Cooking For One: Listening to Your Cravings and Making Choices
Cooking for One gives you more choices than you possibly imagined. Know when to give into those cravings and what choices to make.You don’t have to be single to cook for one. You can be a mother of four, a wife, or any number of other people who may not live the single life, but who have single life moments just the same.
When cooking for yourself, your options are endless. The greatest part about cooking for one is that you don’t have to worry about what other people like or don’t like, or what others have or haven’t eaten that day. The only person you have to think about is your very own self. What do you like? What do you want? What does your own body need? These questions may all point to the same food. On the other hand, they may not, and here’s where it gets tricky.
Sometimes all you want and need are leftovers. You might have been dreaming about those leftovers all night long. If this is the case, all you need to worry about is how to reheat and savour. If not, then you have to come up with something just for you.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Sometimes we just grab something because it’s there or because it’s easy, or because it’s “on our way” to or from wherever. Sometimes we don’t eat at all because our body isn’t saying anything that really stands out to us and the time slips by before we realize we’re hungry. Sometimes we eat something out of habit or a memory, like: “I remember how great that burger looked from that one restaurant; I wish I’d ordered that!” or, “I could really go for something at Wong Fu’s again, their delivery guy is so nice and their service is so fast”, not a great reason to eat somewhere, but we do it all the time. Or even worse, maybe our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we order or make food we wouldn’t have eaten otherwise, certainly not in that amount and with such fervor.
Listening to your body does not always mean listening to and giving into your cravings. In fact listening to your cravings on a whim could be the worst thing you could do to yourself. Listening to a craving repeatedly could lead to health issues you shouldn’t have to experience.
Keep in mind your cravings could be your body’s way of noting a landmark moment, for instance that you’re going to start your period, that you are pregnant, or even that the weather is changing. It could also be that your craving is coming from desiring a food that’s comforting to you for an emotional reason, or for a flavour that you want to experience or re-experience.
It’s just fine to indulge here and there, and it’s certainly just fine in my book to eat meals out of order, like breakfast for dinner or lunch for breakfast or what have you. More often than not, however, it’s a good idea to really get to know your cravings and what’s behind them. You may be needing something that a certain food or meal you are craving has in it or simulates. That something may or may not be found in that food. You may be in need of more iron, protein, vitamin C, calcium, or some other vitamin or mineral that this food may or may not provide for you. In this case, listening closely to your cravings could be the best thing for you to do. You may really need that steak, or that salad or soup, or those potato skins.
Don’t sell yourself short. Make smart “just right for you” choices as often as you can. Get to know your cravings, where they stem from, what they and your body are telling you. Open yourself up to options you didn’t know about before by thumbing through magazines and cookbooks and by reading blogs and articles that are specially geared towards “cooking for one”.
Most of all, embrace those lucky moments when you get to eat in peace and quiet.