THE BLOG

Cooking for One

08/07/2015 00:20 BST | Updated 07/07/2016 10:59 BST

So the prospect of cooking for one can feel anything but exciting. The message we can often receive from the outside world tells us that it's a somewhat boring and lonely task and not really worthy of any substantial amount of thought or effort - after all, it's only for one. The fact that supermarket food is usually produced in packets for two people and upwards helps reinforce this belief; add to that the prospect of wasting that which isn't going to be consumed by yours truly and you may find yourself losing the enthusiasm and the will to get creative.

The fact of the matter is, this way of thinking is totally outdated and not representative of how far we've come when we think about cooking for one; the options are endless. Just do a little research on this subject matter and see just how many books have been written on this subject which herald this way of cooking to be an absolute joy, filled with creative opportunities. As with anything in life, it's the mental attitude you have that matters most - if you think with a 'glass half full' mentality and see through eyes of excitement, this is the experience you will have in the circumstance and the 'task' will feel joyful.

Thinking about the time and effort it can take to cook for oneself (the shopping, cooking time, clearing away and the 10 / 15 minutes it takes to consume said dish) can be off putting and make you wonder if it's actually worth it. This raises the question of how important you feel you are and how deserving you feel of this kind of care and attention? This is a question of self worth, not just dinner. Food is not just for eating; it's a way to show love - love for others and love for oneself. Surely you're important enough to spend time in the kitchen preparing yourself something that's going to nourish you - mind, body and soul. You are what you eat, and whacking a meal for one in a microwave or ordering a greasy take out isn't going to cut the mustard. You get out of anything that which you put in, so care and attention will produce wholesome food with the main ingredient being love and that's gotta be worth it!

So what are the benefits?

1. Cooking for one is much quicker than cooking for a crowd

2. You get to choose exactly what you fancy rather than having to juggle difference tastes and desires

3. This time in the kitchen gives you much needed quiet time away from that hectic schedule. This is a chance to get quiet and really creative - let your mind wander, turn off your phone, stick on your favourite CD

4. The leftovers will be all yours and sometimes that dish left overnight tastes even better the next day

5. It doesn't need to be perfect - no one's judging you so cook and present in any which you fancy - the only opinion here that matters is yours.

6. Here's an opportunity to learn to truly love and appreciate your own company.

Spending times with ourselves can be a truly wonderful and soulful experience. You may just get to realise how great you are.

If you're now a cooking-for-one convert, spend time really connecting with your body and listen to what it needs and wants - not from a level of craving but from desire that comes from an innate knowing of what will benefit you. Shop for ingredients knowing the meal in question is going to be delicious and your body will thank you for it; and talking about ingredients, who says you need to stop at the local supermarket? Utilise whatever ingredients appeal to you - try out the farmer's market where you can choose the amount you wish to buy rather than having to buy an already packaged product. Try specialty shops that have those hard to find and exotic ingredients and produce that aren't available at your local store. Anything that's left over can be used the next day - left over chicken can be used in a stir fry, that tuna steak can be turned into a salad nicoise or you can use the left over main ingredient of a meal with alternative side dishes the following night. There needn't be any wastage - if you shop wisely, this is both a fulfilling and economical process.

As I said before, you really can change any experience by looking at a situation through different eyes. Being alone does not equal loneliness and is definitely not a reason to indulge in negative thoughts and emotions. On the contrary, as I have described above, being alone can be one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and your wellbeing. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

Lisa x

To purchase My Relationship with Food cookbook visit http://www.myrelationshipwithfood.com