Spending Time in the Kitchen

reeAs we rush around, trying to keep pace in this hectic world we live in, it’s hard to make time to really think about food, and that, in my opinion, is the #1 reason we’re getting fatter. We have so many things to balance that proper meal planning isn’t a priority. Back in the olden days, women would spend most of their day preparing food. That doesn’t sound very fulfilling or exciting, but we’ve gotten away from that with all these convenience foods. Some would say we’ve come a long way, baby, and I have to agree – to a certain extent. But when we’re trading in our health for women’s lib, I’m not so sure we’ve accomplished what we really set out to accomplish. We need to spend more time in the kitchen.

Pick up almost any package of prepared food and read the ingredients. Some are comprised of three-quarters of chemical-laden, no-longer-food types of food that you would never see in a garden. The overall appearance is rather food-like, but when you try to say the names of all those ingredients aloud, if you can’t even pronounce most of them on the first try, you know you’re in a little trouble. If you can’t say it, chances are your body can’t use it.

Now take a recipe. What do you see? A list comprised of food. Real food. You might see such things as: Milk. Eggs. Chicken. Paprika. This is real food. And unfortunately, the preparation of real food takes time.

But who has time? Really, in today’s world, who has time to create meals from scratch three times a day? We’d be going right back to the olden days when women were slaves to their fires or their big black pot-bellied stoves.

There are ways we can adapt to our busy lifestyles and still cook with fresh, real ingredients.

On days when we’re not super-busy, we can cook a double-sized dinner and freeze the other half for use on a day when we’re tight on time.

If you have more time in the morning but not so much at night, you can throw together the basic ingredients for dinner and put it in the fridge, then pull it out and finish it later on.

We can hunt down quick and easy recipes that don’t require hours of preparation work (just watch out for those ingredients that are meant to reduce the time spent and yet do nothing to contribute to the overall nutrition of the meal).

We can put our Crockpots back to work and create healthy meat and vegetable dinners that can simmer slowly all day and be ready when we get home.

We can put our husbands to work in the kitchen a little more often than we do – in this enlightened age of male chefs and equal opportunities for all, there’s nothing wrong with asking your honey to pitch in.

Cooking from scratch is good for us on so many levels. We get less of the preservatives that seem rampant in prepared foods. We are cutting the fat, the sodium, the monosodium glutamate and all the hidden chemicals that can do damage to our bodies. We know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies. We appreciate the meal more, and it tastes so much better than stuff out of a can.

I encourage you to do what you can to reintroduce home cooking into your routine. Your heart, and your weight, will thank you for it.

Related Blogs:

Body For Life Recipe: Grilled Chicken Breasts

Being Frugal Can Make You Healthier

Ask the Sneaky Mama: Healthier Lunches?

Loving Less Expensive (and Junky) Food

(picture courtesy of Morguefile.)