I have a confession to make: I, Liz Flanagan, had a dining hall meal plan that I barely used. And by barely, I mean there were times I went weeks without swiping my card. Weeks. Now, I'll admit I had some help from some family members who lived nearby but still, I've always known the kitchen life was the life for me.
After getting rid of my meal plan this year, I knew I was going to have to be efficient about making meals for myself to avoid spending all my money on Chipotle and Jimmy John's (which I might still do anyway if we're being honest). So, I decided to eat strictly from home for two weeks straight and see what would happen (and resist the urge to drop $30 on food the minute hanger struck).
1. I Lost Weight
2. I Drank More Water
So, taking the time to just be at home while eating allowed me to get those few extra glasses of H20 in, which ending up making a HUGE difference.
3. I Felt Less Stressed
However, as someone who enjoys being in the kitchen, preparing three meals a day gave me a chance to breathe and focus on something I thoroughly enjoy. And who doesn't enjoy "me" time?
4. I Saved Money
Duh. Although I certainly spent more at the grocery store, my total spent at restaurants, ice cream shops, and cafés was a whopping zero dollars. While this meant I had to be the odd one out at a few social events, I was really proud of myself for resisting the urge to give up and buy a tempting dessert or coffee just because I was out with friends. Being a conscious spender was a skill I desperately needed some help with and these two weeks were a great test of the strength I didn't know I had in that department.
Although my goal for this challenge wasn't to eat healthier, I felt much more in control of my diet and my life. Cooking at home allows you to be completely in charge of what you put on your plate, which I am convinced plays a large role in adopting a healthier lifestyle. While I think it would be pretty difficult to cook all your meals at home 24/7 (treating yo' self is still necessary AF), I will definitely be making a better effort to do so more often, for the good of my waistline and my wallet.