June 20th, 2017 01:56:00 pm
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this statement, “We don’t cook anymore.” I am always taken aback for a moment because I’m thinking to myself, “then what are you eating?” I believe that it is true. People don’t cook much anymore. They think it is too time consuming. The clean-up is a hassle. They don’t want to bother coming up with creative menus. So what a lot of people are doing is instead relying on two basic options to make their health and nutrition choices.
2) Large Corporations that make processed food (boxed and frozen)
To me, that’s like letting the fox guard the hen house. These days, most restaurants (particularly the big chains) are in the business of making money, not in the business of looking out for your health and nutrition. Needless to say, the same goes for the large corporations who make your frozen “pop in the microwave” food. There is ZERO concern in most cases for your personal health, nutrition, wellness and longevity. As a result, adding unnecessary sugar and salt and preservatives are a no-brainer for them. After all, these additives keep the consumer coming back for more.
I encourage you to check it out for yourself. I examined a menu at a local restaurant that prides itself on “gluten-free healthy choices.” But instead of taking their advertising pitch at face value, I decided to ask some questions. So I chose what would appear to be the healthiest choice on the menu… a grilled chicken breast and a side of grilled vegetables. Then I asked for clarification on this choice and after several trips back to the kitchen, the waitress confirmed that BOTH of these items were marinated and coated in sugar. And, when I asked if the sugar could be eliminated, I was told no, it comes that way. Bottom line, I ate it, but made a mental note that I’d just consumed high quantities of sugar (which I never add in my home cooked meals), and who knows what else was there that was not disclosed, because I did not specifically ask. So, keep in mind that what you think is a healthy choice on a menu potentially has a LOT of additives, sugar, unnecessary fats, sodium and so on—at your favorite restaurant. And, to complicate things further, it is most likely cooked at really high heat, adding AGEs to the food (see details here).
When you cook at home, you have the ability to take control of your health, nutrition, and longevity! You control the ingredients. You control the portion size. You control your spending. And, you control the quality of the cookware used to prepare your food. You also give yourself the gift of lowering your toxic load, because you’ve controlled all of those factors. These healthy dishes are all so easy to prepare at home, with minimal hassle.
Restaurants and Dining Out:
Experts agree that food is not only cheaper, but also healthier, when prepared at home. Food choice is an important factor in leading a healthier and longer life. Cooking your own meals allow you to freely decide what to put (and not to put) into your food so that the health needs and preferences of your family members are covered. Restaurant meals are often incredibly high in calories, sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats – all of which can negatively affect your health. It is also cooked on the lowest grade cookware,that goes through substantial abuse in a commercial kitchen (aluminum).
As stated by Juliana Cohen of Harvard School of Public Health in Forbes.com, “research suggests that people who prepare food at home (versus food prepared outside the home) eat healthier. They consume fewer calories, less saturated fat and sodium, and more fiber and micronutrients per eating occasion.” And the primary key to enrich your meals with good nutrients is being able to decide and use healthy ingredients in them.
Socially, eating at home around the dinner table with family and friends is better for our health. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found in its survey that teens who eat more at home with their families tend to have lesser tendencies of being involved with cigarette smoking, drinking, and using drugs. As a result, they also tend to excel academically as well.
Eating at home is obviously substantially gentler on the budget as well. The Nation’s Restaurant News reported that the cost of food prepared at home dropped by 0.5%. Meanwhile, the price of eating out has gone up by 2.7%, a significant increase from the 1.4% rate from the year before.
A roasted chicken dinner with vegetables at a restaurant might be around $16.00 with tip. The same entrée cooked at home might average about $6.41. Add in the fact that you controlled the ingredients, the portions, and the cookware utilized, and it makes sense to prepare your own food both economically and from a health perspective.
Do I eat out and enjoy it? Of course I do! But the majority of our meals are prepared in our own kitchen, with our own ingredients and cookware---taking control of our health and nutrition. You are able to substantially reduce your toxic burden if you eat at home the majority of the time where these factors are in your control. When I do eat out, I enjoy myself and I do not worry about content or preparation very much, because I know that the majority of my intake is on the healthy side. I know that I effectively reduce my personal toxic burden by cooking whole foods at home, thereby leaving myself some "room" for enjoying life, going to parties and eating things that are not benefitting my health. Also, there are still some of those local small (non-chain, non-franchise) restaurants out there that care about ingredients. And there are also some chain restaurants that do too.
Processed food that is “assembled at home”:
MSN recently published an article entitled “The 30 Unhealthiest Frozen Meals on the Planet.”[i] I had to chuckle… only 30? But seriously the exposé was rather shocking, but explains a lot about why so many people are plagued with bad health and disease. There is not only zero nutrition in the processed food people are eating, but there are added chemicals that are downright dangerous to your health. They are void of nutrition, sky-high in sodium and carbs, and the additives are a disaster. The serving sizes are also ridiculous, encouraging people to eat an entire package when that is loaded with enough fat and calories for two people. Some of the meals contained an equivalent amount of sugar as a candy bar, and it was noted also that they almost all contained known carcinogens for example: "ammonium sulfate" (a commonly-used lawn fertilizer). The analysis was done on names you’ve probably purchased like Stouffer’s; Hungry-Man; PF Chang’s; Red Baron; Healthy Choice; Marie Callender’s; Banquet; DiGiorno; Chili’s; Mrs. Paul’s; Tombstone; Jimmy Dean; Aunt Jemima; Pillsbury; Amy’s; Jamba; Kellogg’s; Nestle Hot Pockets; and Bob Evans.
I am probably not really telling you anything you don’t already know. What I hear most is that people are in a big hurry, pretty much always. They are tired. They are burned out. They work many many hours. And they just aren’t willing to spend time washing, chopping, “cooking” food because it’s easier to call for take-out or pop a processed food product into the nuking machine. And if you are still using that microwave, read here about why you might want to think twice about it. Believe me, I get it. But I also happen to have a passion for finding solid paths that lead to good overall health. So I prioritize healthy food because I think that is a major component that affects our life outcomes. And I sell healthy cookware as a result!
You may know I blog periodically some “recipes” for meals I am making. Most are pretty simple, and most involve the opportunity to substitute healthier choices over not-so-healthy-choices. I’ve decided, however, that I’m going to do another twist on that, and blog some ‘non-recipes’. More like “whole food assembly”. Things you can put on the dinner table that nourish, but don’t require a lot of skill, time or “cooking.” I hope you like it. The goal will be to provide meal ideas that are reasonably quick, but are still offering whole rather than processed food choices.
Following are some ideas about how to make a change...
Make cooking at home fun. Your Titanium Cookware Collection pots and pans makes is super easy to clean up and super fast using the Vapor Cooking method. Eat in and give yourself the gift of whole, healthy, unprocessed foods to nourish your body and mind. You deserve it.
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