Growing up being a picky eater when I was a child motivated me to start cooking. Eating a meal that is satisfying and enjoyable is so important to me. If my parents cooked a meal that I wasn't too excited about, my dad always said to me "If you don't like what is on the table, then make it yourself." I still think about that phrase to this day when I cook for myself. It is so true.
I took my dad's comment so seriously that I decided to cook everything. I remember having to use a step stool to cook my eggs because I was too young to reach the stove. I was so proud of being able to make eggs and toast as an 8-year-old, I felt like a real chef.
Once my parents brought up the importance of eating healthy, I learned to make my own smoothies. Inspired by Jamba Juice I tried to copy their drinks and make my own version. Making smoothies means so much to me because it reminds me of my grandma.
When I was in the 4th grade my grandma was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease known as ALS for short. I was too young to understand much about it, but all I knew was that my grandma needed breathing machines to survive and it was a hard time for my family. Once I realized she had a hard time swallowing, I started making smoothies for her. As a 10-year-old there was only so much I could do to help, so making smoothies for her was my way of contributing.
My favorite part about cooking for people is that I feel like I am giving back. I am providing. I feel like when I cook for others it shows that I care. There are many versions of showing people love, and one of my favorites is giving. Cooking for others has much more meaning than just eating. It's an experience. When you cook with someone, you are actually spending time with them versus just handing them a gift.
Once I got to the end of my senior year of high school I had more time to spare. I started going to the gym regularly and I was inspired to eat healthily. I didn't want healthy eating to be a burden, so I decided to make it more fun. I played around with new ingredients and spiced up foods that were boring to me.
Now I am a sophomore in college and I made an effort to allow time to cook. Cooking makes me happy and making a successful dish feels accomplished. I have cooked meals for my family and friends and received such positive feedback. This inspires me to cook more and more. I now have an Instagram account called @carathechef. I share recipes and cook with my friends and I have inspired them to cook as well.
Food is nourishment and you need it to survive, so why not have fun with it?