Why I decided to cook my own meals

My mom would always tell me, “If you want to eat good food, learn how to cook!”

I never took that seriously. What for? She always cooks for us and when I started earning my own money, I can always call a fast-food chain and have my meal delivered right at my doorsteps if I want to eat my favorite food.

And if my future husband would take it against me because I don’t know how to cook, I can always marry a chef or someone who knows how to cook and who is not so traditional, conservative, or patriarchal who insists that women should be cooking for men.

Until recently, my parents went away for a very long vacation and my sister (who knows how to cook) had to take a two-day vacation/off as well so I was left with no one to cook for me.

While I do know basic and simple cooking – like frying and boiling without burning the fish, eggs, or spam, or rice, I don’t think it’ll be healthy if I eat fried food all the time. There should be some variations.

Independent.co.uk reports that people eating fried food are twice as likely to become fat, especially if they have a genetic predisposition to obesity.

As you know I am trying (still trying) to lose weight and I think it’s a good idea to try cooking my own meals. Not just the usual take-out or canned goods, but “real” food.

Last week, I overcame my laziness and decided to finally cook my own meals and here’s why:

You make time for the things that you love. My favorite foods include Pinakbet, Kare-kare, Pansit, Spaghetti, Fresh Lumpia, Sinigang, Mongo, or fried togue, but buying them in restaurants can be expensive at times. The price of one dish is equivalent to a meal good for two to three people if you just cook it. So because I want to eat them, I made time for them and learned how to cook them.

Don’t get me wrong. I still eat in fast-food chains, especially during weekdays at work because their services are faster and cheaper compared to restaurants, but during weekends at home, I try as much to avoid eating fast foods and soon if my time permits, I’ll try to bring home-cooked meals at work so I won’t have to buy.

My first dish: Togue with fried bangus

Mothers know best. I hate to admit it, but mom’s right. If you want to eat good (and healthier) food, cook it. I try to avoid eating meat because I’m having problems with digestion. So when the recipe requires meat, I try replacing them with fish, sea food, veggies, or chicken and cooking my own meals gives me the freedom and the opportunity to do just that. Or if you really love meat, you can try replacing your cooking oils with healthy ones with lesser fat. I miss mom’s dishes and someday I’d like to cook for her and I know it’ll make her happy.

My second dish: Chopseuy, fried bangus, and mangoes

Do it for yourself. Of course! I’m doing this for myself. That’s why it pisses me off whenever people would always tell me, “If you want marry, you should learn how to cook!” My future husband shouldn’t judge me on the basis of my cooking skills. I know it’s an added point, but it shouldn’t be all. I have other wonderful qualities he can try looking at (ehem!).

But seriously, like I said, I can always choose to marry a chef or someone who knows how to cook or who can make me coffee every single morning. It can’t always be me or women doing all the household chores! Where’s gender equality here?

But recently, I realized while of course, I am doing this for myself, I want to do this for my future children and my husband as well because I want them to be happy, eat healthy, learn how to cook, and be practical even if we get super filthy rich or even if we can afford chefs or helps someday. Dreams are free, you know!

My mom never failed to cook for us (unless she’s tired or sick). She doesn’t want us eating out or ordering food as much as possible. While I do hate helping her prepare the ingredients or washing dishes after meals (sometimes!), I really appreciate that now especially if she cooks my favorite dishes.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I just have to include this one but that doesn’t mean I’ve tried it. I haven’t tried cooking for a man as of the moment. I’ll let you know for sure. But for now, I’ll do my best to learn and be the best I can be.

Bon Apetit! 

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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