Does Food Really Matter?
The landscape of food and cooking has changed so much over the past 65 years. And consequently, our waistlines have expanded…while our need to cook has diminished.
In our great-grandparents’ day, food was typically grown on a local farm and meals were cooked at home. Today, we often eat food with ingredients made in factories, rather than fields, with ingredients from all over the world.
We have replaced eating at home with drive-thru’s and fast food restaurants. We eat at these places with little regard to what is in the food, where it comes from or even if it’s good for our health. Real food is being replaced by cheaper, more calorie-dense foods –. Foods filled with fat, sugar and salt - which of course taste good, and go down easily.
But does the food we eat really matter, anyway?
The answer of course, is yes! Eating well does matter to our health. Eating well means consuming less take-out and pre-made meals, and eating more whole grains, fruits and veggies, protein and dairy.
Here are five fantastic reasons why food really does matter:
1. Quite simply, we are healthier.
When we eat well, our bodies get the right nutrients they need to ward off illnesses, improving our immune systems so we don’t get sick as often.
2. We have more energy.
How many times have you been at work and you feel that lull in energy? Then, you have something to eat and you feel perky again. Or, you lack the vitality to go to the gym, but after a handful of nuts, you’re raring to go.
3. Our bodies work better when we eat well.
It is not always noticeable at first, but it is similar to getting into shape. For instance, I was challenged by a girlfriend to sign up for a new exercise program recently. At first, I didn’t notice any changes in my body, but after about three weeks, I realized I was walking faster up the hills during our weekly hikes. Before joining the exercise class, I was always lagging behind. It wasn’t a conscious change, but definitely a positive one. Eating well is similar to this. You may not notice you feel healthier or have more energy until you stop and think about it.
4. It helps prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and some cancers.
5. And of course, eating well helps maintain a healthy weight.
So, there are lots of good reasons to eat well, and a fantastic way to do this is to cook our own food. When we cook our own food, we get to choose what goes into every meal. We can choose the best, the freshest and the most nourishing foods - and we can feel confident that we are doing the best we can to be healthy, and have the healthiest family possible.
If you are new to cooking, don’t despair. It’s easy to cook and eat well at home. Your first step is to purchase some basic cooking equipment. Just like you can’t build a new house without the right tools, you can’t cook without basic cooking equipment. It does not have to be expensive; in fact, you can get everything you need second-hand.
Once you have the basic cooking equipment, find a recipe you want to try. Master the recipe so that every time you cook it, you are happy with the results. For instance, perhaps you want to cook a delicious tomato-meat sauce. Once you have perfected it, find another recipe that is similar. but a little different. Maybe it has sausage in it instead of ground beef. Maybe it is meatless. This is how to build your cooking skills - because cooking is a skill. It is no different than learning how to play a piano or learning how to play a new sport. You have to practice (or cook), in order to get better. I know this for a fact, because it is how I taught myself to cook. I just cooked many different recipes with a variety of foods, spices and various cooking methods until I loved what I was making, every time!
Your success will breed success.
Food does matter and cooking our own food at home is the best way to gain control over what we eat. If you are new to cooking, don’t worry; it’s a skill that can be learned, one recipe at a time. Now let's get cooking!
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