This is a very important step to being the best version of you! Unfortunately you can’t control what other people put in your food. Even if you ask for your salad dressing on the side you don’t know how much sugar there is in the bread, or how much oil they used in the stir-fry (or what type of oil they used)… So the best way to be healthy is to cook as many meals as you can yourself.
I do realise that this takes a lot of time. I used to work full time too you know! But just in the same way you organise your diary at work to fit in all those mind-numbing meetings, it’s possible to organise your time in the kitchen.
Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of the school I am studying at, gives a great organisational example in his book Integrative Nutrition. Perhaps on Sunday night make a stir-fry that you serve with rice. Make LOTS of rice. The next day you can have some with the stir-fry for lunch. That night you can add some to a soup that you make which you can also have the day after for lunch. On Tuesday night use the last of it to make a quick fried rice with egg and veges. That way the time you spent cooking the rice on Sunday was well worth your investment.
Another way to really enjoy cooking is to appreciate the food. I can’t believe how much more I enjoy cooking now that I shop at the farmer’s market. When I know I’ve got really fresh, seasonal food I want to make sure I don’t waste a precious leaf!
Spend some time noticing how you feel when you’ve eaten home cooked food. I bet your energy levels are much higher! Just today I didn’t get to eat lunch until 3pm (definitely not ideal!) I almost caved and went through a drive through on the way home but I knew I would feel like crap all afternoon. So I decided on a green smoothie instead. It’s fast food, and so much healthier.
If you are scared of the kitchen, invite a friend over to teach you. It is so much fun cooking with someone else there. Open a bottle of wine, put on some tunes and have fun! What’s the worst you can do – burn something?!
My idea of kitchen fun is this scene from the Big Chill. Yes they are packing away the food rather than eating it, and yes the food & fashion choices are questionable. But if you could have this much fun in the kitchen all the time, you may never get out again! (Oh and just ignore the stoned guy at the end.)
Does anyone else have some tips to get people in the kitchen?