Monday, May 25th, 2020

How To Create A Raw Zen Kitchen

Published on December 21, 2009 by   ·   78 Comments Pin It

I strive to live a life that is more Zen (mindful, non-judgmental, and in the moment), and believe me, I’m a work in progress. That being said, I make a point to be particularly aware of my Zen-ness when I’m in the kitchen preparing Raw food. Why? Because it helps me create the most delicious food ever!

Here are seven things I do to get my Raw Zen Kitchen on (adapted them from – you’ll see I’ve changed them up a bit so they apply to my Raw food prep);

  1. Do things deliberately. Have patience and and take your time…feel yourself flow with your actions. Don’t be rushed when making your food. Before making a recipe, take the time to sit down and read the recipe. In fact, read through it twice. Review the ingredients and picture them in your mind. Imagine the steps you’ll take as you go through the directions. Then, when you’re ready, make the recipe and take your time with each step.
  2. Don’t multi-task. Doing things in a Zen style also means doing them one at a time. For example, when you’re washing produce, simply wash your produce. When you’re in the kitchen, keep the phone and television turned off while you’re preparing your delicious meals. Feel the fresh produce while you’re washing it, smell it as you cut into it, be mindful and observe it while it’s blending…these are all ways to be present while preparing your raw food. Then, when you eat your food, just eat. Don’t do the mail, don’t talk on the phone and don’t turn on the TV. Simply eat your food. Taste each bite and experience all of the delicious flavors and textures exploding in your mouth. Raw food is full of exquisite flavors damn close to being worthy of worship, so appreciate it with every bite. And, by taking your time to chew and experience your food to its fullness, you’ll help improve your digestion as well.
  3. Do each task completely before moving on, and each step of the recipe, in the same way. Put your mind completely on the recipe. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished. When you finish the task of making the meal, don’t eat until you’ve cleaned up your kitchen, if possible… (and practice your new Zen groove while you’re at it!).
  4. Do less in the kitchen (and in life). I don’t worry about making a bunch of different recipes all week. I take a little time every Sunday to select a few recipes for the week and I just make those. I’ll make enough so I have leftovers to last a couple of days each, thereby giving me more time to just enjoy my food. Sometimes, I make a recipe 2-3 times throughout the week to keep it simple. When I do less (in the kitchen and in life), then I can do those things with more focus and be more relaxed in the process.
  5. Rituals Are Special. Having a ritual offers the activity a sense of appreciation and importance. I have a ritual for making my daily green juice, my weekly recipes, going to the farmers’ market each week, etc. When I think of those activities in that way, they actually become even more exciting to do. In fact, I can’t wait to do them each day, or week, because I feel so lovely and relaxed in the process.
  6. Timing can be everything. “There are certain times in the day of a Zen monk designated for certain activities. A time for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly.” I designate time for my activities, such as a special time for selecting the recipes I’ll make for the week, as well as making my weekly shopping list. I also designate time to shop. When I get home from food shopping, I have a designated time where I prep my produce (washing some of it, proper storage, etc).
  7. “Make cleaning and cooking become meditation” (boohyah!). “Cooking and cleaning are two of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness.” Put your whole self into those tasks, and do them mindfully with patience and passion. Be grateful you have food to prepare, a house to clean, and an able body to do both of those things.
  8. Enjoy every moment (it’s all you truly have). Love your life.

Via Kristen Suzanne (aka;

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Readers Comments (78)

  1. Kristin says:

    <3 love this post and blog <3 love Suzanne too, I read her blog also from time to time xoxo

  2. Kate says:

    This is so awesome. I’m transistioning to raw and can’t wait to try this as I’m making food, it seems so much more joyful than “quick, makeit, eat it”!

  3. diane says:

    i love the idea but it is sooo hard to do when you have kids. they don’t care about you completing the task you want to complete!so how about a zen way to “cook” or “uncook” with kids! :)

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GirlieGirlArmy: Tips to Create a RAW ZEN KITCHEN:

  5. Hi Kate,
    I know how you feel! Now, I really look forward to my time in the kitchen… it’s “my” time, ya know?


  6. Hi Diane,
    Get them involved! Have them help prepare the food and as they do, talk them through the steps to help them be more “there.” Play nice music that you all enjoy. Make it a special time. Ask them interesting questions while they help (to help them get more zen themselves), perhaps like… how does that food feel in your hand? What you do you see when you look at that (persimmon or broccoli or whatever)?

    Or… make sure they’re occupied while you’re in the kitchen. Perhaps when mom has “kitchen” time they can have “board game” time or “reading” time. Perhaps they get a special book that they only read or look at when mom is in the kitchen.

    Or, hey, how about you play a game in the kitchen to make the time more special for all of you. It can be your own form of zen, even if it’s not the way I described above… by making it a special space, a special time, it can become your own form of zen. Maybe you can play trivia pursuit (or something like that) where you ask each other questions as you prepare the food. All the while, taking your time while you prep the food and really enjoying it.

    Just some ideas… :)

  7. Ariela says:

    Awesome! So important to stay zen during this crazy holiday season, thanks Kristen!

  8. Olivia says:

    Such a great post, and a wonderful reminder as we pull through the holidays. I have such a tendency to overwhelm myself (and my beau!) as I try to do too much in the kitchen when people are coming over. This is a great reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Thanks!

  9. Mandi says:

    I love zenhabits, and I love this post. I always feel rushed and scatterbrained in the kitchen, it is something I really need to work on. Thanks so much Kristin!

  10. The dish in the photo looks delicious, wonder what it is?

  11. Chloe Jo says:

    Christy: The dish featured is one of Kristen’s recipes for a RAW lasagna! :) Check out for the recipe!

  12. Thanks for commenting everyone! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and your right, it’s timely with all of the kitchen prep we have ahead of us this week. :)

  13. Nanna says:

    This is so good – what a timely reminder!

  14. GirlonRaw says:

    Love this post. Such a great reminder to do one thing at a time and not multi-task. This is definitely something I should do more of. I love Kristen :)

  15. Hey Nanna and GirlonRaw – Thanks for reading and commenting! Happy holidays. :)

  16. shoes says:

    This is Awesome! My mom love this. Thanks for publishing delicious dish.

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