I am beginning to suspect that the largest reason is my eating habits. For all the cooking I have observed and critiqued, I do not have very good kitchen skills of my own. I have strong ideas about what's healthy to eat, but not enough experience making those foods for myself.
If I close my eyes I can picture the foods that would make me feel best. Salads of green and deep purple, vinegar dressing, oranges and tangerines, pho broth, broccoli, hardboiled eggs with big flaky salt... Nowhere in the picture is the chocolate, the ice cream, the milk, the sugar, the wheat and soy that I used to derive all my protein from. Somehow I need to make acceptable dishes for myself, because I am not able to find them in the surrounding culture, without spending too much money and too much time in transport.
Cooking is a measure of my independence and I think I need to enhance it.
Does anyone have any favorite salad combinations to share?