Home is where the heart is. Home is also where the food is. Cooking and eating our own food at home gives us more choice and control over the quality of our food.
The fridge/refrigerator, freezer and slow cooker/crockpot can be our best friends when we are planning our healthy eating. These useful gadgets enable us to eat meals prepared and cooked at home even when we are out all day.
This is the day
Today is the day we need to make it happen. We are always planning and thinking about how to lose or maintain our ideal weight. While we are only thinking about it and waiting for the ideal plan to come along nothing is happening and another week, another month has passed and we have stayed the same.
To live well we need to eat well. Good food and good eating patterns are essential for our physical and mental health. So many conditions are caused by, or increased by, poor nutrition. We need good information based on recent, trusted research.
We are obsessed with food. We are addicted to food. We actually think about food all the time which is perfectly natural.
Because food is so easily available to us now we forget that for so long the human experience was all about finding enough food to eat each day. It is still the focus of many people’s lives in the world today, even in the richer countries.
When we were hunter/gatherers and we found a good supply of food the only way to store it was to eat as much as possible and store it as fat. This was a great survival skill when we had no fridge/refrigerator or freezer.
The food that we eat is turned into glucose/sugar in our bodies to be used in our daily lives. Some glucose/sugar is stored as glycogen in the liver and the excess is stored as fat.
Luke Starbuck illustrates this for us and explains it very clearly.
Being able to eat and store lots of food as body fat in preparation for the lean times was an essential survival skill in the past. We are designed to live off our body fat. It is a good food store.
We just have to remember to use it up and not constantly add to it. One of the best ways to do this is to leave longer gaps between meals.
Let’s learn from Dr. Becky. Dr Becky also has a Weight Loss Coaching Program which you can check out by clicking on this link.
Yes, we must keep on learning, improving our knowledge about healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle. But we can’t put it off. Time is passing. We need to start today.
Storing our excess food as body fat is no longer a useful skill and taken to excess can damage our health. Now, in the 21st century we don’t need to rely on body fat stores, we need to rely on our fridge/refrigerator and freezer.
To make a real plan for healthy eating we can prepare our meals in advance.
This is now called ‘meal prep’. As with most things, it is not new. Chefs in hotels and restaurants have always done a lot of preparation in advance.
We just need to adapt this for home use. It could be one of our weekend jobs, or, if we are at home maybe a Friday afternoon could be set aside to prepare for the following week.
The only way to ensure that we are eating real food is to shop responsibly and to cook it ourselves. Lisa, from 100daysofrealfood.com has great ideas and excellent, reliable recipes.
We recognise that making sensible food choices has a huge effect on our life and well-being. When we have a plan we are less likely to make rash decisions.
Having a plan and preparing our meals in advance will prevent us from obsessing about food. We know that we have already made our choices and our meals are prepared.
Most of us already have some practise with the idea of cook once, eat twice. When we make a soup or a casserole or a pasta sauce we often make extra and freeze half.
Fridge/refrigerator and freezer
It may seem like a mountain to climb at first when we have relied more on processed foods. One way can be to make more use of the slow cooker/crockpot and the fridge/refrigerator and freezer.
This is a very useful plan if we have to prepare meals every day for our family. It is equally important if we are cooking for one.
We may be tempted to start thinking that it is too much trouble to cook a whole beef in red wine casserole or a roast chicken for one person but we can make it possible. We can divide it up into individual portions freeze it and use it whenever we like. This will ensure that we are eating real food on a regular basis.
When we are doing our meal prep we are being a bit more proactive, getting our grocery shopping done and our meals prepared for the whole week. Most people will focus on preparing dinners. Many people will want to prepare lunches to take to work or school.
There are several different ideas about how to do our meal preparation. This is a very easy, relatively quick and inexpensive method.
- Prepare and cook a large batch of one particular recipe.
- Divide the food into 5 different storage containers.
- Store in the fridge/refrigerator or freezer.
- Reheat and use as needed.
Jeff Taylor shows us some good, straightforward recipes. He uses ‘store bought’ pasta sauce and Italian dressing but we can make our own.
In this video he is preparing food for himself and his sister. As we can see Jeff’s food is pre-cooked and stored in the fridge which saves time.
Some people don’t want to eat food that has been reheated. Another method allows us to have freshly cooked meals every day.
- use the freezer and slow cooker/crockpot
- collect all the ingredients for a particular recipe
- weigh and measure everything accurately
- put all the ingredients into a storage container or Ziploc bag
- store the container/bag in the freezer
The prepared food can be taken out of the freezer in the morning, taken out of the container, placed in the crock pot/slow cooker and cooked on slow.
Lacey Baier gives us some great healthy recipes. Everything is home-cooked, nothing ‘store-bought’. She uses Ziploc freezer bags which she freezes flat so that they take up as little space as possible in the freezer.
Some people don’t agree with using plastic for food storage. Lisa from downshiftology uses glass containers or glass jars.