Why Good Nutrition Starts with Cooking at Home
How many of us yearn for the ‘good old days’ when life was simpler? We think of the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents when the family would gather around the dinner table every evening for a great home-cooked meal and some pleasant conversation. We long for that family bonding that seems so lacking in our hurried world. Yet what we look on fondly as a family experience is also the key to good nutrition.
When I work with families on improving their overall nutrition, one of the first things I recommend is home cooking. And make no mistake, home cooking is not buying canned food and frozen meats and vegetables that can be thrown into the microwave. It is not going to the grocery store and picking up a fully prepared meal at the deli. Home cooking is purchasing ingredients yourself and making everything from scratch.
Cooking at home forces one to pay attention to the ingredients being used. It also lends itself well to using fresh foods rather than their processed counterparts. Cooking at home forces you to think about good nutrition. And as long as you are making the effort to cook delicious meals that will not bust your budget, you might as well choose fresh and healthy ingredients at the same time.
Poor Nutrition Is No Coincidence
The conclusion of World War II brought with it a remarkable change in the American lifestyle. With so much leisure time on our hands, we were no longer content to spend time at home like our parents and grandparents did. We were, however, more inclined to embrace dual income families and an extensive list of leisure activities that took place outside of the home. This gave rise to a cottage industry that brought us TV dinners, canned vegetables, and all sorts of processed foods.
It should be obvious that the poor nutrition most of us know today is not a coincidence. It is a direct result of us abandoning our kitchens in favor of letting someone else do the cooking. It’s easy to buy something that’s already prepared and waiting for you; it is easy to take the take-out shortcut because we are too busy to cook.
Learning to Cook Can Change Everything
One thing I have discovered in my years of practicing naturopathic medicine is that learning to cook can change everything. The first thing that happens when a person learns to cook is the experience of enjoying the satisfaction that comes with a good meal. That satisfaction becomes motivation to try again. And with that motivation is the desire to try new recipes.
It’s not long before the person who learns to cook begins to take ownership of his or her kitchen. And then it is very simple to instruct that person in how to make nutritionally-wise choices in food preparation. In essence, good nutrition is the engine that drives healthy living; learning to cook at
home is the fuel that makes that engine run.
Let me encourage you to consider taking an active role in improving your nutrition. Educate yourself about how to eat right on a daily basis. And while you’re at it, learn how to cook at home. Someone in
your family or circle of friends can teach you plenty of great techniques and secrets that you can use in your kitchen; techniques and secrets that will improve what you eat and bring your family together around the dinner table every evening – just the way it used to be.