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Sometimes You Just Need to Suck It Up and Cook

I am not a cook. In fact, I hate cooking. But I love to bake. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people since it’s basically the same thing (although baking usually makes more of a mess), and baking generally produces not as healthy foods. My mom is not a cook. Growing up, we had basic meals with minimal flavor and variety and that was what I enjoyed. So now, as an adult trying to cook for myself and my husband, I find myself struggling to come up with the desire to a) actually cook a meal and b) to come up with creative things to cook that isn’t the same bland thing over and over again. I know I can’t be alone in this, right?

Why bother cooking? I could always grab something out for dinner, right? Well going out to eat generally results in high expense, more calories than you would be consuming at home mainly due to portion sizes, and eating food with a higher amount of additional food contents (higher in salt, fat, and sugar generally). Not that I am saying don’t ever go out to eat, but if you want to save on money and calories, you might not want to go out to eat all that often.

As a personal trainer and nutrition

counselor, I know I need to eat healthy and nutritious meals to properly fuel my body, most which requires to be cooked. So what do I do? I suck it up and cook! Some days, I cook the most basic of foods (plain chicken breasts to be cut up and put into a salad with a microwaved sweet potato), while others, I try out more elaborate recipes. For me, the key is to meal plan. I go through my cook books and find 2-3 meals that I want to try out for the first time or again and add the ingredients I need to the shopping list. If I am feeling extra energetic, I make all the meals on Sunday afternoon so that I don’t have to worry about cooking the rest of the week. Or I try to make larger portions whenever I do cook throughout the week so that they can be used as leftovers for lunch or dinner. Occasionally, I even freeze some of the food to be defrosted a few weeks from now. Crockpot chili or soup is a perfect example of this! I’ll be honest, I don’t do this every week, so sometimes there isn’t much defrosted food in the house, so it’s a protein shake or breakfast for dinner.

For those of you who love to cook, I hate you and I would love it if you could provide me with some cooked meals sometimes. And for those of you who are like me, trust me, I feel your pain - but you just have to do it.

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