I really enjoy cooking and I am slooooowly learning to bake. After my second child was born, I found myself with about 50 extra pounds. Along with working out, I started to cook more. My husband and I were avid restaurant diners so cooking at home was a new thing for us. I started with a Cooking Light cookbook and was still able to create some of our old favorites while substituting low fat options.
When we went vegetarian about a year and a half ago, I started having to cook all the time because meat was lurking in everything...gelatin in Altoids, chicken fat in BBQ Baked Lays. A few months later, I realized I was Lactose Intolerant and went vegan so the cooking definitely increased.
As the cooking increased, the weekly budget did also. I found that with a good amount of planning, I could meal-plan on Sundays, grocery shop and be good for nearly the entire week before I needed to go again (so tempting with a Whole Foods behind me!). Not only did this make sense financially since I eliminated all the last minute grocery stops to get "whatever looks good", but it has been good on our waistline. I can plan meals that are healthy, yet still delicious and provide ourselves with enough variety so we don't get bored.
I am a fan of organic foods, whole foods, foods that are free of chemicals and preservatives. I rarely go to a mix from a box, mostly because it deosn't make me feel as satisfied as cooking from scratch. I think it is fun to make homemade pita bread. I love to make my organic pizzas on Friday for a little more than a Hot 'n' Ready would cost. Planning ahead is worth it and your body deserves it.
Om Namah Shivaya
(I honor the divinity that resides within me).