Eat Anything You Want…

My husband has a grumble with CRUMBLE, the “homemade cookie” takeout. Every time we drive by their store he says, “I don’t get it! They aren’t even that good!”

In my last post I talked about the triple play I achieved in finally finding healthy artisan bread I can make huge batches of, at home. I found the flour, the pot, and the recipe. The rapture of smelling and eating a loaf fresh from the oven is one of life’s peak joys. It is a simple, nourishing pleasure. Plus, I know what the ingredients are, and how good they are for me. Combined with the taste of our homemade peach jam we know we don’t have to climb the Himalayas looking for enlightenment. We have found nirvana in our own kitchen.

We are in a combined battle with the food industry and a materialistic culture so we work, work, work and have no time anymore. Our food has become more addictive by adding sugar, fat and salt. In my childhood, none of the adults in my family or extended family exercised. I look at old pictures and marvel at how thin everyone is. Instead of feeling like we have no willpower, or we have to do huge amounts of exercise, Michael Pollan, the food writer, tells us we can eat anything we want if we make it at home. Brilliant!

This first 4 minute video shows what we are up against. The authors find a yogurt with 26 grams of sugar in it. Michael Pollan says that has as much sugar as a Coke!

In February, I had an epiphany. My daughter, working remotely in my basement got Covid, so we quarantined. During that forced time at home, I realized that I like to cook. (The first time we quarantined, last April, we had ten extra people–a little more work.) It’s been a duty for me in my forty years of family and married life, but this February I finally had this Eureka moment. I realized that cooking at home in general is also a triple play–healthier, cheaper, and tastes better. This short video by Michael Pollen highlights the benefits of cooking at home.

“BUT WE DON’T HAVE TIME!! QUIT MAKING ME FEEL GUILTY!! You shake your fist at your screen. We have to change our mindsets and find the easiest and cheapest way to cook at home. It has never been easier to cook in our own kitchens. If you only use a crockpot as your best friend, you would be way ahead. There is now grocery delivery if you are pressed for time. We can make big batches and freeze and use later. There are so many people on Youtube and blogs that want to help us eat healthier. As we include our children in the process, even though it is easier to do it ourselves, and less mess, we will be training a new generation on how good food is cooked at home. They will be learning skills they can use the rest of their lives, all the while bonding with us. Another triple play!

If I haven’t convinced you yet, think of the the Lunchable that Michael Pollan holds up in the first video. That over priced and overpackaged monstrosity is already an abomination to me, but then when he points out the paragraphs of ingredients? Chronic, intestinal pain has risen in the last two decades. On live a writer says:

“The increasing rate of the condition in the U.S. could be linked with several factors, including a change in people’s diets that involves eating more packaged food or fast food, and increasing fat and sugar consumption, he said. But the increased use of antibiotics, dietary chemicals and the increasing prevalence of obesity may all also play a role, he said.”

We can wake up to the problems in our American Diet and start working on it at the source, which is who is making the food we are eating. When you control what ingredients you put in your mouth, you will feel healthier, save money and have this emotional nourishing feeling that you are taking care of you and your family. Patiently including our children in the process will help them be less picky, more excited about eating together and teach them many skills they will use for the rest of their lives. In my next post I will show how I took a complicated recipe and made it easy, so I can eat it all the time.

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