Some people ask me why I cook or bake at home when I can easily buy them very cheap. After all I live in Bangkok where average local meal is around USD 1-2. It is actually more expensive to cook on my own than eating out. Having said that, I still prefer to cook/bake rather than eating out.
I don’t always love to cook or bake though. I attempted to cook during my college years because I missed eating Burmese food (or Asian food in general). I went to study in a small town in Kentucky and the closest Asian grocery store was over an hour drive from where I lived. And I didn’t have a car; so I didn’t have many chances to cook while studying in college. While eating the college cafeteria food and occasionally eating out, I was super-sized. Yes, I gained 25lbs after 4 years of studying in the States.
After college, I came to Bangkok, the land flowing with Thai iced tea and Tom Yum. Of course I gained 20 lbs more while eating yummy Thai food ( I was still used to eating American portion). After I moved into my 32. Sq meters studio apartment in Bangkok, I bought a small toaster oven because I wanted to bake. As I started to learn to bake, I was shocked to see how many cups of sugar and butter I put to make those cakes and cookies. It was a revelation for me and I decided to change the way I eat.
In my tiny apartment, I don’t have a fancy kitchen. In fact, it is so small that only one person could stand at once. But it’s ok; I live here on my own. Somehow I manage to make some yummy and healthy food from my ghetto kitchen. I cut down my sugar intake by baking my own bread and breakfast muffins.
I still eat out occasionally since it is a huge part of my social life. But I prepare 70-80% of my meals and within 2 years, I lost 20 lbs. Yes, just from cooking/preparing my own meals! As I started losing weight, I could also exercise. Last year, I started running and it also motivates me to prepare my own healthy meals.
People cook for different reasons.
For me, I cook because…
1. I love to eat fresh and healthy food.
2. I am a believer in the power of cooking.
3. I want to avoid MSG as much as I can.
4. It gives me joy.
5. It is relaxing.
6. I can be creative.
7. I am learning new things.