Going home to a healthy, delicious, home cooked meal is becoming less and less popular these days. Although there are many benefits to cooking at home, this practice is decreasing and the reasons are many and varied. One of the common reasons is that people are just so busy nowadays that they have absolutely no time for the kitchen. Do you find yourself in that category? You work long hours, maybe holding down two jobs. Then you have to go the gym or you have this meeting or that. Maybe you have to rush off to choir practice or your poets club. By the time you get home you are just too tired to go to the kitchen so you grab some take out on the way home.
Another very obvious reason why some persons don’t cook at home is that they don’t know how to cook. I can see how that can be a deterrent.
There are also those who are at home, know how to cook but are just too lazy. Don’t worry. I am not pointing any fingers.
Despite all these obstacles, you should really consider cooking at home. Do you want to know why? Just check out these benefits.
This is certainly a major benefit. Who doesn’t want to save money.
Have you ever gone out to eat and when you get the bill, the realization strikes you that the money you are paying for that one meal could provide for several meals at home. It is no wonder though. When you eat at home you pay for the food you eat. When you eat out at a restaurant, you pay for the food, you pay the cook, the waiter, the utilities, the rent….. you get the picture?
Bottom line: It cost less to cook and eat at home.
This generation is already strapped for time so we should welcome the idea of a practice which will allow us to save time.
What time could you possible save by cooking at home? Here are some of them:
- the time you spend on the phone trying to get through to a decent restaurant to make dinner reservations.
- the time you spend getting ready to go out. Mind you, dressing up and going out is great, but that is not something you do every day.
- the time you spend in traffic trying to get to the restaurant (Yep. That’s a biggie).
- the time you spend waiting to be seated.
- not to mention the time you spend waiting for the waiter to get to you.
- you will have to hit the road again to get back home.
Are you convinced about the time saving?
Let me quickly say that you can cook regularly at home and consistently prepare lousy food. No joke. If your food is constantly swimming in oil and your vegetables are overcooked, or if cooking at home means grabbing a package of frozen dinner from the freezer and popping in the microwave, then I will be hard pressed to say your cooking at home is healthier. Frankly, its not healthy at all but you know what, you have the power to change that and create healthy meals in your own kitchen.
Here are some reasons why cooking at home is healthier.
For one thing you will use healthier ingredients. The person who is preparing meals at home will be seen at the market buying much more whole foods and vegetables and less processed foods.
Preparing the food is also a key reason why home-cooked meals are healthier. If you regularly buy food from a fast food restaurant then you are more likely to be eating foods extremely high in fats. After all, fat makes the food taste very good and these establishments will do anything it takes to make you always want to buy their food.
You wouldn’t normally use so much fat when you cook nor would you reuse your oil over and over again as is done in some of these establishments.
While you will consider baking your food, for example, to cut down on the oil you would have to use if you fry, the majority of fast food restaurants would probable have no such thoughts or considerations about how healthy the food might be. For them it is just taste at all cost, even if it means adding ingredients that might not be best for maintaining good health.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Many of you have heard about the harmful effects of MSG and try to keep it out of your cooking but do you know what seasonings are used when you buy food outside. The food may taste very good, but at what cost?
The good news is that you can prepare extremely healthy and very tasty food yourself in your own kitchen. And guess what? You don’t have to overuse the oil, the salt or the sugar for it to taste good.
And speaking of sugar……some of the things we buy to eat or drink have way too much sugar.
Suppose you are making a glass of lemonade to go with your dinner; how much sugar would you put in it….3 teaspoons…maybe 4? If you were eating out and ordered a glass of sweetened drink, maybe even a soda, do you know that you could be consuming as much as 10 teaspoons or even more in that one glass of drink?
Amazing, isn’t it?
And to think that high sugar intake is linked to so many health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even cancer.
It really pays to cook at home so you can manage what, and how much, actually goes into the food you eat.
You know what you are eating
I accompanied my vegetarian friend to a Chinese restaurant once. There were just a few vegetarian options and the Buddha bowl was recommended. He ordered his food which was delivered shortly after. As he dug into his meal, I noticed some tiny strips of something which was definitely not vegetarian. He called the waiter and the offending food was removed with lots of apologies. To this day I do not know what those alien strips were. I know it was from an animal but I don’t know which.
I can assure you that when you cook your own meal at home you will not have the problem of strange, unknown, unwanted products in your food.
The subject of knowing if there are unwanted products in your food brings us to the problem of allergies. Many persons are allergic to one are another food item and have to be extremely careful of what and where they eat.
Some of these allergies can be life threatening and some are so severe that you don’t even have to eat the offending food to suffer its detrimental effects. Sometimes just the incident of a utensil touching the food you are allergic to and the food you are eating can result in fatality.
Again, if you cook your own meals at home, you know what foods have no place in your kitchen and therefore can better manage your allergies.
You might not think this is a benefit but it really is. When you go out to eat and the waiter brings a large serving of food, you might realize immediately that it is too much food. But you are spending your hard-earned money to pay for it so by golly you are going have all of it.
And so you overeat.
Is that good for you? Definitely not. When you are cooking for yourself you can just cook the amount you need and don’t put yourself into the problem of having to stuff yourself with too much food.
Together time with the family
This is so sadly lacking in the world today. We live like strangers. We can just manage a passing “hello” in the hallway as we rush from one engagement to another.
But picture this….
You are at home…yes at home, in the kitchen cooking. But that’s work, you say. It’s keeping you busy. Yes you are busy, but sitting at the kitchen counter are you children, telling you all about what happened at school that day.
Then you husband comes in. You are not all rushing to get ready to go out and face the traffic trying to get to some restaurant. Not at all. You are in your kitchen calmly cooking.
Hubby comes to the kitchen and starts peeling potatoes and chopping up carrots. You talk about your day, you talk about your vacation plans, you listen to the children being silly. You never imagined that cooking dinner could be so much fun.
It’s not a dream
You are probable waiting to hear me say “Okay, you can wake up now” but this is not a dream. It can be your reality.
Plan to start cooking at home and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Please share in the comments section below.