Resolutions – Eating

Oddly I am still continuing this series despite that we are almost a year from when I made these resolutions, but then, they still apply and I’ve continued to practice them.

One of my many resolutions last year was to eat better. Part of that was the perennial favorites of eating more fruits and vegetables, but the bulk of the resolution was to steer toward ‘basic’ and simple food. I believe that one of the major problems with society today is that we rely entirely too much on convenience. I will elaborate on this topic more in a later post, but in regards to food, I feel we should step away from the ready-made or food engineered for quick preparation. I’ve heard it said that:

“Food is the one thing you can buy that actually becomes a part of you.”

We have friends in France who stop every evening at the grocery store to buy items to prepare for supper. It means what they have bought is fresh and it has not been artificially preserved. When I lived there I was surprised that I couldn’t find ready mix and cook meals like mac-n-cheese or hamburger helper. The end result was that I had to cook all my meals from scratch. My two specialties were spaghetti and stroganoff. I made the spaghetti sauce using freshly chopped onions, peppers, and garlic adding tomato sauce and olive oil. The stroganoff was much more basic with fresh cream, beef bouillon, dijon mustard, and chicken, but it was still from scratch and not from powder out of a packet. I ended up losing 10 or 15 pounds during those first few months and I ate quite well. Granted, nowadays as two working parents, we still need to rely on some conveniences, but we make an effort to return to basics.

The other part of this resolution is the effort to buy organic food. A local science program had a report on how pesticides become more concentrated in children due to the ratio of the quantity of food they eat to their actual size. Even if you take children out of the mix, I have become concerned about the amount of chemicals that we come in contact with. Add to that the fact that food passes inside us in contact with more sensitive parts of us. Then think about all the years of that type of contact (something I thought about this year since I turned 40). Another aspect of organic food apart for pesticides is just that the animals used for meat are treated correctly. Part of me believes that happy animals relay ‘good karma’ through their meat. Yes, these ‘extra’ measures to make organic food end up costing more, but if it means I will be a healthier and happier person, then I’ll gladly pay the extra price.

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~ by Frank on December 30, 2011.

2 Responses to “Resolutions – Eating”

  1. A few tips for busy families who want to eat more home-cooked meals:

    Get a freezer. It doesn’t have to be big, and one that opens like a fridge is best because it’s easier to keep it organized and you won’t get the “lost at the bottom” effect you get with a chest-style freezer. Use the freezer for storing cooked and half-cooked items (not just “raw materials”).

    Double- or triple-up. When you’re making your famous stroganoff or beef stew or whatever, make a double- or triple batch. Eat the same meal two days later, when the only preparation needed is a warm-up. Or stick it in the freezer (see above) and bring it out in a week or two. This works best with slow-cooked type meals like the ones mentioned above, as well as stews, chili, etc.

    Plan ahead. Plan to use leftovers to create a new meal in a day or two. For example, roast an extra chicken and use the leftovers for tacos, pasta, pot-pie, etc. (Martine and I get two dinners and four lunches out of a single roast chicken.)

    I’m sure you’ve heard all that before, and you probably even do it. But in my experience most people do this kind of planning hap-hazardly. But if you really embrace the idea it can really simplify dinner times without having to resort to factory food.

  2. Thanks, Ed. We’ve actually made meals for the week on Sunday afternoons. But we do find that it exhausts us just before the week is to begin. We’re starting to work out some simple ways to cook simple meals of basic elements (meat, vegetable, rice). Though we do rely on healthier or organic versions of some heat-and-serve items. We’ll get there someday.

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