• Lavanya Nair

Finding the Motivation to Cook!

Cooking is a much loved hobby of mine that I developed during my early years and has definitely evolved over time, allowing me to branch out into different cuisines and experiment with unfamiliar flavours. However, this is an activity that appears to have been pushed aside in recent times with some attempting to pass it off as a gender specific role that is outdated and should therefore, not be indulged. I believe that regardless of the gender one identifies with, cooking is a useful life skill that possesses many advantages that should hopefully motivate you to feel comfortable in the kitchen!

1. It's Cheaper!!

Even with subscription boxes and takeouts, the expediency of stand-by options always brings with it a hefty price tag. Let's be honest, I'm sure most of us would relish the opportunity to have a delicious meal, transported to us, or at least halfway prepared but the notion of an alarming hit to our bank accounts, zaps us back to reality and prompts us to buy our own groceries in bulk so that we can make leftovers for when it's needed. With all the delivery fees, and VAT added on to most of our expenses, takeout is no exception. Whether you live alone, or with friends/family, the cost of purchasing equal portions of veggies, fruits, protein and/or carbs amounts up to be less than if you were splurging out for pizza, Chinese and Indian every night.

2. It's Healthier!!

Farmer's Market

Those who consume large amounts of processed foods are more likely to experience digestive issues that range from gas and bloating to obesity, constipation and bowel cancer. Never mind the irresistible taste of a ready made burger, the damage it can do to your body and overall health is often underestimated. Cooking can be a fun solution to this problem as we all know that crash dieting or starving oneself are dangerous options with dire consequences. This way you will know what's going into your food and can prevent you and your family from harmful preservatives.

3. Food Unites People!

Dinner party

Food has always been a huge part of my family's culture as it is the one link that really enables us to bond and communicate while appreciating the time and effort that has gone into making a home-cooked meal. While all cultures differ with others showing love and affection through other means, this concept can be theoretically applied in multiple situations. During university, my flatmate and I would host impromptu dinner parties by inviting a few friends and then cooking for them. She was French and so introduced all of us to delicacies like Ratatouille and Beef Bourgeon. Cooking allows us to explore other cultures and makes us more understanding and appreciative.

4. It Helps to Prevent Picky Eaters!!

Healthy Eating from a Young Age

I was rarely allowed to indulge in ready meals as a child and my parents also limited takeout nights to once every couple of months. All of my meals were freshly prepared or leftovers from the previous night and I really believe it helps to eliminate selective eating. I'm no nutrition or psychology expert but I have noted that my friends who grew up eating junk food became extremely picky in their adulthood, opting for greasy alternatives over a balanced diet. It's never too late to change though! Cooking over a long period of time can train your tastebuds and your body so you won't find yourself craving salt and sweets. Moreover, if you have a baby who is starting to eat solids, this is the perfect opportunity to start baby-led weaning to introduce them to different flavours and textures.

5. It's Easier If You're Vegetarian/Vegan/On a Diet!!

Veg Pakoras

Grocery stores are now actively stocking vegetarian/vegan produce as one cannot count on the ambiguity of processed foods and restaurant meals. Depending on the location, a vegan can find it extremely difficult to find tasty and edible options. One of my friends found it especially tough as we went to university in Preston, Lancashire UK; rated one of the most unhealthy towns in the entire country due to its many kebab and fast food joints. By buying your own ingredients and cooking from scratch, you can make a variety of sumptuous meals without having to obsess over a menu, only to find one viable option.

Hopefully these reasons will motivate you to get in the kitchen and start creating your own signature dishes, not only to ease your financial burdens, but for the benefit of your health as well!

Lavanya Nair

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