The recipe that made me stop eating out, start cooking at home, and lose 15 pounds.
SINGLE Focus. This is exactly what you need to stop eating out, start cooking at home, and lose weight.
But before I get into the specifics, let me first explain, exactly how bad my situation was when I was getting started.
When was a grad student at Stanford Engineering, I used to eat out all the time. I’d eat out almost every day of the week.
What’s for lunch? Nothing. So, I’d go to my favorite Indian restaurant and have a delicious Paneer Masala—I did that almost every day. (Do you know how calorie-dense those restaurant sauces are?)
The problem with this approach? I kept gaining weight. After having gained 15 pounds in 24 months I knew I had to change something – otherwise I’d end up really fat in 10 years time, and that’s not how I planned my future.
Exercising more came easier to me. But cooking? Ugh. I was so lazy, I’d prefer to make pills of food, so that I could just pop a pill and not have to worry about food. This way, I wouldn’t even have to go to a restaurant to get my food! No need to stop my work, I’d just pop a pill! Yay, for non-stop productivity. It’s just so easy to sacrifice our health for the sake of work.
Lazy. No taste for delicious home-cooked food. No appreciation for food. The recipe for health disaster.
So how do you take a lazy person like me and transform her into a health-conscious foodist?
To avoid eating my favorite Indian dish, a well-established habit for me, I had to have lunch ready for myself already—before I felt hungry for lunch. This way eating my own food, would become easier than going to my favorite Indian restaurant. Hence, I’d eat home-cooked food!
The problem with this approach was…cooking. I had to start cooking at home.
But I was lazy. So lazy. Cooking seemed like such a burden.
- I’d have to come up with what to eat…
- List the ingredients (also – understand what these jargon ingredients are)
- Go to the super-market, find where each ingredient is located
- Cook the food, checking with the recipe all the time so I wouldn’t mess it up.
Yes, an Indian take-out seems so much easier!
But I was determined. And I did make it happen.
I now eat home-cooked food every day! I never eat out. I might socially go out for dinner sometimes, but that’s not the norm – it’s the exception.
That’s how much home-cooked food I eat.
Yet most importantly, I now enjoy the food. I take pleasure in preparing my food. Dare I say, I like cooking. I even practice with new recipes, and have a recipe Pinterest Board that I actually use.
How did this happen, you might ask. How did I start cooking at home?
I practiced SINGLE focus. Watch the video to learn the exact recipe I followed to stop eating out and start cooking at home.
By avoiding the need to look for a recipe, cooking became much easier, faster, and simpler. Learning to cook just a couple of dishes without a recipe made a huge difference.
I started to eat a lot more at home than out. The food I made was delicious and healthier. I gradually started developing a palate for home-cooked food. I was getting less calories with each meals, choosing organic ingredients whenever I could. The pounds started coming off. Victory!
Most people believe that the reason they don’t do the things they say they want to do (like exercising and eating right) is that they are lazy. Yet, that’s not the case. They just haven’t yet found a way to make those healthier living activities easy enough so that they can easily get started – and if you’d read my book then you’d know this already. When the resources are available to you, you have no excuse for taking care of your healh. Get “Surprisingly…Unstuck: The Power of Small Healthy Habits In A World Addicted To Instant Results” now.
Just like I started with ONE recipe, ONCE a week, you too don’t have to start with cooking a different dish daily – that’s a recipe for disaster! Before you know it you’ll be back to take-out, and feeling even more discouraged to start cooking at home ever again.
But what’s the actual recipe I used to start cooking at home? Introducing…Greek Lentils Soup.
Why lentils? It’s a healthy, tasty dish, and easy to prepare if you’re a beginner with cooking at home.
- 1 lb. brown lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 minced onion
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
1. Place lentils over saucepan cover gradually. Check whether they are pure or have other stuff (wheat, little rocks, lentils gone bad) mixed in them (you shouldn’t find any, but it happens sometimes). Should you find impurities, remove them.
2. Place lentils in a large saucepan; cover with 1 inch of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes, then drain lentils into a strainer.
3. Put lentils back into the saucepan. Put in tomato sauce, olive oil, minced garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and minced onion. Add water until it’s surface covers the lentils by at least 2 inches. Raise temperature to high heat. Stir. Once it boils, bring the heat down to low-medium.
4. Stir occasionally for the next 30-40 minutes. Add more water if needed – it’s a soup! Once the lentils are soft enough, turn off the heat. Serve yourself and enjoy!
Tip: Add some feta cheese for extra flavor!
So that’s the recipe that helped me start cooking at home. I’d do lentils once a week for a couple of months. I can now almost do it with closed eyes. I’m fast. Cooking lentils seems the easiest thing in the world – it’s no longer a big deal!
So now it’s your turn. If you’re not already cooking at home, pick ONE recipe, and get started practicing it. Learn to do it like a pro. Without looking at the recipe. Fast. Delicious. Did I say fast?
Yes, fast. Once you’ve practiced enough, cooking will transform into the easiest thing in the world. And you’ll get to enjoy results like this:
That’s me 15 pounds heavier. I then lost the weight, and even got to see my abs! Now it’s your turn! What recipe will be your own starting point?
This is wonderful! I get SO intimidated by the idea of cooking… But, I’m *totally* making some lentil soup this week. I would LOVE it if you posted a few more of these “starter” recipes! 🙂