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As summer comes to an end, I can’t help but get excited for the fall.  I am a huge fan of changing leaves, cooler marathon training temps and my return to JWU-Denver’s Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Culinary program. September 8th will mark the start of my second year and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get back in to the kitchen!

If there is one thing that has been burned into my brain about cooking, it’s the popular culinary term,  “mise en place.” I was first introduced to mise en place by chef Beau MacMillan, my mentor and team blue instructor while filming “Worst Cooks in America” in 2008. Since the show, I have immersed myself in the culinary world and haven’t gone a day without mise en place crossing my mind. For those who aren’t familiar, it is a French phrase which means, “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Organization while cooking is essential, but organization in life is imperative! Once I got home from filming Worst Cooks, I started to see how mise en place translates to everything I do. I realized that I wasn’t just a disaster in the kitchen. I was a hot mess in many other areas of my life — especially in regard to my health. I saw this and decided that it was time to make a change. I took proactive measures in planning meals and doing research on ways to make my favorite recipes healthier using nutritiondata.com. I started exercising and eventually running marathons.

Let’s be completely honest here, I am far from perfect in my mission for organization but I strive for that perfection daily. Mise en place is not just a term, it’s a frame of mind. So I say, make a pact with yourself to get organized. It may be a bit more work upfront, but in the end you’ll be that much further ahead of the game. The sky is the limit with the things you can achieve when your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed!