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If you’re one of the many people who’s made a commitment to eat healthier and save money by cooking at home more often, or just try experimenting with something new like an exciting Middle-Eastern cuisine, then there’s lot of opportunity for you to use your time in the kitchen to also improve your own self-worth, happiness, and even your relationships with others. The following are some ways more time cooking can enhance certain aspects of your life in 2020 and beyond.

Healthy body, healthy mind

Of course, cooking healthier meals at home means you get to enjoy all the practical benefits of having less processed foods in your diet. Cooking with raw ingredients and avoiding unnecessary additives + opting for natural flavours will really help you feel healthier and, as a result, much more content with life. The positive effect that having a balanced and nutritious diet has on your mood is criminally underappreciated by most people – be kind to your body and don’t make the same mistake!

Keeping busy

It’s commonly understood in studies of human behaviour that keeping your hands (and mind) busy with an activity helps keep you distracted, and therefore – happy. The more free-time humans have to think about life, the more flaws they discover – kind of like staring at a piece of art for too long. Keeping busy with an activity that has a net positive impact on your life (such as healthy cooking) will distract you from wandering thoughts that make you unhappy. If you’re someone who tends to overthink their life and become easily worried about things, keeping your mind busy with an activity like cooking is going to keep you away from negative thoughts, while also delivering a delicious meal at the end of it.

Connecting with loved ones

Everyone knows that food can be, and most often is, more than just the sum of its parts. Since the days of the first hunter-gather societies, preparing and eating food has been a communal activity that connects friends and family – and you can leverage this to your benefit as well. As your cooking skills improve, you’ll naturally want to do bigger and better things. Cooking for a group of family and/or friends + having them sincerely appreciate your efforts is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

Treating yourself at your leisure

Some of your favourite food experiences undoubtedly took place at a restaurant or diner of some kind, but you never really considered trying to replicate this at home either due to a lack of motivation, skill, or both. Getting better at home cooking means you will be able to prepare fresh, satisfying recipes at your leisure; if you feel like a sirloin steak or chicken schnitzel for dinner, then make it!
The benefits of this shouldn’t be underestimated – you’ll save time and money you would have otherwise spent going out to eat or ordering-in these dishes. Rather than pay to eat at a restaurant, become your own!

Promoting sustainability

One aspect of self-improvement can be tied to the relationship you have with the planet and the resources you take from it, weighted against what you give back. If you are someone who is worried about the sustainability of how food is mass-produced and processed, then getting better at home cooking can allow you to adopt better food practises that are more aligned with your ethics. For example, cooking at home means you will be able to have full control and transparency over what ingredients you use. At a restaurant you would either have to ask or take for granted that all the ingredients are ethically-sourced and to the standard of quality you desire.

Hopefully the above gives you a little kick to get into the kitchen and take more control over what you eat, and in turn, your overall happiness in the new decade.