I think I’ve figured out why people need guidance planning their meals for during the week: they aren’t excited about cooking, or what they’re cooking.
This is a rough generalization, but it occurred to me as I was looking through my fridge to figure out dinner. I have all these containers filled with things I’ve made over the last couple of days, and they’re all delicious. When I see a recipe I want to try, it’s all I can think about, and taking the trip to the grocery store for ingredients gets me genuinely excited. If I could spent all of my money on good food and other health food store goodies like supplements and fancy water filters, I would. Clothes shopping is great, but I have trouble spending $100 on chic, post-gym Lululemon sweaters when all I can think about is my grocery list.
Is that weird?
So for me, I don’t really plan my lunches and dinners simply because I cook so much that I tend to consistently have leftovers. I’ve had clients tell me that setting aside time to cook just isn’t a priority for them, and they’ve wanted advice on how to eat on the go. You know, like what are the healthy options at Subway. I have a lot of trouble with this question because I can’t, from my professional standpoint, say that it’s going to be healthy for them. Things like choosing whole unrefined grains, loading up on vegetables, skipping the dressing and the cheese, and portion control are all thing to keep in mind, but it’s really not enough. Sorry, this is probably a bit disappointing for some of you. Nothing the food court can offer will ever be as healthy or delicious as what you make at home (my boyfriend made a comment the other day that I was allergic to food courts… It could very well be true). Not to mention how much money you save.
Here are my top three tips to enjoy cooking:
1. Get inspired. Start following food blogs and read their recipes. You might not love every single thing they post, but it will probably inspire you to make something similar. This is the main reason I cook: I see what other people are eating and I want it too. Try going to a cooking class (if you live in Toronto, I can recommend some amazing ones!). Here are some of the blogs I follow:
2. If you have friends, roommates or a significant other (chances are you all have at least one of those), choose one day a week, or even a month that you’ll come together in the kitchen to make some beautiful foody love. This night can be paired with a fair amount of wine or other beverages, and provide an amazing way to start a Saturday night. Good food, some pinot grigio and a night out? Sounds perfect to me.
3. Splurge a little bit. This might be asking too much from some of you, but realize that what you eat is what your body makes itself out of. If you put a deep fried french fry in your mouth, you’re going to feel like a deep fried french fry: fatty, gross, and filled with starch. If you eat a mouthful of brown rice with grilled tempeh and miso gravy (see recipe here), you’re going to feel just like that: healthy, nutrient-dense, and happy. So spend a little more on your food, as in, buying real foods, and enjoy what you’re eating. I’ve found spending a few more cents on food I’ll enjoy makes me want to cook it. Same goes for appliances. If you need a food processor or a blender, find a cheap one to start with and try making some recipes. Just having the appliance in your kitchen will remind you of that recipe you saw a while ago that used it, and will inspire you to start cooking.
What inspires you to cook? Comment below!