Your Own Home Cooking: The Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Do you do your own cooking? The other day, I invited a friend to drop by. There were two chicken breasts in the fridge. I decided to do a chicken parm. I tossed some hunks of old bread in the blender and whizzed up some bread crumbs. I cut my two breasts into four, seasoned, egged and breaded the pieces, and browned them in an oiled frying pan. Then I transferred the pieces to a baking pan, poured on a can of crushed tomatoes with some herbs, placed fresh-sliced mozzarella and shredded parm over the top, and baked for about 20 minutes. I served my dish with noodles and asparagus.


    I don’t claim to be a great cook, but let’s just say the chicken was way better than anything I ever had in any restaurant. The secret is home field advantage. Anyone doing their own cooking pays close attention every step of the way. We’re talking cottage industry vs industrialization. 

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    Not only is the food tastier, the ingredients are far more healthy, and we’re not talking tofu. When we do it ourselves, we’re using far less sugar and fat and salt and processed stuff.


    Don’t have time to do your own cooking? Think again. Going out to a restaurant is tremendously time-consuming.


    Another advantage - for me, anyway - is that cooking is a great stress-buster. The activity forces me to focus on the present moment, which means I’m not obsessing on the stuff that has been driving me crazy throughout the day. Instead, I find myself shifting into a calm meditative state, even with four burners going and something in the oven.


    Finally, I experience the satisfaction of a job well-done. Martin Seligman referred to this in his 2002 book, “Authentic Happiness.” We want instant pleasure (which is only fleeting), but true (and long-lasting) gratification, he says, comes from putting in the work. Here I am, days later, waxing enthusiastic. I rest my case.


    Question: Do you do a lot of your own cooking? 

    Feel free to elaborate on your own experiences and share recipes. Comments below ...  

Published On: January 14, 2012