Can cooking more really be that big of a deal? You bet it can! I’m going to share how making this one shift can help accomplish some of your other major goals (I’ll do my best to keep ’em short although each one merits a blog post of its own).
Let’s take a look…
#1. Lose Weight– Sound familiar? By being your own chef it becomes easier to regulate the foods you eat (a little more veg, a little smaller portion…) so you can painlessly accomplish this goal.
#2. Save Money– Even just one or two more meals cooked at home a week can save you hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars by the end of the year. That’s some serious moola.
#3. Increase Health– Whether health mean lowering your sodium, improving digestion, reducing inflammation, or increasing fiber, the truth is restaurant or pre-packaged foods are not going to maximize your health. You deserve fresh, vibrant food. These are found in the produce section, not the freezer case or take out.
#4. Deepen Connections– If strengthening relationships is your intention imagine bringing family and friends together over a home cooked meal! Maybe a Sunday night dinner? Or a monthly gathering of soul family? Create the space for hearts to connect.
#5. Meditate Daily/Strengthen Spiritual Practice– Looking for a “Calgon take me away” moment at the end of the day? Unwind by being fully present and mindful as you chop your onion, wash your lettuce, or stir the pot. God, Spirit, The Universe is in every molecule of the food you cook. Connect with it from the moment you touch it, and keep connecting as you cook and eat. Powerfully delicious stuff!
#6. Embrace Creativity– Get radical with that recipe- add some more cayenne! Or scrap someone else’s idea of a meal and let your instincts guide you. Let your inner chef come out to play! Buy a new veggie at the market and experiment. Play a home version of Chopped (my personal favorite way to use random ingredients when I haven’t planned ahead).
#7. Be Happier/Have More Fun– Positive Psychology gives us tools to embrace happiness and you can use many of the techniques in the kitchen. By engaging in the process of creation, allowing curiosity to guide you, and savoring the experience (and the results) you’ve mastered a path to happiness.
#8. Brain Games– If cognitive health is your desire, you’ll do yourself some serious favors by reducing inflammation (controlling the oils you use is a biggie for starters- heaven only knows what oils restaurants use!). Additionally, learning a new skill has been shown to exercise your brain. Already comfy in the kitchen? Try making a Thai meal or an Ethiopian dish. There is always more to learn!
#9. Help the Environment– If your goal is to reduce your impact on the environment, cooking your own meals is a huge step in this direction. You can make choices to reduce packaging, buy local ingredients, opt for organic when available, and you never have to use a disposable to-go container!
#10. Listen to your Gut– If these ideas don’t resonate with you- foggeddaboutit. I’m here to support you being more fully you- not guilt you into doing something that sounds like torture. If your instinct is guiding you to spend more time in your kitchen cooking up delicious and healthy meals, I encourage you to listen to yourself. Nothing is more powerful than stepping more fully into your truth.