My Biggest Advice
So, let me start by saying my biggest advice is learn to cook! Are you really shocked? Now you don't have to start off at the extreme by making your own bread and butter - start small. You don't have to have the best or every piece of kitchen equipment. You just have to have some time, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone.
For example, during my junior year of college I thought I was an okay cook. I could follow easy semi-homemade recipes to a tee, and they always turned out pretty good. However, on Valentine's Day, I decided I was going to make this gourmet three-course meal from a cookbook my boyfriend bought me as a gift for the occasion. Let me tell you each dish was in-your-face full of flavor - and NOT in a good way. So, I was sweating bullets trying to make it perfect. My laptop was in the kitchen with 20 browsers open, with flour on the screen and keyboard, trying to find ways to cut the flavor of these dishes. At that point, I started really learning to "taylor" my dishes.
• Start slow: If you're not used to cooking, make the Nestle toll-house cookie recipe to see where you stand. Start watching a cooking show on Food Network, look for easy to prepare meals, find your mom's recipes you liked as a kid, or even crockpot recipes. Try convenience items like cans, pre-chopped or frozen produce, or make half of the dish (e.g., you make the Chinese fried rice but buy frozen egg rolls to complete the meal). Make 3-4 dinner meals a week if you're only used to making 1. And if worst comes to worst, then watch The Worst Cooks in America and start competing with them (ha - but seriously).
• Get a few of the necessary (necessary in my opinion) cooking tools: Crockpot, blender, Kitchen Aid mixer (handheld beaters work well too), food processor (you can use your blender but when you're ready to advance - this is a must - my life changed, I kid you not), mandolin, microplane zester, knives, measuring cups/spoons, baking sheets/muffin tins, and hopefully this goes without saying, but I will, pots/pans/utensils (these sets you can buy and they range from $50-500 - so choose what you're comfortable with).
• Use the internet for recipes: If you type in the craziest thing, I bet you will find something along close lines!
• Make the time: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." So, make the time for your health, and reaping all the benefits that whole foods can bring to your well-being.
Every Friday I try to find (or create) a few new recipes to make for the following week. I write the grocery list, and on Saturday I buy the groceries. Sundays are spent prepping. Sounds easy, right? IT IS! Don't get me wrong, I make some awfully strange and unappealing meals at times, but I just love attempting new things! Of course, I have my mother's signature recipes that I will never be as good at making, but I have reached a point where trying new things and "tayloring" them is my niche.
Do you still need some motivation or direction? Here are a few of my favorite blogs that I pull recipes from: The Lean Green Bean, The Iron You, 100 Days of Real Food, The Law Student's Wife, Healthy Aperture, Keepin' It Kind, Gina's Skinny Recipes, and Hungry Girl. So, get cookin' y'all - I can't wait to see what you make! Remember to tag me (@taylorm013) on twitter or Instagram so I can see your delish dish!