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Friday, March 29, 2013

If you want to eat healthy, you better cook

Image from Flickr, by K.I.T.
Do you want to eat healthy food?

Of course you do.  If you didn't, you wouldn't be here.  Well, I'm going to tell you one thing you absolutely must be doing to bring about a healthy lifestyle.

You'd better learn how to cook.

In our modern world, people can go years upon years without even setting foot in their kitchen.  A small drink fridge in the living room, and take out or restaurant food for their meals means they don't have to take a single step in the kitchen, so why bother?

Unfortunately, eating healthy from take out or restaurant food is virtually impossible.  Besides that, do you really know what they're using in their own kitchens?  Salt is the least of your worries, since much of the food may come from factories and simply heated up in the commercial kitchens.  That means much of what you're consuming may have originated in a laboratory rather than a garden.

Here's the kicker: cooking is actually pretty fun.

I first started cooking when I was about 12 years old.  My mother had gone back to school while working full time.  That meant the rest of the family had to step up and handle things around the house.  For me, part of that was cooking dinner one night a week.

Because of my age, dinner was usually left overs that I could just throw in the microwave.  That wasn't good enough, and I made my parents teach me how to cook.  I've been in love with it since.

If you don't particularly enjoy it, try and understand why.  For most people, it's a case of just not really knowing what they're doing.  In that case, try taking some cooking classes.  Learning new techniques is a blast and will open up the possibilities for what you can cook yourself.

Despite my early start, my cooking was pretty rudimentary until about six months ago when I really started pushing things.  I had never actually sauteed anything, but then I tried it with some yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and three cloves of garlic.  Now?  It's my family's favorite side dish.

When you cook your own food, you control the ingredients.  You know where it all comes from, what went in there, and how much went in there.  More so, you can make it to your tastes, regardless of what the recipe might say.

So what should you do if you don't like cooking?  I mean, I love it, but what if you're one of those who doesn't? In that case, cook large quantities.  Then, you can eat off of that food for some time while only having to cook once.  Obviously, this also works well for folks who are extremely busy as well.

Like it or not though, you're going to need to cook.  I honestly believe that trying to eat a healthy diet is impossible without cooking your own food.  Luckily, you live in a world where you can find recipes at the touch of your fingers.  I'll share a couple with you in the next few days that you're going to love!

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