Living alone is a double-edged sword. While you’re free from the stress of constantly being around people, your lifestyle may decline if you don’t monitor your habits. Solo living means no one can bother you while you finish work assignments at home. You can stay up as long as you need and eat anything at anytime you want. If you don’t look after your own habits, you’d end up burnt out and ill. Condo living can help you stay on track.
One of the positive effects of condo living is acquiring an active and healthy lifestyle. Tenants have free access to fitness amenities such as swimming pools, gym, dance studio and lots of open spaces for yoga, tai chi and jogging. You can also design your condo space to accommodate your very own indoor herb/vegetable garden. Remember that a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise are the pillars of health.
It’s time to reassess your lifestyle. Start by evaluating your diet. Are you frequently ordering take-outs? Do you order fast food items on a daily basis? These 8 benefits of cooking for yourself will convince you that you should start preparing your own meals.
You can have healthier choices
A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that people who cook their meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat than those who frequently dine out. “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet,” lead author Dr. Julia A. Wolfson says.
You may have noticed that the servings in fast food restaurants have increased, resulting to higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart problems. The health benefits of cooking at home center on better choices. You get to ensure the freshness of ingredients, the cleanliness of your cooking area, and the amount of food per meal.
You know what you are REALLY eating
Breakfast is, unfortunately, the most neglected meal of the hardworking urban dweller. For many, a cup of instant coffee constitutes the first meal of the day despite studies that show the importance of having a heavy breakfast. Thus, brunch (breakfast-lunch) in a restaurant across the office is the daily routine for most of us. Have you even thought about what you are really eating every time you order a burger or pasta? Few restaurants disclose the ingredients, saturated fat, and additives they use. Are they using recycled cooking oil or too much umami? You may never know.
One of the most important advantages of cooking for yourself is that you know exactly what you’re eating. You can control the sodium and additives you digest, and you can ensure the freshness of your meal.
You know how your food is prepared
You may have heard of horror stories happening in restaurant kitchens involving an agitated staff who wants to get even with an irate customer. There’s no need to elaborate—one thing you should remember: never EVER get in the nerves of the people preparing your food. Cook your own meals and you can spare yourself the anxiety of not knowing how your food is prepared. Food poisoning, hepatitis A, and diarrhea are not cool.
You save money
If you live alone, you know the temptations of just grabbing a cup of instant ramen from the convenience store or dialing pizza delivery instead of rummaging in the kitchen. On its face, take-outs seem cheaper than going to the market and turning on the stove. However, with closer assessment, you will realize that cooking your food is way more affordable than to-go meals. A kilo of chicken breast, for example, is good for two to three meals. You can boil it, mix it in a lettuce salad or fry in on butter. How much does a kilo of chicken breast cost? Roughly the amount you pay for a large order of burgers and fries. The price of two servings of white rice in a restaurant is equivalent to a kilo of uncooked rice. You get the picture.
Cooking is an effective stress-buster
Sadly, stress has become a part of the modern lifestyle. We are always in a hurry to do as many tasks as we can within our limited time. Try observing people in urban areas. Everyone’s in a rush to get somewhere, mostly with blank stares if not busy with their electronic gadgets. This fast-paced lifestyle is blamed for high incidence of stress, burnout, and depression. The benefits of condo living are in direct response to our declining quality of life. Condo developers understand the need for city dwellers to balance their professional and personal pursuits, thus the many relaxation amenities in condo communities.
Cooking at home can effectively reduce your stress levels. Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, remarks that cooking is a creative outlet. “And while stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them. It’s a sensory experience with aroma, taste, touch, visual delight, and even sizzling sound,” she says.
Cooking can heal your broken heart
Do you get those Bridget Jones moments where you heal your bruised heart with a tub of ice cream? There’s a better use for food when it comes to helping you nurse your broken heart and ego—cooking! Take it from book author Lucy Saunders who admits cooking through heartbreak. “It’s creativity with some measure of pleasure, and you can enjoy the results right away. And it’s a wonderful way to engage the senses, even without a spark of romance,” she says.
Cooking can bridge relations
Cooking and sharing food with family, friends, and neighbors is a part of Filipino culture. Today, the culture of eating together remains alive in rural areas during fiestas. Why not plan a cookout with your condo neighbors and have a weekend picnic in the open lawn? You can share recipes, cooking techniques, and fun stories. What better way to make friends than over a delicious meal?
Cooking is a worthwhile activity you can do alone
Being alone is happiness for introverts. It’s not that they don’t like dealing with people; in fact, introverts have deeper relationships with others that their extrovert peers. If you’re someone who prefers to live alone, you know that there’s barely a boring moment in your quiet life. A good book is enough to complete your Sunday evenings. Try cooking a new recipe on your day-off. The fun starts at your trip to the market. Savor the colors and textures of raw food items. Experiment with ingredients, spices, and plating. Remember George Bernard Shaw’s words: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
Living on your own is not an excuse to neglect your health. Eat well, sleep enough, and exercise daily. Maximize the use of your condo facilities and amenities. Your wellness is in your hands. Start by cooking for yourself. The benefits of cooking food to your physical and mental health should be enough to convince you that there’s life beyond pizza deliveries and take-outs.