Is cooking really a joy?

"Cooking done with care is an act of love." Craig Claiborne

I have to admit - cooking has never been my thing. I grew up in household where picky eaters, differing tastes, and varying schedules assured that by adolescence, dinnertime was usually an "every man for himself" event.
I'm also ashamed to admit that growing up, I equated cooking with traditional "women's work". So, as a postmodern feminist, I rejected the notion that I had to cook simply because I had a Y chromosome. My motto became, "I'm going to be so rich and successful, I'll hire someone else to cook for me."
Wow, was I missing the point...and missing out.
Because with that mindset, my meals usually consisted of take-out or microwave dinners (Lean Cuisine, anyone?!?!) And you know how healthy those are!
When I finally woke up to the fact that 1) my health directly correlated with what I put in my mouth, and 2) most fast food options are processed crap, I realized I needed to learn to make food for myself - and fast.
Years later, I've accepted the fact that I still don't like spending a lot of the time in the kitchen. Five ingredients or less - that's my criteria for a great recipe. For example, this awesome gluten-free stir fry I made earlier this week...
OK, so technically it had 6 ingredients, but who's counting? The point is, I've discovered that the days I take the time to make my own food, I genuinely feel proud of myself. CLICK TO TWEET

I feel like I'm taking responsibility for my health.

I like the feeling of my hands touching actual ingredients.

I enjoy others around me take a more proactive approach to their health.

And I enjoy the whole process so much, I don't even mind doing the dishes.

Now there are a ton of websites out there filled with healthy recipes (I'm telling you, "the Google" is a cook's best friend). But if you're still all about the ol' cookbook, here are some of my favorites:
  • The Hormone Reset Diet - Not only is this a wonderfully informative book about the correlation between food and health, but Dr. Sara Gottfried includes a ton of awesome recipes in the back. The Chocolate Mint Smoothie is tha' bomb!!!!
  • The Virgin Diet Cookbook - JJ Virgin's follow-up to her wildly successful Virgin Diet is worth it. Tons of yummy ideas with none of the most allergenic foods most of us react to. I go back to the Salmon Arugula salad again and again.
  • The Body Ecology Living Cookbook - Donna Gates is one of my shero's and this cookbook certainly does her justice. If you have any issues with candida, this is a must-buy!

Now, do I make every dish in these books? Hell no! But I've gotten to the point where I have about 10 winners that I love and have memorized the ingredient lists, so I'm never at a loss at the grocery store.

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What about you? Do you love to cook - or is fast and easy more your style? Vote on our Facebook page and please throw in a link to your favorite recipe while you're at it. I'm always increasing my arsenal...

Bon appétit,