•Encourages Creativity: Cooking offers you the chance to let your creative juices flow! Creativity can come by way of deciding what flavors you want to combine, how you want to present the food on the plate, etc.
•Reduces Stress: If you keep it simple, cooking can serve to lower stress and anxiety. When you are focused on preparing a meal, it's hard to focus on everything else in your life that stresses you out...it's like a mini-escape, a mental break. And, you can be in control; it's your kitchen!
•Provides Instant Gratification: Nothing is more gratifying than serving yourself or others a delicious meal. You do the washing, chopping, sautéing, garnishing and in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, a beautiful meal can be prepared. It's also gratifying to know that your meal was made with your own TLC and healthy ingredients. If you have anxiety about cooking, try cooking for yourself first then work your way up to cooking for others.
•Keeps you healthy. When using healthy ingredients, food prepared in your own home will almost always be healthier than eating a meal out. You control the ingredients and the portion sizes. Save yourself the calories for when you are dining out on weekends or special occasions.
•Saves Money. When well planned, cooking many of your meals at home will save you money. I save about 30-50% per meal by cooking at home and will admit I'm not the thriftiest shopper...I spend a premium for high quality ingredients (and this is in comparison to cheap take out food). It's not realistic, nor fun, to eat in every day, but try to migrate to cooking more meals at home gradually, starting with just once or twice a week.
So, get cooking! If you don't have much time or practice, stick to the recipes with the least ingredients, those are often the best anyway!
About the Author:
Andrea Lala is a Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor. She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and she also holds a B.S. from Cornell University. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, leads workshops, and offers individual and group coaching on health and nutrition. To learn more about Andrea Lala visit http://www.andrealalawellness.com/.