Cooking is my therapy

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My collection of healthy recipe books

I have always loved good food but I haven’t always been a very good cook. I was very lucky as a child as there were four great cooks in my family. Both of my grandmother’s were brilliant, my aunt is incredible and my mum is also a fantastic cook. I love going back home and tucking into my mum’s cooking, especially her apple crumble. I have no doubt that growing up with so many great cooks is what led to my love of good food. Unfortunately when I went off to university I hadn’t actually learnt how to make the great food, just eat it and so wasn’t a very accomplished in the kitchen.

At uni most of my meals revolved around pasta and something. I think I spent more on Dolmio stir in sauces than I did on textbooks! When you add in the takeaways and the nights out partying it was little surprise that my weight ballooned. By the time I graduated I was 18st 7lbs and still packing on the pounds. Over the last few years I have worked really hard to get my body back in shape but there is still room for improvement. That is why I started this blog, I want to be healthier in my thirties than I was in my twenties.

If you have read some of my previous blogs you know that I struggle with the nutrition side of being healthy. My relationship with food has needed fixing for a long time and this year I am determined to do something about it! I have always enjoyed cooking, it is just not something I have been very good at. However my ever-growing collection of healthy recipe books has sparked something that is really helping. Cooking has become more than making food, it has become a form of therapy.

I now look forward to spending time in the kitchen after work. Before the pleasure of cooking was the meal at the end, now I enjoy the time spent making the food too. The process of cooking a meal from scratch helps me switch off from the pressures of work and anything else in my life that is causing stress. They time I spend in the kitchen after work is now just as enjoyable as the time I spend in the gym. Plus my wife is loving my new found therapy, she gets to a healthy, nutritious meal cooked for her every night and she has a husband who has shaken off the workday and so can enjoy dinnertime.

I owe a lot to the rising number of health and fitness stars that have created so many great healthy cookbooks with easy to follow and more importantly delicious recipes!!!! As I said earlier my collection of recipe books is growing, but right now these are my favourite three:

Eat Well Every Day – Clean Eating Alice

I was a big fan of her first book and the second one is even better. Right now my favourite recipe is the Coriander and Chilli grilled Chicken with smashed Avocado, although the Thai-style Turkey Burgers are a close second.

Lean in 15 Book 3 – Joe Wicks

The third instalment from the fitness phenomenon that is Joe Wicks is in my opinion the best of the lot. I recently blogged about ‘My five favourite recipes from Lean in 15 book 3’ and the truth is I could’ve called that post ‘My twenty-five favourite recipes from Lean in 15 book 3. There are that many good recipes in there!

Lean Fitter Stronger – LDN Muscle

Although Leaner Fitter Stronger is more than just a healthy recipe book it does have some awesome meals in it. My wife and I absolutely love the pesto Salmon parcels. They are delicious and so simple to cook, perfect for a work night protein hit!

If you find it difficult to make the time to cook healthy food I urge you to try one of these books and start with just cooking one recipe a week. It is amazing how quickly you get into a routine of cooking healthy meals.

I hope you enjoyed this blog!

Toby

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