If you follow my NutriFit blogs and Facebook postings regularly, the declaration below will come as no surprise, as I unfailing lend my voice to the cause for cooking. For those of you new to my work, please join me in this most important cause!
“I believe everyone can benefit from preparing more home cooked meals and snacks.”
There, I said it.
And I said it knowing full well that:
- not everyone likes to cook
- not everyone knows HOW to cook
- not everyone is interested in learning to like or how to cook
Before you list all the reasons why more cooking will never happen in YOUR kitchen, let me clarify.
I’m not suggesting you spend ALL your time preparing home cooked meals, nor preparing every dish from scratch. I’m simply advocating for devoting MORE time to a practice that gives you more control over the nutritional content and overall healthfulness of the food you eat – two benefits that support efforts to eat better – and who doesn’t want THAT?
And while some of the latest “fad” recommendations for achieving a healthy lifestyle call for herculean efforts (often discouraging a person from even starting), a gentle nudge to spend a little more time in the kitchen feels attainable to the most rudimentary cooks.
To further encourage you, I’d like to share what one of my clients is discovering in her quest to cook at home more often.
First, a little background.
As a rule, Francene (permission granted to use her real name) and her husband eat their main meal at a restaurant – pretty much every, single day. Francene is a beginner cook, intimidated by meal preparation, and lacks confidence in her culinary skills – not the best skill set for retreating to the kitchen and whipping up a quick meal.
Through nutrition sessions based on education, encouragement and guidance to start small, Francene became determined to give cooking a try. As it turns out, she did more than merely try.
When we met following the Thanksgiving holiday, Francene shared the lineup of dishes she’d prepared over the long weekend, and completely blew me away. She prepared not one experimental dish – but five – and brought photos of her masterpieces to share (spaghetti photo missing, as is the cauliflower and sweet potato sides that accompanied the roasted chicken before it became soup).
Francene googled “beginner cook” recipes, and after finding several that looked appealing and called for familiar ingredients, she set to work simply following the directions – drawing on inspiration and encouragement provided during our nutrition sessions. How amazing is THAT?
At our meeting this week, Francene reported that she and her husband have eaten out only once in two weeks; which made me curious to learn what benefits she’s recognized from “eating in”.
- More time. It takes them ~2 hours to drive to a restaurant, order, wait for their food, eat, and drive home. That is NOT an unreasonable estimate, either.
- More energy. Says Francene, “It’s “tiring” to put the energy into going out; getting dressed and presentable,” vs. simply sitting down to the kitchen table.”
I hope Francene’s story has inspired you. Hopefully you see that home cooking doesn’t have to be elaborate, just simple, homey and nourishing – the best cooking there is.
So what are you waiting for? Get in that kitchen, and cook for a cause – your health. There’s none better!