Lately I have not been in the mood for cooking. Shocking right? As much as I love eating, I’m just not loving the process of cooking as much these days.
We all want to drink the milk without having to buy the cow, right? This phrase works here as well, doesn’t it?
Most times I really love cooking – it gives me a chance to do something productive while thinking things through and coming up with new spontaneous ideas. But that hasn’t been the case for a while now. I realized this yesterday, when I was getting ready to buy a sandwich instead of making dinner, because I was too lazy. And then I decided to do the only right thing you can do when you’re not in the mood for something or when something is not going your way: Come up with reasons why it’s good for you and then just do it.
So here are the 7 benefits to cooking I came up with – those made me get up and make a very delicious vegan salad today.
IT’S MORE DELICIOUS
This is one of the main reasons for me. I will sound like a total douche, but when I cook my own food it tastes a million times better, than when I just buy it somewhere. After all I’ve made it my own. I put everything I wanted in it.
Who else but me knows which ingredients I like most?
Most places just try to appeal to EVERYONE – leaving out some serious treasures like too much garlic out, or they put too many onions, or no onions…how am I supposed to fight vampires?
Sure there are food places that from time to time surprise me, but they are rare. And when a dish I tried in a restaurant inspires me, I go on a quest to perfect their recipe to my own taste. You might think I use and abandon these places, but this is not true, because I usually go back in the future.
There are however some restaurants that make better food than me. I’ll admit it, okay. It’s the Asian places. I don’t know what they put in there, probably some magical spit, but my dishes never taste as great as theirs. This is why I do prefer to eat Asian food when I’m out – I could not do it better and it’s also healthier than most options out there.
It’s the same with food – when I cook it’s usually for more than one person, so it would never take 30€ for 2 medium plates. For 30 € I can make a large buffet and probably bathe in champagne afterwards. Of course this is not true for everything: if you buy the cheapest things at McDonalds for example you can eat for 5 €. But even at McDonalds if you buy their “normal stuff” you’ll pay around 20€ for 2 people.
Most food places prepare their food in advance. So even if they use natural ingredients – you really might be getting a sandwich or a salad that’s been out there for hours. I don’t blame them – if you take your time to make everything individually you won’t get many customers. You can’t be slower than a turtle when you work with hungry clients. They’re aggressive and they might bite.
It’s even more complicated with healthy foods, because they have very short shelf-life. And for healthy foods a long waiting time is bad. When you make a salad the antioxidant content drops drastically in just an hour. Unfortunately I do not have exact numbers for how low they get, but it’s around 50%-100%. That’s anyway how much it is for vitamin C, when it’s exposed to air.
See also: Why we need vitamin C for beauty
So the solution is either to accept that you’re eating something that’s not really fresh or prepare it quickly yourself and eat it right away. I think you know which one is better.
This here is the BIG one. Not only are you getting more antioxidants, because the food you’ve prepared is fresher, but you can also see what actually goes into your meals. This puts you in control not only over your meals, but also over your health.
For example – there’s no way to know if the falafel place down the street really uses high quality ingredients or not. Do they use organic vegetables? They probably don’t. And I also don’t use organic produce exclusively, but I only use fruits and vegetables that are in season and I clean them very well. I’m not sure if the falafel place does that.
Another thing I can choose besides healthier ingredients is the cooking method – instead of frying the falafels in sunflower oil, that has been used for 10 days in a row and is straight up evil, I can maybe bake them or at least use NEW olive oil (groundbreaking), which is far healthier.
The other thing you can easily change is the amount and quality of sauces and fats that you use with your meals. When I cook, I usually use about 2 tbsp of olive oil, which is far less than most food places would do. And instead of mayonnaise you can use yoghurt or avocado dip with a lot of garlic and this way protect your body from all bad things in the world.
Might seem like it’s a big time spender, but cooking doesn’t have to take hours. You can make a lot things in 20-30 min.
Try these: Main meals under 20 minutes
Think about it: First if you want to go to a restaurant you have to decide which place you’ll go.
Then you have to go to that place, select, order and then wait until it’s ready. All this will take more than 20 min.
Yes you can order online these days, without the complications of socializing, but you again will have to select, order and wait around for the delivery guy to come. That would be at least 20 min. In 20 minutes you can make your own food and even wash the dishes.
Don’t be lazy.
And it’s a good time to get off the computer or whatever you’re doing and get a new perspective on life.
YOU CAN’T FAIL
Many people say they are the worst cooks ever, even though they’ve never spent time in the kitchen. It’s a statement that is very popular with some women. I don’t know why, is it an indicator of some high standards, I don’t know about?
What is it?
I’m not saying that you should be tied up in the kitchen for hours – as I said, a delicious healthy meal doesn’t take more than 30 min. The fact is that cooking is one of the easiest and most fun things you can learn.
And the best thing about it is that ANYONE can learn it. And I mean anyone. Some people might be more talented than others, but in the end the more you cook the better you’ll get at it.
If you never try, you’ll never know whether or not you’re any good at anything You don’t have to become one of MasterChef’s candidates, but if you try cooking every day for around a month you’ll find out that you’re getting pretty good and this will make you cook some more and get better and better.
Of course making spaghetti with ketchup or heating up some ready to go noodles doesn’t count as cooking. Put some effort into it. Get some recipes and go crazy – make them your own. Find out exactly what you like. And in the end you’ll see the result of your efforts pretty quickly. The best thing is – you can then eat whatever you’ve put effort in.
Remember a skill learned is never a skill too much.
Cooking and more specifically healthy cooking is something you can master quickly and will bring you instant rewards – delicious meals and a healthy body.
YOU GET TO BE CREATIVE
Being creative in one way or another is good for health. Now you might be thinking this is total BS, but you can actually express yourself through food and discover things that other people might not have come up with yet. And if somebody already came up with that, big deal – you’ll then try what they did and improve it according to your own taste buds. You’ll discover you can do things better than you thought.
Progress and experiencing new things make us happy. And happiness in turn boosts your immune function. It’s amazing how great it can feel to be the “inventor” of something, even if it’s just a simple dish.
See also: 10 habits to boost your immune function
So those were my reasons for starting to cook again after around 1 month of hiatus. What’s it for you? Or are you also pretending cooking is for talents only?