Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking. The dreading thought of going to the grocery store, chopping up the veggies, and don’t even get me started on doing the dishes afterwards. Going out to eat can not only be convenient in some cases, but also an enjoyable evening with loved ones. Having had two similar yet different experiences involving who made my dinner Friday and Saturday night, I experienced the pros and cons of cooking at home and eating out.
Friday night, a loved one and I had the idea of making fajitas. One great benefit of making the fajitas ourselves, allowed me the option of using a romaine lettuce leaf instead of a traditional shell. From walking around the store picking out the different ingredients we wanted, including peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc. Our fajitas were colorful, tasty and full of nutrients. The best part was, the time spent with my love. Putting our phones down, connecting with each other and working together created an evening of laughter and good memories.
Saturday, I went out to eat with my girl friends to celebrate one lovely lady’s birthday. The food was delicious, the wine was flowing and the laughter was never ending. Without being glued to our phones or screens we nurtured our souls by catching up, reminiscing and making plans for the future. It was a night of pure enjoyment that I do not take for granted. This morning though, my body reminded me how much it benefits from a home cooked meal.
The food we fuel our bodies with is going to determine how our body works/feels. This is not to say there isn’t a restaurant out there with healthy options and eating out doesn’t always have to come with a guilty conscience for the choices we’ve made. However, there are positive health benefits from cooking at home that you cannot replicate eating out.
Most importantly (in my opinion), knowing exactly what ingredients are in the food is the biggest benefit of cooking at home. Yes, you can ask questions at the restaurant, but if you are someone with a food sensitivity/allergy or restriction it is hard to be 100% certain that the food will be prepared to meet your dietary needs. While not intended by the restaurant, cooking for mass quantities can sometimes make it difficult to adhere to the allergen-free environment required for specialized orders. Cooking your own food allows you to form a relationship with the food you are eating, which aides in the experience of eating. Using our hands to touch the food, smelling all the flavors coming together, seeing the foods transform into a delicious, nutritious meal that you created not only delivers a sense of accomplishment, but allows us to feel more satisfied after eating. The more nutritious the foods are that we consume, the more satisfied we will feel and this can curb over eating.
Meals don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Find a recipe, give everyone a task and before you know it you will be enjoying a nutritious meal you can feel good about it. No matter who’s making dinner, your or that restaurant you love, remember to place your other matters aside, work, phones, etc and enjoy the company of those around you.