On Finding the Motivation to Cook For Yourself

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It's fun to cook for friends and family. Making big batches of things and nibbles to share with people can be a small act of love and a source of pride. But what do you make when you're by yourself? Most recipes are intended for at least a couple people, so do you make a big batch and freeze the leftovers? How do you feel about eating by yourself?

Here are 21 posts from Dana Velden on cooking for one. From addressing the emotional side, to a few tips and tricks, and some fun things to try in the kitchen. Put down the bowl of cold cereal and get motivated.

When I'm faced with cooking for myself, I often find I get what Dana calls the "Why Bother Syndrome." I opt for something quick and easy instead of turning it into an opportunity to treat myself.

Dana writes in Why Bother Cooking Just for Yourself:

The difficult thing about the Why Bother Syndrome is that it's often not done consciously. It's not like we stand there and say "Why should I bother with taking good care of myself? I'm just not worth the effort it takes to make a delicious stir fry or to roast some veg and toss a salad." No, it's more likely a series of small unconscious decisions that quietly lead us away from something delicious to something quick and snacky.

You see, cooking by yourself doesn't need to be time consuming. Even if no one will know if you ate a pint of ice cream for dinner, you probably shouldn't. It can be a simple batch of rice you use for rice bowls all week, it can be various ways to make eggs for dinner, or a simple dessert of a square of chocolate. The point is to take care of yourself with food.

Here are some posts to inspire you to cook for yourself:

On Cooking and Eating by Yourself ...

On Tips and Tricks for Cooking for One...

On What to Make When Cooking for One...

On Equipment for Cooking for One...

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(Image credits: Gina Biancaniello)

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Ariel is the Assistant Editor for The Kitchn, where she writes and manages social media. She lives in New York.