During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I depended heavily on fast food, takeaways, and Uber Eats. I would order almost every day. This was mainly because I had zero energy to cook, I lost my appetite, and there were only very few foods that I would eat – so yes, I allowed myself to be that way for 3 months or so.
In the past months though, I have been going back to making and eating homecooked meals, and I have been loving it! And although I’d rather not cook on weekdays after work, I do love spending some time batch cooking during weekends. I might even throw in a batch of cookies if I am using the oven because who doesn’t love cookies? Apart from being cheaper (on the average, it can be 5 times more expensive to order from a restaurant than it is to prepare your own meal), home cooking/baking can also be a form of self-care, especially during these times when we spend much more time at home.
How does cooking / baking at home become a form of self-care?
1. Cooking and baking your own food is healthier than having fast food and takeaways
There have been studies suggesting that preparing your own food from scratch would result in consuming less fat and sugar. Maybe even less salt and additives. You would know what ingredients you put in, and how much. I definitely felt this when I switched back to eating homecooked meals more frequently.
2. It can become an opportunity to practice mindfulness
Ok, so this might not be the case if you have kids running around while you rush to get dinner done. But otherwise, it can be a time to stop thinking of problems, worries, and other mental clutter, and just be present and focus on what you’re cooking or baking. Taste and smell the ingredients, and savor every minute.
3. There is joy and satisfaction in creating something
Just like music, writing, arts, and crafts, there’s something satisfying about being able to create something (bonus points that you can eat it too!) In our culture of consumption, making something out of nothing can bring a sense of joy and achievement.
4. It can become quality time spent with family and friends
For me, cooking during the weekends can be time spent with the Mister. If you have kids, perhaps you can let them join you and help out in the kitchen as well? Yes, it might take longer to finish but that time spent with them is priceless. (Quick note: When cooking with friends, take note of your lockdown rules on social gatherings. Be safe always!)
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child
Happy cooking, everyone!