I ended up in defense mode this morning when someone told me that I was able to cook healthy food for myself and my husband because I didn’t work. This was her response to my recommending different ways to prepare vegetables that she might find palatable. I should know better than to try to get a grown woman to eat vegetables because I don’t know how to do that. What I do know is that I love to cook and this love of cooking has allowed me to figure out lots of ways that I enjoy eating lots of different things. And yes, I work and have many interests but my main one is food. So there is that too.
How is one “supposed to eat?” It’s not complicated but in this world, it seems to be so complicated. Plus, there are many tomes written on it so I can only tell you my takeaway. My philosophy here is eat quality food in variety. Nothing is off limits but a loose rule is when in doubt, eat more vegetables. They just make me feel good. Avoid processed and packaged food too. If you don’t know what is in it, it’s probably not great for you. None of this to say that I don’t enjoy cake. Or bacon. Or chocolate.
What is my expertise? Well, I’ve been living in the world and eating for over 30 years. that’s about it. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not even a scientist. I just want to be able to move my body with ease and live well.
Now, back to time management. Because that’s what it is, right? I could tell you that I cooked from scratch when I was in full-time graduate school or working a demanding full-time job with an hour commute both ways. Or now, I cook most of our meals from scratch when I work less than full-time and I have no commute. Sure, it’s a lot more fun these days. I have time to make those recipes that I had been saving for “some day.” I can make a meal with more components on a week night. But it’s about priorities for me and food is a high priority for me because of a few reasons. One, I get to make what I want to eat without reliance on someone else to get it right. Two, I want to fuel my body well so I can feel good. Three, I just love food and how it tastes.
Yes, it takes time. But when did we get the idea that eating well shouldn’t take time? We do it three times a day (or more) and that is a lot of time, just spent chewing. Spending 30 minutes to an hour to make quality food is the same amount of time it takes to go out to eat. Maybe even shorter. Also, spoiler alert, this demand for speed has gotten many in a lot of trouble from a health standpoint. We live a long time and I want to enjoy that time more than not. If that enjoyment means that I will spend a few hours in the kitchen per week, than I see that as a small price to pay.
I feel sorry for people who do not make this investment in their health. I feel sad for the people that don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. I think it’s a tragedy and one we as a nation needs to change.
I know that my philosophy doesn’t start and end with me. I was raised in a family where this was important. Fresh food, family meals, and scratch cooking. Does it mean I never had a boxed brownie? No and I probably wouldn’t reject one today. I’m so thankful to my mother for showing me how the garden grows and how that translates to a bounty on the table.
What’s the takeaway from this ramble? Oh, I don’t know. Make an investment in your health. It’s all you have.