Doing More Cooking (or Maybe It Does Save Time)

I think we’ve all seen tons of articles that talk about how cooking from home is so much better than getting take out, delivery, or going out to eat. Obviously, it is cheaper (unless you are making something really elaborate or with a ton of ingredients). But there are also dozens of articles that I’ve seen over the years saying that it’s much faster to make your own dinner than it takes for a delivery person to get to your house.

Cooking has always felt like an event to me. Maybe it’s because I live alone and cooking for one person isn’t always that fun. But it’s never felt like part of the routine or natural in my day. I’m really working on fixing this because I was doing great cooking all my own meals while I was on the cleanse a year ago. It’s been really tough for me to get back into really cooking but it’s an effort that I’m working on right now.

After making my chicken dish on Monday, I was feeling a bit better about cooking again. It was my first big cooking thing in a long time and it did feel great to cook again. And since there were leftovers, I knew I’d have some home cooked meals for a few more meals.

I had ever intention of eating the leftover chicken for dinner the next night, but I ended up eating it for lunch and then feeling very uninspired to make dinner that night. I’m not happy I did this, but I ordered delivery food. While the delivery food tastes good while I’m eating it, I know my body doesn’t love it. I feel a bit sluggish after eating and I know that it is a big factor in my weight gain.

I don’t know why I ordered the food. Obviously I needed dinner, but I didn’t need to order food. It’s almost like an impulse or reflex that I didn’t think about until after the fact. I need to work on being in the moment or more aware when I do this, because I know that I could have done without the delivery food.

From the time I placed my order for food until the time I was eating was just over an hour. And the next day I was determined to prove to myself that I can do much better for myself in an hour with food that I had in the house.

The next day, after getting home from my workout and showering, I cooked myself some dinner. It wasn’t anything fancy. I cut up some zucchini and an onion and cooked those in one pan until the zucchini was brown and the onions were soft. And in another pan (yes, it was a 2 pan dinner!), I cooked a frozen turkey burger that I had in the freezer from Trader Joes. I started the veggies first and then the turkey burger and by some miracle they were basically done at the exact same time.

I have to admit that not only was it healthy and tasted great, it looked pretty nice too.

Home Cooking

I sat down and ate my dinner and then started working on the dishes. There were a lot of dishes to do (knives, 2 pans, cooking utensils, a cutting board, the plate and fork I used to eat) so that took me a while to clean and figure out how to fit everything into the drying rack since I don’t have a dishwasher at my house. By the time that I was done cleaning, I felt like it had been a big production to cook and clean. But I looked at the clock and it hadn’t even been an hour from the time I started cooking until the time I was done with all the cleanup.

I know it shouldn’t have surprised me, but I was pretty shocked. I figured that obviously cooking is faster than waiting on delivery since you can easily cook in under and hour and most deliveries seem to be an hour. But I wasn’t expecting it to be faster to cook, eat, and clean in the time I wait for the delivery guy.

I’m not going to say that I will never order delivery food again. That would be a total lie. I know I’ll order it again because it is delicious and there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat. But I need to work on making it a treat and not a habit. And now I know that the most important thing for me is to make sure my house is stocked with foods that are easy to put together. I’d love to make awesome meals all the time, but when I’m tired and lazy I just need something that is easy to make and will be healthy and fill me up.

I’m sure that at some point it may be possible that I will “forget” this lesson and go back into my bad habits. I’m hoping that won’t be true, but I’ve learned that setbacks are a part of life and I can’t let those get me down. I need to be able to have my setback and then get right back to the regular game plan right away. And I’ve proved to myself that I can do that.

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