Common complaints that I hear are, “I can’t cook” or “I don’t have time to cook”. We can ALL cook, we just don’t all choose to do so. Granted, some people are more naturally talented as cooking than others, but they all had to start somewhere. Many people see cooking as a chore; it may be time for a change of perception about this. Cooking can actually be quite fun if you see it as an adventure rather than a burden. You can do it alone, with a friend or as a group. There’s the chance to experiment with different recipes. I don’t usually use recipes but rather prefer to see what I can concoct with a variety of spices, grains, and vegetables. If I don’t like the way it turns out, I don’t repeat it again. More often than not, I am pleasantly surprised with the result. I do my best with whatever I make, and have no attachment to how it turns out.
As for not having time to cook, there’s another false belief that it takes hours to cook anything substantial. Many tasty items can be prepared in under an hour. Some cooking lessons may be in order initially if you are a novice. You can learn how to stock your kitchen, what kinds of utensils to use and how to prepare healthy, balanced meals designed to suit you. This is ideally done in conjunction with an Ayurvedic consultation, so that you can prepare foods that are best for your particular constitution.
A gas stove is always preferred over an electric one, if there is a choice. It’s more difficult to regulate the temperature on an electric stove and cook food evenly, so it requires greater practice and patience. Get rid of your microwave so there’s no temptation for a quick fix. The harmful effects far outweigh any time savings.
For breakfast, you could try cooking oatmeal. Oats known as called steel cut oats are much tastier than the rolled or quick oats, but they take a lot longer to prepare. Adding appropriate spices enhances the flavor of your oatmeal and provides greater nutritional value.
Invest in containers that keep food warm so that you can take it to work. It’ll also help minimize expenses spent on eating out. Try not to eat at your desk as much as possible. For lunch, you can bring soup in a thermos and some vegetables, along with a grain, like couscous or rice. You can buy some hot/cold containers that keep your food the right temperature so there’s no need to microwave. Keep some flax seed oil in the fridge at work and add it to your food.
Try and eat dinner relatively early. It takes 6 hours for your food to digest, so the earlier you eat, the better for your digestive tract and overall health, and the better your sleep will be. Have a whole grain along with some vegetables. You can also have tofu, tempeh, or seitan. It’s ok to have dessert, but avoid white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, vanillin, and other unhealthy sweeteners. Maple syrup or stevia are some of the preferred sweeteners. Eat food while it’s warm and drink a warm or room temperature beverage with your meals. Your taste buds may delight at trying different herbal teas.
Create an enjoyable dining atmosphere, chew your food mindfully and enjoy what you’ve created. Make a cooking date with yourself every week. It’ll be something to look forward to!