Sunday, January 06, 2013
If I cook something that you can't recognize by looking at it, and I say "here, eat this!" are you going to eat it if I refuse to tell you what it is? Of course not.
But do you realize that you do that every time you eat processed food? Pick up a bag of Doritos, a box of Hamburger Helper, or a box of cookies. Do you really even know what have the junk in there even is?
Does it not alarm you that you are eating mystery food?
I used to get annoyed when my brother got onto me for eating processed food, stuff with preservatives, etc, until I had the above realization that I had no clue what I was eating. I also think that those foods are either addictive or they just condition you to think they taste good when really, the quality is questionable.
I cook most of our meals from scratch--and packaged foods I DO buy, I read the ingredients. If I don't recognize the list, I don't buy it.
I cook with a lot of brown rice, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, fresh or frozen veggies, lean protein (chicken breast, pork loin, beans), and use spices and herbs and such to cook with. It had been quite a while since I made a processed food, but last week sometime I was in a hurry and didn't have time to prep anything, so I bought a box of Hamburger Helper.
I used to LOVE Hamburger Helper. I would eat two servings and wish I had more. But it wasn't satisfying at all to eat it this time around. All I could notice was how, well, fake it tasted. Gluey, sticky white pasta; fake cheese; no hearty, wholesome flavor. As cardboard-like as the box it came in.
A new healthy lifestyle isn't just about balanced nutrition. It should be about feeding your body what your body was meant to eat. Our bodies were not meant to eat fake ingredients, but whole food.
Some of my favorite meals are so simple it is ridiculous. One of my favorites is honey mustard pork loin: stick pork loin in crock pot; add some water; stir in dijon mustard an a spoon or two of brown sugar; cook for 7-8 hours. It is delicious, and requires just those ingredients. We eat it with brown rice that I make in our rice cooker (sooo easy; everyone should have one!) and some veggies. I also make a pasta dish that has whole wheat rotini pasta, chicken breast, spinach, zucchini, and pesto. Yes, pesto is high in fat, but it has the heart-healthy fat, and you REALLY only need a little for one serving so it's fine.
After eating those dishes, plus homemade soup, homemade casseroles, etc, I'm shocked how addicted by body was to pre-packaged, fake foods.
Cooking from scratch (or mostly from scratch) is not really much work, and you owe it to your health and your family's health to do so. Don't tell me you don't have time. If you have time to cook Hamburger Helper or heat a frozen meal, you have time to throw something in the crock pot in the morning before you leave for work. Also, a rice cooker is your new best friend! As long as you measure the rice and water correctly, the rice comes out perfectly and it shuts itself off when the rice is cooked. You can also steam vegetables in it and I do that almost every day!
So start thinking more about what you are eating. I think you will have the same realization that I did.