You Can Hate to Cook and Still Eat Healthfully
I make no bones about my disinterest in cooking and not being a foodie, often commiserating with clients who don’t enjoy meal preparation. Where we differ is that I value eating nutritiously. If you don’t like cooking—and therefore don’t do it—it’s important to recognize why and make sure that, in spite of your dislike, you eat in a way that serves your body.
When I can get clients past saying, “Well, I just don’t like it” or “I hate it,” their reasons for not wishing to put forth effort in the kitchen usually fall into the following categories:
- I don’t know what to eat. This generally means they’ve been dieting for so long that they have no idea what foods to choose or which they enjoy, that is, they’ve been brainwashed about foods being “good” or “bad” and truly don’t know what they like.
- I don’t have time to cook. I might (but still don’t) buy this answer from clients who work and manage a family, but often hear it from folks who live alone and don’t have a great many outside stressors. To me it means they don’t care to make time to cook.
- I’m too tired to cook. I hear this from people who have a normal work day, not necessarily folks who are putting in 10–12-hour days. They work in many fields, some of which are stressful and some of which aren’t. I think the problem is how they process stress and their temperament more than their jobs knocking them out.
Underlying reasons, or latent rather than manifest ones, are harder to suss out. Some people who take care of others want to have someone cook and serve them. It’s how their care-taking need gets met. Others simply don’t value themselves enough to put in the effort of making tasty, healthy meals for themselves. Still others feel uncomfortable sitting quietly and eating alone and, therefore, prefer to dine out. Another reason is that people want to eat high pleasure/low nutrition food and need a reason to do so.
It's time to stop saying “I don’t like to cook” and start reminding yourself that it’s your job to feed yourself well without making excuses. This is called self-care. Start telling yourself you can cook easy, pleasurable, high nutrition meals and you will. Use your toaster oven or the microwave. You don’t need to fuss.
I swear that most of my meals take about 10-15 minutes to make. Granted, I’m not cooking for a family. But many of my clients who say they don’t like to cook aren’t either. Spend time thinking about how proud you’ll feel after eating well. The trick to doing things you don’t care to do is aiming to feel pride instead of pleasure. The pride comes from doing something you don’t like to do and taking care of your body.