We all want to be healthy, look amazing and have glowing skin, endless energy and extra cash in the bank, right?
Well, we Millennials are making it much harder for ourselves than it needs to be because we've made dining out the new norm.
Sometimes, we even "dine out" at home with food delivery services like Grubhub, BiteSquad and Postmates all ready to serve us at the touch of a button.
Although this sounds like our version of living the dream, it isn't doing our waistlines or wallets any favors.
According to a study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 92 percent of restaurant meals exceed the recommended calorie limit for a single meal.
The most shocking part is, studies have found meals from sit-down restaurants have the same amount of calories and fat and much larger amounts of cholesterol and sodium than meals from fast-food restaurants.
This is mind-blowing.
You know what also blows my mind? How damn expensive it is to eat out.
All those breakfast sandwiches, mid-day coffee breaks, happy hours and dinners add up so quickly that when your bank statement comes in the mail, it sits on the counter for days because you are simply too terrified to open it.
Then, once you finally gather up the courage to see the damage you've done to your bank account, you swear off eating out and promise yourself you will do better next month.
But, you don't. Sound familiar? It's a vicious cycle, and you aren't alone.
The obvious solution would be to just eat at home.
So, why does it seem like such a challenge to cook something at home when the rewards are so obvious?
It's because we all run into what I call imitation roadblocks, which is when we believe there is something preventing us from attempting a challenge, making a change or doing something new but in reality these
Imitation roadblocks aren't roadblocks at all. Instead, they are defense mechanisms we use to convince ourselves we can't do something.
Putting it more harshly, they're excuses.
Imitation roadblocks can exist and apply to anything.
In this case, we are going to look at the imitation roadblocks many face when it comes to cooking, and strategies to overcome those roadblocks that will make even an absolute beginner a success in the kitchen.
1. Fear of failure
Nothing is worse than getting yourself all psyched up to conquer a goal, only to have failure smack you straight across the face when you aren't able to achieve said goal.
Failure sucks. It kills your motivation and keeps you from wanting to try again.
Most of the time, health and cooking goals end up in failure is because they are entirely unrealistic.
Simple as that.
The fix: Set a goal you can crush (not one that crushes you).
Start with something small. Perhaps cook one or two dinners a week for a month.
If at the end of the month you've reached your goal and are happy with your progress, then use the momentum of your success to motivate and inspire you to set another goal.
If you don't reach your goal, reevaluate it and set a smaller goal to ensure you succeed.
2. Don't know how
Often, "I don't know how" is something we say when we are actually too intimidated to try.
Many people are intimidated by cooking and is much more common than you may think.
However, there is no reason to feel intimidated because cooking is very quick and easy to learn with the right direction and recipes.
The fix: Don't let beautiful food blogs and complicated recipes intimidate you.
Guarantee yourself a culinary victory by finding a mouth-watering recipe that is easy and quick. Stay away from recipes that require a million ingredients, many complicated steps, lengthy cooking times and unfamiliar ingredients.
Go for recipes that are simple, easy to understand and call for simple ingredients you are familiar with.
3. Tastes like shit
“I want to waste my time and money making a dinner that tastes like bland shit!” said no one ever. I hear you.
For me, eating bland chicken and veggies is more terrifying that my recurring nightmare about banana boats and killer whales.
Homemade can taste just as good (and many times better) than restaurant food at a fraction of the price and calories.
The fix: Make something that is seriously delicious, like something that makes you groan with every delicious bite and keeps you coming back for more.
Believe me when I say it is pretty easy to make something healthy, fast and delicious.
4. Don't have time
Recipes that have a million steps and call for 30 plus ingredients are a complete nightmare for anyone who is short on time.
There is a common misconception that all cooking is time-consuming and results in a sink full of dirty dishes but this is far from true.
Homemade meals can actually be quicker than dining out with simple yet delicious recipes.
One-pan and pot recipes are your best friend because that means little to no cleanup.
The fix: The absolute best strategy for those with busy schedules is to plan. Once a week, simply pick out a few go-to recipes, put together an ingredient list and run to the store to pick up your groceries (or better yet, have them delivered).
After a couple delicious weeks in the kitchen, you'll notice your waistline shrinking and your bank account growing.
Then, you'll wonder why you didn't start cooking sooner.