For The Love Of Cooking

You may have already seen a picture like this floating around the internet scene but if not, take a deep look in to the meaning of it

.chemicals

My dad tagged me today in a post on Facebook and it is this

http://www.trueactivist.com/mcdonalds-transparency-campaign-backfires-prepare-to-be-shocked/

A write up about how McDonald’s has tried the honesty approach and it is backfiring more than helping any of their business.

At the bottom of that article is a video clip from Michael Pollan and it hit on many key factors of what has happened to our food world, history and agriculturally. Yes it is 20 minutes long and it came up in my news feed during my one down time of the day but instead of watching Reveloution on Netflix while I folded laundry and tidied up the kitchen, I listened to this.

One thing he says towards the end is something I have thought for a long time, but now I know it is just all the more true. That cook anything you want at home and it will be better for you than a product made by a company. I remember posting something like this a long time ago when I had posted a picture of our dinner one night. I couldn’t tell you what the meal was but someone made a remark about it, insinuating that it wasn’t all that healthy of a choice. I replied that hey I figure no matter what it is, if I make it at home it must be better for me than eating out. Of course there are healthier ways to eat at home than others, as I am finding for myself but in the clip Michael points out that in the 60’s and 70’s there was a strong decline in home cooked meals, about some 40%. And now the amount that remains spends only 29 minutes cooking and 4 minutes cleaning up. Doesn’t sound like cooking to me, my guess is they are using a box of hamburger helper to make dinner. Lord knows even my “quick meals” take more clean up time than that, ask Ben! I cook he cleans, usually. (Even if I clean as I go)

Oh hamburger helper, I was just thinking about you this morning. I have never used it but I do see a lot of people at the store buying food products and not food, and there is usually at least one of those in the cart. What is the draw? That the seasonings, powdered milk, and powdered cheese is already included in to a meal idea? Meal plan, come up with creative ideas and have fun on the journey. Pinterest has taken my cooking to a new level but before that I still loved recipe magazines. Heck you can even find hamburger helper type meal recipes from scratch if you want and you would be eliminating all the other shelf stabilizers and other chemicals they have to add to it.

Hamburger_Helper_Cheesebuger_Macaroni

This is more than a fad and more than a diet. We are taking back what society has stolen from us. As a hairstylist I have been around a lot of women from all different backgrounds because we all meet up in the break room over food. (Or lack of eating by choice.) I have seen many different peoples takes on food and have seen them do different diets. What never made sense to me was when people would go on a diet and would buy pre packaged food with tons of additives. Or go on a shake that says something like healthy or herb and they do that, with out ever questioning what other chemicals they are putting in their bodies.

To even “pre journey” me this didn’t make sense. Sure they got down in goal weight (sometimes) but what about there actual health?  What can you do? Eat food with the least amount of ingredients, or better yet no ingredient label. Stick to the edges of grocery stores where produce, meat and dairy are. The only time I even go down the frozen aisle anymore is for frozen chicken breasts (sometimes as I like the fresh best) or ice cream. Which ironically to me, the purest form I can find is Blue Bunny and only Wal Mart has that here. So if you see us at Wal Mart, it probably means ice cream run. Eat organic as often as possible but remember there is grace when making such a big lifestyle change. Eating conventional broccoli is still better for you than a bag of Cheetos and it will slowly start recalibrating your body and brain to want more healthy food.

Meal planning is one of the biggest things especially with how busy everyone is. There are some nights where I know I have little time to make dinner so Tuesdays I usually have a crock pot meal or sandwiches. Plan snacks so you don’t fall back in to stopping for something at the store, because when you are hangry everything looks good.

I know for single people, especially students this seems impossible. We often share meals with Ben’s classmates and the thought of a home cooked meal sometimes brings them to tears! I know the sticker shock of buying your food for a week up front can look intimidating, but when you add up a few meals at $8-$12 a day you could very well eat better with a little planning and time. Even if “cooking” again looks like making your own sandwiches and being prepared for the day, your body and check book will thank you for it!

For all the busy families out there take one of your favorite take out meals and Google a recipe. Chances are someone has figured out how to make it with real ingredients. We eat Chinese food often and never eat out for it. We make home made pizza with ingredients that are better than we would pay for at a restaurant. Breakfast, grate up some potatoes and fry them for hash browns and it can be a dinner like breakfast faster than going out, less grease and no need to leave a tip. Or even make breakfast sandwiches ahead of time!

Something else that can be fun is if you can get yourself a new gadget for the kitchen that will help you explore and do new things. I finally got a food processor which is almost an essential part of a paleo diet. And already today I have used it to make home made almond milk, shred my cheese for home made pizza and made a cauliflower pizza crust. Tomorrow morning I am planning banana ice cream for breakfast and am excited for making my own mayonnaise, dressings and pesto down the road.

Most of this blog isn’t going to be recipes that I create but often will be links to ones I have used as I don’t feel the need to re invent the wheel. I still am trying new things that are already available but there may come a time where I venture off, then I will have to remember to measure things! I’m more of a dump and pour kind of girl but for your sake I will try. 😉 The next couple blogs will be sharing how to make home made almond milk, home made baby wipes and probably sharing how the pizza was tonight.

Sleep well and eat well

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