To cook or not to cook
Updated: Jan 19
I recently got an Instant Pot and my whole family gave me a hard time about it, reminding me that I only cook three times a year. Well, I tell them that so often they believe me. (It's had its advantages.) They even placed bets between themselves about how ofted I'd use it. (In my family, this is love.) Little do they know, I've made a commitment to use the Instant Pot at least once a day for one year!
To be clear, I actually love to cook. I just prefer to plan a meal, dream it up, set the table, set the mood, and sit down with family and friends to actually enjoy it. It conveys, I made a place just for them. I love the connection and conversation that comes with breaking bread together.
Through the years we've eaten on the go, in between baseball games, late nights after leaving the office, throwing food on the table because people are hungry, or ordering in because the hubs was working late. Many meals prepared without thought or considering what healthy choices I was making -- bad habits compounded and compounded over the years.
For some reason when I do cook, I have never mastered not making enough to feed an army. No matter what, every meal could feed 10. Are you feeling me?
When I got the Instant Pot, I also purchased the Instant Loss Cookbook. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people. There are only two of us around the house, so this is a huge blessing. This book has lit up my heart for cooking and flavor again. I know, you put everything in the pot and it just miraculously comes out ready to eat in a matter of minutes. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed choosing recipes, planning meals, and going to the grocery store to pick out ingredients. It's been a wonderful adventure this first week.
I am a picky eater, have some food intolerances, and am allergic to shellfish and strawberries on top of that. In the last week, I've tried some new things and different ingredients I don't usually eat or cook with. Chopping fruits and vegetables has brought back nurturing feelings of purpose and satisfaction that I'd disconnected from. It's also brought me around to being mindful of what we're eating. My taste buds are reengaged!
The tagline on the book I was telling you about it is "Cook Your Way to a Healthy Weight." That was the attention getter. In the last year and a half, I have gained too much weight. It's as if I walk by the refrigerator and grab a pound to go. Brittany Williams, the author, lost 125 pounds in one year with "recipes that are gluten free, dairy optional, pretty low in sugar, and high in healthy whole ingredients." Hers is a remarkable story and I love how it's shared and woven throughout her recipes.
Everything has a starting place, so I am following her advice:
Clean out the refrigerator and pantry to get rid of highly processed foods
Restock with whole foods
Focus on portion sizes
Kitchen is closed after 7 pm
Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
Drink at least 64 oz of water a day
MOVE the body
Dessert once a week
Eat more frequently (3-6 times per day)
Be kind to yourself