As I sit here typing this on a Friday night, with pesto chicken, zoodles and mushrooms in my belly, I have to share a little secret: there is more than just one way this delicious food I made fills me up. Cooking and baking have always been enjoyable for me – I love to eat good food! But lately, I have found cooking to be so much more FULLfilling than that. If you are looking to try something new and good for you, or you just need some more reasons to try your hand at this craft, here are 5 reasons you should put down your phone and pick up that apron!
1. Creativity – Plain and simple, cooking allows us to be creative. If you’re like me and spend most of your days at work looking at a computer monitor, (or two) full of spreadsheets and emails, the last thing you want to do when you get home, is spend more time staring at a screen and burning what little left-brain fuel you have left. Cooking allows our creative juices to flow, even if we’re following a recipe, (one of my favorite things to do is look at a recipe for inspiration and then add a few twists of my own!) because we get to work with our hands to create something that pleases all of our senses.
2. Self-esteem – There is something to be said for finishing what you start. Not only do you feel a sense of pride in having accomplished a task, but there’s some stress-relieving power in there too. Cooking allows you to finish what you start every time, and you not only have the reward of a completed task, you get to eat it too. It’s a win-win.
3. Mindfulness – This one’s pretty obvious, but when you’re cooking or baking, you can’t really do anything else for too long, (unless you are making something in the good ol’ crockpot) so being mindful and present are just as important ingredients as flour and sugar. If you spend a lot of your day in an alternate universe, (AKA on your phone) cooking may be one of the only times where you have to truly be present. Why is this important? Because the present is AWESOME! You are alive in it and should savor it – every chance you get.
4. Patience – I’ll tell you from experience, the phrase, “a watched pot never boils” is true, especially when that is literally what you’re doing. Cooking teaches you how to enjoy patience. You learn how to balance prepping your ingredients while you’re waiting for the water to boil, oven to preheat, skillet to sizzle, (you get the gist). I mean, who doesn’t love watching chocolate chip cookies bake to a perfect gooey goodness? And then… you get to eat them. How’s that as a reward for patience?!
5. Freedom of Choice – This one is powerful. When you cook, you have a choice of what ingredients you use. Will you use full-fat butter, or sub with applesauce? Will your produce be organic? Your beef grass-fed? You are the chef here, and it’s your call. It’s empowering to know exactly what you’re putting in your body because you prepared it. So whether you want to be a little healthy, a little indulgent, or simply support the farmers in your area for providing you with nutritious food, you have the freedom to choose when you cook. That’s uplifting.
What other reasons do you love to cook? What benefits have you seen in your life?