spaghetti-boring-3This past weekend was Groundhog Day. Naturally, I thought about the movie starring Bill Murray. I remembered watching it as a kid and thinking how terrible it would be to have that happen to me.

Then I wondered if that’s ever happened to me, the same day over and over again. Yes, it definitely has!

A few years ago after graduating college I started working full time for a large general contractor building schools and hospitals. I was so excited that I had finally ‘made it’. I got a real job.

Within a year I started to realize my own Groundhog Day was happening.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about?

groundhog day peter 3It starts off innocent and slow

The days start to blend together, uniformly familiar to each other. Then the weeks go, followed by the months, etc. I was lucky to catch it before I hit the one year mark, and by that point my balance was totally out of whack. My relationships, my health, my enthusiasm – it was no longer in harmony with what I really needed, even though it was exactly what I wanted.

Naturally, I can’t help but relate this to food, cooking and health :)

I think too often we get into a Groundhog Day rut with our recipes & cooking. This happens to all of us, Sarah & myself included. (although we haven’t had a problem since starting The Seasonal Diet Program, it’s impossible for us to get in a rut)

But before The SD we had this problem, and it happens so subtly, just as I described above.

You find a couple good recipes – they’re fast, taste great and are quickly added to ‘The Rotation’.

This works great in the beginning. But after a while you start to get too used it them. There’s a mild dissatisfaction that is slowly growing in the background. It’s so quiet you may not even notice it.

Then one day all that frustration blows up. Ahhhhh!

Now it’s too late, you feel paralyzed because you’re so used to making those things. You’ve gotten too comfortable with it. This is why it’s so difficult for most of us to switch our diets, change is tough when you don’t do it regularly.

So, how do you escape the cooking rut?

Start making new recipes immediately, like tonight. It’s time to move on. Your taste buds have been bored for way too long, it’s time to get some flavor and excitement back into your kitchen and life.

chickpea tacos

~ We like to shake up tacos in the summer with chickpeas, strawberries & peaches ~

Make it a priority to try out new recipes each week. Think of it as a constant exploration. Experiment with new textures and seasonings.

It’s okay to have recipes that you really like, but try making small alterations each time you make them. Switch up the type of lettuce in that salad, or the dressing. Make a new filling this time for the enchiladas, like sweet potato or summer squash. Find simple ways to change it up and you’ll find the recipe will live on without being dull.

Sarah & I are all about eating seasonally, and that’s a great way to keep your classics fresh. Take a look at your regular dishes on rotation and see if you can incorporate a seasonal vegetable in rather than always keeping the original one in there.

veggie surplus~ When it’s peak season we love to stock up on the biggest hits and sneak them in wherever we can ~

By doing this, you’re stretching the life expectancy of your recipes, and you’re also feeding your creative genius each time you do it. Before long you’ll be throwing together recipes and concoctions of your own (maybe you already are!)

out of the rut peterBy eating seasonally, you’re also more present

Being more conscious about what you’re eating is a major factor in overall health & wellness. It’s important to listen to your body. As the seasons change, your bodies requirements do too. And as time goes on, our tastes and preferences transform as well. Maintaining awareness of how certain foods make you feel, you can gain insight toward what foods to eat more and less of.


How do you keep yourself out of a cooking rut?

    2 replies to "How to Escape the Cooking Rut"

    • Olivia Lane

      I totally love eating the same things all the time! (If it aint broke, don’t fix it!) We are certainly fans of heavy rotation here at the Lane-Lovejoy household.

      Still, I agree it’s good to mix things up a bit. I never really cook with a recipe but I use the recipes I get via my Cooking with CSA sub to inspire adaptations to the classic dishes I love. You and Sarah encourage me to think outside my default zone.

      It’s hard to eat mostly seasonally and locally during New England winter, especially as a vegetarian, but I do like to let what is available inspire my meals too.

      • Sarah


        You are right about eating the same thing but also mixing it up! Peter can testify I eat Buckwheat pudding at least twice a week…I LOVE IT:) And peter eats oatmeal about twice a week. I think its good to have a few favorites you know how to make and love. Which come in handy when you are short on time.

        Eating Local, Organic and seasonal when you can is the best!

        Thanks for sharing:)

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