Habits of Healthy Eaters: Cook at Home

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/11/2009 4:21 PM   :  201 comments

I didn't take home ec and never took a formal cooking class. I didn't buy a cookbook until I got to college, but I've been cooking for as long as I can remember.

Baking blueberry buckle, picking cherries and making applesauce with my Gramma Willie and watching Papa Jim make ground beef stew, roast beef and macaroni and cheese are among my earliest memories. They, along with my mother, invited me into the kitchen, gave me an apron and put me to work from the time I could walk.

I don't remember going out to eat unless we had gone to the mall (also a rarity for this small-town kid). Instead, I remember home-cooked meals for special occasions, with vegetables from my granddad's garden.

Growing up, my mom cooked dinner from scratch every night (She had a 101 ways to cook chicken cookbook, and I think she tried them all!), and we had family dinner at my grandparents house every weekend (roast beef or ham, mashed potatoes, a salad and a big plate of raw vegetables).

Today, we eat a home-cooked, nutritious meal at least six nights a week. People like me--and maybe you--have become an anomaly.

As obesity rates have risen, Westerners have become kitchen illiterate at alarming rates. Reacquainting ourselves with the kitchen--meaning the stove and oven, not just the microwave and refrigerator--is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Forget becoming the next Top Chef. Can you cook to save your life?



The New York Times recently ran an article about how contestants on NBC's weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser have to learn to cook, sometimes for the first time in their lives, after they leave the show.

“Twenty minutes in the kitchen will save you three hours on the StairMaster,” said Devin Alexander, a chef in Los Angeles who developed the recipes for the [Biggest Loser] cookbooks. “You can’t trust restaurant food to be low fat.”

Think that not knowing how to cook or cooking very infrequently doesn't have an effect on your life? Then take a look at these facts, from that same NYT article:

"It is difficult to quantify a decline in cooking skills, but many studies show that time in the kitchen has declined steeply since 1965, when American women spent a weekly average of 13 hours cooking. Last month the government of Britain, where obesity is spreading rapidly, passed a law requiring all secondary-school students to attend cooking classes.

"Today, women in the United States report spending an average of 30 minutes a day preparing meals. The percentage of women who are overweight has risen to about 65 percent from about 30 percent in the 1960s."


The solution is both simple and complex: We need to learn how to cook. And if we know how to cook, we need to do it! That's easier said than done, I realize, and a task that would require more than a singular blog post to remedy.

Today, I'll offer a first step: If you never cook at home, do it once this week. If you already cook at home, try a new recipe.

For you newbies, your challenge is the simplest recipe I know:
Salsa chicken (or tofu for us vegetarians!) This recipe isn't fancy, but it's delicious, nutritious and easy!

Ingredients:
4 3-ounce portions of chicken breast (skinless and boneless)
2 cups salsa (any variety)
1 cup brown rice, uncooked

Directions:
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice, cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 30 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Saute chicken breasts in a nonstick pan set on medium-high heat. Cook about 6-8 minutes on each side. Add salsa to pan and heat through.

When rice is cooked, place 1/2 cup of rice on a plate and top with one piece of chicken and about 1/2 cup of salsa.

Serve with a green salad, broccoli or green beans.

You can also make this dish with 12 ounces of shrimp or tofu.

Makes 4 servings: 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup salsa and 1 piece of chicken.

Nutrition info:
220.9 calories
2.1 g fat
27.7 g carbs
5 g fiber
24.1 g protein



Did you have to learn to cook as an adult? Are you someone who doesn't know how to cook? Don't be ashamed. Speak up and ask questions. We're here to help!


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Is Getting Healthy a Hopeless Cause for Adults?

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • GRAMMY7070
    201
    I love to cook and since starting Spark People, we go out less to eat. It so much more inexpensive, taste better and I can control what goes into my meals. I use to go out more to eat, but realized it was more for convenience . I am always looking for new recipes to try and plan to eat at home more often. - 2/3/2013   11:46:22 AM
  • BIGSANDYMOM1
    200
    I think part of the reason why people don't bother learning to cook these days is because it is just so darn easy to go out and grab something already made. Even in the small town of 1000 that I live in, there are 4 restaurants. And way up in the hundreds in big cities. And when you factor in that a lot of places will even deliver your meals directly to your door, you then really loose the interest in wanting to learn to cook. - 1/11/2012   2:29:00 PM
  • 199
    Boy does this ring a bell with me! My husband and I used to go out at least 3 times per week but we stopped. Now we go out maybe twice per month. Everything in the restaurants we went to was fried, and of course, we had to have "beverages" (i.e. beer) with our meals.
    Now I cook at home and everyone is hooked, including my two adult daughters! One daughter, a college student, moved back home to finish college and LOVES to help me in the kitchen and is learning how to cook and how to tweek recipes to her liking.
    She used to eat out all of the time, too with her busy schedule between school and working. But now she loves coming home to eat, knowing that we have homemade soups as well as other healthy choices. I create small "tv" dinners with the leftovers using divided freezer containers and they are always around, as well as freezing small containers of soup.
    Oh - and the result from going out all the time versus cooking at home? We save a lot of money, calories, and are eating nutritious foods every day (and quit the beer habit, too!) - 12/30/2011   12:16:44 PM
  • 198
    I love this recipe and I've been making it for about 10 years except I make a foil pak and put 1 pc of chicken andcut up some fresh carrots and on occasions I'll leave on the skin if they're in good shape along with some frozen broccoli spears,a little minced garlic w/dash of sea or kosher salt then top with salsa and bake for about 30mins or until the chicken is done.I've often made up extra pks and I took them to work and cooked it in our toaster oven,my co-workers really didn't like me too much and before I knew it I was bringing in extras for them.I love it.But that's a good idea for my chix thighs for tonight. - 9/22/2011   4:03:52 PM
  • 197
    By cooking at home I can control what goes in to the dish.
    Having a plan, and balancing protein, fiber, and carbs really matter. Enough veggies help fill me up, with nutrition. So even if my green beans were cooked in the microwave, my food is much tastier than before I started SparkPeople.
    Thanks for all the great suggestions! - 8/17/2011   9:51:11 PM
  • DIABETICLADY
    196
    An excellent article. - 8/14/2011   1:10:46 PM
  • 195
    It's difficult to get in the habit of cooking healthy meals when you are cooking for one. Keeping food fresh is more tricky and it's hard to cook smaller portions. It also seems like a waste to turn on the oven for one person, so the microwave became a standard... until I got a toaster oven. You can cook a single chicken breast and some grilled veggies in a good toaster oven. It is perfectly sized for portion control, and allows you to eat healthy and easy as a single person in a small apartment! - 8/10/2011   2:56:00 PM
  • EMIM05
    194
    I cook homemade meals 3 times a day 6 1/2 days a week (sunday's we go out to eat). My mom and aunt are great cooks but when I was growing up my mom wouldn't let anyone in the kitchen (a wonder when she got mad that no one knew how to cook and she'd get upset that she'd have to cook everything, lol) We were to clean it not cook in it. It wasn't until I was married and had a baby that I actually started cooking. I had to get the salt out of my diet. My husband wasn't too happy since everything did taste bland in the beggining. Or undercooked. never burnt though lol. Now I call my aunt or my grandma for cooking advice. I swear when I started every time I went to walmart I called my grandma. She would answer the phone "hi emi, you must be in walmart" !!!!!! Cooking at home can be a wonderful way to save money as well as eat healthier - 6/8/2011   1:20:13 PM
  • 193
    I was partly raised by my grandmother and boy did she cook, of course most of the recipes were made with lard, butter and pork so I can't say that all homecooking is healthy. All of the girls learned to cook and of course the boys got to dump the trash and continue playing. As a stay at home mom I cooked most nights and we went out to eat twice a month. When I got divorced and became a single mom we ate out more at fast foods except for a few years ago when I worked on a temp. contract and made very little money and had to watch every penny, the fast food was cut, a menu each week and my son(who is a great cook by the way) helped me to prepare dinner most nights. That year I did not gain any weight at all. A year later a better job back at the fast foods and put on over 20 pounds. Cook at home healthier? Depends on how you cook it. - 2/2/2011   12:10:12 AM
  • TEXASZITA
    192
    I cook all week and my husband & I will occasionally eat out on the weekend. I do great during the week when we eat at home. This past weekend when we ate out, I started out good. Ordered grilled shrimp, salad & side of broccoli. The salad came drenched with my favorite blue cheese dressing & the broccoli was drenched in butter. I forgot to request no butter on the broccoli and dressing on the side with my salad. I even had a cocktail! SIGH....I confess that I did eat everything as delivered and even had the delicious bread to boot!! Fresh start today.....yesterday is gone! I CAN DO IT! - 3/29/2010   9:29:23 AM
  • 191
    I learned some at home and then took the Foods/Cooking class in Jr High and High School. Total of 3 semesters. Got most everything mom hadn't taught me. I've done sourdough bread from a starter, homemade pickles and even churned butter at one point. Sometimes I use new recipes but I had one day recently that everything was on the fly and from experience. And it all turned out great!!
    I go in spurts though. I'll cook at home regularly for weeks, then have a week were it feels like I'm eating out every night. - 3/10/2010   1:17:34 AM
  • 190
    I grew up with a mother and father who fixed everything from scratch. I learned to cook from them. I guess I enjoyed my own cooking too much. I'm modifying food that I cook now so that it still tastes good and is good for me. - 2/27/2010   11:39:51 AM
  • 189
    I LOVE to cook! I learned how to cook and bake as a young girl growing up in Hawaii. I cook between 5 - 7 times a week (less due to eating leftovers, the occasional date nite or family birthday party, etc.). My mom cooked every nite and when she got a job, my sister and I would help prepare the ingredients per her instructions after school so she could throw it together when she got home. I agree with the fact that I have more control of what we eat when I cook and that it saves money eating out or eating processed foods.

    It's not that difficult once you learn the basics. I look at it as an adventure and always look forward to the compliments that come after a meal :) I'm blessed to have an open-minded and appreciative family.

    My husband, being of German descent, did not eat a variety of dishes until he met me and Thank God he was willing to try my variety - especially the Asian cuisine. He loves it now!! I reciprocated and was willing to eat more 'wild' game that he would prepare - the most wildest thing being Rocky Mountain oysters. They're great! :)

    - 2/27/2010   10:36:24 AM
  • JAZZERCISEGENIE
    188
    I do this weekly but add peppers, onions and tomatoes spicy canned ones. - 2/27/2010   7:48:26 AM
  • 187
    I am not crazy about cooking, however, I prefer home cook meals to eating out. I discover that it is easier to control what I eat when eating at home. - 2/26/2010   11:59:09 PM
  • 186
    Both my grandmother and my mother were good cooks and we rarely ate out due to not having a lot of money so I learned to cook fairly young just by watching.
    I still cook mostly at home because my husband does not really like to eat out and prefers that I cook and I like to eat at home because I know what is in the food.
    I do tend to be lazy and used boxed potatoes etc quite often but I always leave out the butter so it cuts the calories and fat. Hubby just likes the basic meat and potatoes and nothing creative so tend to make the same stuff a lot.
    When we do eat out it is usually grab a sandwich at Subway and a fancy meal out is Applebees which is not particulary healthy but we only do it about twice a year so I don't worry about eating unhealthy a couple of days.
    - 12/1/2009   10:11:38 AM
  • 185
    I am not a cook, but need to learn. We would always go out to eat or buy frozen dinners, etc. Simple not so healthy foods. I am pretty good at reading recipes. I just do not like to cook and feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking. I could use any advice, ideas, suggestions, etc that I could get. Thanks in advance! - 11/30/2009   10:00:20 PM
  • 184
    I love to cook and bake and have for most of my life. I'm still at home while finishing up undergrad and am privy to my dad's homecooked meals. He is a great cook and likes making a variety of things from diverse regions of the world. However, he is not as health conscious as I am (or he should be considering his high BP and cholesterol)...last night he made fried chicken! I did pass on the chicken but it's hard to pass up a good homecooked meal most days. I do cook dinner once or twice a week and try to go heavy on the vegetables: broccoli lasagna, spanikopita, and black bean burgers. - 11/30/2009   10:36:39 AM
  • 30LBSOVER50
    183
    I love Salsa chicken, we put a can of black beans under the chicken then when done
    mix with the rice. Leftovers freeze well and reheat nicely in the microwave.
    - 11/17/2009   6:16:45 PM
  • 182
    I work out side of the home (with two hours of commuting, too!) It's a challenge to plan and cook meals all week that I can do quickly as soon as I get home from work. Mostly I cook extra on weekends so that at least two nights a week we can have leftovers. Maybe two nights a week we'll have a quick stir-fry or grill something on the indoor grill. (And once in a while I do a marathon session of weekend cooking to put bags of spaghetti sauce, soup, and chili into the freezer for nights when I'm late getting home.)

    But we DO eat homecooked meals every night. Guess I'm just of that generation (in my 50s). My happiest childhood memories are of time spent in the kitchen with my grandmother cooking. We don't do fastfood or takeout. I'm sorry to say that my husband doesn't do any cooking. (Guess after 27 years of marriage, it's too late to change him now!) - 8/10/2009   3:32:17 PM
  • NEWLACE
    181
    I have been slowly getting away from the fried foods, and enjoy chicken that is prepared in more healthy ways. I'm going to try your recipe. - 7/31/2009   10:47:50 PM
  • 180
    I am single and love to cook. I am amazed at the number of people I know who can't make the simplest thing! I've educated a lot of people on lots of quick and simple fixes for meals. My mom raised me to cook. By the time I was a teenager, I often did the cooking. For me, it is a natural to whip up a meal. I am grateful for the gift of cooking that my mom gave me. I can stand in my kitchen, look at a few ingredients and come up with something off the top of my head if need be.

    I also use fresh herbs and have a large container garden of herbs. I can't imagine not using them. I also have a variety of dried herbs for the winter months when I can no longer access my fresh stuff. Yet, I know many people who have never used herbs in their cooking. They honestly have no idea how to use them, what herb goes with what, or what a fresh herb would even taste like. I think that is truly a shame. I have friends that call me and will say, "Okay, I have this, what (herb) goes with it? How much? Fresh or dried?" I'm getting them hooked on cooking! LOL!

    For as long as I can remember mom always used herbs. In fact, when she passed a couple of years ago and I was cleaning house I noticed the container of iodized salt on top of the fridge. Only 1/4 of it was gone - the thing was it was also 20 years old! We just never cooked with salt. I think it was healthier.

    Due to an incredibly busy schedule, though, I sometimes grab fast food as a quick filler. I can always tell when I've done this too much. I feel sluggish and sick. I prefer my home cooked food where I know what is in there! I also lose weight quicker on my cooking. Fast food has so many hidden calories that you think your being healthy getting a salad only to later discover that "healthy" salad was your entire days allotment of calories!

    Cooking is truly a lost art. I wish more people would spend the time to learn it. I, personally, love to cook. It is a relaxor for me. I was once told by a neighbor that cooking is like breathing and love! It should be natural and ignite a passion and burning desire! Yes, it truly is and does for me! I hope it does for you, too. - 7/30/2009   11:37:14 AM
  • 179
    We use to eat out all of the time, but with my husband's surgery and money being tight due to the recession, eating in has helped our wallets and our waist line! - 7/29/2009   8:55:16 AM
  • 178
    Jim and I enjoy eating out, but since starting Sparkpeople, we are preparing over 3/4 of our meals at home. Jim's a really good cook and has been experimenting with new recipes. - 7/29/2009   7:43:39 AM
  • 177
    During a period of high stress, I began cooking again with a passion about a year ago. We are now spoiled, and generally prefer the taste of our meals at home far more than most restaurant meals. Pretty good for the daughter of a Shake 'n Bake Chicken Mom! - 7/28/2009   11:57:37 PM
  • 176
    Rarely buy fast food. I really don't cook anymore since my kids have grown and moved out. My hubby likes to cook and is retired so we still have home cooked meals. Yum! - 7/28/2009   9:08:52 PM
  • READYTOMOVE39
    175
    Great article. I was always out of the house when I was younger bc/ I had such a big family, by the time I got home for dinner it was cooked, so I didn't really learn much, but do try and want to be better.

    As for the chicken example above..... Saute chicken breasts in a nonstick pan set on medium-high heat. Cook about 6-8 minutes on each side. Add salsa to pan and heat through......What am do I saute the chicken with since I add the salsa after it is cooked on both sides? How much longer do I leave it in with the salsa? I guess I need specific instructions since I don't cook often. - 6/18/2009   1:12:47 PM
  • 174
    We eat most of our meals at home. It's easier on the waistline and the wallet! My husband and I each had parents that taught us to cook. About four years ago, when my kids were 7 and 10, we started rotating kitchen duties, with my husband and I each helping the kids cook at least one meal a week. It's the kids' responsibility to come up for a plan for dinner on their night, with mom or dad as their "sous chef" for the night. We started out eating lots of convenience foods, but now both kids are quite accomplished little cooks. They've learned to cook, read (and modify) a recipe, and feel the pride of putting a good meal on the table. One of the best and most unexpected results of our little experiment: they rarely ever complain about what's been prepared for dinner. - 6/9/2009   6:22:08 PM
  • 173
    I cook at least 5 or 6 times a week, usually from scratch. My mum always cooked dinner from scratch. The days I don't cook will usually be when we have been out shopping or are running late after a club my son has been to. My son helps me when I bake cakes and biscuits and is now helping me with dinner as he is now taking Food Technology at school. It is tough as he has a disability but I am trying to teach him the same good habits as my mum taught me. - 6/9/2009   7:38:36 AM
  • 172
    I was always a fussy eater as a child, so I learned how to cook at a young age. If i wasn't cooking the whole meal i was at least helping out to make sure there would be something to eat that i liked. - 6/8/2009   5:51:36 PM
  • 171
    I learned how to cook and bake at a young age by the time I was 10 I was able to make a roast with all the fixings by myself. we were always aloud to help cook/bake if we wanted to something I hope to pass onto my children. growing up we rarely ate out if we did it was usually for someone's birthday or for a very special treat. I love to cook and get some satisfaction in knowing that I cooked for my family every day. - 2/27/2009   9:47:46 AM
  • 170
    Stepfanie, this is an interesting and well-written article. I have been cooking for some 63 years (I'm now 73), taught school, helped run a business, successfully raised 3 children, attended lots of sporting events, had meals at all hours for a husband who coached, played all kinds of sports himself, and often worked late. Today I cook for 7 of us and three of the children are on wheat-free, gluten free diets. It is often a challenge, but one I enjoy. I love to bake and fortunately there are lots of good things now available for special diets.
    You can't beat home cooking. The flavor and the price are top notch. And the sodium content is so much lower. - 2/17/2009   10:40:42 PM
  • RETROGIRL02
    169
    I love this and I make it at home for the family, too....you can even put it in the crockpot if you're away for the afternoon. Super easy and delicious!! A bit of lime or lemon adds a burst of flavor to it when done, too. Thanks for sharing. - 2/17/2009   9:52:00 PM
  • 168
    Yes! I agree 100%! What is consuming our time so much that 'fast food' has become a way of life? In this day of immediate gratification, instant communication and over-scheduled kids/families I think we all need to stop and re-evaluate what is important. The family gathered around the table for a home cooked meal, regardless of which member prepared it, ranks right up there! - 2/17/2009   11:10:28 AM
  • 167
    My husband cooks but not always so healthy! LOL I think there is a difference in cooking at home and cooking healthy at home. - 2/17/2009   10:01:48 AM
  • 166
    My mom cooked dinner after putting in 9 hours at the office every day, and set a great example for us all. I don't eat out much (because I'm on a budget) but I don't cook real meals nearly as often as I should-- or even as often as I did when I was an undergrad. I tend to make one big meal (a pot of soup, a pound of taco meat, or a pasta dish) every few days and basically live off of it until I get sick of it and make something else. I tend to have a "learn by doing" mentality to cooking. I'm fearless in the kitchen, and sometimes that means great stuff, sometimes it means having nothing edible to show for my work! Luckily with 2 roommates who love to cook there is a never a lack of homemade foods in the house. - 2/16/2009   11:30:03 PM
  • 165
    I do not mind cooking but I would rather go out. Because of the cost our family is trying to eat out less. My husband will also cook which is nice so I don't end up doing it everyday, I appreciate that a lot. My mom always did the cooking at our house when I was growing up. - 2/16/2009   3:29:13 PM
  • TESSIELOUISE71
    164
    I can cook, just isn't one of my favorite things. But I am trying to cook more at home knowing it will help my weight and our budget. - 2/16/2009   10:52:23 AM
  • 163
    U nailed this! Over the 5 yrs of my managment of 60 lb. loss I found that this practice is safer, cheaper (most of the time) & my taste have changed so much? I just don't enjoy the eateries foods as much as my own! - 2/16/2009   6:36:08 AM
  • 162
    We (DB and I) cook better than you can get in a restaurant. We only eat out on vacation when out of town and maybe 2-3 time per month. Almost everytime we eat out it is a disappointment, a waste of money. My DB also cooks, so sometimes it's hard to even get into the kitchen ! LOL. - 2/16/2009   1:36:35 AM
  • 161
    I can't imagine not being able to cook! My father owned a restaurant and by the time I was 10 I could cook everything on the menu! These days I'm a Food TV junkie and love finding new recipes to try. Eating in is defininately more economical and for those of us trying to eat clean and healthy it makes easier to control what we are putting in our bodies. For those that are new to the kitchen there are so many great resources out there and right at your finger tips! Sparkpeople has some great recipes as do many other websites. Cooking is also a stress reliever for me. When I'm chopping veggies and measuring ingredients I can let the stress of the day go and just concentrate on what I'm doing at that moment.

    I say give cooking a try everyone! You will be amazed at what you can create and how much fun you can have doing it! - 2/15/2009   8:07:48 PM
  • SHEDON13
    160
    my parents owned resturant and my sisters and myself are some of the finest sou chefs in the world as a result, my sons dogged me there entire childhood because i cooked their food at home and that eating out was only for special times. they both were taught how to cook as well as all of there cousins yes we are over weight, but it's because we love to eat, and we are all great cooks, trying new foods all the time. I have to laugh at my new daughter in law my family doesn't trust her because she picks at her food and is skinny. She prefers to go out to resturants but since marrying my son she has had to learn to cook and foung a web site that give her the recipes to all her favorite resturants so she calls me on the phone to help her find what she is trying to buy in the grocery store. I also share lower fat and healthier choices to the prep work, so that she can stay the small size she is, my granddaughter was a fussy eater, but no more because she helps mommy cook now so she sees whats going in her food she will now eat it. - 2/15/2009   5:50:55 PM
  • 159
    I can't count the number of times this simple delicious meal has been whipped up in our kitchen. We bake chicken breasts ahead of time in larger quantities to make good use of that oven energy. This makes it super easy. We like to try different types of salsas too and add a variety of enhancements to the dish that correspond to the salsa. Paul Newman's brand is especially popular with us. - 2/15/2009   8:43:38 AM
  • 158
    I've been cooking since I was a teenager. No one forced me, I was just interested. In any case, there is no reason why anyone should say they can't cook. Open a cookbook, get the ingredients and follow the instructions - bim bam done. If you really want to learn how to cook I suggest that person watch America's Test Kitchen on PBS and Good Eats on The Food Network. I love these shows not for the recipes but for the scientific approach they take. Instead of just telling what goes in the pot, they tell you why a certain ingredient is used and why a certain cooking method is used and the best equipment to use. - 2/14/2009   5:26:44 PM
  • 157
    I can say that i learned cook at an early age i wanted to always help my mom..
    i saw my sisters and i wanted to do the same thing.. I was 4 and making bread
    my mom taught 4H and i was right there.. there is a picture of me and my mom and i think one or more of my sisters in the picture.. i was covered in one of my dad shirts and was standing on a chair with a wood spoon.. I had to take home ec and hated it i knew how to cook and the teacher did not like any of us that knew anything.. I think that i could have taught that class better than she did.. It was the early 80 and she thought that she was a gourmet cook it was a big joke..
    the teacher was into the boys in the class she thought that she was hot but she was not.. it is such a joke.. i have to say that i did not learn a thing in her class.. she did not teach us anything .. i really do not think she could cook.. i never saw her cook a thing.. She would say thing like just look nice when you husband comes home.. How is that teaching ?? We had to go to the store and do this mock shopping trip and get food for a week had to plan out a menu and shop.. that was the only fun thing that we did the whole time.. I knew how to do all of that already.. But it was fun to get out of school and get to go to the store it was a blast.. i can still remember it well .. The guys in the class were like we need 3 cases of beer and some wine and that is all we need for the week it was so funny.. we all talked about it at are 20 year reunun.. how the guys were going to live on beer .. The teacher got mad and said that she would flunk us all it was required for us to graduate.. so we stopped and did what she wanted .. I am a Chef and i know a lot of chef that add a ton of butter and cream to everything.. i worked in a hospital so i do not cook like that.. I am teaching my kids to cook.. My girls and i watch Rachel Ray and i am so shocked at how much salt that lady uses.. She also makes some of the most fattening dishes out there.. - 2/14/2009   1:21:49 PM
  • 156
    Eating out is death trap. I have a friend that is a cheff in a high end restaurant and said that if you order a full meal you will get a quarter pound of butter in each plate. That is how the enhance the flavor. That is why when you first start to eat healthy nothing taste good. It takes 21 days of never eating things with white flour, butter, sugar and so on to get the taste for good food back and once you do you won't miss the other taste. - 2/14/2009   10:58:41 AM
  • JMURTAUGH
    155
    I learned how to cook while I was still living at home with my parents. I can't say that I learned everything that I needed to at home, but I feel I learned enough to cook semi-healthy meals for my husband and I when we got married. When we first got married I let my husband do the majority of the cooking since he had a greater interest then me in cooking. But over the years I took over and do the majority of the cooking these days. I try to cook a well balanced meal most days but there are times where I just throw something together (which may or may not be healthy). I am going to start compiling recipes (from spark recipes, and other "diet" cookbooks) that I have tried and liked together this way I can go to it when I don't know what to have. - 2/14/2009   10:49:39 AM
  • 154
    I sort of knew how to cook as an adult because I knew how to read a cookbook. I also knew basic cooking terms so I was set. Unfortunately though, while I cooked during the first years of my marriage, I became a working, carpool Mom, and it was just too easy to go through the drive-through or pick up something at the local pizza place. Now I'm going back to the habits of the early years of my marriage. - 2/14/2009   8:06:51 AM
  • NETADARLING
    153
    Spark People has taught me that I/m not a bad cook, just used a bad method. Mama was a good cook, even tho she always worked, and I never saw her measuring ingredients or timing her cooking. So I have always done pretty much the same, produced some super meals that way, but a lot of meals were barely edible, so I gradually learned to dislike cooking. Since I am alone now, I hardly ever cooked and things got worse. Then I found SparkPeople and their meal plans had so many new things I was anxious to try, so I had to measure and time everything..........Guess what??? I am a pretty good cook as long as I use my "new" method. SP recipes enable me to not have so many left overs and when I do they are definatly good enough to want to save. - 2/13/2009   7:53:36 PM
  • 152
    My mother was a trained high class cook who was in service in the 1950s. My grandparents lived with us and my gran was a great plain cook. All of our meals were home cooked and I never had to ask what was for dinner, as we had the same thing on the same day each week. We ate out only on special occasions and I didn't have a Chinese takeaway until I was 19 years old. Having home-cooked meals didn't stop me and the rest of my family being obese, however. Being able to cook just means to get to eat more of the foods you love at a fraction of the cost. It's not about home-cooked or takeaway foods, it's about making healthy choices and not overdoing the sugar and fat in your diet, while eating sensible portion sizes. I'm not sure that this article proves anything one way or the other. Perhaps I missed the point? - 2/13/2009   4:59:39 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by December 12! Get a FREE Personalized Plan