Cooking at Home vs. Eating Out

I love cooking and baking at home but I also hate it. How can that be?

Woman sliceing parsley with a knife in the kitchen

Benefits of cooking at home

The satisfaction from the result of throwing together a random dessert at any time without following any directions or precise measurements is something that allows me to de-stress. Simply rummaging through the cabinets and seeing what I have to work with gives me the challenge — will it be a success by nailing it or not. It’s the adult version of a science project.

Batter in a bowlCakeCake

Appreciation is another feeling that I get when I’ve prepared food for myself at home. I enjoy the food better because I know I put time and effort into preparing the meal.

This is particularly appealing as I know what is in the food. I don’t have to worry about asking the waiter or waitress whether or not there is flour, nuts or dairy in the dish. Nor do I have to ask them to swap out an ingredient or two (most of the time they are friendly about this, other times you can seem like a burden for asking them a simple question). The life of a person with food intolerances — the struggle.

Asparagus and fish on a plate

I get to use ingredients that I know I can eat and are fresh! That can be an important part if you have food allergies or sensitivities. This can be particularly important when eating meats and fishes. You honestly do not know how long it has been in the restaurant. Some restaurants will even go so far as to manipulate the scent of the meats for customers to be unable to tell if it has gone bad. Food-borne illnesses are easily passed onto individuals if the food is not prepared properly.

Asparagus, fish, tomato in tupperwareStrawberry in tupperwareCucunber, egg, tomato, carrot in tupperware

Another positive aspect of eating at home for me is being able to put aside food for later. This tends to be tricky as I have a stomach that is a bottomless pit — what can I say, once a swimmer always a swimmer? But, with eating at home, I have the chance of practicing portion control.

If and when I practice portion control, it makes it easy to bring leftovers to work the next day. Sometimes life happens and I just can’t carry tupperwares of food with me, so to compensate, I always look for quick and easy meals when I need to eat on the go. Another important trick, packing healthy snacks, or a protein bar when you cannot sit down to have a proper meal. There’s nothing worse than starving and not finding a place to stop and grab a bite to eat.

Downside of cooking at home

The biggest downside of cooking at home… the clean up. If I don’t do it right away then it just sits there. If only it would clean its self up.

Another conflict is that I cannot always carry tupperware with me or else I’d be wheeling a suitcase along with myself! Sometimes I leave the house after 8 and get home way after 6. I have to have other options available that are not only my meals. This does require some research and testing a few locations to know which healthier restaurants and fast serving food options are around me and that work with my dietary restrictions.

Knowing where to eat healthy and what they serve takes time, practice and patience. Even though it may be a salad with a little dressing, you do not know what is in the dressing. For people that follow a low FODMAP diet, myself included, even simple ingredients like garlic or onions can have us bent over and holding our stomachs in pain if we’re unaware. Always ask whether there are alternatives in order to fit your dietary needs!

Salad in a bowlSalad in a bowl

When I am at home, I like to cook only for myself. This may sound selfish, but I know what I can and cannot eat and I’m okay with my food tasting bland as I do not use too many seasonings. Also, I haven’t had meat in over eight years! So cooking meat, and not being able to taste test it makes it a difficult experience. This means its seafood as the protein option at my place!

With the the right restaurant, everyone with their eating restrictions can choose from the many options a menu has to offer. At home, it can be stressful to try and please everyone with food options. In this sense, going out to eat can make certain occasions a breeze. Why cause extra stress if you don’t need to? ,

Eating out also gives you the possibility of trying new flavors. It allows you to open your eyes to the new options of foods that you can experiment with at home later on.

Fish, potato and salad on a plate

Let’s not forget that when you eat at home you only eat what is at home. If you do not buy chocolate because you know you will eat it in one sitting, the chances are you won’t have many indulging desserts for after a great meal! But when you do go out, you have the chance to eat a little #offpath and enjoy something that you normally wouldn’t.

Chocolate soufflé

While it may have its perks of eating at home, eating out can be great too! Enjoying a variety of foods with a larger group of friends and family is possible in a restaurant setting. Don’t rule out cooking at home though! It may come to be something you enjoy doing in the end regardless of having to do the dishes and cleaning up!


I Use ate as my go-to food journaling app to keep me on track of my on and off path meals.