Yes, cooking from scratch can be time consuming and whilst we all have the same 24 hours in a day, time is something most of us struggle with.
Cooking from scratch isn’t scary, it’s about being organised both in the kitchen and with your budget too.
My top tips would be:
• Invest in a meal planner. You don’t have to plan every single meal, just start with one or two a week. It’s also important to leave room for unplanned meals as they are a great way to use up food which would otherwise be thrown away.
• Try to actively think about not wasting food. Currently in the UK it is estimated that around 9.5million tonnes of food is wasted every year, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people. The food that could have been eaten is enough to feed the entire UK population 3 meals a day for 11 weeks(1). Planning meals that work with leftovers is a good idea, or utilising the freezer for future meals.
• Try one new meal a week which will also encourage you to buy one new food item per week, variety is great for our gut bacteria.
• Use your store cupboard staples which are usually more cost effective too. Tinned and frozen products are just as good and sometimes even contain more nutrients than fresh.
Cooking has been used in rehabilitation for a long time now, however the evidence behind the benefits is somewhat limited. A systematic review in 2018 found that cooking may positively influence psychosocial outcomes, however much more research is needed in this area(2).
We know that many people find cooking from scratch a great activity for mindfulness, brilliant for giving yourself something to focus on and clear your head, or as a way to spend time without a phone or screen, with no distractions.
This article was written by Registered Associate Nutritionist Kate Law who is the Founder and Director of The Food Boss a nutrition consultancy specialising in women’s health, sports nutrition and working with the food industry. You can find Kate on Instagram @the_food_boss_.