Why cooking has been a struggle for me.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I am at a point in my weight loss journey where I now want to begin cooking healthy meals for my family on a regular basis. For some people, this would be easy, natural. For me, not so much. I come from a multi generation food issue family.
Both sets of my parents grew up in poverty. My dad tells of stories of wearing shirts made from old flour sacks. He was one of 10 children, and he spent many nights hungry. My mother came from a much smaller family, but the story was similar. Very limited income. My mother never learned how to cook much.
So for me growing up, I remember my mom making a handful of recipes, all unhealthy, most not very tasty. I remember 3 primary "seasonings" in my home: salt, pepper, ketchup. Several nights a week were TV dinners. At first they were heated in the oven because microwaves were just coming out, then on to fast food as they became more and more popular. Since the internet was not yet invented, one could not "youtube" or "google" a recipe. I also don't remember my mom owning a cookbook.
As I reached adulthood, I DID pick up a few recipes along the way. Not much though. Then I became a mother. Working full time and being a single mother at the time, I found it easier to eat out or repeat the cycle of tv dinners, sandwiches, or boxed meals when I "cooked". I WANTED to cook, but it was overwhelming.
As I took more interest in health an fitness, I realized that the meals I could cook were so bad for me that I would almost be better off getting a light item at a fast food joint.
As I took more of an interest in nutrition, I was embarrassed that I didn't know what romaine lettuce was, how to eat a kiwi, what spices for used for what types of recipes.
And I have a feeling that I am not alone.
In my job, I visit people in their homes with a variety of medical conditions. Many of their stories mirror mine. They come from poverty, didn't get raised exposed to healthy eating, using healthier seasonings/herbs. They ate/eat from boxes, bags, takeout. People just don't seem to know where to begin.
When I think of my own children, I want them to remember me cooking healthy meals, I want my kids to know what different fruits and veggies are. I want them to know you don't need tons of sodium to make foods taste good. I want them to be able to sustain themselves in good times and bad, to be able to cook from scratch so they can save money and be as healthy as possible.
It has to start with me.
So what have I been doing? I have been youtubing recipes, reading cookinglight's website, browsing Sparkpeople's recipes. If I don't know how to do something (julienne?), I can google it. In this day and age, there is just no more excuses for me to not at least try.
In all honesty, it hasn't been too bad. Most of the foods I have prepared, the entire family has at least attempted to try. Most have been pretty good.
I have been so afraid to reach out and try to cook, for fear that it would be horrible and I would be a failure, not to mention how much money I would waste. But since I can't live my life in fear, I continue on.
For anyone out there who MIGHT be reading this, are there any websites/magazines/ideas you might think I should try? I am still in the beginner stages of cooking, but I have almost everything a person could need to cook, I can read basic directions, and am motivated.
Part of change is being open to new things. I am ready to put the apron on and put some fiyah in the kitchen. Actually, putting the fire in the oven, not in the kitchen.....and yes, I DO have a fire extinguisher, so I am REALLY ready...