Is Cooking At Home Healthier?

cooking recipes are for weekends self-care

The only meaningful shortcut to good health is to eat food as close to its origins as possible and your kitchen is the best place to get it.

It’s time to question the notion that preparing your own food is time-intensive, unnecessary, and a pain.

Most people now believe that cooking is a highly-skilled pastime that should produce Instagram-worthy complete dishes.

Is that true?

Only if you’ve bought into an idea of cooking that requires complexity.

On one end is chef-culture where we revere a kind of cooking that has little to do with the daily work of feeding yourself.

Restaurants have to adhere to extreme precision to produce consistent and well-timed dishes. How did we get the idea that our food at home should be made this way?

I love Julia Childs for the same reasons as everyone else but rarely if ever want to cook like her. Her approach to food requires precision, something that’s fundamental in restaurant kitchens but hampers daily home cooks. I’ve long thought that her work was the precursor for restaurant culture as we know it, but did little to get people using their kitchens for consistent meal-making.

On the other end, we have companies only too happy to embrace the idea that making meals after a long day of work is just too hard. You need a middle-man of sorts to do things to the food so you can eat it.

The problem is that the processing food undergoes to become a product more often than not upends your ability to eat naturally. Their interest is to get you to eat more, and, you do.

Cooking is actually self-care. The most important kind.

Despite the enormous investments kitchens have become, it’s still largely viewed as a chore. We buy gadgets, not unlike the next fitness device, hoping this next thing will transform us into the vision we had when that expensive kitchen was put in.

Of course, it doesn’t. Not because you simply aren’t a cook, but because no device ever has the power to make you different.

Often overlooked in cooking is the healing power of making something that truly nourishes you, something you do for yourself each day. I’ve often seen bubble bath rituals promoted as self-care, that can’t hold a candle to walking into your kitchen and making something that honors your hunger.

That’s the daily act of healing.

It’s a relationship to the self.

My time in the kitchen is a meditation. A time of quiet reflection. And, finally mastery.

Dishes done over time are more like thumbprints. Little collections of techniques produce a just-so outcome. A recipe is often an introduction to a dish. You elevate it over time by making it by heart.

I’d like to tell you what your kitchen really is. It’s a refuge, a place where your accomplishments end up on a plate and in your body to keep you not just alive, but living well.

Food is connection. To the land, your body, friends, and your home.

Your kitchen is the place to make the connection tangible.

 

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