Tag Archives: home cooking

Home Cooked Food

To me, there is nothing better than the satisfaction you get from cooking and eating your own dinner.  Cavemen did the same thing thousands of years ago, and it still rings true to modern man.

One of the big reasons home cooked food is better than restaurant food is that when you make food yourself, you know exactly what ingredients are going into it.  The biggest difference between home cooked food and restaurant merchandise is the quality of the cooking fat.  The quality of the cooking fat can make or break the healthiness of a meal.

In restaurants, they use cheap fats and vegetable oils in order to maximize profit margins.  You can practically smell the soybean oil when you walk into a typical Chinese restaurant.  And who knows what they use in a diner or fast food joint.  Really, capitalism ruins everyone’s day.

The best cooking fats to use at home include ghee or butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and there are other lesser known oils that go rancid very quickly.  Refined vegetable oil is crap and a big influence in many diseases.

The reason we like fatty foods is because fat is sweet and contains the most amount of calories per gram.  A successful hunter or shepard naturally wanted the food with the most nutritional and caloric density, because in olden times food was scarce and people weren’t confused about what to get at the grocery store.

But back to home cooked food.  Not only can you use a higher quality cooking fat when you prepare your own food, but you can use higher quality ingredients, or even give or take layers of preparation.  Frozen vegetables and canned beans are a big time saver.

In the end, cooking quality food may be no cheaper than buying shoddy restaurant food, but the non fiscal advantages are a distinct improvement.  When you cook and eat better, you get the satisfaction of preparing your own food.  Also, you eat healthier food, which when repeated over and over again, will save your health and save you money on medical bills as you get older.   Another example is that you set a good example for your offspring, who will take on the eating habits of their parents which they’ve learned in youth.

The disadvantages are that it takes time and effort to cook, but really, is anything worthwhile easy?  Once you empower yourself with knowledge of nutrition and cooking, and you have the right tools of the trade, I see no reason why not to prepare your own food.  That restaurant/diner/deli/fast food stuff is poison and it’s only benefit is that buying ready made food is convenient.

So ultimately, you can choose between health, satisfaction, and doing the right thing, or convenience and cost.

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Progress Update

I have made significant changes recently in my own health journey.  I’ve decided the ketogenic diet is not for me.  While low carb, high fat does give you short term results, one invariably adds sugar and starch back to the diet and weight fluctuates.

I’ve become pretty much vegan, and I find this diet helps keep the blood sugar low and the weight in check.  I’ve come to the conclusion that starchy foods are the BEST foods not the WORST foods.  Things like beans, sweet potato, corn, carrot, pea, lentil, quinoa are actually the best foods because they contain fiber as well as starch and vitamins and minerals.

Beans are the humblest food, and yet, still the best.  They combine vegetarian protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates in the same food, and there is an endless variety of them.  Beans are a way cleaner fuel source than meat.

I still eat some rice, but I’ve learned that both brown and white rice are high glycemic foods (compared to the above foods).  The glycemic impact of the rice is mitigated by eating other things with the rice.

I am not completely vegan, I still love dairy products like ghee and yogurt, and I’m not against the concept of fish or egg every now and then.  I’m opportunistic and realistic and pragmatic.

It is much cheaper and more convenient to live this way.  Beans are much cheaper protein than any type of meat, and it’s easier to clean up after yourself as vegan.  When you buy meat or fish at a supermarket, you have to cook it before it goes bad.  This is constant stress and labor.  And eating meat in a restaurant, one never knows what quality of meat they use or how it was handled in kitchen.

Ultimately, any food is good food.  That’s what Jesus said, and it’s pretty logical too.  If it’s organic material, it’s food for another species.  Eating living tissue is called vivisection.  All food, whether it be plant or animal in origin, is dead.  The more plant food you eat and the less animal food you eat, the better your health will be.

Too Much Salt

It seems like everything at the grocery store has too much salt in it.  This is not to mention restaurant food, which is way too salty.  Food merchants know that adding salt to everything makes it taste better and extends its shelf-life.  So they put it in everything.

If you are like me, and rely on ready-made food at the supermarket a lot,  than you are probably consuming too much salt and not enough water.  This is a big issue that affects many people.

The only way to reduce sodium content in your diet is to make as much food by yourself and not rely on ready-made food and restaurant food for your sustenance.  Look at labels too.

Electrolyte balance is important, and most people are consuming too little potassium and way too much sodium.  This will hurt you in the long run.  If you truly want to live a long time, eat less processed foods and more fresh foods, and cook more from scratch or avoid as many conveniences as possible.  The more layers of processing a food has, the more salt the manufacturers add in the process.

Salt is less harmful than other things like sugar and saturated/hydrogenated fats, but it is still overdone in western society, and you should do your best to eat as little salt as possible.

Back to Atkins.

Here is a brief insight into what I am doing in my own health journey.

The ultimate thing in weight loss, health, and longevity is to eat less calories.  To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.  That doesn’t mean starve yourself.  Since carbohydrates are the bulk of any normal diet, the best way to reduce calories is to reduce carbohydrate.  Sugar restriction is the only real way to lose weight.

In previous months, I’ve been eating less in terms of portions, but out of habit and convenience I was eating mostly brown rice and fruit with a bit of protein like chicken and milk.  That is doable, but not ideal.

The best diet is a regimen of protein and vegetables.  Water is important too.  You can’t reinvent the wheel, and people have been using the Atkins diet since the 70’s to get into shape.  Everybody who is lean and looks good does it.

Soup is by far the ideal way to eat.  It is good in so many different ways.  First of all, it contains all the best food-groups to begin with.  Soup is a combination of protein, vegetables, and water.  Secondly it is easy to prepare, even if you are cooking from scratch.  Also, it is slow simmered over low heat, so it’s already partially broken down by the time you eat it, making it easy to digest.  As well, it is cheap and uses cheap cuts of meat and fish, but since the meat is tender, you don’t really notice it.

The point is, I shouldn’t make a big deal about food but also I shouldn’t give in to eating sugar and starch out of convenience.  With a little thought, knowledge, and planning, one can live well on very little money and effort.

Making Progress

I find that the closer you get to a plant based diet, the better off you are.  Most of what I’ve been eating lately has been soups of various kinds, beans, lentils, vegetables cooked in butter, and hard boiled eggs.

The weight on the scale is gradually reducing, and I feel less hungry and less bound by the desire for food.  Since my last update, I’ve been eating more protein in the form of eggs and beans/lentils, and less sugar, from favorite foods such as fruits and rice.  The one common thing to all diets is vegetables, man’s choicest foodstuff.

I eat sushi from time to time, and I might even crack open a can of tuna, but this isn’t my usual fair, and the taste of animal flesh is getting a little bit stale.

I look around me and see I am in remarkable health and longevity as compared to the ordinary human being, and without sounding conceited, my face glows with the light of attainment.  I really think other people are missing out on the real meaning of life, and instead are spending too much time working and taking care of their children.

While I may not have a lot of money, and I dress in simple clothes and drive an economy sedan, I have an inner sense of contentment that is better than millions in the bank.  It’s a shame to die at 70 or 80 without having spent most of your time in leisure and tranquility.

Free time is the biggest commodity there is, and I have tons of it.  I like to write, and record my blues guitar music, cook great vegetarian food, and sometimes I even exercise!

Meditation is very important, I suggest everyone start doing it.  It really helps you focus on what is real and gives you confidence to live your life.  Meditation is the stepping stone to the rest of your life, and that is what it is doing for me.

 

The Modern Day Food Dilemma

Let’s face it, most restaurant food in America is not good.  Everything from 711, Dunkin Donuts, and fast food to even formal eateries are lacking.  That is one reason people are in such poor health and succumbing to chronic disease.

However, preparing all your own meals is quite problematic in the real world.  And that is even if you bulk prepare food on the weekend and store it in containers.  The health industry pays no attention to food, and the food industry pays no attention to health.  However, Hippocrates, the father of western medicine thought things should not be that way.  He said, ‘let your medicine be thy food and your food be thy medicine.’  Obviously, something has been lost.

If you are working full time it’s hard to eat right and get enough exercise.  If you work from home, you have more time and more flexibility in preparing your own meals and exercising.

Remember, the restaurant business uses low quality ingredients in order to maximize profit margins, or the difference between what it costs to prepare the product and how much the businessman gets in the end of the line.  Still, time is money and you pay for convenience.

I suggest making nutrition your hobby, since everyone eats and it is a vital subject.  Spend some time reading about nutrition and learning how to cook.  And then set aside some time every day or every week to cook in advance.  You don’t want to go to the grocery store too often, nor do you want to be dependent on restaurants.  The stuff they sell you is merchandise, and often, it’s designed to make you addicted to the product.

There are people in this country who are profiting off your ignorance of nutrition, just like on the flip side, buying the right products in the right places motivates the economy to change favorably.  You vote with your dollar bill.

All this diet and exercise information takes some discipline to apply, but that is the cost of doing the right thing, life isn’t a constant party.