 

And as we all know, it’s one thing to coach clients through the tumultuous terrain of cooking for one and it’s another to face the single stove yourself.

Ready for a zinger?  5 months ago my husband Gray and I separated.

And after 9 years I’ve suddenly found myself alone in the kitchen struggling to make more than a egg.  It’s been difficult to justify making an elaborate meal for myself when so much of my cooking had before been connected to our shared experience.  In fact what I’ve realized is that a large part of my extensive cooking was done FOR HIM, not for me.  I cooked because it was a way of showing love, my way of proving my worth in our marriage.  A striking signifier that I brought something to the table, literally and figuratively.  My nourishment was an afterthought in my own mind and after our breakup I ate boiled eggs and steamed sweet potatoes for a month.  Plain.  Dull.  Zero inspiration.

Thankfully in the last 2 months I’ve come out of my egg stupor and realized a few very key things.

Cooking for myself is a choice.  A choice to nourish myself for no other reason than I deserve it.

I roast because I’m worth it.

I saute because I love my body in the face of rejection.

I bake because it warms me from the inside out.

I put on music, light a candle, sit and savor not because I’m a food & body coach and have to but because I choose to replenish.  I choose to water the drought within me.  

I choose my body, my SELF over all else.  TWEET THIS!

Wether single or not, we all feel like our own nourishment isn’t worth the effort sometimes.   When you eat your child’s leftover pizza crust at the kitchen sink, call in greasy Pad Thai when your man is traveling, pick at leftover chicken from the fridge rather than sitting down or default to frozen burritos for you AND your man because your day has flattened you like roadkill, you throw up your hands in the air and scream, “NOT WORTH IT”.

This Valentine’s Day I invite you to choose yourself in the face of all the ‘not worth its’, ‘I don’t deserve its’ and ‘too much efforts’.

On February 14th I will be having the hottest date EVER with myself, complete with a 3 course meal, a glass of jammy Zinfandel and a candle lit bubble bath.  I’m going to cook for me, not because I should but because I deserve it.  I’m going to love myself up on this day of LOVE because in the wake of life’s craziness I’ve realized all the love I need can be cultivated within.

I hope that you too choose yourself.  Choose YOU without getting wrapped up in the love you may think you need from outside your strong, stealth body.

Now tell me, how are you choosing yourself this Valentine’s Day?

What are you doing to show yourself deep love?

In what ways can you say to yourself, “Damn girl, you are amazing.  I’m going to cook you the most delicious Valentine’s Day feast because sweet thang, you are WORTH IT.”

Much love and here’s to YOU choosing YOU this February 14th,


P.S.  Don’t miss my Love Your Body Love your Business teleclass TODAY at 3 pm PST.  We will be getting under how loving my body catapulted my business and how you can learn to do the same.  I have so much tell you so be sure to hop on.  There will also be lots of time for laser coaching at the end of the call so plan on being on for the entire 60 minutes.  Sign up HERE and I can’t wait to talk today at 3 pm.

P.S.S.  Marie Forleo’s third and final FREE training video is HERE and it’s freakin’ gold!  Watch as Marie takes you through the 7 common excuses that hold you back and how to get over them ASAP!  She’s also going behind the scenes of her multi-million dollar business and showing us all how she did it.  It’s pretty eye-opening and almost too good to be true.  Check it.

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10 Responses to Why I’m cooking for one

  1. BARBARA WELDON February 13, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Your E-mail touched me deeply, because my Husband passed away last December and like you I was always cooking for him, and I have not cooked at all since he went into the Hospital beginning of November. So i understand what you are going through.

    Tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, fortunately, I am invited to friends house for Dinner, but, I will start cooking your reciepes as soon as possible.

    • Jamie G. Dougherty February 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Barbara, I’m thrilled the piece struck a chord and it’s an honor to have you begin cooking for yourself with my recipes. Big love and happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Livia Edwards February 13, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Oh Jamie,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you and your hubby have separated.
    Cooking while single is a struggle. Recipes are rarely geared toward us singletons.

    Hope you can regroup soon. Warmly, Livia

    • Jamie G. Dougherty February 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Thanks Livia. The regroup has begun and I’m all about the leftovers ;-)

  3. Joe Yonan February 14, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Hey, Jamie — I stumbled onto your site because I keep an eye out for anything related to cooking for one, and I have to say, it’s so rare to see such a celebratory, sophisticated, healthy approach to the topic. I have written one book about it, and have another coming out in August, and one of the reasons I wrote them is that I tired of hearing people always say something along the lines of, “Why go to all that trouble if it’s JUST me?” There’s no such thing as “just” you, or there sure as heck shouldn’t be, so I applaud you for realizing that. Happy cooking — you’re worth it. We all are, of course!

  4. Shona Taylor February 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Well, that certainly was a zinger. I have to say how moved I am that you shared that. It really is hard to want to go grocery shopping and cook well balanced meals when we’re on your own and so much harder when we’re hurting. I love your “inner drought” metaphor, it’s so apropos. I hope your hot date tonight is everything you want and need and more ;0)

  5. Tora February 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    My partner used to be away a lot for work and it took me months to ‘bother’ to cook. But then I got into the groove of cooking for two, so the next day I could have leftovers. To me, eating leftovers is pure luxury!! It feels a little naughty, a little like a treat and I loved putting the effort in one day because I knew that the next day it was all taken care of. It worked for me, anyway!

  6. Jodie February 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Jamie, I have to say I was a little surprised reading this post. I cannot imagine you only cooking and eating eggs and sweet potatoes. I believe that your honesty here helped in your motivation to be good to you. Yay… As always love the enthusiasm, thank you!!

  7. Cindi Goodsell February 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Sending huge amounts of love to you and so grateful to read your post. Almost at a year separated and I completely understand the egg/sweet potato conundrum. Xo

    • Jamie Greenwood February 15, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks Cindi. Sending you lots of love and know, there’s nothing wrong with eggs and sweet potatoes and when your body says it’s time for more, then you do more. ;-)

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