February 23, 2011

Get In The Kitchen And Improve Your Health

"The relationship between a man and his food, is his relationship to the cosmos." - Wikipedia
 My tiny kitchen is the center of my home, and my favourite place to express creativity. It is where water, metal, heat, and simple ingredients come together to create food magic.

I love cooking, and I like having the time to do so at a leisurely and enjoyable pace. To do away with all conveniences, and enjoy the necessary steps in making real food from scratch.

I think of my kitchen as a laboratory, a place to experiment and make my medicine. Tasty, tasty, soul-satisfying medicine. When we eat real food, it prevents disease as well as helps us recover from illness. Vegetables and fruit are full of things that are certified good for you as shown by repeated studies.

Faux foods, on the other hand, are made in real laboratories by 'food' scientists. I don't eat these industrial food-like substances as they can make you ill, or kill you outright. This includes most fast foods, rich restaurant foods, and all highly processed foods. As Michael Pollan says, "If it is a plant, eat it. If was made in a plant, don't".

When home cooking was the norm we were thinner and healthier. Unfortunately, when life gets busy our diet is one of the first victims. From personal experience, it can be difficult to meet the demands of a full time job AND cook from scratch. We begin to compensate for our lack of time and energy by making do with convenient prepared foods and snacks. We rely on others to make food for us. We lose control.

The result of losing control? Sickness, disease, and dependence. The chronic obesity problem we are experiencing in North America right now. Break free of unhealthy foods, give yourself some time, and get back in the kitchen. After a while you will begin to develop rules and routines to streamline the process.

Some of  the rules and routines that have helped me are:
  1. Always keep a clean kitchen so that you are never deterred from cooking by a mountain of dishes in the sink, or a counter top too cluttered for food preparation. A clean kitchen is a kitchen that is always ready to go. Cooking should feel like fun.
  2. Make more than you need, then put your freezer to work. For me frozen foods that I have made myself are my "fast foods" that are easy and convenient for those times when I don't feel like cooking.
  3. When you go out bring food with you. I always travel with food from home so that I am not tempted by fast and processed foods if I get hungry. Nuts and raisins, a piece of fruit, a sandwich, cut vegetables, and other quick snacks will save you money and pounds.
Good food is good health. We should give it more thought, and more time. And when all is done, share your meal with a friend. Conviviality and healthfulness at its best.

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