Learn to LOVE Cooking
Some of you already love cooking. Some of you used to love it but have gotten away from it. And, some of you hate it, have never tried, or are just uninterested.... this article is for all of you.
How cooking impacts your health?
In my opinion, what you eat is the most important factor in a healthy lifestyle. You've heard that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet and it's so true. Here's an example: When I used to teach Zumba, there was a woman who would come into class and leave it all on the floor. Her hip rolls were perfection, her dips and twerks were the deepest and most powerful, she would leave a sweaty mess and her heart rate monitor would say she burned over 500 calories every time.
When she first started, she was new to fitness and the weight was coming off quickly. But as her body adjusted to a regular workout routine, she plateaued and stopped losing. We talked about it and she told me that unless she went to someone else's house to eat, she ate EVERY meal out! WHAT?!?! Nuh uh...that will never work. If you pick up fast food after a good burn, you are taking in more than double the calories that you just burned. Also, she struggled with high blood pressure, eczema, sleep issues, and "stomach problems".... and she had just turned 30.
Her health was being negatively impacted by what she ate and her body was telling her in multiple ways. Not controlling what went into her body prevented her from achieving the appearance she was longing for, but also the robust health she didn't even know she wanted. She was somehow disconnected from how her ailments were related to what she ate. We discussed cooking and she said "I HATE cooking!!!" Hmmmm.... that struck a nerve in me, as I am someone who loves cooking. When I delved deeper, it turns out she had no basis for hating cooking, she just had ZERO experience. She was intimidated by the process and felt safer just saying she hated it than ever trying.
You can predict what happened next....she went online, tried some recipes (some were successful, some were not), and she learned to properly feed herself in a way that produced the results she was looking for. By controlling her ingredients, she not only lost weight and stopped having stomach-aches but discovered that sugar and dairy made her eczema flair, weight was contributing to her sleep issues, and when she used less salt, her blood pressure went down without medication.
But do I have to LOVE cooking?
I suppose loving cooking is not a requirement, but eating three times a day is optimal and so why not learn to love it? Anything that you do as much as you should be cooking should be enjoyable. For me, cooking is ritualistic. At times it is a focused, almost meditational activity. Other times it is what I do to bond with my children or to catch up on a podcast or dance to Cuban music. My kitchen is the center of love and activity in my home and our meals are all made with love and taken in as such.... I want that for you.
If you are not cooking, let's talk about why. It is possible that you are inexperienced or out of the habit. These are two very changeable reasons. If you have a kitchen, let's get cooking.
Get out a cookbook, hit Pinterest, ask a friend for the recipe of a favorite meal you had with them... just get started.
- Find a recipe that sounds appealing to you.
- Read the recipe all the way through TWICE before you write your grocery list.
- Look at your cupboards and see what ingredients you already have and cross those off.
- Write your list and head to the store.
- Start with a clean kitchen and your favorite music (I love Cuban because the language barrier keeps it from distracting my reading and measuring. :) )
Prepare the meal to the best of your ability - then breathe, smile, and appreciate the fact that you even have the means to buy the ingredients, and the kitchen to cook it in.
It really is that simple....
Play with the process. If you follow a recipe and it doesn't turn out great than observe why...could it use more salt? Is it bland? Maybe a shot of vinegar or squirt of lime would brighten it. Or, is it just a fail and you need to try something different next time? Learn whatever you can from each experience, but especially the failures. Play and have fun, and watch how feeding yourself transforms your health.
And then do it all over again the next day...
If I can help, if something goes wrong and you want my input, message me on Facebook and I'll do whatever I can. Ask questions. Be open. Your life will benefit from this greatly.
All my LOVE,