Yesterday I posted a short video that just totally has been sticking with me this week. The premise? The simple trick to eating healthy is cooking for yourself. Period. How easy is that? Later in the afternoon, I decided to take a walk and listen to the entire audio recording of “How Cooking Can Change Your Life,” which features Michael Pollan of course, and a few others. And let me just say that I’m feeling really convicted.
As for me, my experience with cooking has been a roller coaster. Growing up, the extent of my cooking knowledge was how long to toast my bagel for. I distinctly remember first learning how to make scrambled eggs when I was a sophomore in college. Though it was a very humbling experience to crack my first eggs, from there I grew to love cooking more and more. I bought cookbooks and looked up recipes online. I tried all kinds of new meals, and even dedicated an entire weekend to making New York style bagels (it was a failure—but I tried at least!). Ask anyone who knew me in college and they’d probably assume I still love cooking, because that was something so connected to my identity then.
When we first got married, I totally got into Susie Homemaker mode. Taking care of food was a role I agreed to before we got married (Brian agreed to do the dishes, and as much as I despise cooking these days, it’s still better than dishes in my book). I cooked different dinners every night, bought produce at the farmer’s market, and even prepped lunches for my husband. It was fun for a while, and then—and I don’t know exactly when the change happened—suddenly it became an obligation that didn’t feel enjoyable like it did before.
Fast forward a few years, and I totally hate it. Okay, well, maybe hate is too strong of a word. But it’s really challenging for me. I crave efficiency and have a hard time setting aside long stretches to prepare meals, especially since Brian comes home at roughly different times each night (something I’m totally okay with, but something that messes with my desire to cook in the evenings).
Interestingly enough, when I asked many of you on Facebook what best described how you handle food, almost all of you said you either make food from scratch whenever you can, or go semi-homemade. In fact, only one of you (thank you for being honest, Margarett!) admitted that takeout is sometimes what life looks like. If I’m being 100% truthful here, my relationship with food is always semi-homemade (never from scratch), and at least once a week, I am desperate for takeout (the healthy veggie kind, but still).
Needless to say, I have a long way to go. But I also have a past love for cooking that I’m hoping to draw upon, including lots of amazing cookbooks (and apps!) I’ve collected and kept over the years. Challenging as cooking is for me personally, I recognize that it’s immensely important and that it aligns with my values (and my resolution to live a more disciplined life this year). I also know that one day when we have children, I’d love for cooking to be a big part of our lives.
In an effort to further solidify my convictions, I plan to read Michael Pollan’s most recent book, Cooked, which further outlines the virtues and values of proper cooking.
Though I know this will be a tough new habit for me to learn, I’m excited and ready for the challenge. I know I’ll need to really adjust my schedule for the week to allow more time for intentional shopping and food prep, but I trust that it will get easier over time (I have to cling to that hope, haha). I’ll try to snap photos and share recipes for what I make—partially to motivate me to keep going and partially to give you ideas. Cheers to home cooked meals (feel free to encourage me along the way—God knows I’ll need it)!
What’s your relationship been with cooking? Let’s discuss…