The end has come for the Self #NoTakeoutChallenge that I mostly took part in for the last four weeks. I only cheated three times in thirty days, so I think I did fairly well. The challenge, a collaboration between Self Magazine (one of my fave reads) and Food52 blog, was to fall in love with cooking in 28 days. There were 4 weeks of delicious recipes supplied by Food52 – each week had a different theme to make your life easier from 5-ingredient dishes to 30-minute meals. Each Sunday, you were supplied with a list of recipes to try for the week and throughout the week there were other emails to help you become more efficient in the kitchen and make eating well a lifestyle.
I used the challenge as a way to kick my butt out of winter slump and get back in the kitchen to make more meals. It was also an aim for me to start saving my body and wallet by bringing healthy and delicious lunches to work (this is my major flaw when it comes to eating). I had quite a few big wins throughout the challenge including avoiding french fries (aka my weakness) for almost a whole month and cooking my own dinner on a night that my parents ordered Chinese food.
Obviously, I felt a lot better by eating nourishing and home-cooked meals but there were a couple of other positives to the experiment that I didn’t think about when first deciding to take part.
My bank account has definitely thanked me for my avoidance of the office Tim’s location over the last month. I prepared my own tea every morning which ended up saving me a TON of money. This is definitely a change I need to keep up moving forward because those pesky $2 morning pick-me-ups end up costing a fortune in the long run.
Encouraged other social activities
Going out to eat is probably my number one activity with my friends. As much as I LOVE the food scene in Toronto, it was really nice to try other things when taking part in social activities. It was a little weird to tell people at first that this was something I was doing but instead of avoiding gatherings I got to enjoy more fun activities like a barre class, making meals for my friends, and a Paint Nite!
Kept things interesting
This really helped me get out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. Knowing that I wouldn’t have delicious burgers and fries made by someone else meant I had to get creative to keep myself satisfied. I tried more recipes this month than I have in a long time and I think it helped me learn things about becoming a better homecook! It also got me excited about bringing my lunch which is almost unheard of in my life.