49 posts tagged weight loss
There was a time I did not like to cook. I felt like I didn’t have the ingredients. Or I didn’t have the time. It wasn’t that I felt like I couldn’t follow a recipe, it’s just…why spend thirty minutes in the kitchen when I can either make a PB&J or go to one of the many delightful restaurants within walking distance?
But then I started Weight Watchers last spring. Eating out became a pain in the ass. I had to figure out points and add things and do math, and seriously, who wants to do math while eating dinner? I ended up cooking more, using lots of veggies and fruit because those are 0 points in Weight Watchers land.
And then I started cooking more because…well, I had the ingredients. I’d acquired the spices and oils and had a freezer full of frozen meats. Why not try a new recipe?
And THEN I started paying attention to cooking magazines. Little things here and there, what herbs blend well together, what flavors to try. I wouldn’t say I studied anything— it was just little stuff I picked up here and there, tips I honed in on while Food Network was on in the background and the like.
And now? I can totally cook. I can cook well. And I really, really enjoy it.
See, not only do I find it fun, but cooking for myself is empowering. I get to decide what to make, how to make it, when to make it, what quality ingredients to use. I get to try new things and experiment with my own tastes and preferences. I get to discover that no, I do not like eggplant, no matter what way it’s cooked (and I’ve tried seven ways), and to discover that I can make a badass steak and even more badass pizza dough. I feel in charge, instead of stuck putting on pants* and running to a restaurant every time I’m hungry.
SO, do you think you hate cooking? Think you can’t do it? Are you sure? Because I advise you give it another try. Here are my helpful hints:
-Start with something basic. Spaghetti. Maybe spaghetti with meatballs. Maybe spaghetti with meatballs and a homemade sauce.
-If you screw it up, it’s fine. Eat the PB&J. It is not the end of the world. No one dies if you burn the frittata. And if you’re new to cooking, I’m going to guess you didn’t buy the most expensive cut of fish at the store, so it’s not like you’re out boatloads of money. RELAX, man.
-Yes, there are some up front costs to cooking at home if you don’t have ingredients or the correct equipment. But you can get pretty nice quality pots/pans for DIRT CHEAP at places like Home Goods. And a lot of those ingredients will be a one time expense— I’ve been working off the same bottle of vanilla extract for ages.
-Don’t start off with something that’s crazy out of your comfort zone. Start with things you enjoy, then build up. I say this as someone who once tried a complicated Jamaican meal three days after purchasing a frying pan. Things did not go well.
-Even if you think you hate it, TRY IT. SERIOUSLY. NO REALLY. Would I lead you astray? Never.
-Need recipes? Stay off the giant recipe aggregate sites like Recipes.com. They have SO many recipes it’s impossible to find anything. I recommend The Pioneer Woman (lots of pictures to make life easier!), Smitten Kitchen (a little advanced), Vittles and Bits, andSkinny Taste (a Weight Watchers geared site that has great recipes for everyone).
*One of my big goals in life is to wear pants as seldom as possible.