When I was working one-on-one with personal training clients, one of the first things we’d talk about was cooking. Seems a bit weird right?
I found many of my clients were eating out for 7+ meals per week (mainly lunch and dinner). My first challenge would be to cook a certain number of meals in their home. The meals didn’t have to be fancy. Heck, they could even come from a box. They just had to apply heat to food in some fashion to create a dish.
Over time, we worked on decreasing the boxed items (generally processed food) and increasing fresh produce until they were cooking the vast majority of their meals.
Eating out can certainly be convenient, but you’re also putting yourself at the mercy of the restaurant for the quality of the food, price, and nutrition. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that restaurants want to make money! This can lead to cutting corners—using cheaper oils for cooking, skipping out on fresh produce, using cheaper cuts of meat, etc.
You’re probably onboard with the idea of cooking in-home being a cheaper, healthier alternative to eating out. I don’t imagine that strikes you as too far fetched.
Here’s the thing: Cooking can be intimidating and time consuming!
Let’s dive into a few reasons why it doesn’t have to be this way.
The Only Metric That Matters in Cooking
Cooking is intimidating for a few reasons:
- Unless you went to culinary school or learned from parents/relatives, most of us didn’t receive any kind of training. The assumption was we’d just pick it up along the way.
- Related to the above, there are experts out there posting their meals on social media that look fabulous. If I can’t create that, why bother?
- If you’re cooking for others, there’s an inherent desire to make something tasty. What happens if you let them down?
- I don’t have an hour to dedicate to cooking every night yet all recipes seem so involved. I don’t have the time!
I’m sure we could add to that list. Cooking can be intimidating for many reasons, which is why services like Blue Apron have become so popular.
Here’s the only metric you should care about when it comes to cooking: Does the food taste good to you?
I heard this referenced on a recent episode of the Black Iron Nutrition podcast, and I couldn’t agree more. Don’t worry about impressing other people on Instagram, trying the most complicated recipe, or making an elaborate four-course meal. Just worry about whether the food tastes good to you.
What to Do Now
Hopefully, we can agree on a few things now:
- Cooking food in your home is generally cheaper and better for you than eating out.
- Cooking doesn’t need to be time consuming and intimidating. It can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like.
Over the next few months, we’re aiming to share more thoughts and ideas around cooking and food because it is that important. We have some topics in mind like kitchen staples you should always have around, quick dinner ideas, a sample grocery list, and more. For now though, I had two asks:
If you cook regularly already, share some of your favorite recipes and tips in our member Facebook group.
If you don’t cook regularly, find one recipe and give it a try this week. For recipes, I enjoy Budget Bytes, My Heart Beets, and the CrossFit mainsite. Remember, simple isn’t wrong! The only thing that matters is if the food tastes good to you.