Are You Committing Crimes Against Your Stomach?


People will see me or write to me and say, "But, Chef Todd, how can you possibly understand my fear of cooking? You cook beautiful, nutritious foods for thousands every week." First of all, I haven't always eaten or cooked nutritious food because healthy cooking wasn't on my agenda and as far as the fear of cooking...well, I certainly do understand it, because I still have it.

Let me tell you a couple of stories that developed my fear of cooking:

Story #1 - I was the executive chef at a very large hospital, I was also a chef at the National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington D.C. and we fed 15,000 people breakfast and lunch every day. Talk about a moment for fear of cooking! In fact, on my first day on the job at NSA, I had to grill cases and cases of chicken breast (remember, 15,000 people!!). I had the non-stick spray in one hand and the chicken breast in the other and began to spray the chicken, put it on the grill, spray the chicken, put it on the grill (you get the picture) until I began to smell something foul. I looked down and to my shock and horror, I was spraying the chicken with stainless steel grill cleaner! I had to throw about 100 chicken breasts into the garbage on my first day on the job.

Story #2 - This is my catering horror story that could strike fear in anyone that cooks (professional or not). I was catering a very large wedding with approximately 150 people in attendance. I had a warmer loaded with food for all of the wedding guests and placed it in my catering van using a big lift gate. Everything was great, we took the first turn and there was a sound from the back of the van, but we continued until we got to the event. We opened the back of the van and the warmer was tilted on its side with gravy pouring out of the bottom and all of the food smashed against the front of the warmer.

My fear of cooking is on a professional level, and I can’t avoid it. If I tried, I would be out of business. You, on the other hand, you can avoid cooking, but it would be a crime. It would be a crime against your stomach and your entire body. How do I know? Well, because I used to avoid cooking for myself at all costs.

I would cook all day long, beautiful nutritious food for my business, deliver my healthy cooking and think to myself, "Wow, now I'm tired and hungry!" And you know what I would do? I would pull my upscale catering van through the drive-through at McDonald's and commit crimes against my stomach. I would be cooking healthy all day long and then not eat healthy myself.

And do you know how I know that I was committing crimes against my stomach? Because keeping myself from eating healthy, nutritious foods left me feeling badly, sometimes I would even feel depressed and lethargic, and on top of that, I didn't sleep well. How embarrassing! To cook healthy foods all day long and then choose not to cook for myself and eat less than nutritiously sound foods. Even though I was cooking great food for others, I was committing a crime against myself.

Fast food, packaged foods, heavy-salt frozen foods are all ways to avoid being able to understand and handle whole foods. I have committed these crimes against my own stomach and now I want to help you with some community service on your intestines and start giving a few ideas to fill your stomach with more wholesome food, whether you cook or not.

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

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