In today’s world, it’s no longer conducive to put on an apron.

As modern Latin woman, I found the thought of being in the kitchen a daunting one.

I grew up watching my grandmother cook meal after meal, from morning to night.

She loved being in the kitchen; this was not something I looked forward to learning at all.

From  teen years and early adulthood, I rebelled against cooking anything. I viewed it as very conventional, which was not going to work for me, a rebel. Having had fresh home cooked meals made from scratch on a daily basis, however, creates a sort of snobbish palate.

I became a fan of “fast food” chains, since it was quick and easy.

I worked full-time and went to school full-time, so cooking a meal was not a priority.

Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy.

The damage is linked to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats.

I was left with very little food choices. It was then that I decided to put the apron on and get to work -- there weren’t many fast food chains that catered to this.

After several conversations with my grandmother, it grew clear that there was very little I could make that didn’t involve bread, tortillas, or some sort of flour.

I began concocting my own renditions of her hearty recipes by making them with all natural, gluten-free and organic ingredients. I quickly became a fixture in my kitchen, my laboratory.

There are many reasons why cooking your own food is important.

For me, cooking my own meals changed my life.

Here are ways that cooking your own meals can improve your life:

Save Money: If you like to eat out because you are trying to save time, try adding up your food receipts. A lot of times, we don’t realize that we actually spend more money eating out than dining in.

Know What is in Your Food: Living with food allergies has made me hyper vigilant about ingredients in packaged foods. When you make your own meals, you are in control. You know exactly what you are putting in, and where it came from. It is also a good way to keep track of actual calories, in contrast to speculating when you buy a prepared meal from a restaurant.

Instant Gratification: If you’ve ever baked cookies or made a quick meal, you know this feeling. I had several “disaster pieces” when I first started my feat in the kitchen. Every time I finished, there was always this sense of pride. I made something, or tried at least. It was always an effort made full-heartedly and I always enjoyed myself.

Bonding With Friends: Invite a friend to come over and cook with you! If you have a busy schedule it is a great way to integrate a little friend time and some food time. It is nice to be in the kitchen cooking up something fun and enjoying time with a friend after work.  

We often talk about not having enough hours in the day. Yes, it is time-consuming to be in the kitchen sometimes. Spending a little time and focused energy may just be the medicine we need.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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